I’m talking about my favorite skillets, cast iron skillets! I was lucky to “inherit” my mothers’ 12” and 10” skillets, which were passed down to her by an “aunt.” Over the years, I’ve added to the collection with a smaller skillet, a Dutch oven and a couple of corn stick pans. Cast iron is heavy and holds heat well and distributes it evenly. The skillets go smoothly from cook-top to oven and when properly seasoned and cared for, will last for generations; plus, the cookware adds iron to your diet.
You can cook a plethora of foods in cast iron ~ from breakfast to lunch to dinner. Smokey bacon and eggs, crispy hash browns, savory cornbread, frittatas, blackened fish, smothered pork chops, pineapple upside-down cake, fried chicken like Grandma used to make, and this delicious corn pie:
This Bolivian-style Corn Pie recipe was in the Chicago Tribune a few weeks ago and sounded very appetizing to me. The article states that… “The recipe is from Luna Maya, a Bolivian-Mexican restaurant in Norfolk, VA and is adapted from “The World in a Skillet.” The international flavors evoke the New South, but cooked in the traditional Southern skillet. The restaurant finishes the casserole in a baking pan, but the food staff at the Chicago Tribune used the same 12-inch cast-iron skillet throughout.” So did I.
In the recipe, you will see chorizo sausage, chicken, and plenty of piquant spices from ground ancho chili to chipotle pepper; ground allspice, cloves and thyme to sweet paprika, all blended together with corn and milk and topped with a mild cheese. It is a dish of truly unique flavors and textures and is hard to describe. I just know it’s delicious, and I hope you try it!
Bolivian-Style Corn Pie
Makes 8 servings
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound Mexican pork chorizo, skins removed
1 white onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground ancho chili
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs (or 5 cups frozen)
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces mild cheese, such as Chihuahua or Oaxaca cheese or your favorite
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Crumble in chorizo. Cook, stirring often, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer chorizo to a bowl, leaving fat in the skillet.
2. Add the white onion, garlic, ancho, paprika, cumin, chipotle, thyme, allspice, cloves and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet; stir. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, 5-8 minutes.
3. Stir in the chicken; cook, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through, 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; transfer contents to a bowl. Stir in the reserved chorizo, cilantro and lime juice.
4. Wipe skillet clean; heat 2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the yellow onion; cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5-8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Combine onion with the corn and milk in a food processor; purée until smooth. Return skillet to medium heat; add corn mixture. Cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Remove skillet from heat.
5. Transfer corn mixture to a bowl. Spread the chicken-chorizo mixture in the skillet. Spread the corn mixture over the meat. Bake 30 minutes. Remove dish from oven; turn on the broiler. Spread the cheese over the casserole. Broil until cheese melts and begins to brown, 3-5 minutes.
Per serving: 631 calories, 37 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 145 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbohydrates, 47 g protein, 1,232 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.
This is a great tasty dish, and now that I’ve made it, I’m looking forward to when the farmers markets will open in the area with all their fresh veggies and fruit! I have to wait a few more weeks…
Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind Of Cooking. She has useful tips on Tuesdays and yummy recipes every Friday!