Home cooks and hallowed chefs share their secrets for cast-iron cooking.
We know it well: the glistening rings of canned pineapple, the candy-red maraschino cherries, all placed like a mosaic pattern. Upside-down cake has been a ubiquitous presence at parties and potlucks since the middle of the last century. Rooted in little more than butter, brown sugar, and tropical fruit, the charmingly retro dessert also has deep ties to cast iron.
John Tesar got his first taste of a perfectly cooked steak at the age of 10 in an old-school American chophouse in Kew Gardens, Queens. “One Friday night, he took the family out to dinner, and to this day, I’ll never forget the taste of a steak done under a broiler like that. The aggressive heat, the melting fat, the smell of it all . . . It was romantic. It changed my life.”