Lodge Creations: Kitchen Traditions


Lodge has been making their cast-iron cookware for over 100 years, and for good reason — excellent quality, craftsmanship, and longevity. Cast-iron cookware is also amongst many serious cook's prime favourites to use.

In collaboration with Lodge Manufacturing Company, I christened my very first cast-iron skillet in the kitchen and trust me it did not disappoint. I used a foundry preseasoned twelve-inch skillet to fry, sear, blacken, bake, and more in the past few weeks.

Now, I understand why my grandmother, and even my great-grandmother always had a cast-iron in their kitchen for certain dishes… there's a difference in cooking when you use a cast-iron, but it's the cook's preference. Some people swear by them, and others prefer to use non-stick pans for most cooking. I use both. I also have an enamel dutch oven that I use and knew that I'd eventually want to use a cast-iron skillet for cooking after growing up with one.

I recently had the pleasure to review the cookbook, Cast-Iron Nation by Lodge. As a home cook and gastronome myself perusing through this cookery book was very exciting, as I've not had many of these dishes. I must admit, it was enjoyable to read through the recipes and choose which ones I was going to try out for our dinners and weekend gatherings. I was up for the challenge, so I went forth and began to read, flip, and plan.

The layout of this book is helpful because it provides the reader with good insight into the founding family (Joseph Lodge), as well as blurbs about each recipe with their authors. It's easy to follow and includes tips for proper cast-iron care and essential information about how to re-season your pan.

I love Thai food, so my first recipe to try was the Drunken Noodles (seen below) with Thai chiles, it's quite popular. I opted to do a vegetarian style using mushrooms and cauliflower as the main focus. I've had a similar dish with prawns, only with Chinese lo mein, so I knew that I would like this one.

The irony in this recipe is that there isn't any alcohol at all, the recipe comes from St. Louis, Missouri cookbook author, Naam Pruitt. She states, that "because of its spiciness, it's supposed to sober you up!" Nevertheless, that did not deter us, we are a spicy-cuisine enthused household, and it was delicious!

Above: Texas fried cat fish, and Veggie (cauliflower/tomato, etc.), and truffle pan pizza.

What's Cooking Inside

This Cast-Iron Nation cookbook contains a plethora of great American cuisine. The book has recipes from top chefs, and cooking teachers to restaurant owners, and food bloggers. And, there are mouth-watering images to make you close your eyes and wish you could take a heaping bite of something straight through the pages. Another benefit is that if you cook by weight like me, then you will be happy to know that there are easy to understand cooking equivalents with a chart on the back of the book.

There is an abundance of speciality recipes from all over the US, including many Southern associated dishes, such as cornbread, some with modern twists. However, you'll also find a North-western recipe like Chef Kären Jurgensen's Rosemary and Bay-Poached Peppers and Eggs. Then, there are cleverly titled sides, like the Potato "Lodgekes" (latkes) by writer Peter Kaminsky that will just make you smile — these were also good by the way, but we added red pepper oil to give it a bit of a kick!

I used my cast-iron to cook a few of my own favourites: pecan pancakes, cauliflower-blue cheese pizza seen above (with a minced truffle homemade crust, of course), and grilled cheese with tomatoes, fresh basil, and Gruyère. Go ahead and drool, I'll wait ...

I'm looking forward to using this skillet to experiment with new dishes, perhaps make "grandmother's apple cake" found on page 270, or my mum's baked French Toast, a family favourite. I will periodically let you know when I try even more recipes from this cookbook. I think I'll definitely make the Winter Vegetable Chili soon, although tonight's request is Trout Almondine.

One thing that seems to hold true with everyone that I encounter who have used a Lodge cast-iron is that it will certainly last a very long time.

Thank-you Lodge for welcoming me into the family.

Have you or anyone in your family used a Lodge cast-iron before?  
The goods12" Cast-iron Skillet, and Lodge Cast Iron Nation cookbook (Buy it here)-Provided by Lodge Manufacturing Company. Shop the brand and other Lodge accessories here
*Interested in knowing how these iconic cast-irons are made, then view this video.

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  1. A good Cast Iron pan or dutch oven is a must have in a kitchen, best to make corn bread and so much more.

  2. Love cooking in cast iron.
    Delicious post!