Food For Thought: One-Pan Wonders – A Skillet is All You Need!!
What could be better than a luscious meal made in one pan? Fewer dishes, easier clean up, and yummy food… writing about one-pan dishes got my creative juices flowing! (Pun intended)
I am working in a semi-functional kitchen because of a fire last July. Remodeling efforts are under way and I am creating my dream kitchen within a small space. I will have glorious countertops made from mulberry trees gifted by two good friends, a handmade copper sink with built-in drain board, and new cabinets with more storage. OMGosh!
One-pan dishes are fairly necessary with most of my kitchen items in boxes – ugh! I have experimented with several new recipes along with some tried and true.
• Chicken ‘n Biscuits
• Chicken Parmesan
• Chili with Cornbread Topping
• Lime-Cilantro Chicken with Zoodles (good with Shrimp too!)
• Skillet Apple Baby
• Mexican Sweet Potato Pizza
The beauty of one-pan cooking with cast iron is that you cook partly on the stovetop and can then transfer the skillet to the oven. I have been a cast-iron pan junkie for many years because food cooks so nicely in it. I find a nicely seasoned pan cleans pretty easily, and don’t believe the myth that you can’t wash cast iron as I have been doing it for years.
The Huffington Post says, “A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is naturally non-stick. Cast iron cookware retains heat much better than other similarly sized pots and pans. If you are iron deficient, cook with cast iron pots and pans to boost your iron intake.”
Cast iron pans are generally cheap to buy and last forever! They are heavy to carry, making it easier to burn yourself, so be careful. There is only one thing they won’t do and that’s boil water, because they rust.
As for non-stick pots and pans, do your research. In my opinion, most non-stick pans are generally a bad idea, and do see note below about the new ‘orange’ ceramic pan craze. Overheating nonstick pans causes their coating to break down, which can result in the release of surface particles and/or toxic gases. A specific concern is PFOAs (perfluorooctanoic acids), one of the chemicals used to make nonstick pan coatings, including Teflon.
“Are Glazed Ceramic Pans Safe? All Ceramic glazes are made of various inorganic minerals and oxides.” Make sure yours contain no metals, lead, or cadmium. (WellnessMama.com) The new craze is the orange Ceramic coatings that are not ceramic at all… they are chemical-based and synthetic. Some manufacturers may use the “ceramic” description to avoid FDA requirements for high temperature food contact.
My daughter, Kelly, gifted me with a wonderful 2-quart glazed clay pot with a lid. This pan was perfect for making Chicken ‘n Biscuits because, as with cast iron, it moves easily from stovetop to oven, unusual for clay pottery. I found it slower to heat, but once heated, it retained heat better than most pans. Write to me for where to buy one.
My Chicken ‘n Biscuits recipe is rich because of parmesan cheese! You can use your own biscuit recipe if you prefer (mine is gluten-free). And you can certainly make this in cast iron instead of a clay pot.
I often make Chicken Parmesan and Lime Cilantro Chicken complete with Zoodles in one cast-iron skillet! This recipe works fine with Chicken, Beef, or Turkey. Write to me for my one-skillet Chicken Parmesan! (Check out other spiralized veggies: www.wncwoman.com/2015/06/30/food-for-thought-zoodles-coodles/)
I’ve been working on a pizza crust that holds together better than my cauliflower crust, but it’s a work in progress. (Check out the cauliflower crust here: www.wncwoman.com/2015/04/29/food-for-thought-what-inflames-you-put-out-the-fire/.) It’s challenging sometimes without wheat flour that contains gluten. Write to me if you have ideas for making the crust hold together better!
I’ve been working on a pizza crust that holds together better than my cauliflower crust, but it’s a work in progress. Check out the cauliflower crust here. It’s challenging sometimes without wheat flour that contains gluten. Write to me if you have ideas for making the crust hold together better!
Check out my Skillet Apple Baby online at wncwoman.com. It’s great for dessert OR breakfast! Have fun cooking and see me at SandysFoodForThought.com or on Face book at Sandys Food for Thought. I would love to hear from you, and your topic suggestions for 2017!
Sandy McCall’s day job is working as the Broker/Owner of Southern Life Realty. When she’s not being the “mad scientist” in the kitchen or loving-up her cat and dogs, she enjoys being the Food Editor for WNC Woman Magazine and volunteering in the community.
Check out Sandy’s Blog at SandysFoodForThought.com
Sandy@SouthernLifeRealty.com 828.273.9755 SouthernLifeRealty.com