Monday, February 21, 2011

Eggs, Salsa, Pesto, and Spinach : Oven-Baked in Cast Iron Pan

We really like baking our gluten-free recipes in US Made cast-iron pans whenever possible, and this Lodge (brand) Cast Iron "Cornbread Skillet" (their model 8CB) makes for a lovely oven egg-roasting device.  I prefer cast iron for my gluten-free kitchen for many reasons (as enumerated in that gluten-free blog-link entry), and we are always looking for creative ways to put the pans to use.

This time the gluten-free recipe to be baked in our cast-iron was: eggs with habanero salsa, jalepeno/cilantro pesto, and baby spinach.  And, it does not get any easier than this... just crack those eggs open and place a couple in each of the triangular "slices" areas in this nifty little pan (after applying some cooking spray to the pan), then push some leaves of baby spinach down into each section and top with some pesto and/or salsa (I really like the hot habanero peppers accent for a "Southwest" fried egg of sorts).  Then, bake at 350F or so until the whites of the eggs are fully cooked and the yolks are the way you like them (these were baked until the yolks were just slightly runny in the middle, and they were fantastic).

We went to using this cast-iron "cornbread skillet" for this GF recipe since, after trying supposed "non-stick" muffin pans, we found ourselves dealing with anything but a non-stick post-baking cleanup.  By contrast, this pre-seasoned cast-iron Lodge skillet/pan cleaned up super easily.  I do not know what ever possessed me to even TRY a "non-stick" pan instead.  Fact is, if I could get every single baking pan/sheet made in cast-iron, I would... the stuff is fantastic and lasts forever.  Sure, it is *heavy*, but that just provides a bit of exercise while baking :)

In other news... Borders Books files for Bankruptcy
Since we sell our Gluten-Free Desserts Book direct via our website, the news of the Borders Bookstore chain's partial demise did not have a direct impact on us, but surely we can not help but take notice of this trend toward "e-books" as the rising form-factor of choice.  In fact, we just recently started selling our Gluten-Free Recipes Book on as a Kindle-book to address that growing segment of our market.

Since offering our GF Desserts book on Amazon, it has become clear that we should have published an electronic version earlier, as we are generating nearly as many sales from Kindle "e-books" now as we are from the hard-copy (print) edition.  I guess I just did not expect that many people would want a recipe book in electronic form vs. a cookbook that they could just keep lying around the kitchen -- I for one have not exposed my Kindle reader to flours and other baking ingredients :)

I can not help thinking that we are entering a period where, quite soon, the printed book will be a "specialty item".  The fact is, printing, storing an inventory, and shipping heavy books around layers on the costs and makes for a tough business : and that was *before* o many sales started moving to electronic form.  Our cookbook is most likely going to be an "electronic-only" offering after our current inventory of printed books has been sold, and I expect many other publishers will find themselves considering the same factors and arriving at the same conclusion (especially those of us printing our books in *full-color*, since production costs are quite high when doing so).

I can adjust to books selling in a new form... now I just hope I do not have to ever see the demise of books as a whole.  I definitely like my Kindle reader a lot, and I am impressed by the incredible battery life and the fact I can load all sorts of documents on it that I like to have with me (beyond just books, I can take PDF files with me quite easily now and read all sorts of things "offline").  But, I still like a "real" (printed) book at times.