The angle: You've got a cast iron skillet. Now use it.
Recipes for right now: Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes, Baked Spaghetti, Smoked Salmon and Scallion Frittata, Lamb Chops with Garlic-Mint Sauce, Tasso-Spiced Shrimp with Grits, Cottage Cheese Dill Bread, Apple-Pecan Clafoutis, Maple-Coconut Oatmeal Pie
Who would enjoy this book? Anyone who appreciates the power of cast iron cooking. Also, anyone who can't get enough classic American cuisine.
• Who wrote it: Lodge
• Who published it: Oxmoor House
• Number of recipes: 175
• Other highlights: Cast iron cookware is truly at the heart of American cuisine. So many — maybe all?! — of our favorite American dishes just taste better when cooked in cast iron, don't you think? And while Lodge didn't invent the cooking in cast iron, I think it's safe to say that they mastered the craft and cornered the cookware market.
But you're talking to a Lodge fan girl here and I imagine many of you are right there with me, so let's talk about this cookbook. As much as this book is a celebration of the past 100+ years of Lodge, it's also a celebration of American cooking. There are plenty of old favorites here, like fried chicken and braised chuck roast, but modern recipes like Drunken Rice Noodles with No-Knead Bread prove that cast iron can roll with the times. You'll also be introduced to all sorts of ways to use your cast iron skillet that you never knew — and likely start craving new pieces of "must have" cookware. Vibrantly photographed and peppered with anecdotes from cast-iron-loving chefs, this cookbook speaks to that deep place within each of us that just desires a bib, a plate, and a spot at the table.
The one thing that I would have really loved to have in this book is a step-by-step tutorial on the process of seasoning, cleaning, and caring for cast iron cookware. This is one part of cooking with cast iron that I think can really intimidate people, and I for one was curious to see exactly how the Lodge experts do it. They include brief instructions at the very end, but it left me wanting a little more!
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Cast Iron Nation by Lodge
• Visit the author's website: Lodge
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Image credits: Emma Christensen)