I have a nice cast iron grill pan I've used maybe twice. It works awesome but, cleaning it is such a chore it just... sits buried among the other pans.
but to recipes!
Mac and Cheese. How do you make yours?
I throw mine together following the basic idea of:
1 lb of pasta, cook!
In large glass bowl:
12 oz can of evaporated milk
6 oz of butter
4-6 oz of velvetta
12-14 oz of other stuff. America, shredded cheddar, Colby. Those bags of mac and cheese shred mix.
Onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper
little bit of ground mustard
Melt that mix in the bowl either double boiler style or in the microwave (zap for 60 seconds, stir, repeat) until its a smooth cheese sauce. Smooth is key, need everything good and melty.
Mix the cheese sauce into the pasta. Stir it up good. Clog your arteries.
Yeah, cleaning cast iron takes a different mindset. For me, it was basically unlearning all the stuff that I was told to never do to a pan; so all those scouring powders, steel wool and whatnot that you can't use on stainless, aluminum or non-stick? Go to town. The key is you can't actually hurt the pan short of taking a grinder to it; so do whatever it takes to get stuff off of it.
The 'accepted' method I found was to heat it up, dump salt on it, then scrub it with a towel held in a pair of tongs; but I found this to be somewhat messy, what with all the scummy salt flying all over the place. Best option I found was something like this:
The thing works awesome. Put a little water and dish soap in the pan, scrub it down with the chainmail then rinse it out. I'm sure there are other manufacturers of this sort of thing, but make sure to get one that's stainless <not aluminum> and that the rings are welded closed - it's going to take a beating, what with being used to scrub cast iron, so if they're not sealed you risk them warping; which might cause the links to break, or at the very least drive sharp metal bits into the palm of your hand.
When you're done; dry the pan thoroughly, then bunch up a paper towel, smear some vegetable oil on it and use that to rub down the inside of the pan.
I only have one cast iron right now. A Dutch oven. I bought the chain mail scrubber when I got it after reading through cleaning suggestions and I agree: it's amazing. I made this roast curry chicken in that thing and the chain mail took it right off with barely any effort.
I use it on cooking sheets and racks when I make wings now, too, and those take even less. No more wanting to cry over the sink!
Oh yeah. I have this one-pot roast potato dish I make in my dutch oven; potatos, bacon, cheese, garlic, first cooked on the stovetop then baked... you can imagine the kind of mess that leaves. Even with that, though, I think the cleanup is easier than with some of my nonsticks.
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Going from a bunch of dried goods and a can of tomatos to delicious chana masala in under an hour is the magic of instant pot. I don't really use a recipe, but if you know pretty much any beany curry recipe, an hour will do it from dry, which means you're saving a few dollars per dish right off the bat.
Also, bean chili is stupid easy to wing. Dried beans and lentils are crazy cheap.