Tag Archives: Lodge cast iron cookware

Quarantine Cuisine Day #23 – Salmon Croquettes

I previously posted about salmon croquettes made from canned salmon. Today I took advantage of this pantry favorite and made enough patties for dinner today and again tomorrow (with different vegetables as sides).

Equipment used: While the croquettes browned in my large cast iron skillet, I steamed the squash and onions over low heat in my 1 quart stainless steel saucepan. The fresh green beans cooked in my pressure cooker for two minutes. Leftover salmon croquettes will be reheated a couple of minutes in my air fryer oven.

Salmon croquettes make a quick and satisfying meal. The salmon mixture can be prepared up to a day ahead. A 14 3/4 oz. can of salmon yields four servings.

Salmon croquettes

Revisit my original post Here.

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Chicken Skillet Pie

At first glance, this recipe appears time consuming, not hasty. What makes this skillet pie a hasty tasty meal is the prep. You can make it the day before if you want. Then simply place the skillet in a 400°F preheated oven for an hour when you’re ready to cook. Make-ahead meals are so convenient. Today I made this one before heading off to church. When I got home, I simply baked and served. Meanwhile, I had the luxury of changing clothes, reading the Sunday paper, enjoying a cup of tea, and still had time to set the table and pour the iced tea.

Use the oven-safe skillet of your choice, but I prefer the 12″ Lodge cast iron skillet.


Chicken Skillet Pie

Serves 6


  • 3 cups cooked, chopped chicken meat
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1 thawed pie crust


    1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
    2. Generously oil the interior surface of a 12″ cast iron skillet. Preheat over medium heat.
    3. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Cook for five minutes, or until onions soften.
    4. Add mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook five minutes.
    5. Combine the cooked chicken with the vegetables. Heat through.
    6. Combine soups and milk in a quart bowl or pitcher. Stir to blend.
    7. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in the soup mixture.
    8. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and herbs over the top of the pie filling.
    9. Gently roll the pie crust until it measures 12″ in diameter (or whatever size skillet you use). Carefully lift the crust and place it atop the pie filling.
    10. Crimp edges of crust. Cut several vent holes in the top of the crust.
    11. Place skillet pie in oven on the middle rack. Time for one hour. Do not open oven door to peek until after 45 minutes. If your crust browns before time is up, turn off the oven.
    12. Carefully remove skillet from oven and allow the pie to cool for at least fifteen minutes before cutting to serve. Drape a towel or potholder over the skillet handle as a reminder that it’s hot.
    13. Cut into six wedges and serve.

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Indulge in a Burger Day Without Overeating

We limit our consumption of red meat, yet once a week we enjoy burger day. It’s either beef or bison, never veggie or turkey burgers. This one day it’s all about indulgence. We keep to four-ounce servings, but we buy the best quality burgers we can.

You can get just as creative with a quarter-pound burger, and you control the ingredients and toppings. Serving the burger on a slider bun and luncheon plate creates the illusion of a larger steakhouse serving size because we eat with our eyes first. (Old Weight Watchers® trick–use smaller plates)

This week’s burger day coincided with my jalapeño pepper plant yielding four beautiful red peppers (plus a couple of green), so I’ve added jalapeños in many of this week’s menus–including burgers. Here is my scaled down version of a local steakhouse favorite.

These jalapeño-mushroom-onion-Swiss burgers are our new favorites. If you can’t take the heat of hot peppers, substitute sliced banana pepper.

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Easy Grilled Salmon

The best meals are often the simplest. Take grilled salmon, for example. When my husband and I want to splurge on a meal to celebrate, we browse the seafood counter at Publix and select something extravagant. We’re still paying only half what the meal would cost in a restaurant, and that’s not including tips or cocktails. ☺

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Grilled Salmon Fillets for Two


  • 2 salmon fillets, approximately 5-6 ounces each
  • 1 zucchini squash cut into ribbons (I use my SpiraLife)
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ sweet onion, julienned
  • 1 sweet pepper, julienned
  • 1 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (optional) fresh basil sprigs


  1. Place zucchini, onion, and pepper in a small (1-quart) saucepan over low heat. If you aren’t using waterless cookware, be sure to add at least a Tbsp. water. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes.
  2. Preheat cast iron grill pan over medium heat.
  3. Combine olive oil, herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Rub both sides of each fillet.
  4. Place fillets in preheated grill pan and immediately lower heat. Position the thinner portions of each fillet toward the edge of the pan, farther from the center of heat source to avoid overcooking. Time for five minutes.
  5. Carefully turn each fillet using a spatula. Time for an additional five minutes.
  6. After five minutes, check the thickest part of the salmon for doneness. Do not overcook. If the fish has turned a lighter shade of pink, immediately remove pan from heat. If the middle appears raw, cook for a couple minutes more, taking care not to overcook the salmon.
  7. Remove zucchini mixture from heat. Using tongs, divide the vegetable noodles and place on two plates.
  8. Plate the salmon beside the “noodles.” Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil if desired. Serve immediately with your choice of roll and beverage.

I recommend buying wild caught in USA salmon rather than farm-raised.

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Sausages Revisited

Remember my earlier post on Healthy Midway Food?. After reading a post about grilling brats on the Lodge Cast Iron site, I modified my method with tasty results. Take a large cast iron skillet, add the contents of one can of beer, then add a package of your favorite polish sausage or bratwurst. Bring beer to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until all the beer evaporates (approximately 30 minutes), then turn the sausages to brown on all sides. You will have delicious and beautifully browned sausages! I sauté sweet peppers and onions to top the sausages. Yummy!

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Hasty Tasty Rotisserie Chicken

I enjoy the convenience of a supermarket rotisserie chicken, but unless it’s on sale, it costs as much as $8 for about a 3 pound bird. Not only do I save money cooking my own; I control the ingredients. My family agrees that mine tastes better, too. So here is how I make rotisserie chicken in the oven.

Tools: an oven, a cast iron skillet and a vertical chicken roaster stand.

Ingredients: 1 3½ pound fryer (organs and neck removed–save for making stock) and a spice rub. 

My spice rub of choice:

  • 1 tsp. pink Himalayan salt or Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil

For optional gravy:

  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 10 ounces chicken stock or broth

Directions for Hasty Tasty Rotisserie Chicken:

  1. Place chicken on vertical chicken roasting stand. Position stand in the center of the cast iron skillet.
  2. Preheat oven to 450° Position rack to a low setting to allow air flow around vertical chicken.
  3. Combine all ingredients for rub.
  4. Apply rub over chicken. (Optional: I add a sprig of fresh Rosemary to the top)
  5. 100_1151Place chicken in center of oven rack.
  6. Lower oven temperature to 425° and set timer for one hour.
    100_1152 100_1153
  7. After one hour, carefully remove skillet and chicken from oven. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove chicken stand to a cutting board or platter. Add 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour to drippings in skillet.
  9. Place skillet over medium-low heat and stir in flour to make a roux.100_1154
  10. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock. Simmer over low heat until gravy thickens. Whisk often.
  11. Carve chicken into serving pieces and serve with the gravy and sides of your choice.


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Salsa Time!

I’ve posted in the past about making salsa in my Vitamix. Today I have a special guest who offers a flavorful twist to salsa. As soon as I pick up a fresh bunch of cilantro, I’m making this recipe. I grow my own jalapeño peppers and herbs but fail miserably at keeping cilantro alive. 😦

Today’s recipe is a guest post by Kristin, a writer for PAM and other ConAgra brands. She resides in Chicago, IL and enjoys trying new recipes on the weekends. Her favorite dishes include poached eggs in the morning, throw-whatever-is-in-the-fridge salads for lunch, and vegetable-heavy stir fries for dinner. She’s always on the hunt for unexpected yet delicious food combinations.  Please welcome food blogger Kristin Kruk:

August is the Sunday of summer. Friends and family are making the most out of their last few weeks of sunshine and blue skies before fall kicks in. When you get an invitation to that last minute summer barbeque, come prepared with a zesty appetizer to surprise everyone’s taste buds. Bring a bowl of grilled tomato salsa with a bag of your favorite tortilla chips as an appetizer to the party.

On a time crunch? Don’t worry about grilling outside. A cast iron pan will do the trick because it gets hot and retains heat.

How to grill inside:

  1. Evenly spray PAM Grilling Spray on the cast iron pan.
  2. Place pan on stove top on medium-high.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low once the pan gets hot.

Now you’re on your way to a quick grilled tomato salsa!


  • PAM Grilling Spray
  • 1½-2 pounds of tomatoes (try an assortment), sliced in half
  • 1 jalapeño , sliced in half
  • 5 green (or red) onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Optional ingredients: ½ can of black beans or corn kernels 


  1. In a medium bowl, mix cumin, garlic salt, onions and cilantro. If optional ingredients were used, combine as well. Set aside.
  2. See “How to grill inside” instructions above.
  3. Once the burner is set to medium-low, grill tomato and jalapeño slices.
  4. Rotate so each side is grilled for 3 minutes. When each side is slightly blackened, remove from grill.
  5. Chop tomato and jalapeño slices into cubes. Dump into the medium bowl (Step 1).
  6. Refrigerate until ready for use.

This quick and simple appetizer complements any picnic or outdoor outing at the end of summer. Enjoy!

(Cheryl note: I do all my indoor grilling on a Lodge cast iron grill pan (sprayed with PAM). It’s affordable, retains heat, and leaves nice grill marks on food–just like an outdoor grill but without the mess!)

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Filed under Appetizers, Cilantro, condiments, Healthful Eating, Mexican, Recipes, salsa, tomatoes, Vegetables