Seasoned cooks know that one way to keep things simple in the kitchen is to use a single pan when cooking. The skillet is often their tool of choice because of its versatility and ease of use. Here are some tips to hone your skillet skills:
- Always heat cooking oil in the skillet before adding other ingredients. Be sure to swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly. You’ll know the oil is hot enough if it sizzles when the food is added to the skillet. Safety Tip: Tilt the pan away from you to prevent splattering and then add the food to the side closest to you.
- Sear meat, fish or poultry in a skillet to enhance the flavor. Let these items cook until they release easily from the pan and then turn them over to cook on the other side.
- After browning or searing meat, fish or poultry, “deglaze” the pan to make a sauce from the drippings. First pour off any fat from the skillet and then add water, stock or wine. Stir to loosen the flavorful bits of meat and natural juices, which can be added to the final dish.
- If you don’t have a nonstick skillet, you can use a regular skillet, but you will need to use more oil than called for in recipes, to prevent food from sticking to the pan.
Source: October 2004 Everyday Food.