The Standard Edition | Butter Pat Industries

Blog - The Standard Edition

The Standard Edition Vol. 1, No. 8

The Standard Edition Vol. 1, No. 8

The Science of Cast Iron

Chef Sean Brock Explains it All

Okay, so we’ll tell you up front, this issue of the Standard Edition is going to be the Sean Brock Special. In part, because we love the guy, for his food, for his restaurants, and perhaps most importantly of all, for his big brain.

The award-winning Southern chef has been called many things—farm-to-table hero, Southern culinary revivalist, agricultural anthropologist—and we’ll add one more, which anyone who has eaten at his renowned McCrady’s in Charleston already knows: mad scientist.

We caught up with Brock to ruminate on the science behind the pan.

Southern chef Sean Brock shares the key to cast-iron cornbread.

Sean Brock has been looking at the American South differently these days, less as a large homogenous mass of land beneath the Mason-Dixon Line steeped in the same beloved cooking traditions, and more as a multitude of distinct microregions, each with its own unique stories to tell—and dishes to share.

And few recipes embody this quite like one of the award-winning chef’s own personal favorites, as showcased in his new cookbook, South.

The iconic, comfort food staple of cornbread.

Photo Credit: Netflix, Chef’s Table (Sean Brock) 2019


Recipe courtesy of Sean Brock's latest cookbook: South


2 cups coarse cornmeal, preferably Geechie Boy Jimmy Red Coarse Cornmeal 
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ cups full-fat buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon Rendered Fresh Lard, melted
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to preheat for at least 10 minutes.


Combine the cornmeal, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Combine the buttermilk, egg, and ¼ cup of the lard in a small bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just to combine; do not overmix.

Move the skillet from the oven to the stove, placing it over high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of lard and swirl to coat the skillet. Pour in the batter, distributing it evenly. It should sizzle.

Remove the skillet from the eye of your stove and place back in your preheated oven. Bake the cornbread for about 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm from the skillet.

The Standard Edition Vol. 1, No. 7

The Standard Edition Vol. 1, No. 7

The Incredible Egg 

Wherever you grew up, be it on the Chesapeake Bay or Bayou, there’s a good chance that you ate this egg dish of many names. Whatever your family called it, it was always the same, simple recipe: butter in a pan, a slice of white bread, with its center cut out, and an egg, any egg, cracked and fried inside.

But after all the generations it’s been passed down, the question remains: which came first? Though it looks like we might never know.
Texas chef Jess Pryles shares the key to perfectly pan-cooked bacon.

You could say that since Jess Pryles first arrived in Texas more than a decade ago, she’s adopted the Southern mentality of these three simple words: the whole hog.

 After her first taste of bonafide barbecue, the self-taught Australian chef would return to the Lone Star State many times—to visit butchers’ shops, to tour slaughterhouses, to take science classes at Texas A&M University—absorbing everything she could about red meat.

Dates n' Doves Poppers

Recipe courtesy of Jess Pryles' cookbook: Hardcore Carnivore


7 whole dove breasts
7 strips of bacon (not thick cut)
7 large medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
2 teaspoons Hardcore Carnivore Camo seasoning
1 Butterpat pan


1. Start by prepping the dove breasts. Make sure they are clean from cartilage and shot, then separate the breasts down the middle into individual lobes, giving you 14 total pieces. 
2. Cut the bacon strip in half (perpendicular - a shorter wrap means no chewy/floppy inner layer of bacon). Also cut the dates in half along their length.
3. Assemble a popper. Lay a piece of dove on one end of the bacon half, then season with a pinch of five spice and a slightly more generous pinch of Camo seasoning. Lay the date piece on top of the dove, then wrap the bacon around the filling to complete. Repeat steps with remaining ingredients.
4. Heat a Butterpat skillet over medium flame, about 3-5 minutes. I like to use a tiny spritz of canola oil before I start, but this is optional.
5. Place the poppers in the pan, bacon seam side down. Lower the flame to medium low. Cook undisturbed 5-7 minutes. Flip and cook a further 5-7 minutes on the other side. 
6. For an extra crispy finish, place the pan in a preheated 375f oven for a further 8-10 minutes, being mindful this will result in ‘well-done’ dove.
7. Remove poppers from pan, wait a minute or two for the ‘bacon magma grease’ window to cool, then enjoy immediately!

The Standard Edition Vol. 1, No. 6

The Standard Edition Vol. 1, No. 6

Numbers Game

What’s in a number? It’s a question commonly asked when it comes to cast iron, as these symbols—6s, 8s, 10s, and so on—were often inscribed onto the handle or bottom of many an antique pan.
For decades, numbers were staples of these skillets, so much so that new pan companies have started to numerically mark their own, paying tribute to the old practice. Which is one, it turns out, to be as useless today as our most recent Alma. (No offence to either.)

But like any good question, the answer is shrouded in its fair share of myth and controversy.

Chesapeake chef Spike Gjerde shares the key to pan-cooking rockfish.

When Spike Gjerde opened his flagship Woodberry Kitchen in an old mill in northern Baltimore, he knew two things for sure about the future of his farm-to-table restaurant.

Dedicated to hyper-regional sourcing and the culinary heritage of the Chesapeake Bay from day one, “I knew that this trinity of local seafood—oysters, crab, and rockfish—was going to be important for us,” says Gjerde, as famed writer and fellow Baltimore native H.L. Mencken once dubbed the working estuary an “immense protein factory.”



Cast Iron Rockfish “Chesapeake Terroir”

Recipe courtesy of Chef Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, MD; Photo Credit: Eric Vance for Butter Pat Industries


Skin on filet of Chesapeake rockfish, about 2lb (from a 5-6lb fish)


Fish pepper powder

Sunflower or canola oil

1 medium sweet potato, diced

1 cup cooked beans or field (e.g. crowder or black-eyed) peas, cooked

2 cups corn, frozen from last summer

2 tbsp. butter

Generous pinch of minced parsley, thyme, or other herb


Place Butter Pat Skillet in oven and preheat to 500ºF

Place rockfish skin side up on a cutting board. Using the back of a knife, firmly squeegee any moisture out of the skin, then blot dry with a paper towel.

Season skin side with salt; flesh side with salt and fish pepper. Portion fish into desired size filets. Set aside while preparing vegetables.

Remove hot skillet from oven and carefully add a swirl of oil, immediately add sweet potatoes. If potatoes do not sizzle vigorously in oil, place over high heat for a minute or two…add beans and corn, then herbs, season with salt and fish pepper, and toss to combine.

Return to oven. Cook until sweet potatoes are just tender, stir in butter, and spoon onto warmed serving platter. Wipe out hot pan with a paper towel.

Heat skillet over high heat. add oil to a depth of ¼”. VERY carefully place rockfish into skillet skin side down, being cautious not to splatter oil. Return to oven. After 3 minutes, check the fish skin -- it should be brown and crisp. Turn over and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, until just cooked through.

Arrange rockfish over vegetables on platter, and serve -- the sooner the better.