Cast iron trend­ing this fall

Penticton Herald - - FOOD -

Cast iron, once a com­mon ma­te­rial for pots and pans, has tended in re­cent years to be used most vis­i­bly by ei­ther pro chefs or campers. Now it’s trend­ing again in this fall’s kitchen­ware prod­uct pre­views.

Op­tions range from ba­sic skil­lets to grill pans to pots both diminu­tive (for sauces) and ex­pan­sive (for stews and soups).

Chef Kevin Kor­man is about to open his new restau­rant, White­bird, in the Ed­win Ho­tel in Chat­tanooga, Ten­nessee. On his menu: fon­due, baked eggs and a sa­vory Dutch pan­cake, all pre­pared us­ing cast iron pans.

“Our cui­sine is de­fined as Pro­gres­sive Ap­palachian,” Kor­man says, “and cast-iron cook­ing played a large role in the his­tory of Ap­palachia.”

The Ten­nessee Val­ley is rich in iron ore, so com­pa­nies like Lodge Cast Iron set up home there. Kor­man will be us­ing Lodge prod­ucts in his kitchens, but aside from sup­port­ing a lo­cal maker, the ma­te­rial’s per­for­mance is what he cares about.

“Not only does cast iron re­tain heat bet­ter than any­thing else, the dis­tri­bu­tion of heat is re­ally what makes it a win­ner,” Kor­man says. “Ev­ery part of the pan gives off an equal amount, so you don’t end up with cer­tain ar­eas that burn while oth­ers are still wait­ing to get some colour. This was a big con­sid­er­a­tion when we were de­vel­op­ing dishes for the menu.”

Kor­man re­calls meals pre­pared on cast iron at his grand­mother’s house, and he has car­ried on the tra­di­tion with his own fam­ily.

“I have sev­eral sizes that I use daily at home for just about ev­ery­thing,” he says. “Both of my daugh­ters love to help me cook, so I hope to hand the pans down to them as they get older.”

Be­yond dura­bil­ity, cast iron’s big sell­ing point is the heat re­ten­tion that Kor­man men­tioned. But bear in mind that it doesn’t heat evenly ini­tially, so al­ways let the pan come to the needed tem­per­a­ture on the burner be­fore adding in­gre­di­ents. That way, you’ll get a nice crisp sear and a con­sis­tent cook with your cast iron.

New fin­ish­ing meth­ods are im­prov­ing the wear­a­bil­ity and per­for­mance of cast iron.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.