“Cast Iron Gourmet: 77 Amazing Recipes with Less Fuss and Fewer Dishes” by Megan Keno, Page Street Publishing Co., $21.99, 191 pages, paperback

My most prized possessions from my mother’s kitchen are her recipe box and her cast iron, especially the well-seasoned Dutch oven used for decades by my paternal grandmother before being passed on to Mom.

I must admit those cast-iron pans now spend more time out of sight than being used. However, I’m sure I’ll be pulling them out more often since acquiring food blogger Megan Keno’s cookbook, “Cast Iron Gourmet: 77 Amazing Recipes with Less Fuss and Fewer Dishes.” Keno wants her cookbook to remove cast-iron cooking “from grandma status and cement it in our everyday lives again.” She also hopes the book will build “your confidence, demystify cast iron and help you become a more versatile cook with fewer dishes to do at the end of the day.”


Keno, who emphasizes country living in her food blog, Country Cleaver, says cast-iron pans are “known for their reliability, durability and heat retention.” She explains the types of cast iron, what size pans you need and how to care for them. She offers detailed information on how to “season” a new pan to create a nonstick surface and how to clean cast iron.

You’re sure to find a recipe you’ll want to try whether you’re looking for one-pot comfort dishes, those that take 30 minutes or less, use five or fewer ingredients, are meatless or will satisfy your sweet tooth. Among them are Apple-Thyme Pork Chops with Hard Cider au Jus, Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon, Banh Mi Skillet Meatballs, Roasted Vegetable-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms and Apricot-Orange Cornmeal Cake.

The recipes are clearly written and illustrated with full-color photographs of the completed dishes.

Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at sonnierfood@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.