A few days ago I blogged about fast food options at home. I got a few comments about my cast iron pan.
And, about seasoning it. I have had my original two pans about a decade or so. I bought them at Tractor Supply. On sale. They are Lodge pans. I am not sure if others are as good, but these pans have handled just about everything and are very easy to clean, and to keep seasoned.
I only use hot water to clean them. With an abrasive sponge to scrub. I season occasionally with olive oil. Put in the oven. They are definitely non stick.
Besides using them for quick cooking, I do make dinners that take a bit more time. Like with these pork chops.
I had seared them in the pan, then I put them in the oven with some apple cider to finish them while keeping them moist. Pork takes a little more time to cook.
As for other options that need more time in the oven, but not a huge commitment in active preparation, I have many meals that take 10-15 minutes to set up. Then, about half an hour to execute.
Like this week. This was my CSA basket.
So many choices. The first night I decided to make lamb meatballs with stuffed patty pan squash and fingerlings.
I stuffed the squash with half a tomato from my garden, crumbled feta, herbs and olive oil. Boiled the fingerlings. Put the squash in the oven while prepping the meatballs. It took about 15 minutes to prep. 30 minutes to cook. The result?
Excellent meal. By the way, I cooked the meatballs in a muffin tin. It wasn’t a very fancy meal but it certainly was full of flavor. And done in less time than driving to a restaurant, getting put on a waiting list and hanging out for 30-45 minutes waiting for a table.
We had a nice cocktail out on the patio. Once the oven timer went off, we came in, opened a pinot noir and had a leisurely meal.
I have learned to cook simply. Using the fresh ingredients from my CSA. Baking or sautéing a protein. Taking the time to sit at the table and have a quiet conversation. While not spending $50-$100 for dinner. :Like you easily can do around here. Those drinks, appetizers, wine, tip, taxes and desserts all add up.
We like to go out a few times a month, but can eat better foods, with incredible wines, by putting together meals with great local fresh ingredients.