Mar 17, 2011

Joy of Iron

The love affair with iron started when my wife threw out all our non-stick cookware for health reasons. "Non-Stick utensils have carcinogenic material", or so she said as she carried out her threat. So now we have only cast-iron or steel cookware. Anyway, it has been a blessing in disguise as I have discovered the joy of cooking on iron.

I love that the food cooked in a cast-iron pan has a beautiful texture, cooks evenly all over and it just tastes better - seriously! Not just that but cast-iron cookware also has a long long life, can be put under the broiler and also does not require cooks to use only wooden or silicone spoons/ stirrers. It has just been great.

I tried my first fancy experiment with the cast-iron pan today where I rubbed some paneer(farmer's cheese) blocks with a paste of ground olives, olive oil, cumin and paprika. I served it with a tomatillo salsa spiked with fresh orange juice and a roasted tomatillo and ginger sauce. Needless to say the roast flavor in the sauce and the cheese was a winner.

I will be the first to acknowledge that maintaining cast-iron is more work than a standard pan and one builds some serious muscle while maneuvering the heavy pan. But hey, now I can say with a straight face that I am an iron chef ;)

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