EEF33646-832E-47C7-9329-A006153AD436 Steak | Baghdad By The Bay

Posts Tagged 'steak'

Cast Iron Cookoff

When my Mom died we had an awful task on our hands. We had to go through all the junk she had collected over the years that was useless to us now. We happened to save a few things that we weren’t sure why until I came across a piece that struck me as something I had to play around with. My Mom’s old cast iron pan.

This pan was a Wagner #10 pan and my experience with cast iron only had been in the Boy Scouts when we were camping and from what I know now they didn’t teach us how to handled the cast iron pots and pans very well. My Mom’s old skillet had seen better days and I wish I took a before picture just to give you an idea what it looked like before I started reconditioning it. I did find a couple of pictures below which are pretty close to what it looked like before I started, but it was actually worse than this.

I started searching google for different ways to recondition a cast iron pan and found a lot of information, but most of the techniques were minor variations on the same thing.

1. Coat the pan with an oven cleaner and leave it for up to a week spraying more on every few days
2. Wash it with soap and water
3. Use fine #000 steel wool to remove any of the left over bits that haven’t come off
4. Re-season the pan

photo from black iron dude's blogThat’s all pretty easy stuff to do so I started off to work on it. I sprayed it down and had it bagged up in my basement where I’d re-spray it every few days and then one day when I was looking at some info I found on cast iron pans I found the following information, The Wagner Sidney, OH plant was closed in 1903. Uh, wait a sec, WHAT?! I started looking up pictures and found an exact match for my Mom’s pan and it turns out that I had a cast iron pan sitting in a caustic solution for close to a week that turns out she got from her Mom who got it from her Mom. I had my Great Grandmother’s pan from the late 1800’s to beginning of the 20th century sitting in a death bath of evil chemicals.

I yanked it out of the bag and started washing it off to make sure I hadn’t ruined it. I had forgotten something, it’s cast iron. The pan was fine, but still had a few spots of over a hundred year old seasoning left on it so I put it back and sprayed it some more. When I was finished I added another step that the Black Iron Dude suggested of soaking it in two parts water to one part white vinegar to counter act the lye in the oven cleaner.

Now it was time to re-season the pan. This is where people differ in their views. Some like it hot others like it not so hot. I chose the not so hot since some people seem to like this first and then move up to the hotter seasoning plus I’m not sure our pot holders would help me with a red hot 550° skillet. I put it in the oven after washing it off set to around 150° for about 15 minutes to make sure it was completely dry. I pulled it out and turned the oven up to 350° and started rubbing some coconut oil all over the inside and outside of the pan. It then goes back into the oven for about an hour and then when you let it cool down it’s seasoned. I’m going to do this a total of three times so I’m not finished yet, but you can see how far it’s come from the picture. After the first seasoning you can see that the pan is a little spotty, but it’s still smooth as glass on the inside.

I’ll start off Sunday by cooking eggs in it. On a side note the inside of this pan is a smooth as glass even before I started to restore it. That’s a sign that it’s an old pan. Looking at this pan taught me something in that when I got married 16 years ago we were given a lot of pots and pans, almost all non-stick. Most of those aren’t what you would call non-stick today. The teflon wears down and just doesn’t exactly do what it’s supposed to after awhile while friends of mine who swear by a good seasoned cast iron pan say it never sticks. Here I’ve got a pan that lasted over 100 years and was pretty easy to bring it back to looking better than new. I’m hoping to get another 100 years out of the pan now. If this works out like I hope it will our non-stick pans will be going away very soon and I’ll be adding more antique cast iron [hint, it’s usually cheaper than new non-stick if you want to do the work].

Stay tuned for more info.

Super Bowl Food

Chili Con QuesoSince the Super Bowl is tomorrow it’s all about the food you serve along side the game that makes it a winner or not. I could tell that today when my wife and I went to the store and everyone was there stocking up on chicken, brats, steak you name it. The problem is that with all this protein people will be sucking down tomorrow they need a little something to balance it out it with and that’s where I come in.

My Mom discovered the recipe for Chili Con Queso a little late. Back then microwaves were for heating up food not really cooking it so she would prep this one on the stove. Microwaves are easier now and just about everybody has one so here’s the recipe:

1 lb.  (16 oz.) VELVEETA®, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can  (10 oz.) RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained

Chop the velveeta® into chunks and toss everything into a large microwaveable bowl and nuke it on high for 2:30 stir and nuke it again for 2:30. Serve with tortilla chips, chunks of bread, pretty much whatever you have around the house. I have friends who say they can’t cook and the only way to prove that to me is if you can’t make this recipe.

Since this is the Super Bowl you’re not supposed to ask whether or not it’s low salt, vegetarian, organic, healthy. Most Super Bowl snack foods aren’t healthy for you and that’s why I think it only happens once a year. I’m on the verge of calling this vegan because there’s no way anything living [except the tomato and chilies] could have ever come from a living thing. If you don’t go over board and down a couple of cups of the dip your salt and saturated fat shouldn’t put you over the deep like a brat would.

Note to all: This is old school and there is no artisanal, gourmet or other brand marketing in it. Hipster’s need not make unless they’re hosting a retro party.

This is probably one of the simplest dishes to make to go along with all the other garbage you’ll be eating tomorrow and it’s not quite as deadly as some people would think. My friends who are vegetarians and not vegans love this, but they wouldn’t ever admit to eating Velveeta®. Just as a side note, the original recipe called for a can of chili without beans and that definitely had a meatier punch to it. If you go this route I’d start slowly with the chili until you get it at the right consistency for you. Leaner chili would be good since you don’t want grease from the chili having an orgy with the oil in the Velveeta®.

GOOOOOOO NINERS!

 

Friday Shark Attack…

Well, I thought yesterday’s article would smooth things over a bit by posting a rational, not overly emotional piece aimed at the politics in San Francisco and to help Senator Leland Yee understand that his campaign people are ruining his shot by playing the race card for him as well as not understanding what misusing social media can do for you. I don’t know if my point hit home, but I did notice I received a lot of followers yesterday and one troll.

Apparently a twitter account using the name @alumcalbearsedu started to go on the warpath with myself and anyone else locally he/she/it could find that spoke out against shark finning as a racist. A few of the people being attacked surmised that this troll was a sock puppet of Leland Yee. If he indeed is I feel sorry for Mr. Yee. While this person is obviously a Leland Yee supporter, he has a chip on his shoulder that he is being attacked for being a Chinese minority. I looked up the ethnicity of San Francisco and the Bay Area and Asians came in as the second largest race [the green dots represent Chinese, not Asians in this link]. If you look at the previous link you’ll see that in the Sunset and Richmond districts, Chinese are the predominant race. Chinatown oddly enough shows more red [Caucasian] than green [Chinese]. Of the 189 and under group Asians actually make up the majority of population in the Bay Area. OK his point is shot down.

He then goes on to ask why is shark meat ok, but not the fins. It’s an attack on Chinese culture. Let’s drop that into google and see what comes up. Here are some shark meat suppliers. Not one is in the U.S. and they typically are providing dried shark meat, not something I’ve ever heard of American’s preparing. This got me interested in how shark meat is prepared because I have read it is high in uric acid and smells like ammonia. There’s an Icelandic dish of pressed dried shark meat that even made the host of Bizarre Foods, Andrew Zimmern gag. Here is a suggestion as to how to prepare shark meat. Not very appetizing or sanitary in my opinion. Point two, shot down.

Then @alumcalbearsedu came back with, @baghdadbythebay Also check out eBay “shark skin” and “shark oil”. Tell me why they are not also being considered for banning? This one was easy. Shark skin isn’t made from shark. It’s a type of cloth or there is cow hide that is patterned with a shark skin look. Shark oil on the other hand has come under fire recently and is being placed in the ground rhino horn and tiger penis category as a mythological cure for everything. Strike three…you’re OUT!

Perhaps one of @alumcalbearsedu most telling comments was, @baghdadbythebay Ban the entire shark. Don’t single out the fins and make Chinese the escape goats to solving shark problem. Now the worst thing about this is that we have a person who claims to be an alumni of University of California, Berkeley that can’t put a simple sentence together. He has noted that only Chinese are affected by this and as stated yesterday 85% have decided to stop eating or diminish their consumption of shark fin soup in China which he hasn’t acknowledged. What we have here is a someone who is bullying people on Twitter who is doing so because he claims @baghdadbythebay Yes I am emotional about this. Chinese always gets bullied. Rush limbagh and Alexandra wallace… Ching chong chinks. So I guess he believes it’s ok to bully others if you feel you’ve been bullied. Why doesn’t he go after Rush Limbagh [sic] or Alexandra wallace [sic]?

This has lead me to create a PDF file for some grass roots politicking in San Francisco. I’ve never been one to do this, but it appears that Leland Yee’s campaign front is releasing trolls without doing anything to stop them. If you download this file, print it out and cut it into quarters and distribute it to any business that displays a Leland Yee for Mayor sign. It’s time we send him a message that he can’t straddle the fence on a topic that the majority of people are in favor of, included those of Chinese Ancestry…the passing of AB376 which would ban the sale of shark fins in California. This is an animal rights issue, not a race issue. Download PDF File.

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