Any cook worth his or her salt would undeniably say a cast iron skillet is one of the most indispensable items in the kitchen. Lodge has led the way for Americans to cook honestly and sensibly for generations. The family-run company has a long history of making good cookware and giving back to their community of South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
I am proud to be included in their new book, Cast Iron Nation. Two of my favorite recipes, Sorghum French Toast and Gooey Chocolate Skillets, are between the covers. I also wrote an essay about inheriting my grandmother's skillet and what that fine pan means to me today. Bursting with 200 recipes, this book keeps cast iron pans hot from sunup to sundown.
It's not often we see Made in America anymore and Lodge is keeping that homegrown tradition alive. As one of those that continues to heat their basic black screaming hot on top of the stove and sizzle away with it in the oven, I am thankful that cast iron continues on.
Sorghum French Toast
This fancy version of French toast is as comforting and rich as it is beautiful. Right out of the oven, it’s puffed high above the skillet edge calling for a memorable morning around the table.
1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
10 oz. challah bread
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 large eggs
1/4 cup sorghum syrup
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 tsp. powdered sugar
1. Grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet with butter.
2. Slice bread into 1-inch slices. Cut each slice into 6 pieces. Arrange in skillet, crust sides up.
3. Combine milk and next 6 ingredients. Pour over bread. Chill 45 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5. Remove skillet from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
6. Combine cinnamon and next 3 ingredients. Sprinkle over top of bread. Dot with 1/4 cup butter.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
8. Remove from oven. Use a small sieve to dust sugar over top of bread. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 to 8
Images and recipe from Lodge Cast Iron Nation, copyright 2014. Used and reprinted with permission.