What to Cook on a Pan or Skillet

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If you want a good, hard sear on a piece of meat, grab a cast iron skillet. Looking to add minerals to your food? Ditto. Just want a workhorse of a pan that will take you from fried eggs to a free-form apple galette? You know what to do. The world of cast iron cooking goes way beyond cornbread (although we’ll never turn down a pan of that stuff). First, brush up on the basics of cast iron care. Then, grab that skillet and get ready to do a deep dive into the world of cast iron cooking—these are our favorite ways to use it.

Cast iron helps the meat get an aggressively brown sear—perfect for a porterhouse steak. A nonstick skillet is okay. A cast iron pan is better. Use a deeper pan if you’ve got one—hot oil splatters! Read more here.

Skillet-Baked Eggs with Spinach, Yogurt, and Chili Oil

Ingredients
SERVINGS: 2–4
2/3 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 garlic clove, halved
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped leek (white and pale-green parts only)
2 tablespoons chopped scallion (white and pale-green parts only)
10 cups fresh spinach (10 ounces)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon kirmizi biber (Turkish chili powder), or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of paprika
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

“American and British cooks don’t know how far you can take an egg dish,” chef Yotam Ottolenghi says. Here, he deftly elevates it to a different realm by flavoring spinach with melted leeks and scallions, baking eggs on top, and finishing with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of butter spiced with a smoky Turkish chili powder known as kirmizi biber (though crushed red pepper flakes will also work). Serve the dish in one large skillet or two small ones. “It’s always nice to surprise people,” he says.

Mix yogurt, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 300°. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add leek and scallion; reduce heat to low. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add spinach and lemon juice; season with salt. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, turning frequently, until wilted, 4–5 minutes.

Transfer spinach mixture to 10″ skillet, leaving any excess liquid behind. If using 2 smaller skillets, divide spinach mixture equally between skillets. Make 4 deep indentations in center of spinach in larger skillet or 2 indentations in each small skillet. Carefully break 1 egg into each hollow, taking care to keep yolks intact. Bake until egg whites are set, 10–15 minutes.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add kirmizi biber and a pinch of salt and cook until butter starts to foam and browned bits form at bottom of pan, 1–2 minutes. Add oregano and cook for 30 seconds longer. Remove garlic halves from yogurt; discard. Spoon yogurt over spinach and eggs. Drizzle with spiced butter.

Recipe from bon appetit

Learning Knife Skills

knife skills
Learning how to use a knife correctly is imperative when it comes to keeping you safe in the kitchen. Not only is it important to keep knives clean and sharp, but learning how to properly cut foods can prevent accidents. You may know how to chop and mince fruits and vegetables, but do you know how to properly protect your fingers as you slice and dice? Equipping yourself with the right knowledge will go a long way in the kitchen.

There are several different ways to use a knife to prepare foods, and each technique can help make cooking a much easier — and safer — task. Plus, knowing the difference between dicing and julienning can be a real lifesaver at your next dinner party! Whether you’re an experienced cook or just bought your first cutlery set, here are 10 knife skills that you’ll find instrumental in helping you prepare meals like a world-renowned chef.

Although this might seem like a no-brainer, keeping your knives clean is an essential part of proper knife use, as it kills harmful bacteria that might contaminate food.

To clean your knives, use hot water and dishwashing soap, making sure the sharp end is pointing away from your body and that you keep your fingers away from the blade. After you’re done washing them, dry your knives off with paper towels or with a dish cloth. If you use a dish cloth, avoid running it down the length of the blade, which may cut the fabric (and possibly your hand).

You should also avoid leaving knives to soak in the sink for several reasons. First, prolonged exposure to water can damage the handles of knives — especially wooden ones — and can cause even the most expensive blades to rust. But most importantly, knives left in a sink of water can remain hidden from view, creating the risk that you might reach for something and accidentally cut yourself.

It’s important to keep knives sharp to stay safe when cooking. It’s not something you’ll have to do often — professional chefs sharpen their knives maybe once or twice a year — but dull knives are a safety hazard and can be very dangerous.
The more blunt a knife’s edge is, the more pressure it takes to cut something. The more pressure your hand and the knife apply to a piece of food, the more likely you are to slip and cut your finger instead. Sharpened knives also reduce the time it takes to prepare your meals, since your cuts will be faster and more accurate.

To sharpen a knife, use a sharpening stone, also known as a whetstone. If you don’t feel comfortable performing what could be a dangerous task, most knife manufacturing companies let you send your knifes in for professional sharpening, and many cooking supply stores also offer sharpening services.

Chopping is probably the most basic of knife skills and the easiest to perform, and you can use it for a wide variety of food preparations. To hold the knife properly, put your middle, ring and pinky fingers around the handle, and grip the blade with your index finger and thumb. There are essentially two basic methods you can use for chopping: the wrist-fulcrum method or the tip-fulcrum method.

The wrist-fulcrum method involves keeping the heel of the knife — the part of the blade closest to the handle — near the cutting board and pointing the tip of the knife upward. This requires you to use your wrist as a fulcrum, swiveling it up and down to move the blade in a chopping motion. The tip-fulcrum method, on the other hand, keeps the tip on the far side of the piece of food you’re cutting — you chop by moving your hand and wrist up and down.

Whereas chopping is mainly used for foods that don’t need to be cut in uniform shapes and sizes, dicing is the opposite. Dicing is good for cutting fruits and veggies into even-sided cubes. You can dice your provisions into any size you’d like, of course, but there are three main types of dices: large (3/4 inch), medium (1/2 inch) and small (1/4 inch). To begin, first cut your food into several square-sided pieces of equal length. After placing these pieces in a row, cut the whole group into as many cubes as possible.

Chiffonade is a knife technique usually reserved for cutting herbs and greens. Leafy greens and herb leaves are cut into long, thin strips and then used as ingredients in dishes or as garnishes. Before you chiffonade, pull off the stems and place the leaves on top of each other. Then stack them according to size — from small to large — to ensure that your cuts are even and approximately the same size. Use the knife in a rocking motion to shave the greens. Avoid chopping up and down, as this will bruise and possibly discolor the leaves, and if you’re storing your chiffonaded leaves (in the case of herbs, for example), it may cause the food to lose its flavor over time.

Find out more on knife skills at howstuffworks.com

Nespresso is totally necessary!

professor-espresso

My statistics professor is a man who loves coffee–the kind of guy who has something like eight cups a day and has incredibly shaky hands a plethora of energy because of it. When he purchased his Nespresso machine, it was a big deal. He could consume more caffeine more quickly, and not to mention, the Nespresso capsules were really great quality as well. I remember being in awe of the machine because it’s just super classy. Coffee’s already pretty classy as it is, but espresso is just on a whole nother level, and Nespresso captures this essence with extreme finesse. It sounds a little silly perhaps, the elite status given to this tiny, svelte machine by my professor and classmates, but it’s certainly not a stretch to say Nespresso machines are worthy of praise.

Day after day, I would walk into class only to be greeted by the torturously decadent smell of espresso, while grumpily clutching some dining hall coffee (dirt water) in a styrofoam cup. This continued for a few months, until one day, I walked into class even more sleep deprived than usual. I had been having a really rough couple of weeks and was just sort of in a slump, and my professor noticed and pulled me aside to have a chat.milos_espresso

I explained my situation, and he told me he wanted to give me a cup of espresso. I was a little bit shocked–I couldn’t possibly accept this overly generous offer! However, he insisted, and I gave into temptation. However, since it takes a moment to make a cup, and I had to skedaddle to my next obligation, he actually brought it to me at my meeting! Nespresso is not only delicious and of wonderful quality, but it also now reminds me of how nice and thoughtful this professor was to me.

Choosing coffee beans
Espresso tips for better coffee

Are you a fan of rice?

Are you a fan of rice or is rice your staple food? Well, if you conform to one or both; you know that you can use dozens recipes to come up with different rice based foods. The question is; do you have time to boil the rice and do everything else that needs to be done?

To help you cut down your hours in the kitchen; why not try a rice cooker to cook the rice? A rice cooker has much more convenience than a pressure cooker. Get this; regardless of the type and kind of rice you love such as; jasmine. Brown or basmati rice; a rice cooker will do the trick. It’s a marvel that today’s modern rice cooker comes with advanced technology to make rice.

Cooking rice to perfection every time you are looking forward satisfying your taste buds. Other than quality cooking; a rice cooker saves you a lot of time and energy. These additions; by the way, do not in any way compromise the nutrition and taste content. Given the quality of the rice cooker; it’s important that based on your needs, you consider the type and capacity of the cooker.

How-To-Cook-Rice-in-rice-cooker-inspiring-pictures

The cookers function helps you decide the number of cups the cooker can cook. The type indicates the number and variety of foods that can prepare in little time. If you are a rice lover like I am, you should check out the Zojirushi rice cooker.

I took a month dedicated to sifting through Amazon and Alibaba in pursuit of a rice cooker that meets my cooking demands. Well, after a long search I did get a product that was worth the wait. The cooker that is now one of the bestselling rice cookers and one I love is the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10.

A quick gaze on Amazon reveals that the cooker has a 4.6 star rating. Yes; it’s that good!Kindly note that it is not the cheapest rice cooker in the market today. Fetching a neat $150; it’s nonetheless worth the whole amount.

You may believe that it’s just a glorified cooker, but I would beg to differ; my experience with it has made me feel it be one of the best cookers in the market today. You should consider checking it out!

Unless you wish to go for another rice cooker model such as the Aroma rice cooker or Panasonic rice cooker; I will suggest that you now have a top notch machine that will meet all your rice needs!

Your rice gets gummy? Read this technique.
Oatmeal made in a rice cooker is awesome – Get the tips