Cast iron – it’s what’s for dinner!

Can’t argue with its merits, but get a load of this girl’s paean to the stuff.

I’m still gearing up for our big camping trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Just this morning, I wrestled my favorite cast iron pan out of the garage.  Made by Lodge, this pan measures 15 inches in diameter and is indispensable when it comes to camp cookery.

Of course, cast iron cookware is essential to campground cookery, and we have acquired a wide selection of  Dutch ovens, skillets, and griddles over the years. This pan, however, seems to beat them all when it comes to size and versatility.  Like my 10-inch cast iron skillet that I use daily at home, this massive pan is great for frying eggs and bacon in the morning. It’s also awesome for browning breaded oysters and making grilled cheese or quesadillas.  Potatoes brown beautifully in the pan, and cinnamon rolls even turn out okay.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Rockies and never saw an oyster – a few fresh water clams, yes, but oysters? No. Unless the writer is referring to Rocky Mountain Oysters, in which case, we’re not talking seafood here.

I look like an oyster to you?

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Cast iron – it’s what’s for dinner!

  1. Mike E

    I developed a new respect for the classic cast iron skillet ever since I tried Alton Brown’s pan seared ribeye recipe. Comparable to the best steaks I’ve had at high end steakhouses:

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pan-seared-rib-eye-recipe/index.html

    • I’ve always cooked with cast iron, Mike, and in fact am still using pans my father bought in the 1930’s – they last forever. But they’re heavy, and there’s no way I’m taking one backpacking with me unless I’m accompanied by a packhorse. And I suppose, if I had such a horse, I could bring along some oysters.

  2. fred

    What could be better than camping in the Grand Teton with oysters and Meredith Whitney?

    She’s right about housing, bank profits, states troubles, and how redistribution will-down the road- decimate the middle class. Depression anyone?

    How bout that soon to be summer sell-off?

  3. Rocky Mountain Oysters

    INGREDIENTS

    * 2 pounds [900 g] fresh calf testicles
    * Salted water to cover
    * 6 cups [1.4 L] water acidulated with 2 tablespoons [30 mL] white vinegar
    * Salt and pepper
    * 1 cup [240 mL] flour
    * 1 teaspoon [5 mL] garlic powder
    * ¼ teaspoon [1 mL] cayenne
    * 2 cups [480 mL] milk
    * 1 cup [240 mL] cornmeal
    * Vegetable oil or lard, for deep-frying
    * Louisiana-style hot sauce

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Remove the tough outer skin from the testicles. Soak in salted water for 1 hour.
    2. Remove the testicles and place them in a pot of acidulated water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. (The testicles can be prepared 1 day in advance and held refrigerated.)
    3. Slice each testicle ¼ inch [6 mm] thick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    4. Mix the flour with the garlic powder and cayenne. Toss the slices in the seasoned flour.
    5. Dip the medallions into the milk, then into the cornmeal to coat.
    6. Deep-fry in 365°F [185°C] oil that has a few dashes of hot sauce added to it (be careful, as some spattering may occur). Deep-fry the slices until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook, as they can get quite tough.
    7. Serve 4 ounces [110 g] of mountain oysters per person, directly from the fryer, accompanied with a bottle of hot sauce.