The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook
A Treasury of Timeless Delicious Recipes
Eight Chapters: Lodge Cast Iron: A Song for a Cook's Soul; Breakfast; Soup, Stew, Gumbo & Chili; The Main Course; Cooking Outdoors; Sides; Nothin' But Cornbread; Desserts, Biscuits, & Bread; and great features on the history of cast iron as well as caring for your cast iron.
I am absolutely in love with cast iron. I love the rustic and homey look of cast iron, but more important than that, I love the functionality and superior results from cooking with cast iron. Cast iron goes from the stovetop to the oven and from the oven to the table.
I had a chance to go to The Lodge Factory Store in Sevierville, TN this past winter. It was a total dream come true. There are four factory stores in the southeastern United States and I highly recommend stopping by one if you get the chance. They have so many cast iron pieces to chose from. I especially like the table in the back where you can buy "less than perfect" pieces for a fraction of the price. After I stocked up on cast iron I spied this cookbook at the checkout and vowed that I would buy it when I got the chance.
This is a beautiful softcover cookbook with lots of gorgeous pictures, both of the recipes and also the cast iron. There are so many recipes that I'd like to make from this book, but I've been all about cornbread lately so I chose this Upside-Down Salsa Cornbread from the Nothin' But Cornbread chapter. We loved being able to cut a wedge of this and top it with additional salsa, sour cream, and a little bit of chopped green onion. It was very pleasing to the eyes and the palate!
Upside-Down Salsa Cornbread
Adapted from The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground beef (I used 95% lean)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 medium green or red bell pepper, seeded and cut into rings
2 cups Martha White Buttermilk Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (16-ounce) jar chunky-style salsa
1-1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Make the filling: Heat the oil in a 10-1/2 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add the ground beef, onion, chili powder, salt and garlic salt; cook until the beef is no longer pink, stirring frequently and breaking up any clumps of meat. Remove the beef mixture from the skillet to a bowl. Place the bell pepper rings in a single layer in the bottom of the skillet. Spoon the mixture over the rings.
Make the topping: Stir together the corn meal mix, cheese, sugar, salsa, milk, oil, and egg in a medium bowl; stir until well blended. Spread the batter evenly over the beef mixture in the skillet. Bake until golden brown, 32 to 38 minutes.
Place a serving plate over the skillet; carefully invert and remove the skillet. Cut into wedges. If desired, this can be served from the skillet: Cut into wedges and carefully turn each wedge upside down onto a serving plate.