Is there anything cozier than a cold winter morning curled up with a mug of tea while you pour over recipes from a good cookbook? That is how I have been spending my weekend mornings this past month. I borrowed several cookbooks from the library, but one in particular has stolen my heart: The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, by Ellen Brown.
I am not getting compensated for this post/review. No one recommended the book to me. I didn’t see it in a magazine or anywhere else. I simply had the winter-blues and went looking for inspiration at my local library and fell in love almost as soon as I flipped it open. As an author myself, some of my favorite reviews come from everyday people who found my book Modern Homestead on their own.
I started cooking with cast iron almost a decade ago when Jay and I inherited some well-used skillets from an old relative. We washed them incorrectly. I burnt some stuff. But I stuck with it and eventually transitioned to using almost exclusively cast iron for cooking. (You can read about how to care, or even repair, your cast iron pans from Lodge)
What delighted me the most about this cookbook is the range of recipes. There is a whole section just on breakfast and brunch, which includes lots of egg recipes to use up our never-ending supply from our hens. There are the usual meat-centric main dishes, but the section on Little Dishes includes a good assortment of veggie plates. Additional sections cover breads (tortillas, rolls, soda bread, etc), side dishes and desserts.
Even though I use my cast iron skillets all the time, I realize now that I’ve actually been limiting their use. It never occurred to me that I can bake sticky buns or a fruit tart in a skillet.
The pictures in this post are from Ellen Brown’s recipe for Chicken Potpie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping, which I made for a gathering a couple weekends ago. Most of the vegetables in the recipe and all of the fresh herbs came straight from our backyard. The pie finishes cooking in the oven, allowing enough time to clean up the kitchen before our friends arrived. It was just as tasty as it was pretty.
I’ve already bought my own copy of this book, so I can return my library copy before I get it too splattered from cooking the recipes. I expect these recipes will lead to years and years of new use for my old cast iron pans.
Do you have any cookbooks that are inspiring your winter kitchen? Please tell me about in the comments below!