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Cookbook review: 'Cast Iron Kitchen' makes cooking with cast iron easy, satisfying

"CAST IRON KITCHEN": 50 Fresh, New Recipes," by Jesseca Hallows, Front Table Books, $19.99, 144 pages

Salt Lake City resident Jesseca Hallows combines creativity, flavor and simplicity in her new cookbook "Cast Iron Kitchen: 50 Fresh, New Recipes."

She touts baking, frying, searing and sautéing in cast iron, which she declares as her favorite option for cooking. She starts by teaching readers to care for cast iron — never put it in the dishwasher, keep it dry and clean it with coarse salt and paper towelling.

She promises that every recipe will work well in either bare pan cast iron or enamel-coated ware.

"Cast Iron Kitchen: Over 50 Fresh, New Recipes" is by Jesseca Hallows.
"Cast Iron Kitchen: Over 50 Fresh, New Recipes" is by Jesseca Hallows.
Cedar Fort

Her recipes are already her family's favorites from the sausage gravy and biscuits and puff pancakes to the Tater Tot casserole and the potato pot pie.

The photos alone are mouth-watering. And Hallows is both the recipe creator/collector and photographer for this book.

She shares tips on most of the recipes to help improve your chances for success. This one is on the recipe for Baked Eggs: "Bring eggs to room temperature before baking. This helps them set quicker in the oven."

She includes desserts and breakfasts along with her dinner entrees — check out the Skillet Lasagna and the Margarita Chicken for recipes that are easy and familiar yet new for supper.

Desserts include one for cinnamon rolls and another for a skillet brownie.

Hallows has a comfortable, readable style that makes it look easy to work with the cast iron cookware and to create delectable breakfasts, lunches and dinners in them.

This is her second cook book — her first is about making tinfoil dinners, and she has a personal website at


This one is for my pasta-loving friends. I’ve taken the classic pasta dish and simplified it with this one-pan dinner. It’s a snap to whip up and put on your table in no time.

Jesseca Hallows is the author of "Cast Iron Kitchen: Over 50 Fresh, New Recipes."
Jesseca Hallows is the author of "Cast Iron Kitchen: Over 50 Fresh, New Recipes."
Provided by Cedar Fort

Serves: 6

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound Italian sausage or ground beef

2 cloves garlic

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I use Italian seasoned)

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

12 ounces bow tie pasta

½ cup water

1 cup shredded mozzarella (optional)

½ cup ricotta

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Stir in the garlic and cook one minute more.

3. Mix in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and pasta. Pour the water over the top and cover.

4. Simmer 20–25 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

5. Top with mozzarella and ricotta. Place in the oven and heat 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

— "Cast Iron Kitchen: 50 Fresh, New Recipes" by Jesseca Hallows