Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cooking with oil in an iron skillet, a blast from the past…

unnamedI remember back in the day when fried food was the norm in our house.  When the boys were young, I bought oil in gallon containers, and dumped several inches in a skillet to cook with.  Fried chicken, pork chops, potatoes, you name it, I fried it.  But today, I’m more enlightened, and would never do that.  We’ve all learned tricks to compensate for frying, my favorite being to pat dry chicken breasts or pork chops, then Pam a skillet, I use one with grill marks, brown it on top of the stove, flip it over, and immediately put it in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, uncovered.  When you take it out of the oven it looks and tastes like fried, but without the grease.

But back to my story.  In all those years of frying food, I always had a mess when I finished, my cooktop was greasy, and that was before smooth cooktops so it was a pain in the patootie to clean.  On the occasion that I do fry something these days, an egg,  bacon, etc., I’ve learned to never use a small skillet.  Even if I have just one egg, I fry it in a 14” skillet, that way it never spatters on the cooktop.  It’s a great tip, and no, I don’t put oil in the skillet, of course I fry that egg with Pam.  This morning I’m making corn chowder, and I needed bacon drippings, so I pulled out the big skillet, fried the bacon, with no mess.  It’s a beautiful thing, frying in an oversized skillet, took me years to figure it out, but better late than never.

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