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Re-Seasoning Skillets

Many of us keep our cast iron for a long time or inherit it from someone else. It’s basically indestructible and amazing, so it makes sense, right? It’s a good idea to re-season a skillet when it has been stored away and unused for a long time or if you notice that it needs extra cleaning and love and want to support better seasoning. Check out a simple way to do it here:

Recently, in our Facebook Group, Cast Iron Journey 2021, we saw a video of a lady using onions to season her cast iron. She had a few extra steps that were really interesting to watch. What are some interesting ways you have seen people season their cast iron?

Next week, I’ll get back into into sharing a recipe. I changed from cooking with gas to electric and I’m learning how to manage my cast iron on my stovetop. I’ve always favored gas, but my new electric is pretty nice. Can’t wait to share something I make on it next week!

Until then, keep on cooking with cast iron <3 Kate

For some Kitchen Tallow…

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Salvadoran Pupusas

Happy Recipe Wednesday! Last week we went on a family trip to see my cousin get married and I took a cast iron break, but I was so happy to be reunited to our cast iron when we got back! I always miss cooking with it when we are away.

El Salvador has a national dish called the Salvadoran Pupusa. It’s easy to make with masa harina and water to form the dough, and you can find different recipes to add more to your fillings…. (I’ll feature some of the them in the next few weeks).

A simple pupusa with cheese

Cheese, refried beans, pork, the possibilities are endless, and I definitely recommend you checking them out. I found this really simple and wonderful recipe- explaining the basics of the method. We’ve tried it with different kind of cheese fillings, enjoying it on the side with some taco salad one night.

Check out our Kitchen Tallow for your Cast Iron maintenance here:

Want to find some more ideas and recipes this year? Join our Facebook group: Cast Iron Journey 2021

Until next time, Happy Cast Iron Cooking! #castiron2021#castironcommunity

<3 Kate

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Potjie Spirit Week!

What is it?

Something that I just made up…. haha, but I wanted to invite you all to learn a little more about the traditional South African potjie. Pronounced “Poi-kee”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfxA6Qxj3tc

Potjiekos is literally translated “small-pot food” from Afrikaans and is a traditional way of cooking outdoors for Afrikaners. The potjie is a descendant of the Dutch oven which traveled from the Netherlands to South Africa in the 17th century. Now it is found throughout much of Southern Africa, in the hearths of all its diverse people groups.

This potjie was seasoned with Oarsman Marine Kitchen Tallow the day before and the potjiekos was delicious! A lamb and vegetable small-pot food! Find more about our Kitchen Tallow.

Why is it Potjie Spirit Week in my mind? Because this week we are going camping and bringing along our Potjie. We are going to enjoy some potjiekos around our campfire and we can’t wait. I’ll be posting more of our cooking adventures from camping soon so stay tuned!

Until then, enjoy your cast iron! <3 Kate

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Skillet Salmon

To me, salmon is the best when fried in a skillet. I added a little bit of olive oil into my cast iron and put my salmon, seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika, into the pan to cook. It is such a simple pleasure to eat a good piece of salmon with some salad and vegetables as a weeknight dinner!

How do you like salmon?

Until next week, keep cooking in cast iron! <3 Kate

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Cast Iron Progress

It’s been more than 6 months since I started using our Kitchen Tallow on my Cast Iron. I wanted to show you the progress from what it was, pictured above…

To what it is now:

The skillet on the right hand side is the same skillet that was in such poor condition last year. The difference has been amazing.

Let me give you three reasons why I love our tallow and use it everyday:

  1. It’s simple to use and easy to apply. I simply scrape off the food and clean the skillet, dry it over heat on the stovetop, and then apply some tallow with a cotton towel.
  2. It’s not an oily or greasy mess in between cooking. Because tallow solidifies as it cools in temperature, it forms a nice layer to protect your cast iron between uses that doesn’t rub off onto everything it touches. I LOVE that aspect of it. I used to hate the way vegetable oils got everywhere.
  3. It only adds flavor to my recipes and complements everything that I cook with my cast iron- savory or sweet.

Check it out today in our shop, you won’t be disappointed! Happy Cooking <3 Kate

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Skillet Salsa

Sometimes you just have a craving and then an idea. I haven’t made a lot of different types of salsa. Mine usually involve adding the ingredients to a food processor. This time I decided to do something a little different and make a simple skillet salsa with the things that I had on hand. The flavors come together a bit differently when you sautés the ingredients compared to having raw ingredients, but I really liked it. Find the ingredients below after my method!

Method:

Thinly slice mini bell peppers and celery, and dice some red onion and garlic to prep your veggies. Add a bit of olive oil to your skillet. I used my tiniest one- a number 3! Sautés onions, celery, and bell peppers together until fragrant and soft. Then add garlic, salt, and pepper. Once you smell the garlic cooking add a can of Rotel tomatoes with diced green chilis. Let it simmer together for a few minutes for the flavors to come together and enjoy!

We ate ours with some Skillet Baja Fish tacos and tortilla chips and it was a hit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Half a stalk of celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 mini bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes with diced green chilis

(Based on the size of my number 3 skillet, double or triple for a bigger skillet and get creative with more yummy flavors!)

For more Cast Iron fun and inspiration, follow us or join our Facebook group- Cast Iron Journey 2021

Check out our Kitchen Tallow, the perfect addition to your kitchen to season and maintain your cast iron!

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Week 2 Round-Up

What did we do last week? We had some good discussion and shared some great recipes and good ideas for cast-iron cooking! If you’re new to our Cast Iron Journey 2021: How to Join In

Here is last week’s round-up:

Our discussion kicked off with the question “What type and brand of Cast-iron do you have?” If you haven’t seen the question and answered, check it out. We know some people are “I got my Lodge at Target.” Some people are actually collectors and some people have cast-iron passed down from their family, like an heirloom. We are interested to know what kind of cast-iron you have! Personally, my first skillet was given to me by my father. He had it for a few years and then brought it with him in his suitcase when he came to visit us in Dubai! I have recently purchased two new cast-iron pieces- a large 16” and a 5 qt. Dutch Oven which I am excited about. Last week, my father also sent me a vintage skillet- a #5 Griswold to strip and re-season. What about you? Check out and answer here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/227225078908512/permalink/234051611559192/

Our sharing on Instagram with #castiron2021 brought us some gems!

A quick meal idea that looked delicious and was super easy to make:

Cheesy cauliflower from Aldi- I have to check this out!

Weekends are the perfect time to make pancakes on our Cast-iron and these look so yummy!

5-Ingredient Semi-Instant Pancake Mix!

Recipe here: https://altonbrown.com/recipes/semi-instant-pancake-mix/

And the yummiest looking frittata made from things leftover in the fridge, such an awesome way to use what we have and get the yummiest meal out of it:

Our Facebook group, Cast Iron Journey 2021, posted a lot of great ideas last week:

You can check out our recipe contribution and video here:

Tamale Pie!

As promised, we also posted a video on how to season or re-season your cast-iron. The baking soda you see at the beginning is for re-seasoning my skillet. There was rust and gunk that needed to really be worked on. I used baking-soda and mild soap a few times to take care of that before seasoning it in the oven. Also, we recommend doing this process a few times to get some good seasoning on your cast-iron. Seasoning video found here:

This week we’ll post a video of how to maintain your cast-iron with our Kitchen Tallow and if you need some, you can find it here: www.etsy.com/shop/ConnorsRdCollective

Happy Cooking everybody! We have folks all over the world joining us this year, so please check it out and join us. Even if it means to get your first cast-iron skillet to do it!

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Seasoning Cast-iron

What is seasoning?

When it refers to cast-iron cookware, seasoning is the layer of good stuff between your cast-iron and the food you’re cooking. Lodge Cast Iron has a good article on the science of cast-iron seasoning here:

https://www.lodgecastiron.com/cleaning-and-care/cast-iron/science-cast-iron-seasoning

As they mention, “When oils or fats are heated in cast iron at a high enough temperature, they change from a wet liquid into a slick, hardened surface through a process called polymerization.” Seasoning helps create a natural, non-stick surface. When there isn’t a good layer of seasoning on our cast-iron, it corrodes and rusts. My cast-iron skillet spent 6 months residing in a shipping container from Dubai to Chicago and it ended up looking like this:

Ahhhhhh!!!!

Who knows how many different changes in climate it went through on the journey and in storage. But all was not lost, because cast-iron can be re-seasoned to bring it back to life. Because I needed to re-season my pan, I first washed it very well using a mild detergent and baking soda in order to take care of the grime and rust. If you are seasoning a pan for the first time, you don’t need to use baking soda like I did.

Here’s the rest of how you can season and re-season your pan:

  1. Heat the oven to 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit. (You’ll find varying temps all over the web when you search. Sometimes the higher temperature comes with directions for a shorter time, so I decided to do the lower temp for longer option)
  2. Coat the inside and handle of the pan with a thin, even layer of tallow.  A soft cotton cloth makes a good applicator.  Turn over and place on a cookie sheet to do the same thing on the bottom of the pan and handle, applying tallow all over. If you have a lid, you can do at the same time.
  3. Place in the oven on the cookie sheet face down and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and place on a metal cooling rack.  After the pan’s cooled to “warm,” buff the inside with a clean soft cloth.
  4. It’s good to season your pan a few times, even if it come “pre-seasoned”. As Lodge Cast Iron even mentions in the above article, the seasoning fills in the rough surface of your cast-iron making it smoother and more non-stick.

If you are a visual learner- we have a video you can see as a part of our Facebook Group, Cast Iron Journey 2021, here:

https://fb.watch/2ZU9LXA9dH/

Join along and contribute- we would love to hear from you this year about your cast-iron and recipes you love!

And check out our Kitchen Tallow for seasoning your cast-iron in our shop! You’ll like the results:

What It Looked Like, and Now!

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How to Join In:

  • Follow #castiron2021 on Instagram
  • Post the recipes you love to make in your cast-iron cookware (or the new things you try!!!) on Facebook and Instagram, include the hashtag #castiron2021
  • Tag @connorscollective.etsy on Instagram and share on our ConnorsRdCollective page on Facebook so that we can see your posts and include your posts and recipes on our page, especially if you really loved something you found!
  • Include the disasters, not every journey is smooth so even if a dish turns into a disaster or differently than you expected- let’s share it!
  • Try out some of our Kitchen Tallow to enjoy the experience even more and find out how to properly season and keep your cast-iron in good shape, or teach us how you do it!
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Our Cast Iron Journey in 2021

We are so excited to start this journey together tomorrow, and we want to invite you to join us! We’ll be posting a page on our website to gather our findings and will try as best we can to contribute and support the learning we can engage in together this year.

Click here for our Cast Iron Journey Page and contributions:

Here’s to the start of growing together and enjoying yummy and healthy food.