Friday, 03 February 2017 15:35

Every Skillet Tells a Story

Written by John Reardon
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Hello my Foodie Friends! Are you getting ready to prepare some great Super Bowl Recipes for this weekend’s game? The use of cast iron cookware is an incredible way to prepare some of your favorite Super Bowl dishes. I have mentioned some pieces in the past but today I am highlighting the best cast iron cookware company in the world; Lodge Manufacturing Company! Cast Iron, a form of cookware developed over a millennia ago remains as popular as when it was used to prepare food for the Pilgrims, Lewis and Clark and President William McKinley in 1896 (although he only got to use it for another 5 years due to his assassination). This was also the year that Joseph Lodge began his foundry. Many of the pieces of Cast Iron cookware made in the Lodge Foundry over a century ago remain in use today (Lodge was sustainable before it was cool!). Cast Iron is one of only two metals compatible with induction stovetops. Lodge, the sole U.S. manufacturer of Cast Iron Cookware and the oldest family-owned cookware company in the country, is based in the tiny town of South Pittsburg, TN (population 3,300). With the introduction of supposedly new “green” cookware, Lodge is ranked as the “Original Green Skillet” by Cook’s Illustrated. It is the original non-stick skillet. It is great for blackening fish, and it can be used for every meal of the day, including desserts (people even bake pies in them). It is safe to use on top of the stove, in the oven, on the grill, in a fireplace or even in a campfire. My Mom found it to be very effective to keep three little boys from fighting. Just the sight of it made us stop in our tracks! No, she didn’t use it on us but it was like her own nuclear deterrent. If you are worried about how heavy it is just think of this! Some of my best customers are in their 80s! They know and they keep coming back for new pieces (although when I tell them that it lasts 100 years they are not impressed). Maybe it’s not the prettiest pan in your kitchen but nothing cooks food better than Cast Iron, Nothing! Your Great-Great-Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Grandmother and Mom can’t be wrong. At Compliments to the Chef located at 46 Marion Avenue, we carry Lodge Cast Iron. Stop by to get your cool tools for cooks in preparing your Super Bowl feasts. What is your Super Bowl story going to be this year? Remember Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen”. Take Care, John and Paula Have a fun Super Bowl Sunday. Try this delicious and simple appetizer recipe Easy Baked Shrimp Dip INGREDIENTS (serves 4 to 6) 2 shallots, chopped 1 red chili, seeded and minced 2 tablespoons butter 1 pound fresh shrimp, chopped 2/3 cup sour cream 8 oz. cream cheese 1 cup grated cheddar cheese 2 teaspoons Old Bay (or Cajun) seasoning 1/2 lemon, juice only Pinch of salt and pepper Chives, garnish Pita chips, for serving PREPARATION Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Seed and mince chili, chop shallot, and peel and chop shrimp. It doesn’t really matter what size of shrimp you use since you want to chop them up anyway. In an oven-safe cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallot and chili and cook for a minute or two until they start to soften. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are just cooked through, maybe 2-3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in sour cream, cream cheese, lemon, most of the cheddar cheese, and seasoning. The residual heat should help mix together ingredients. Stir together well. Top with a little extra cheddar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake dip at 375 degrees F. for about 30 minutes until the dip is bubbling hot in the center and getting browned and crispy around the edges. Remove and let cool for a minute. Top dip with chopped chives and serve with chips. Serve while warm.
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