Cast-iron skillet makes this fried rice

Saute of Corn, Rice, Basil and ...

Cooked fried rice in your cast-iron skillet lately? A well-seasoned pan is a fine vehicle for this dish, which can be done in 15 minutes if you use leftover corn already off the cob and whatever grilled, leftover proteins you have on hand — although we like this with black beans tossed in as well. If you leave out the added proteins, this can be served as a side.

Look for cooked brown rice and wild rice in your grocer’s freezer case.

Serve on top of big pieces of butter lettuce, with slices of avocado and wedges of lime (for squeezing). Adapted from a recipe by cookbook author Beth Hensperger in “The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook: A Treasury of Timeless, Delicious Recipes” (Oxmoor House, 2012).

4 servings


4 or 5 ears fresh corn (may substitute 3 to 31/2cups frozen/defrosted white shoepeg corn)

1 or 2 medium shallots

3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1/3 cup (5/8 ounce) packed basil leaves

1 to 2 cups cooked steak, chicken, pork, shrimp or no-salt-added black beans (about 12 ounces)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups cooked combination of wild rice and long-grain brown rice

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Cut the corn off the cobs to yield 3 to 31/2 cups. Mince the shallot(s) to yield 2 tablespoons. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, then coarsely chop to yield a scant 1/3 cup. Stack the basil leaves, then roll them tightly and cut crosswise into thin strips (chiffonade). Prep your choice of steak, chicken, pork, shrimp or beans as needed, by shredding or cutting into bite-size pieces.

Heat the butter and oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the foam has subsided, add the shallot(s) and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes until softened.

Add the corn and cook, stirring, for 1 or 2 minutes, then add the rice, using your fingers to break up any clumps. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes, until the rice is heated through and the vegetables are incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes and your choice of protein; cook, stirring for about 4 minutes, until heated through and well incorporated. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the basil. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Divide among individual plates; serve right away.

Nutrition per serving (using steak): 530 calories, 28g protein, 45g carbohydrates, 28g fat, 10g saturated fat, 65mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium, 5g dietary fiber, 4g sugar.