When I first moved out of the house, one of my mom’s friends gave me a cast iron skillet.
Not only did this cooking vessel weigh enough to take up most of my allotted baggage weight with the moving company, but it came with strict instructions: DO NOT WASH THIS WITH SOAP EVER.
That seemed like one too many rule to me, plus not using soap was just plain gross.
Or so I thought.
My cast iron skillet sat, untouched and unseasoned (yet unwashed with soap) in my cabinet for years, until I had occasion to make a recipe that specifically called for a cast iron skillet. I called my mom.
“What am I supposed to do with this again?” I asked.
She guided me through rubbing it down with vegetable oil and placing it in a hot oven for a few hours, taking it out, letting it cool, rubbing it down with more oil, then using it.
I did all that.
I made something in it. I can’t remember now, but when I finished, there were bits stuck to the bottom of the gleaming cast iron.
I was going to have to use soap, or so I thought until I ran it under hot water and everything washed off easily, no soap required.
From then on, it was true love.
A co-worker is about to get married and, while I don’t know her that well, we threw a shower in her honor a few weeks ago. I decided to get her one of the things that I love most in my kitchen: a cast iron skillet.
Her eyes bulged when she took the bag.
“What do I do with this?” she wanted to know.
So I told her.
Never, EVER wash it with soap.
You can make these Greek-inspired pork chops in your cast iron skillet as well.
This week, boneless pork chops are on sale at Brookshire’s, your grocery oasis right near home, no road trip required and, let me tell you, the prices are great.
Greek Grilled Pork Chops
4 boneless pork chops, about 1 1/2 lbs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp dried Greek oregano
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp black pepper
Whisk together marinade ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Greek oregano, garlic and black pepper. Pour into a zipper-lock plastic bag; place pork chops inside. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours, turning a few times.
When ready to cook, let pork chops come to room temperature in marinade. Preheat the grill pan to medium-high heat. Slap the pork chops onto the grill pan, and let them cook about 3 minutes. Then, rotate 45 degrees to get lovely cross-hatched grill marks. Cook an additional 3 minutes on the first side; flip and cook an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 361, Calories from Fat: 169, Fat: 19 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (4 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 124 mg, Sodium: 101 mg, Potassium: 763 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 45 g.
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