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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cast iron eggs over easy!

So Labor Day weekend was spent at our ranch retreat in east Texas.  I was the first up and hungry for lots of coffee.  I had been thinking about another diabetics mishap while using cast iron for the first time.  So I decided to do some photography of my morning breakfast while everyone else slept.

Here is a link to "Diabetes and Celiac Sunshine."

Below is the link to her post about the mishap with eggs.  I wish I could show everyone how much fun and the joy of cast iron cooking.  I was so sad when I saw the pictures of her eggs fried pan hard.

http://diabetessunshine.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-do-you-cook-in-cast-iron.html


Now first of all I am cheap and my cast irons are made in China.  The brand I have is "Wenzel" which you can find at Acadamy or online for a 5piece set at 60 bucks to 70 bucks.

http://ramblingsoncastiron.blogspot.com/2010/10/wenzel-1887-camp-oven.html

The above blog is this guy that cracks me up with his cast iron blog.  He has to try and find something that is not commonly made and get it for his collection.  When I was younger we used to get our cast iron from the army navy store where it was sealed in all sorts of castrol oils and wax.  The fun was trying to get them safe to eat and where the storage goo would not ruin the food.  Once the pan was degreased and un-gooed it was on to seasoning these low cost cast iron.  Now if you have never seen true green cast iron, it will amaze you how silver it looks before you season it.


OK, back to eggs.  The picture above you can make out how low I have my temp set.  I have it at a low medium.  The biggest mistake people make with cast iron is cooking it on the same temp you would an alluminum pan.  Now the reason behind the lower temp is due to the fact that cast iron retains its heat and also disperses the heat as evenly as it can.  A fun game to play with novice people is to take two pans, one cast iron and the other some sort of alluminum pan.  You put each one on a burner and turn the heat to exactly the same temp.  In five or so minutes turn the burners off and let the pans sit for another 10 minutes.  Once the last ten minutes is up put your bare hand (diabetics beware of burning yourself) in each pan.  You will instantly see how the alluminum pan will be cold to slightly warm.  The cast iron will almost be the same temp as it was when the oven was on.  This little example shows people why with cast iron you cook on a lower temp.  The pan keeps the heat in.  With other types of metals you turn the burner up because the pan loses the heat so fast that the burner is needed to maintain the desired temp.
I hear people all the time telling me they use cast iron skillets to brown hams, cook hashbrowns, or potatoes.  They always tell me they keep a non-stick pan around for their eggs.  The reasoning is that only an expert chef can cook eggs in cast iron.  Well in the photo above you will see my sunny side up egg being easily removed from the pan with no effort.  I like to use a biscuit to sop up the yoke.  Now I do put about 2 teaspoons of veg oil in the skillet while it is warming up.  Once I am done with the eggs you just wipe out any remaining food and put a light touch of veg oil all over the skillet (make sure you get the handle and bottom).  If you like to make crepes then a cast iron skillet is the only thing on the planet you should use.  To get that even, thin, and lightly crusty edge on the crepe cast iron is your best and only choice.  I have tried to make crepes in my wifes pampered chef skillet but it does not brown evenly or get thin enough.  Diabetics like their omlets with one egg and their crepes as thin as lace. To keep the carbs down right?  OK so maybe that is just how I like them.
What a pitifull looking breakfast.  One egg, 2 pieces of low sodium turkey bacon on a pilsberry dough biscuit, and of course I drank like 8 cups of coffee (coffee does not affect my BG's).  I hope this shows people that cast iron is the best cooking items on the planet.  Also if a bad chef like me can make perfect eggs in cast iron so can you.

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