Saturday has new cooking shows on in the morning and I like to have coffee and enjoy all the awesome food network cooks. The first show I came across was cooking with a cast iron frying pan. They showed how to clean and season a cast iron pan.
That pan reminded me of stuff my Mom used to make in a cast iron pan. Like corned beef hash with poached eggs for breakfast.
Then she used to make a corn bread like cake that she called “Johnny Cake”. It’s an old New England recipe.
This is how she made it.
3/4 cup cornmeal, fine to medium ground local if possible
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
About 1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 eggs plus one egg yolk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled a bit
1 cup fresh roasted corn kernals or frozen corn
1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
Place a 10 inch cast-iron frying pan in a 450-degree oven. It needs to be smoking hot when you pour the batter in.
In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, soda, powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a two-quart measuring cup, add a large blob of sour cream, about half a cup.
Add enough whole milk to come to the two-cup mark. Mix with the eggs, sugar and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter, blend well, and toss in the corn. Add the liquid all at once to the dry ingredients and gently combine, just until there are no large pockets of flour. Don’t over mix.
Remove the frying pan from the oven and add the last tablespoon of butter, brushing it around the pan. It should be bubbly and sizzling.
Quickly add the batter. It will sizzle and sizzle and start to set on the edges immediately.
Here’s the magic. Now, gently pour the cup of cream directly into the center of the batter. You’ll be tempted to pour it all around, but you want it dead center. It will look totally wrong, but it will come out deliciously right.
Return to the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or so, depending on your oven, but check at 30. The top will be browned, but not overly so, you don’t want it to go too far and dry out.
Let it cool for a few minutes, and cut into eight or ten pie-shaped pieces and enjoy! This needs no assistance from a topping except perhaps a drizzle of dark amber maple syrup.
Variation: a cup of shredded cheddar cheese is never a mistake either!
Then I saw a Yankee Pot Roast recipe and it reminded me of my Mom’s Pot roast. This is perfect for a Le Creuset Dutch Oven type pan. And it’s perfect for this time of year when you don’t mind heating up the oven.
The following recipe for Yankee Pot Roast has red wine in it and is a lot like the recipe I saw this morning. This is very close to how my Mom made her pot roast, also.
1 1/4 cup of the purest olive oil
3 onions sliced east-west
1 three-to four- pound round beef roast
Enough flour to dredge in
8 slender, lithe carrots, or fatter ones cut in half or quartered
3 ribs celery, cut in half
2 1/2 cups of the beefiest broth
1 1/2 cups of delicious red wine
5 to 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 rounded teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
salt (to your tastes content)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 rounded tablespoons flour
In a large, heavy flameproof crockpot, preferably cast iron, over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until golden brown. Thoroughly dredge the beef in the flour, covering all the surface area. Add the floured beef to the pan and brown on all sides, especially it’s feminine side. The flour may cause the onions to burn slightly. That’s OK.
Add the carrots, celery, beef broth, wine, thyme, black pepper and salt to taste. Reduce heat, partially cover, and let simmer slightly, for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, occasionally turning the beef and perpetually singing. When the carrots and celery are cooked through, remove them and hold aside for later.
When the beef is falling apart tender, remove it from the broth. Remove the thyme sprigs. Passionately knead the butter and tablespooned flour together until they are inseparable as teenage sweethearts. Add the mixture to the broth and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a sauce the consistancy of buttermilk. Remove from heat.
To serve, slice the beef and arrange on a platter. Cover with some of the sauce. Put what sauce remains in a nice bowl or gravy boat. Arrange the carrots and celery attractively on the beef platter. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs, if you like. Serve immediately.
Serves six (or three fat guys)
I think the above old Yankee style sampler is cute.
Then the above idea for whole wheat crust skillet deep dish pizza sounds like it might be really kind of fun to make as well as a nice idea for using a cast iron skillet.
I love the idea of screened in porch on the side of a deck. I think it would be fun to have like a round table with cafe type chairs on it.
The idea of a fireplace in the corner of the porch sounds like a neat idea, also.
The above type of sun room would be awesome, also.
And that is my thoughts and inspirations for the day.