I was not paid or otherwise compensated for this review.
A million years ago, I bought a cheap Kitchenaid cookware set because I was a poor college kid who’d rather spend her student loan on sushi dinners, acrylic paint, and vellum (I was going to school for Graphic Design) than supplies that would make me a better home cook.
Fast forward a million years and that same 3-qt saucepan got me farther than I ever thought it would. But, since I’m about to turn 42, I figured, “treat yo self!” and I traded that pan in for a brand new GreenPan 4.5-qt Sauté Pan.
This thing is magical; freshly-washed-sheets magical; brand-new-chef’s-knife magical; first-Spring-day-driving-with-the-windows-down, singing-your-heart-out magical.
Not that I need encouraging, but it makes me look forward to cooking! It heats evenly, makes quick work of enormous burgers, keeps shrimp in tact, and it lets veggies bounce around in oil.
While this single pan was the cost of the entire set that I’m slowly replacing, it’s worth the investment and I deserve it.
We made these for dinner last night and when I woke up this morning, I said to the fella, “I have to post these next because The Peopleneed to know.”
We’ve been using the organic ground turkey* from Costco for these and I’ve found that defrosting the meat in the microwave gives it a different consistency that I don’t really care for. So, we have to plan ahead and defrost in the fridge, or make ’em fresh after purchase.
*I’m sad to report that the turkey from Costsco is Butterball brand.
Get out your favorite medium-sized bowl and crack the egg. Using the shell halves to separate the yolk from the white, let the white fall into the bowl and do whatever you want with the yolk (I compost it with the shell, but we’re toying with the idea of using the whole egg next time).
Whip the crap out of the albumen so it gets air bubbles. Sprinkle in your garlic and parsley (I will confess here, that I use McCormick Minced Garlic and Lighthouse Parsley because they are super-convenient). Add to the bowl some chopped-up white onion and diced-up pepperoncinis (these can be mild or hotish, so know your audience).
Throw the hunk of raw, ground turkey into the bowl and start to incorporate everything with your hands. Doing this is kinda squishy, so you and your cookin’ partner will have to Rochambeau over the task. The person whose hands are the cleanest gets to pour in the panko crumbs. I haven’t used regular ol’ bread crumbs, but if that’s all you have at hand, give it a try!
After the panko is mixed in, make a slow-motion karate chop through the center of your bowl and eyeball two halves. Get the panko-pourer (i.e., the person with clean digits) to lay out two pieces of waxed paper. The patties will hang out here until the pan is ready.
Heat up a drizzle of oil over medium and start the oven (to warm up the buns—skip this part if you’d rather). When the pan is heated, carry your patties over and plop ’em upside down. These are big burgers, and they take about 10 minutes per side, so this is a good time to get your condiments out of the fridge and prepare your toppings.
After 10 minutes, peek at the bottom. When they’re sufficiently browned, give ’em a flip.
We recently found the best buns for these burgers; they can handle the heft and don’t get soggy while you’re eating. Throw them in the oven to toast for about 5 minutes.
A secondary attribute of these that I like is that the list of ingredients is as short as it should be.
This is when having a digital meat thermometer is really handy. Find the thickest part and slide the business end of the thermometer in half way. If it doesn’t read at least 165°, don’t touch ’em. If it’s close (160°-close), top with cheese and cover for 3 to 5 minutes.
We load ’em up with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and raw onion; but since it’s your face, you can put whatever you like on them. Sometimes we have a side, like pasta salad or putt-putts (the posts for both of which are on my list), but sometimes the nearly 1/2 lb. burger is just enough.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Though, for me, that only applies to weekends and leisurely days off work. As a result, we take our end-of -fast pretty seriously in this house.
The fella is really good at cooking scrambled eggs. We’ve spent the better part of last winter trying to perfect a replicate of the breakfast burrito at Mickey’s Tavern (do yourself a favor and go have brunch on the patio at least once; if you’re lucky, it will be a life-changing experience), and made up a cheesy egg sandwich that will probably get a post on here in the future. But, a couple of weekends ago, I suggested we try migas because they’re simply divine. And delicious. And really pretty easy to make if you’ve got the egg part down.
The first place to start is roasting a poblano pepper over medium heat on your gas stove (you did stipulate that a gas stove was a house-having requirement, right?) until most of the outer skin is charred. I think this takes five to ten minutes per side but it kinda depends on the pepper and your patience. After it’s roasted, you need to put it in a bag (I prefer paper but plastic can also be used) to sweat for about ten minutes; I usually take this opportunity to chop up and start cooking the onion.
Speaking of the onion, here’s a cool trick that I learned from the front section of Cook’s Illustrated where readers send in tips to share. Dice the onion; whatever amount you think you like, start your pan over medium heat, and drizzle the lubricant into the pan (I use EVOO or propellant-free Avocado Oil) and place a single piece of onion into some of the oil while the pan is still coldish.
Now, while you’re dealing with the pepper, the tell-tale piece of onion will heat up with the pan and bubble and sizzle, giving you aural indication that the pan is ready. Genius!
When the pan says, “Go!”, throw in the rest of your chopped allium and give it a swirl with your favorite wooden spoon (also a topic for another post) so that each piece gets shiny. Sprinkle on about a teaspoon of cumin (authoring recipes will be difficult for me; I don’t measure spices. Ever.) and give it another stir. Let the onions hang out and get a little softer, for about five minutes.
Once the peppers are sufficiently steamed, they’re ready for “processing”. Some folks say you should scrape the charred bits off with the edge of a spoon or the dull side of a knife blade, but I find that arduous and think running warmish water over the pepper gets it ready more quickly (did I mention patience up there?). Compost the seeds, veins, and stem. Slice the pepper longways and chop to a similar size as the onion bits.
Throw your diced pepper into the pan with the onion and give it a good mix-around and leave on the heat until everything is warmed up (I regret that I do not have a picture of this particular step).
In your 2 qt. mixing bowl (this Pampered Chef set is amazing) and with your real fancy French whisk, you want to put some air into five large eggs. In other words, take fifty good whacks at the eggs or until they seem to be fluffy enough.
Add the eggs to the pan and … The fella invokes some wizardry at this point, which I’m not quite privy to because I usually find something that needs to be put away or gotten out of the fridge at the EXACT MOMENT the eggs are one minute from being done.
When the eggs look like they are *just about* to set, crumble, rip, and squish up two corn tortillas and add them to the pan along with two handfuls (a heaping cup) of shredded “Mexican blend” cheese. The rate of speed by which these two new ingredients are included should be negotiated between the adder and the egger because stirring and adding should be simultaneous. If it’s just you, then this conversation will be brief.
When the cheese is sufficiently melted, it’s time to serve! Dish up more than you think you want because this is amazing. Slice up avocado on the side and nosh with your favorite breakfast beverage.
This is a Norwegian gal’s Tex-Mex version of a traditional Spanish breakfast dish (or for whenever really).
1trip around the panavocado oil spray
1poblano pepperroasted, peeled, sliced and diced
1small white or yellow oniondiced
5large chicken eggswhisked
2corn tortillastorn up
1.5cup“Mexican blend” grated cheesedivided
Roast the poblano over medium heat until charred. Place into a bag to sweat it for 10 minutes. Peel, using your favorite method. Slice and chop.
While pepper is sweating, chop up the onion and start a pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until just soft and add the diced peppers.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until fluffy. When the peppers and onions are hot, add eggs and slowly mix together; scraping the eggs from the sides and bottom of the pan, using a folding-stir method.
When eggs look nearly set, add the crumbled tortillas and 1 cup of the cheese and continue folding to mix everything together.
Put the rest of the grated cheese on top and throw a lid on the pan for about 3 minutes.
I’ve had the Pampered Chef Shallow Baker for almost two years now and, while I haven’t baked anything in it, I use it exclusively for roasting.
When only feeding one person was the goal, I would roast everything in the pan together, letting the chicken hang out in the oven for ten minutes before adding the rest.
Fast-forward (do kids even know what that means these days?) a couple of years, and find that I like making chicken and veggies a whole lot more and my partner likes eating it, so it’s a win-win!
One fateful night, I ripped open the entire Family Size package of Just Bare Chicken and we quickly realized the thighs wouldn’t fit in the shallow baker. WHAT TO DO?!
I grabbed the (then) infrequently-used carbon-steel pan and sprayed an adequate amount of Avocado Oil and got to work, picking through my seasonings. I usually settle on Stubb’s Chicken Rub and a couple shakes of Penzey’s Third Ward Italian Spice Mix (this spice deserves its own post).
I placed the chicken thighs skin side down on the heated pan and asked Alexa to set a chicken timer for three minutes. This gives the skin time to get seasoned and gives us time to start chopping up the veggies*.
Flip the chicken, set another three- minute timer, and keep chopping veggies.
Once all the veggies are chopped, I sprayed some oil on the roasting pan, arranged the veggies in a pleasing manner and pop both vessels in the preheated oven.
A third timer is set for 40 minutes and then we wait (we call this time our half-hour hour-of-music where we sit on the couch and jibber -jabber).
Alexa beeps and boops when dinner is ready and we serve!
*Use any kind of veggie you can stand and have too much of. Roasting makes everything taste like the first time you see a magic card trick and can’t explain it; Brussels, cauli, pots, carrots, parsnips, radhishes, asparagus (though, this should be roasted for only about 15 minutes).
Pan-seared and roasted chicken thighs and roasted vegetables.
Course: Main Course
2trips around the panavocado oil spraydivided
4bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1tspStubb’s chicken rubper thigh
1tspthird ward spiceper thigh
2cupsBrussels sprouts halved
Preheat oven to 400°.
Heat a skillet over medium, and take one trip around the pan with the avo spray. Sprinkle your (or my) favorite spices on the oil and when you can see the ground up herbs start to dance, put the chicken thighs in the pan, skin-side down for three minutes. Flip chicken and pan-fry for another three minutes.
Slice, cut, and chop the vegetables into similar sizes (this helps them all cook at the same speed). Take a trip around the roasting pan with the avo spray. Spread the veggies out and season.
When the oven is ready, put the roasting pan on the bottom rack and the carbon steel pan on the top one. Roast for 40 minutes or until chicken reads at *least* 165° on a meat thermometer.
Plate and serve.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I learned a lot from Car to Table (a Mini Cooper-sponsored Isthmus feature that takes Madison chefs and does a sort of Iron Chef cooking bit in some rando’s house); especially Laila as she stresses the safety precaution of washing one’s hands after handling raw chicken.
Skip straight to 8m 10s if you want to miss the part where the randos do not have garlic in their condo (wtf?!).