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12″ Stainless Steel Skillet August 20, 2011

Posted by marksun in fry pan, saute, tools.
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Often I realize how little  I know about cooking.  I am amazed by what I just learned by googling “frying pan.”

Today I replaced my years old used and abused TFAL non-stick skillet with a 12″ Kenmore stainless steel skillet from Sears.   This is a fairly heavy skillet, perfectly flat and thick on the bottom.  I always thought that non-stick teflon pans were easier to use, required less oil,  and clean up easier.   The problem I had with the teflon pan was that over time the coating breaks down.   I actually have a large (14″) stainless steel (ss) pan but never learned how to use it correctly.  Mainly,  I never learned  to control the heat and problem of food sticking to the bottom of the pan until now, particularly in the case of frying and sauteing.

(some time later) I am getting the hang of it and I really like cooking with this pan.  To prevent sticking, the technique is to heat the pan first and get it hot, then add oil.  The pan is at the right temperature when a drop of water falling on the pan forms little balls that skitter around – that’s Moms pancake griddle test.  Now add the oil, taking into account that different oils break down and smoke at different temperatures.  The experts say you want to add the food at the point the oil starts to smoke.  OK maybe that’s the point at which oil starts to break down and too hot but close to that point.  When you add food, the temperature is going to drop immediately.

One of the first tests the skillet got was to cook a salmon filet.  I heated the pan as described above,  added oil, and placed the filet in, half expecting it to bond like crazy glue to the bottom of the pan.  It sizzled and started to cook – you can see the filet cook as it changes color from red to pink – … time to turn it, and, the skin did not stick.  Yes!

Another thing about this kind of skillet is that after cooking the fish and removing it, nicely seared and intact from the pan, there remains a brown residue sticking to the bottom of the hot pan.  Add some wine or other liquid and this residue releases in the liquid forming an intensely flavored sauce called a fond.  The fond is a really nice by-product of cooking with a stainless steel skillet.

Cleanup? Easy.

 

Eggplant Tofu Stir Fry June 30, 2010

Posted by marksun in saute, tofu, vegetarian.
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Eggplant tofu  from -aug01-o4
4  long eggplants (or a big round one)
blgck tofu cut into cubes
2 cloves garlic
oyster sause
olive oil
tabasco or1 diced Hawaiian red chili pepper without the seeds (optional)
peel 4 long eggplants & slice into finger size and shaped logs
saute in olive oil
add water if  dry
when the eggplant is cooked add tofu and oyster sauce

This is a good quick dinner. Serve with rice.