I’m baaaaack. Did ya miss me?
The weather’s warming up and I’m thinking of upping my game in the kitchen arena. Here are the three tools I can’t live without.
Sad to say, this tool is sort of new to me. It wasn’t until I started watching a lot of cooking shows did I realize they sold devices that would work on indoor stoves. Yeah, I’m slow. Shut up. For most of my single life, the only way I thought one could grill was out on the fire escape, or on the sidewalk. The po-po wasn’t keen on residents performing either of these activities, so I did without grilling.
Of course it’s nowhere near as delicious as backyard grilling, but the majority of everyday New Yorkers don’t have access to outdoor space. If you still want the feel of fire-cooked meat, a stove top grill pan comes in handy. It took Mr. Man and me a few trials and errors before we found a good match with the cast iron grill pan.
Boy oh boy. This is the little pan that could. It’s great for steaks, burgers, chops and chicken breasts. Hell, I toast bagels and make grilled cheese on mine all the time. It’s easy to use, easy to clean. And last, but not least, getting those criss-cross grill marks on a nice thick pork chop makes me feel like a pro.
Cast Iron Pan
I never owned one of these during the single years. Mr. Man brought the cast iron pan to our relationship. He deserves my love and commitment for many reasons, and this is in the top ten. I don’t know how I ever cooked without it!
This pan takes the abuse of stove top and oven without blinking. Seriously, it’s like the duct tape of cooking tools. There is nothing it can’t handle. For an extra bonus, if you use it often enough, the cast iron pan will give you some nicely shaped arm muscles. After all, lifting a fully cooked, eight pound pernil out the oven is not for the weak.
Slow cooker is the generic term, but whatever you want to call it, I can’t thank Irving Naxon’s grandmother enough for inspiring him to create this device. It’s a godsend for those on a budget. The meats that are best suited for the low and slow treatment are the cheaper cuts.
Get yourself a bag of red beans, chop up some onions, add spices and throw in a couple of packs of smoked ham hocks. Six to eight hours later you got yourself a hearty meal.
I love the crockpot because I can set it and forget it, leaving time to write and/or run errands during the day. Slow cookers are great for more than beans. I’ve made pulled BBQ chicken, beef stroganoff and chicken tikka masala in the pot with great results.
Busy families like mine, love the crockpot, but you singles and empty nesters can get in on the action too. Make a meal, then freeze the rest to give to friends or eat yourself at a later time.
Got any favorite recipes to share? Give them some love in the comments!