Saturday, September 29, 2012

The little pan that could....

A few weeks ago we went to Kevin and Mindy Mac's for Saturday brunch. I forgot how the topic of cast iron skillets came up...probably due to me yakin about mine because I love it so then Kevin disappears for a few minutes, and he comes back with this montrosity of a skillet!
He apologized for not having taken care of it (it was a rusted mess) but he gave it to me anyway.
Yay for me!!
Seriously though, the thing weighed like I don't even know....76 pounds, felt like.
No wonder Pioneer women were as strong as loggers.
Anyway, I wasn't even sure I could save it.
It has been sitting in my pantry these last few weeks. I searched online a time or two on how to clean it and get the rust off.
I finally bought SOS pads and scrubbed it down...but by the next morning, the rust was still there. 
I scrubbed it again.
Everything I had read said that the skillet had to be rubbed down with oil or Crisco to re-season, and baked for a few hours in a low-heat oven.
Seemed like a waste of oil and electricity to me.
I figured what the heck, I'll re-season it by cooking in it, (right?)
First up...My very own home-made tortilla chips.
That got things rolling nicely.

I moved on to pan-frying eggplant that was breaded with seasoned crumbs.
Now I was getting somewhere with that pan....
And finally....the chili.
This time I put the pan through a series of tough jobs which included searing the pork chops in sizzling butter, browning the beef, sauteeing the onion, garlic and green pepper, and rounding that all up with the addition of minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce.
Now that's what I call seasoning a pan!
I dumped all of that goodness into a roaster.
The chili is for tomorrow. 
I'm participating in the chili cookoff again this year for Aspiro's Awareness Walk.
I'm excited about it, because it's the first year that it is being held downtown. It is now a part of the Fall Fest on the Fox.
It should be fun. There will be a lot of other things going on, too.
Anyway...getting back to my pan...
Is this the boss, or what?
It's a 15" pan-it makes my other one look so small!
But I just love the small one because it once belonged to James's grandmother.
I use it a lot.
I didn't want it to get jealous so....

...I whipped together an amazing apple crisp, too.
This is so freaking yummy you will never, ever make another recipe for apple crisp as long as you live.

Here's all you need:

7-10 small apples, peeled and cubed
1 cup of sugar
1 T flour
1 t cinnamon
1 cup of quick oats
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 stick of butter, melted

Here's what you do:

Preheat oven to 350. Place cubed apple pieces in the cast iron skillet. Whisk the sugar, flour and cinnamon together and toss with the apples. Make sure all the pieces are covered.

Combine the other 6 ingredients. Mix with your hands. Cover the tops of the apples with the oats mixture. Bake for about 45 minutes.
Best Apple Crisp Ever.

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