Category Archive: Cast Iron Skillet Recipes

Recipes that make use of our favorite cast iron pans here at 1840 Farm

Farmhouse English Muffins

English Muffins at 1840 FarmI have fond memories of English muffins from my childhood.  I grew up in Kansas City and there was a Wolferman’s Bakery a short drive away.  Every so often, we traveled there to treat ourselves to their delicious fresh muffins.   The store was a beautiful shop and I loved to wander, looking at every type of muffin, at each spread and jam offered to top those thick muffins.  I loved every single moment of those trips.  For a kid who loved food, who dreamed of eating and creating decadent meals, those trips were like being set loose in a candy store.  Sadly, the store closed when I was 11 and those trips came to an end.

Many years later, I found myself craving an English muffin yet unable to find those thick, delicious muffins I treasured during trips to the bakery as a child.  The “artisan” style English muffins that I found at specialty shops weren’t a viable option for our family due to food allergies.  If I’ve learned one lesson during our decade living and eating around food allergies, it’s that if you can’t find a safe option, you just figure out how to make it yourself.

So that’s what I set out to do.  I looked at several different recipes and tried a few.  In the end, I combined elements from a couple of those recipes and added a few adjustments of my own.  After a few tries and a few tweaks, I had indeed created an English muffin as delicious as those I remembered from my childhood.

These English muffins are simple to make and so delicious toasted with plenty of butter and your favorite jam, jelly, or honey.  It has those tiny nooks and crannies to capture the melted butter and toppings in the most delectable way.  One bite and you’ll wonder where these muffins have been all your life and then you’ll make plans to make a second batch. With any luck, you’ll continue making them for years to come and create your own memories of delicious homemade muffins enjoyed around your family table.

Farmhouse English Muffins
The process of making homemade English muffins is unique. The dough is unlike any other I work with, often seeming too wet and sticky to possibly create lovely muffins. Don’t worry, they always do! Unlike most other breads, these muffins aren’t baked in the oven. Instead, they cook beautifully in a cast iron skillet or on a griddle. Whatever you use to prepare pancakes in would be ideally suited. In fact, the process has a lot in common with pancakes. The trick is in being patient, cooking over low to moderate heat, and not flipping the muffins any more than necessary which helps to preserve their soft texture. Many people use biscuit cutters or muffin rings to create perfectly round muffins. The rings often stick and you need to have 12 of them on hand to make a batch. I have used rings in the past, but have decided that I like the handmade farmhouse style version better. They’re much less fussy to make and I don’t mind that they aren’t perfectly round. If you do, then you can simply place the dough rounds in an oiled muffin ring when you place them on the pan to rise. Transfer the muffin in the ring to the skillet and cook in the same manner. No matter how you shape them, you’ll have beautiful muffins to share at your table.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ¼ cup milk
  2. 1 Tablespoon honey
  3. 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  4. ½ cup buttermilk
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  7. 1 Tablespoon lard
  8. 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  9. 4 ¾ cups bread flour
  10. cornmeal for dusting
Instructions
  1. Warm the milk to lukewarm in a small pot over low heat or by microwaving in 30 second intervals. It should be warm but not hot to the touch, around the temperature of bath water. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm milk and honey. Stir to incorporate and then sprinkle the yeast over the top of the warm liquid. Allow the yeast to proof for a few minutes as you gather the remaining ingredients.
  2. Add the buttermilk and egg to the bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter, lard, salt, and flour to the bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix for 5 minutes at low speed. The dough will become very stretchy and sticky, clinging to both the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  3. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl. Place in a warm spot or in a bread proofer and allow to rest for 60-90 minutes or until it has almost doubled in size.
  4. English muffin dough is very sticky at this point. It has an incredible amount of stretchiness and is quite wet. It doesn’t look like biscuit dough or dinner roll dough. Don’t worry about its seemingly gluey texture. Mine looks the very same way. They’ll cook up beautifully.
  5. Prepare a sheet pan or tray by sprinkling liberally with cornmeal. The cornmeal will help to prevent the very sticky dough from becoming stuck to the pan. More is better; use plenty of cornmeal for this step.
  6. Divide the dough into 12 portions. I use my digital food scale and make balls of dough that weigh between 90 and 100 grams. If you don’t have a scale, you can portion the muffins using approximately ½ cup of dough for each. Shape each portion of dough into a round disc and place on the cornmeal lined pan allowing at least 1 inch space between muffins. Repeat until all of the dough has been shaped.
  7. Set the muffins aside and allow them to rest and rise for about 30 minutes. You can also place them in the refrigerator overnight. If you choose to refrigerate them overnight, cover them loosely with plastic wrap or parchment lightly sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  8. When it’s time to cook the muffins, warm a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. The skillet needs to be warm enough to brown the muffins without burning them during their time in the skillet. When the skillet is warm, lower the heat to low and sprinkle a bit of cornmeal into the bottom of the pan. Gently transfer a few of the dough rounds to the warm skillet taking care not to crowd them.
  9. Cook the muffins for 5 minutes before carefully peeking underneath to see if they are evenly browned. Cook for 2-4 additional minutes until they have browned sufficiently. Use a spatula to flip them over and cook on the other side in the same manner. The muffins should puff up nicely and begin to resemble the most gorgeous English muffins you have ever seen. If you have an instant read thermometer, the perfectly cooked muffins will register between 190 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. They will feel fairly firm to the touch yet still spring back when pressed in the middle.
  10. Transfer the fully cooked muffins to a wire rack to cool. Repeat the skillet cooking method for the remaining muffins. Adjust the heat as needed to achieve browning without burning and add more cornmeal if necessary. My cast iron skillet heats up and holds the heat so well that I often need to reduce the heat a bit with each successive batch.
  11. Serve your English muffins toasted with butter and topped with your favorite delicious toppings. Room temperature muffins can be stored in an airtight container for several days or frozen for long term storage.
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Ratatouille

Ratatouille at 1840 FarmFor me, ratatouille is a celebration of our summer garden harvest.  I often think of this dish as I’m planning the next year’s garden, adding seeds to my shopping cart in anticipation of planting, tending, and harvesting the fresh ingredients that put this meal on our dinner table.  I choose seeds that will be ideally suited for creating this beautiful, delicious dish.  Yes, I really do love ratatouille that much.

Ratatouille has humble origins.  It began as a rustic, thick vegetable stew.  In its early days, eggplant was still exclusive to India and both zucchini and tomato hadn’t found their way into cultivated gardens. Those components would not have found their way into the cooking pot hung over an open fire.  Instead, a little of this, a little of that, heat, and time combined to bring together the flavors and textures of what was in season together into a thick stew that could be eaten and enjoyed for many days.  No written recipe was needed and the results would have varied slightly every time it was made thanks to the dish being dictated by what was at its most ripe and delicious.  It was true peasant food, elevating the individual ingredients into a combination that was delicious and versatile.

What was a rustic stew in 18th century France evolved over time into a more refined dish in the Mediterranean.  It is unclear if the dish we know originated in Spain, Italy, or the South of France.  The flavors suggest that it could be from any of those individually or it could have been a regional dish, blurring the boundaries and borders of the three countries.  

Around 1930, a written recipe for ratatouille first appeared.  In this more modern take, eggplant (often called aubergine) and fresh herbs were added.  These early written recipes instructed cooks to prepare each of the components separately, cooking them fully before eventually combining them to create a dish full of their individual flavors.  The dish was named “ratatouille”, a name derived from the French term “touiller,” which means “to stir up”.Ratatouille Squash at 1840 Farm

Julia Child referred to ratatouille as “eggplant casserole” in her epic tome, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  She details how to slice the zucchini and eggplant into thin strips, cooking them to perfection before layering them with the fresh tomato sauce and herbs into a casserole.  She introduces her recipe by writing “Ratatouille perfumes the kitchen with the essence of Provence and is certainly one of the great Mediterranean dishes.”

I never question Julia’s wisdom and was intrigued by the idea of slicing the zucchini and eggplant into ribbons rather than the cubed versions I had been making for years.  I knew that the flavor would be unchanged, but I loved the idea of the thin strips of squash adding beautiful color to the serving of ratatouille on our dinner plates.  Yet I didn’t love the thought of baking the ratatouille lasagna style, hiding the very colors that I wanted to make the focus of the dish.

During a morning of garden chores, I realized that there was a simple solution: stand the thin slices on end, wrapping them together in a round pan over a bed of the fresh tomato sauce.  The beautiful color of the skins isn’t just visible.  It’s a gorgeous sight worthy of an oil painting.  It was even more stunning than I had hoped for.

This dish is a show stopper.  Be prepared to find yourself marveling at just how lovely it looks as it comes together.  I’ve made it several times this summer and it still amazes me how gorgeous it is.  The bright yellow of the summer squash, deep green of the zucchini, and purple eggplant are such a beautiful combination especially when added to a deep red tomato sauce.  It truly is a celebration of the best fresh flavors of summer.

Ratatouille
This recipe can be made in an oven safe skillet, creating the sauce and then adding the squash before transferring to the oven. I love to use my 9” cast iron skillet for this purpose. You can also assemble the ratatouille in a spring form pan, adding the sauce to the bottom before placing the squash. After removing the spring form pan from the oven, simply run a sharp knife around the perimeter and remove the ring before slicing and serving.
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For the sauce
  1. 1 red bell pepper
  2. 1 yellow bell pepper
  3. 1 orange bell pepper
  4. 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1 large shallot (or small onion) minced
  7. 1 pound fresh tomatoes, diced
  8. 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  9. 1 bay leaf
For the squash (select similarly sized small to medium squash for the best results)
  1. 2 zucchini
  2. 2 yellow summer squash
  3. 2 eggplant
  4. 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  6. salt and pepper
Make the sauce
  1. Cut each pepper in half, removing the stem, seeds, and ribs. Place the halves cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 15 – 25 minutes until the skins brown and blister. Remove the peppers from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Using a sharp knife, remove the skins from the roasted peppers before dicing into ½” pieces.
  2. In a large skillet (I use my 9” cast iron skillet), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 2-4 minutes until translucent, stirring to prevent scorching. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant for one minute, taking care not to brown. Add the tomatoes, diced peppers, and thyme to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook gently until the ingredients soften and combine. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. Transfer 1 cup of the tomato sauce from the skillet to a small pot. Add ¼ cup bone broth or stock to the pot and warm over low heat as you assemble the ratatouille. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Add 1 Tablespoon butter and stir to incorporate as it melts. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and keep warm until serving.
Prepare the squash
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the stem and blossom ends from each of the squash. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, slice each squash lengthwise into thin strips. The strips should be thin enough to allow the slices to be flexed into shape without breaking. I set my mandoline on the 1/8” setting for this recipe. Set the slices aside.
  2. Spread the remaining tomato sauce to evenly cover the bottom of the skillet or spring form pan. Select a small slice of squash to form into a tight coil and place in the center of the pan, nestling it into the tomato sauce. Alternate the different colors of squash, wrapping thin slices around each other. Overlap the slices slightly and hold them together if necessary. As the coil grows larger, it will be held together by the sides of the pan. Continue to add squash slices until the pan is so full that additional slices cannot be added.
  3. Use a pastry brush to brush the top of the surface of the squash with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and the fresh thyme leaves. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Transfer the pan to the hot oven and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the squash has softened and browned slightly. If you prefer a deeper browning, place the pan under a broiler for 1-2 minutes taking care not to burn the squash.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.Place a wedge of ratatouille on the plate and spoon a bit of the sauce over the top.
Notes
  1. You can adjust this recipe to fit what is in season in your garden or at the local farmer’s market, adding more or less of a particular squash or pepper if needed. When time is short, I often make this ratatouille in a more rustic way. You can easily chop the peppers and cube the squash, sautéing the combination of squash before adding the peppers and then tomatoes to the skillet, allowing the tomatoes to become a sauce around the other ingredient squash. Ratatouille is equally delicious served hot or at room temperature. Any leftovers can be used as a base for delicious pasta, rice, or couscous dish the following day.
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Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza BannerPizza night is a favorite here at the farmhouse.  I’ve made all sorts of homemade pizza over the years from traditional to taco pizza, grilled pizza, and homemade calzones.  Lately, we’ve been making our homemade pizza in a cast iron skillet with amazing results.  I should have known that creating a homemade pizza in my favorite type of pan would create a delicious, comforting meal to serve at our family table.

Preparing pizza in a cast iron skillet is so simple.  The crust bakes up beautifully thanks to the even heat in the skillet.  Once we have all helped ourselves to a slice, the remaining pizza stays warm and delicious until we’re all ready for seconds. 

I make one large pizza for our family in a 12 inch cast iron skillet.  You can also scale down your pizza to fit a 9 inch cast iron skillet.  The baking times remain the same; simply reduce the amount of toppings to create a slightly smaller pizza with equally delicious results.  If you prefer a thinner crust, less dough can be used to create a pizza just to your liking..  If you love a thick crust, do the opposite and use more of the dough to create a thick crust for your pizza.  This crust also makes  a delicious traditional style pizza baked on a pizza pan. 

This recipe makes enough dough and sauce for two 12 inch pizzas.  The dough stores very well in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for weeks.  I make a batch of dough and sauce one week and have enough of both leftover to make our pizza the following week.

I have used both homemade pizza dough and the store bought varieties to make great pizzas in my cast iron skillet.  Our favorite is the recipe I have included below.  It’s simple to make and tastes delicious.  If you prefer to use a store bought pizza crust, you will need around 14 ounces for a 12 inch skillet and 10 to 12 ounces for a 9 inch skillet pizza. 

We like to fill our pizza with a combination of 8 ounces local sausage, a sautéed red bell pepper, and a generous handful of sliced black olives.  Precooking the sausage and peppers ensures that they will be fully cooked and will not add too much moisture to the finished pizza which can result in a soggy crust.  This step also greatly reduces the baking time for your pizza.  On busy weeks, I often precook the toppings the night before or in the morning so that assembling our pizza at dinner time will be even easier.  You can substitute your favorite toppings for your pizza, precooking any raw ingredients and preparing them ahead of time if that suits your schedule.

I hope that you will gather your favorite pizza dough, sauce, toppings, and cast iron skillet for a farmhouse style pizza night at your house. I know that you’ll find that this simple recipe will make pizza night into a homemade feast that you’ll love serving to your family and friends week after week.

 

 

 

  

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
I make one large pizza for our family in a 12 inch cast iron skillet. You can also scale down your pizza to fit a 9 inch cast iron skillet. The baking times remain the same; simply reduce the amount of toppings to create a slightly smaller pizza with equally delicious results. If you prefer a thinner crust, less dough can be used to create a pizza just to your liking.. If you love a thick crust, do the opposite and use more of the dough to create a thick crust for your pizza. This crust also makes a delicious traditional style pizza baked on a pizza pan. This recipe makes enough dough and sauce for two 12 inch pizzas. The dough stores very well in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for weeks. I make a batch of dough and sauce one week and have enough of both leftover to make our pizza the following week. I have used both homemade pizza dough and the store bought varieties to make great pizzas in my cast iron skillet. This is our favorite is the recipe. It’s simple to make and tastes delicious. If you prefer to use a store bought pizza crust, you will need around 14 ounces for a 12 inch skillet and 10 to 12 ounces for a 9 inch skillet pizza.
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For one 12 inch Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
  1. 14 ounces pizza dough
  2. 1 teaspoon olive oil to prepare the pan before baking
  3. 1 – 2 cups pizza sauce
  4. 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
  5. Your favorite pizza toppings
  6. dried oregano
For the Dough
  1. 3 ½ - 4 cups Bread Flour
  2. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  3. 1 packet active dry yeast or 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  4. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  5. 2 teaspoons honey
  6. 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm water
For the Sauce
  1. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  4. 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  5. 28 ounces tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  6. 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  7. salt and pepper to taste
For the Dough
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine water, honey, salt, and olive oil. Sprinkle the yeast on top of liquids and allow to sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. Add 3 ½ cups of flour to bowl and fit the mixer with a dough hook. Mix on low-speed for three minutes. The dough will begin to gather together and form a shaggy ball. Turn mixer off and allow dough to rest for five minutes.
  3. At the end of the rest period, mix the dough for another three minutes at medium low-speed. Add up to ½ cup additional flour if necessary to bring the dough together. At this point, the dough will be transformed into a ball.
  4. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand until it is elastic and smooth. Divide the dough into two portions and form each into a ball by tucking the ends underneath as you turn it in your hands. Place each ball of dough in a medium bowl, coating the bowl and ball of dough with a bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking or drying out. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes. Cover the bowl and store the dough in the refrigerator until ready to use. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for several weeks.
For the Sauce
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Add the oregano and tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute before adding the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should reduce slightly and thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper, and oregano as needed. If you prefer your sauce to have a bit of spice, you can add a dash of dried red pepper flakes with the garlic and oregano.
For the Pizza
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a pizza stone or baking stone, this is a great time to use it. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to your cast iron skillet. Use a pastry brush to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet with the oil. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the skillet as it bakes.
  2. As the sauce is reducing, I cook my pizza toppings. In a medium skillet, I brown 8 ounces of sausage removed from its casing before adding sliced bell peppers. Once the peppers are cooked, I remove the skillet from the heat, add the sliced black olives, and stir to combine. Precooking any raw ingredients will prevent the pizza from becoming soggy from the moisture released from raw ingredients as they bake in the oven.
  3. Press the pizza dough into the oiled cast iron skillet. The dough should evenly cover the bottom and the sides of the skillet. As you press the dough, it should keep its shape in the skillet, holding itself up against the side of the skillet. Place the skillet on a burner set at low heat as you assemble the pizza. The heat will help to warm the cast iron skillet and sear the bottom of the dough. This will help to ensure that the crust bakes evenly and has a nice crunch on the exterior. The pizza should spend about 5-7 minutes on the burner as you assemble the pizza before being transferred to the oven.
  4. Add half of the grated cheese to the skillet, spreading to evenly cover the bottom of the pizza crust. Add half of the pizza sauce, spreading it evenly on top of the layer of grated cheese. Add your toppings followed by the remaining grated mozzarella. Sprinkle with dried oregano. Allow the pizza to remain on the warm burner for a minute or two before transferring it to the hot oven.
  5. Bake the pizza for 18 - 20 minutes, turning it after 10 minutes to promote even browning and baking. Remove the pizza from the oven and allow it to cool for a full 15 minutes. This cool down period will allow the pizza toppings to set up slightly, making it much easier to slice and serve.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. During the summer, I cook our pizza on the grill. It bakes up beautifully and we don't heat up the farmhouse by running the oven. Simply heat the grill to around 425 degrees before placing the prepared skillet directly on the grill. Cover and cook for 12-14 minutes. Remove the pan from the grill and allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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Cast Iron Skillet Roast Chicken

cast-iron-skillet-roast-chicken-branded

These days, I find myself actively looking for meals that fit a few key criteria. I want everyone to be eager to come to dinner, to look forward to the meal that lies ahead.  I like to have a multipurpose meal, one that can easily result in leftovers that can be reinvented the next evening into something equally delicious.  I also love when that meal can be procured locally, raised in our community, and eaten at its delicious best. cast-iron-skillet-roast-chicken-wm

I also like to serve something comforting at our family table.  After a long day, we could all use a plate that allows us to take a collective sigh, gather around the table, and enjoy recounting our day while eating something that delivers comfort with each bite.

For me, a whole chicken roasted to perfection in the oven delivers on each of these points. If the chicken can be cooked in a cast iron skillet, all the better.  The results are delicious each and every time, with my family clamoring for more, requesting that we make it again soon.

Thanks to inspiration from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook, I began roasting two birds at once each in their own cast iron skillet.  I’m only sorry that I didn’t think of this technique years earlier.  With very little extra effort, I can roast a duo of chickens side by side and ensure that we have plenty of leftover chicken to enjoy as tacos, sandwiches, pot pies, and in pasta dishes on successive evenings.

Roasting two chickens also provides me with all that I need to create two batches of hearty bone broth.  That bone broth delivers robust flavor and healthy nutrition to every single dish it is added to. Having homemade bone broth in the refrigerator or freezer at the ready is akin to having a bit of magic to add to any recipe that calls for broth or stock.

I hope that you will enjoy this hearty, comforting meal as much as we do.  It’s sure to become a favorite around your family table!

Cast Iron Skillet Roast Chicken
I roast two chickens at a time, each in their own 9 inch cast iron skillet. If you prefer, the two chickens could be placed in a single roasting pan large enough to accommodate them. When roasting two chickens, select birds of a similar size to ensure that they cook evenly in the same length of time. Prepping raw chickens can be a messy task, but I have found that lining my prep area with a generously sized piece of freezer paper helps to make cleanup a breeze.
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Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. Two 3-4 pound whole chickens
  2. coarse sea salt
  3. freshly ground pepper
  4. 2 Tablespoon lard or olive oil
  5. 2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and position the oven racks in the bottom third of the oven. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator to allow it to come closer to room temperature as the oven preheats.
  2. Line your prep space with a large piece of freezer paper if desired. I like to use two small prep bowls, filling each with ample coarse salt and pepper to use when seasoning the chickens. Having the seasonings at the ready allows me to season the chickens inside and out without contaminating my pepper grinder and salt cellar.
  3. Remove the chicken from its packaging. If your bird contains a packet of organs in its cavity, remove them. Rinse the chicken under cold water if desired before transferring to the prepared freezer paper. Using paper towel, pat the chicken dry inside and out. It is important that the chicken be as dry as possible. Any moisture will create steam in the oven which will prevent the skin from becoming crisp.
  4. Liberally season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. If you like, you can truss the chicken using a length of kitchen twine to tie the legs together and hold them tight to the body. Trussing the chicken will help to hold the legs close to the body, keeping it in a beautiful shape and also helping the meat to cook evenly and the breast to stay moist.
  5. Prepare a cast iron skillet for each bird by placing each skillet on a burner over high heat. When the pan is hot, add a Tablespoon of lard or olive oil to each skillet, swirling carefully to coat the bottom surface of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium high and add a prepped chicken to each pan. Allow the chicken to cook for five minutes undisturbed.
  6. Transfer the skillets to the hot oven with the legs facing the back of the oven. Placing the breast in the front of the oven (the coolest spot) will deliver a slightly lower temperature and help to ensure that the breast meat does not overcook.
  7. After 30 minutes, turn the skillets 180 degrees to encourage even browning. I like to very gently tilt the pan to encourage any juices that have collected in the cavity to run into the skillet. Take care to not splash the hot liquid out of the pan when doing so.
  8. Roast the chicken for another 20 minutes before removing the skillets from the oven to check for doneness. When done, the birds should be golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone should register around 160 degrees. Juices from the chicken will run clear when it is fully cooked.
  9. When the chicken is finished cooking, add a generous teaspoon of the minced thyme to the juices that have collected in each skillet. Allow the chicken to rest for ten to fifteen minutes. This rest period will encourage the meat to stay moist and the pan juices to warm the fresh thyme.
  10. Remove the trussing twine from the chicken. Carve and serve, basting the chicken with a bit of the herbed pan juices.
  11. If you happen to be serving mashed potatoes and gravy with your chicken, add a bit of the pan juices to your gravy to boost the flavor and add a beautiful color.
When your meal is finished, the bones and skin can be used to make a delicious bone broth. You can learn how and why I make bone broth at
  1. www.1840farm.com/how-to-make-thanksgiving-turkey-bone-broth/
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Farmhouse Style Cast Iron Skillet Meatloaf

Farmhouse Style Cast Iron Skillet Meatloaf

In my book, there’s nothing more comforting on a cold winter’s night than meatloaf and mashed potatoes. If that meatloaf can be prepared in a cast iron skillet, all the better. Comfort food from a cast iron skillet is just the sort of farmhouse style comfort food my family clamors for on a wintry New England day.

A cast iron skillet is perfectly suited for making meatloaf. It holds the heat well, ensuring that the meatloaf bakes evenly. The same skillet can be used to sauté the vegetables and herbs that will be incorporated into the meatloaf before being used to bake the meatloaf in the oven. Reducing the number of dishes I need to use and clean while prepping dinner is always a welcome development in my kitchen.

Once you’ve made this cast iron skillet meatloaf, you’ll be left wondering why you ever baked meatloaf in a loaf pan. My loaf pan may be feeling a bit lonely, because I’ve never made meatloaf in that pan since discovering that I could bake it so perfectly in my cast iron skillet!

Farmhouse Style Cast Iron Skillet Meatloaf
Serves 6
I like to incorporate Italian sausage into the ground beef or buffalo that I use in this recipe. The combination results in a wonderfully seasoned, delicious meatloaf. If you like more spice, you could certainly use spicy Italian sausage with equally delicious results. I often double this recipe and use my large 12 inch cast iron skillet to bake a larger meatloaf. Then I am able to look forward to serving leftovers the next night. Like most savory dishes, this meatloaf is even more delicious the second night!
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tablespoon lard
  2. 1 Large onion, finely diced
  3. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  5. 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  6. 8 ounces Italian sausage, removed from the casing
  7. 16 ounces ground grass fed beef or buffalo
  8. 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  9. 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  10. 2 large eggs
  11. 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  12. ¼ cup ketchup
  13. 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  14. 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Warm an 8-9 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the lard, swirling the pan to coat the bottom surface of the skillet. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, stirring for one minute to prevent the garlic from burning. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef or buffalo with the Italian sausage that has been removed from its casing. Add the tomato paste, sautéed onion mixture, oats, and eggs. Mix to fully combine the ingredients.
  4. Transfer about half of the mixture to the cast iron skillet, pressing to evenly cover the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the top before covering with the remaining ground meat mixture. Press the meat mixture to the edges of the skillet. The mixture should reach the edges of the skillet and be an even thickness to ensure that it will bake evenly.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Spread this mixture over the top of the ground meat. Transfer the skillet to the warm oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. When the meatloaf is finished, it will begin to pull away from the edges of the pan and register at 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.
  6. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes before slicing into wedges and serving. We love to enjoy this meatloaf with Colcannon Style Mashed Potatoes. The combination of meatloaf, potatoes, and cabbage is a favorite at our farmhouse table.
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/01/farmhouse-style-cast-iron-skillet-meatloaf/

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey and Potato Hash

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Hash in a Cast Iron Skillet at 1840 FarmIn my opinion, Thanksgiving leftovers don’t get the respect they deserve.  A feast on Thursday can produce enough leftovers for an entire weekend of delicious meals and sandwiches.  Any leftover turkey can be transformed into something completely new and delicious with very little effort.

I originally started making a Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash with leftovers from our Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork.  It was always a hit at our family table and became just as popular as the pork we enjoy the first night for dinner.  Soon, we were making braised pork with this hash in mind and eagerly anticipating the second night’s delicious dinner.

It stood to reason that leftover Thanksgiving turkey would be just as delicious when transformed into hash.  It was.  Year after year, this hash is just as popular as the pork version we enjoy.  It’s also a dish that celebrates those Thanksgiving leftovers while creating something completely different to serve at our family table.

I hope that your family will enjoy it just as much as mine does!

 

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey and Potato Hash
This recipe makes use of one of my favorite pans: a cast iron skillet. I like to use my Lodge 12 inch cast iron skillet when preparing this hash. If your skillet is smaller, you can reduce the proportions to fit your pan. I love to use homemade bone broth for this recipe when I have it on hand, but an equal amount of good quality stock can be used. If you have any roasted carrots, parsnips, or other root vegetables leftover from your Thanksgiving feast, add them in. The results will be completely new and delicious!
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tablespoon butter
  2. 1 large onion, diced
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 ½ pounds potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch cubes
  5. ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  6. 12 ounces homemade bone broth or good quality stock
  7. 8 ounces shredded turkey
  8. 2 ounces heavy cream
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 2 ounces smoked cheddar, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter to the hot pan and swirl to coat the bottom surface. Add the onion and cook until almost translucent, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute before adding the potatoes to the pan, stirring to combine.
  3. Add the thyme and bone broth to the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes undisturbed.
  4. Remove the cover and stir the mixture. The potatoes should have begun to soften and absorbed some of the liquid. Add the turkey and heavy cream to the pan and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Press the mixture firmly into the pan and top with the grated cheddar. Transfer the skillet to the warm oven.
  5. Cook the hash for ten minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness before turning on the broiler. Broil for two minutes to brown the top surface of the hash. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
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This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes  right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

thanksgiving-gallery-ss


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/11/leftover-thanksgiving-turkey-hash/

1840 Farmhouse Style Sweet Potatoes Anna

Sweet Potatoes Anna Ingredients at 1840 FarmWhen I was asked to create a recipe to help showcase Castello Cheese to promote their Unlock Your Inner Chef Sweepstakes and the release of the new movie Burnt, I couldn’t wait to head into the farmhouse kitchen and get started. I love blue cheese. In fact, it might be my favorite type of cheese. I also love a good movie, especially if it involves food. Many of my favorite films highlight the ability of food to feed the soul and rebuild the spirit.SweetPotatoAnnaSlices at 1840 Farm

The movie Burnt opened in theaters last week. It tells the tale of a chef played by Bradley Cooper who loses his way while working in Paris. As the movie progresses, his character finds himself and self-redemption in the food that he creates. The food is a worthy co-star in the film, with beautifully crafted dishes appearing on the plate.

The cuisine featured in the film is classical French, so I wanted to create a modern, farmhouse style approach for a recipe that appears in the film. After carefully considering my options, I decided to put my seasonal New England spin on the Pommes Anna with Extra Cream Danish Blue Cheese showcased in the movie.

I first came to know the classic preparation for Pommes Anna through my culinary idol Julia Child. She describes the dish in her epic tome Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume Two. She introduces the recipe by sharing that it was “created during the era of Napoleon III and named, as were many culinary triumphs in those days, after one of the grande cocotte of the period.” I can almost hear Julia’s trilling voice telling the tale. Legend has it that Pommes (potatoes) Anna was indeed named after a beautiful young woman who visited the palace’s court during the reign of Napoleon III.

SweetPotatoAnnawithBlueCheese at 1840 FarmThe traditional dish is a delicate preparation of waxy potatoes and clarified butter. I wanted to stay true to the spirit of the classic dish while featuring the best of what is in season this time of year. Local white potatoes are available, but I couldn’t help thinking of beautiful sweet potatoes. I had a hunch that I could prepare sweet potatoes in the classic style of Pommes Anna but cooked simply in a cast iron skillet. It seemed like the perfect combination of classic French technique and rustic farmhouse cooking.

The resulting dish is delicious and beautiful. It is full of the earthy flavor of sweet potatoes and accented by the butter and herbs layered between the thin slices. The cast iron skillet provides even heat, producing a beautiful dish that is cooked through yet retains its shape and looks stunning on the plate.

The Castello Cheese Danish Blue Cheese Crumbles sprinkled on top provides the perfect bright accent for the sweet potatoes. The creamy, tangy texture and flavor transform this dish from delicious to spectacular. I hope that you’ll enjoy serving this stunning dish to your friends and family as much as I do. It’s so delicious that it might just make an appearance on our Thanksgiving table this year.

I also hope that you’ll visit Castello’s Burnt campaign page to enter their Unlock Your Inner Chef Sweepstakes. You’ll find a collection of delicious recipes from the film and great prizes including a private cooking class for two and a year’s worth of Castello cheese. I entered and hope that you will too!

 

1840 Farmhouse Style Sweet Potatoes (Pommes) AnnaSweetPotatoAnnaOven at 1840 Farm
Serves 4-6 as a side dish

I like to prepare this recipe in my 12 inch cast iron skillet. It can also be cooked in a large skillet that can withstand the 425 degree heat of the oven. The classic preparation of this dish calls for the potatoes to be peeled, but I prefer to leave the peel on my sweet potatoes. I like to incorporate the beautiful contrast in color and nutritional benefits of the skins into the finished dish. If you prefer, the potatoes can be peeled. The results will be equally delicious.

4 pounds medium sized sweet potatoes
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons fresh minced herbs (rosemary, thyme, and sage)
sea salt
pepper
Castello Cheese Danish Blue Cheese crumbles

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the sweet potatoes into slices that are approximately 1/8” thick. Mince the fresh herbs and set aside.

Heat the large skillet over medium low heat. Add the butter and cook until completely melted. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the butter off into a small bowl. Using a heat safe brush, fully coat the bottom and sides of the pan with melted butter to prevent the potatoes from sticking.

Arrange a layer of the sweet potato slices on the bottom of the skillet, overlapping to fully cover the skillet’s surface. Brush the layer with the melted butter before seasoning with a sprinkling of the minced herbs and a bit of salt and pepper. Add a second layer of sweet potato slices to fully cover the first layer. Brush the second layer with melted butter and season with herbs, salt, and pepper. Continue layering until all of the potatoes are used. Brush the top layer with butter and sprinkle the remaining herbs on top. Season with salt and pepper.

SweetPotatoAnnaSkilletStackButter one side of a piece of aluminum foil large enough to fully cover the pan. Place the foil buttered side down on top of the potatoes. Place another slightly smaller oven safe skillet on top of the foil. The weight of the smaller skillet will help to hold the layers of sweet potatoes in place and help the dish to retain its shape as it cooks.

Place the dish in the warm oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven. At this point, the top skillet can be removed and the foil can be carefully peeled back using a spatula if necessary to separate it from the top layer of sweet potato slices.

Return the pan to the oven and bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes. When finished, the potatoes should be tender yet hold their shape. They will begin to take on a beautiful caramelized color as they finish baking.

Remove the pan from the oven. Cut into wedges and serve topped with a sprinkling of Castello blue cheese. The heat from the sweet potatoes will melt the cheese, creating a beautiful and delicious dish that you’ll be proud to serve at your family table.


This post was sponsored by Castello Cheese.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share new brands and products with our readers.  1840 Farm abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity.  Compensation received from sponsors will not influence the topics or posts made on this blog.  Sponsored posts will be clearly labeled as such. Product reviews will include our honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed.  Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. Samples of the products that I review (or reimbursements) are sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to use the product and evaluate its performance.  The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided.  Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.


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This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes  right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

thanksgiving-gallery-ss


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/11/1840-farmhouse-style-sweet-potatoes-anna/

Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash

Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato HashWhen we sit down at our farmhouse table to enjoy a meal featuring Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork, I can count on someone to ask if there will be enough pork to make Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash for dinner the following evening. I have come to expect that question, so I always buy a cut of pork that is large enough to ensure that there will be plenty of pork to make this hash.

Leftovers often get a bad rap, but this preparation can change that with the first bite. This hash is a star main dish in its own right. It is delicious, comforting, and full of flavor. Leftovers never had it so good.

This is one of those recipes that welcomes interpretation and substitution. You can add other vegetables to the mix or substitute another cut of meat you have on hand. No matter the ingredients, the results are always delicious.

Hash

 

 

 

 

Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash

This recipe makes use of one of my favorite pans: a cast iron skillet. I like to use my Lodge 12 inch cast iron skillet when preparing this hash. If your skillet is smaller, you can reduce the proportions to fit your pan. I love to use the reserved cooking liquid from the Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast, but an equal amount of bone broth or a good quality stock can be used.

1 Tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ pounds potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch cubes
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
12 ounces reserved cooking liquid from Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork or bone broth
8 ounces shredded pork
2 ounces heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces smoked cheddar, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter to the hot pan and swirl to coat the bottom surface. Add the onion and cook until almost translucent, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute before adding the potatoes to the pan, stirring to combine.

Add the thyme and reserved cooking liquid or bone broth to the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes undisturbed.

Remove the cover and stir the mixture. The potatoes should have begun to soften and absorbed some of the liquid. Add the pork and heavy cream to the pan and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Press the mixture firmly into the pan and top with the grated cheddar. Transfer the skillet to the warm oven.

Cook the hash for ten minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness before turning on the broiler. Broil for two minutes to brown the top surface of the hash. Remove from the oven and serve hot.  We like to serve this hash with a side of Classic Sauerkraut.

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/cast-iron-skillet-pork-and-potato-hash/

Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving Dressing

cast-iron-skillet-thanksgiving-dressing-brandedOf all the dishes that make an annual appearance on our Thanksgiving table, this is the hands down favorite. Everyone clamors for this dressing as soon as it exits the oven. As it bakes, the farmhouse is infused with the intoxicating aroma of toasting bread, celery, and savory spices. It’s no wonder we all love this comforting, hearty side dish so much.

BriocheI like to prepare our dressing in an oversized, deep-dish cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven. It allows me to prepare the entire dish in a single pan, saving me the trouble of washing extra dishes on a day when dirty dishes seem to multiply at an alarming rate. The cast iron also creates the most delicious and beautiful caramelized layer on the bread cubes that are on the bottom and sides of the pan.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the dressing, you can use an oven ready skillet or casserole dish brushed with a bit of butter to prevent sticking. You can also cut this recipe in half in order to fit it comfortably in a standard 10 inch cast iron skillet.

I love to use a few loaves of our favorite 1840 Farmhouse Brioche bread for this stuffing, but two standard sized loaves of any type of bread can be substituted. I have tested the recipe using loaves of stuffing bread from our local grocery store with very good results. While the homemade bread was a bit more flavorful and rustic, both versions were delicious and beautiful.

No matter the loaf of bread you use or type of vessel you choose to bake the dressing in, the end result will be comforting and delicious. Our family’s favorite dressing is sure to please the diners gathered around your Thanksgiving table.

1840 Farm Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving Dressing
I love to use a batch of our 1840 Farmhouse Brioche for this recipe. The results are so delicious. You can substitute your favorite bread with equally tasty results. You'll find the recipe for our Farmhouse Brioche at: www.1840farm.com/farmhouse-brioche/
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds bread (one batch 1840 Farmhouse Brioche)
  2. 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  3. 2 large onions, chopped
  4. 1 leek (white and light green parts only), sliced and washed to remove grit
  5. 1 cup chopped celery stalks and leaves
  6. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  8. 1 Tablespoon fresh sage
  9. 1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
  10. 2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  11. ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  12. 1 cup bone broth or stock (more as needed)
  13. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the bread by slicing the loaves into 1 inch thick slices before dividing each slice into 1 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Transfer the bread cubes to the warm oven and toast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The goal is to dry and toast the cubes without drying them to the point that they resemble croutons. Remove the toasted cubes from the oven and allow them to cool. If desired, the bread cubes can be toasted the day before and kept at room temperature until needed.
  2. Heat your large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the pan and cook, using a large spoon or fork to break the sausage into bite-sized pieces. This will allow the sausage to be evenly distributed in the finished dish.
  3. When the sausage is no longer pink, add the onions, washed leeks, and celery to the pan. Incorporating the celery leaves will add a boost of celery flavor to the dish as the leaves have a more concentrated flavor than the stalks. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the celery begins to soften and the onions become translucent.
  4. Prepare the aromatics as the sausage and onion mixture sautés. Mince the garlic with the rosemary and sage before adding them to the pan along with the fennel seeds and drained artichoke hearts. Cook until warmed through, stirring to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, and broth, stirring to combine. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and add more broth to moisten if necessary. Transfer the entire mixture to the cast iron pan or your chosen baking dish. Top with remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. Cover the pan with a piece of buttered aluminum foil, placing the buttered side down on the surface of the dressing.
  6. Place the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Adapted from This recipe was adapted from Artichoke, Sausage, and Parmesan Stuffing which appeared in the November 2002 issue of Bon Appétit Magazine.
Adapted from This recipe was adapted from Artichoke, Sausage, and Parmesan Stuffing which appeared in the November 2002 issue of Bon Appétit Magazine.
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This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration.  I’ll be adding new recipes  right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.

 

thanksgiving-gallery-ss


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/11/cast-iron-skillet-thanksgiving-dressing/

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to review the new cookbook, Put An Egg On It by Lara Ferroni.  It was filled with fantastic recipes featuring one of my favorite foods:  eggs.  I loved it so much that I was thrilled to be presented with the chance to review a second cookbook from the Sasquatch Books catalog.  I was even more excited when I learned that it was a cookbook that focused on the use of one of my favorite tools in the kitchen:  a cast iron pan.

The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne contains over 90 recipes that all utilize a cast iron skillet.  These recipes represent the full range of dishes from breakfast fare to hearty dishes to serve at your family’s dinner table.  This beautiful book also includes helpful information to guide readers through the process of selecting a cast iron skillet, seasoning its surface, and caring for it properly.

The recipe featured on the cover caught my attention right away.  The pecan sticky buns looked amazing in the pan and on the plate.  I couldn’t wait to open the cover and read the recipe.  After I had read that recipe, I continued on through the entrees, vegetables and sides, and delectable looking desserts.

All of the recipes looked delicious, but I was drawn to the idea of making my family’s favorite cinnamon rolls in our own cast iron skillet before diving in and trying a new recipe.  I wondered if using my favorite pan would make any difference in the cinnamon rolls I was planning to serve for dinner.

After the first bite, my family proclaimed that these were the most delicious cinnamon rolls that I had ever made.  As dinner went on, so did their happy comments.  By the time the last bite had been enjoyed, they were all inquiring about when I would be making these Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce again.

I promised that I would make this recipe again soon.  I want to share the recipe with you first so that you can make them yourself.  These cinnamon rolls are delicious and sure to delight your friends and family.

 

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
serves 4-6

I like to use our WonderMill to mill our own organic, non-GMO flour for this recipe, but there’s no need to pass up making these rolls if you don’t have the ability to mill your own flour. You can substitute high quality whole wheat flour or All-purpose flour. 

I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to create lighter dough and improve the overall texture of the rolls.  If you don’t have it on hand, you can simply omit it from the recipe.  The resulting recipe will still be absolutely delicious. You can learn more about the dough enhancer in my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.

Dough
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon (20 grams) molasses
1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes

Bourbon Caramel Sauce
½ cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon bourbon

Filling
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, softened
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.  If you don’t have a proofer, you can provide the dough with a warm, draft free location to rise.  Additional time may be necessary for the dough to rise sufficiently, but the cinnamon rolls will taste equally delicious.

In a large bowl, combine the warm water and molasses, stirring to dissolve the molasses.  Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside to bloom as you measure the dry ingredients, approximately five minutes.

Measure and combine the flour, dough enhancer, and salt in a bowl.  Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients and evenly distribute the salt throughout the flour.

When the five minutes have elapsed, whisk the liquid ingredients and then add the warm milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Whisk until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the yeast mixture.  Use a dough hook on a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, mix until a shaggy dough forms.  If you are using a stand mixer, continue to mix the dough on the lowest setting for 5 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms before beginning to add the butter slowly.  Add the butter a piece at a time, allowing the mixer to work the dough between each addition.  Continue to mix until all of the butter is incorporated into the dough.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been brushed with butter or oil.  Place the dough in the warm proofer or a draft free spot to rest and rise for approximately 60 minutes.  Remove the dough from the bowl and knead lightly before returning the dough to the bowl to rise for another 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

As the dough is rising for a second time, prepare the bourbon caramel sauce.  Add the brown sugar, butter, honey, maple syrup, and bourbon to an 8 inch or 10 inch cast iron skillet.  Place the skillet over medium high heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, approximately five minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the caramel to cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the filling.  Ideally, the butter should be soft enough to spread across the dough easily without stretching the dough.  If it needs a bit of encouragement, a fork can be used to mash it onto a plate before rolling out the dough.

When the dough has risen sufficiently, transfer it to a floured surface.  Lightly flour the surface of the dough before using a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle approximately 18 by 12 inches in size.

Using a pastry brush or your hands, brush away any excess flour from the surface of the dough.  Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough before sprinkling the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter.  Begin rolling the dough from one long side of the rectangle to the other, forming a tight tube and brushing away excess flour as you roll.

Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough into rolls approximately 1 ½ inches in width.  Gently transfer the individual rolls to the cast iron skillet, placing each one cut side down on top of the bourbon caramel sauce.  Continue until all of the rolls are evenly spaced within the skillet.

Place the skillet in preheated bread proofer or a warm, draft free location to rise for another 30-60 minutes or until the rolls have expanded to fill the pan.  As the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.  Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly firm.  Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for at least five minutes.  Using oven mitts and a healthy dose of caution, carefully cover the skillet with a larger plate or pan and turn the skillet to release the cinnamon rolls.

Remove the cast iron skillet, scraping any caramel from the pan.  The bourbon caramel sauce will now be on the top surface of the rolls.  Serve the rolls while still warm and enjoy every last bite!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/01/cast-iron-skillet-cinnamon-rolls-with-bourbon-caramel-sauce/

Broiled Cast Iron Skillet Eggs with Heirloom Tomatoes

I am always looking for a recipe that offers me a new way to prepare our fresh eggs to serve at our family table.  If that new recipe also includes heirloom tomatoes, all the better.  I happened upon this recipe in a copy of Martha Stewart Living from June 2011.  The technique was so simple and the photo so beautiful, that I couldn’t wait to try it.

The original recipe calls for using a nonstick skillet, but I prefer to prepare it in one of our seasoned cast iron skillets. I chose to use a locally produced smoked cheddar cheese and the heirloom tomatoes fresh from our raised bed  garden.  In a matter of minutes, this dish was ready to be served alongside a salad of fresh greens and a homemade flatbread.

The eggs were delicious.  They paired so well with the melted smoked cheddar and heirloom tomatoes that we couldn’t wait to enjoy them again.  Of course, we also couldn’t wait to try them with other types of cheese.  When heirloom tomato season ends, we’ll be experimenting with other flavor combinations.  Don’t worry, we’ll share our seasonal favorites right here with you!

Broiled Cast Iron Skillet Eggs with Heirloom Tomatoes
Inspired by Eggs Kevin from Martha Stewart Living, June 2011
Serves 2 as a main course

When preparing this dish for more than two people, I like to use two skillets.  You could use a single skillet, increasing the cooking time as needed to compensate for the slightly crowded pan.

1 Tablespoon butter
4 fresh eggs
salt and pepper
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
fresh thyme
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup smoked cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  By preheating the oven, your broiler will be better able to properly finish the eggs in an incredibly short amount of time.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the butter, swirling to coat the surface of the bottom of the pan.  Crack the eggs into the skillet and season with salt and pepper.  Allow the eggs to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the whites are beginning to set.

Remove from the pan from the heat.  Evenly arrange the heirloom tomato slices in the pan.  Top with a sprinkling of fresh thyme and cover with the shredded cheddar.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.  Turn on the broiler and broil until the whites are completely set and the yolks are done to your liking, approximately 1-2 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/broiled-cast-iron-skillet-eggs-with-heirloom-tomatoes/

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Bread

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls at 1840 FarmFor the last few weeks, I have been trying to find inspiration for a new bread recipe to share.I didn’t have to wait long for inspiration to strike.  Lisa from Fresh Eggs Daily mentioned that she had made a delicious cast iron skillet bread and shared a photo.  As soon as I saw her beautiful loaf, I knew that I wanted to try her recipe for myself.  I had a feeling that it just might help point me in the direction of that new bread recipe I was hoping for.

A few hours later, I was in our farmhouse kitchen with my two children surrounded by the ingredients to make her Cast Iron Pan Cloverleaf French Bread.  We modified the recipe slightly to fit the ingredients we had on hand and the pan that we were using.  As it baked in the oven, the whole house took on the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked bread.

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls at 1840 FarmThe loaf was delicious.  It garnered rave reviews from everyone gathered around our table that night and the following evening.  In fact, it was such a hit that we made it again, this time arranging individual portions of dough in the pan to resemble a sunflower shape.

Then the idea for my new recipe finally came to me.  I wondered if I could take the recipe and transform it into a skillet full of cinnamon bread.  There was only one way to find out.  It was time to head back into the kitchen.

We baked the bread on Saturday evening and then warmed them in the oven on Sunday morning.  We added a drizzle of vanilla icing to the warm bread right before serving.

I am happy to report that the cinnamon bread was a hit with the whole family.  They are sure to become a regular feature on our weekend breakfast table.

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Bread
serves 6

This is a fantastic recipe to make with children or a bread baking novice.  Kneading the small portions of dough is easy to master.  By the time you have kneaded and formed twelve pieces of dough, you will have mastered both techniques!

12 ounces warm water
1 teaspoon honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

4 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (144 grams) dark brown sugar

1 Tablespoon butter, melted
4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine water and honey in a large bowl.  Sprinkle yeast over the liquid mixture and allow to rest for five minutes.  At the end of five minutes, the yeast should be foamy.

Add the melted butter and salt to the yeast mixture.  Mix to combine.  Add the flour, mixing until a shaggy dough forms.  Divide the dough into twelve equal portions.

Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter.  Using a pastry brush, butter a 10″ cast iron skillet.  Reserve the remaining butter and set the buttered skillet aside as you prepare the bread and filling.

Make the cinnamon filling.  In a small bowl, combine 4 Tablespoons melted butter with the ground cinnamon and brown sugar.  Mix until it forms a smooth paste.

On a lightly floured surface, knead each portion of dough until it comes together into a smooth ball.  Set aside and repeat until all twelve portions of dough have been kneaded.

Using your fingers, gently stretch one ball of dough slightly.  Place 1 Tablespoon of the cinnamon filling on the dough and pull the edges around the filling, pinching them together.  Place this round roll in the middle of the buttered skillet to serve as the center of the flower.

To form the petals, stretch the next ball of dough into an oblong shape.  Add a Tablespoon of filling on the dough before pulling the edges around the filling and pinching them closed.  Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.  Arrange the eleven oblong pieces around the perimeter of the round ball in the center of the pan to look like the petals of the sunflower.

Brush the top of the bread with the remaining melted butter used to butter the skillet.  Using a very sharp knife, cut a slit in each roll from the center of the pan outward in order to allow the dough to rise.  Place the skillet in a draft-free place to rise for one hour or until the bread has risen to the top of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Prepare the icing by combining 1 Tablespoon of melted butter with powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a small bowl.  Mix until completely smooth.  Drizzle over the warm bread before serving.

The bread can be baked a day in advance.  Allow to cool completely before covering the pan with aluminum foil.  Before serving, place the covered skillet in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until warmed through.  Remove the pan from the oven and top with the vanilla icing.  Serve warm.

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