Some say that a cast iron skillet is the only piece of cookware that they really need in order to cook all of their favorite foods. It works on the stove top, in the oven, outdoors over an open flame and, as long as it is not unusually shallow, can even be used to boil water. While I personally appreciate the fact that I have more than a few pans in my kitchen already, a cast iron skillet is certainly a versatile and affordable tool. The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook is a book that aims to educate cooks on all the various ways that you can use a cast iron skillet and the many, many recipes that it is well-suited for.
The book emphasizes homey, comfort foods. As you can imagine with a book that emphasizes using just one pan, the recipes are mostly easy to make and are not time consuming. The chapters include Breakfast, Appetizers, Entrees, Sides, Outdoor Cookery and Desserts, and the recipes range from Crispy Lamb Skewers to Wild Mushroom Crostini to Mom’s Banana Bread. Not only does the book provide you with a lot of choices, but it really does give you a well-rounded look at what a cast iron skillet can do. It’s perfect for those who have never cooked with one, but those who are already fans of cast iron cookware will probably enjoy the wide variety of recipes. The only down side is that there aren’t a lot of photos to accompany the recipes; you’ll have to wait until you do some cooking to see (and taste!) the results.
Recipes aside, one of the most important parts of the cookbook comes during the introduction, where the author provides readers with an “all about your pan” type of introduction. It includes information on how to season, clean and maintain your cast iron cookware to get the most out of it. It may be a versatile pan, but as those who have cooked with them before know, they do need a bit of special treatment out of the box (seasoning the metal) compared to nonstick and stainless steel cookware.