Sunday, May 14, 2006

One of the best five dollar investments I have ever made has got to be my dollar store cast iron frying pan. I have not had one for years, and I am now regretting it. I went out and bought one a few months ago because I wanted a smaller frying pan for all this cooking for one I do. I have really wanted to make cornbread, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. More to the point, this frying pan is amazing. I do not know how these fancy new pans can possibly compete? The heat is consistent across the whole pan, so all the food gets cooked perfectly. On the downside, having spent most of my life using pans with insulated handles, I have burned my fingers a few times in moments of forgetfulness, but much like Pavlov’s dog, I am learning to reach for a tea towel before I reach for the pan handle.

Tonight I made a pork chop. My preferred method at this time of year is barbecue, but I do not have one available to me at this point in time, so I had to use my trusty little cast iron pan. I first marinated the chop for some time in a mixture of ginger ale, soy sauce, ketchup, apple juice, oil, pepper and seasoning salt. Then heated up my precious pan and put the chop on the heat, adding a bit of the marinade with it, and topping up as required. Meanwhile, I was microwaving some diced potatoes, which I was going to have on the side. About halfway through the process, I was struck by one of those ideas that are so good you just must act on it. I was planning to just eat the potatoes from the microwave (I had added some oil and seasoning salt for flavor), but then I thought, how amazing would it be if I fried them in the pork chop pan after I had taken out the pork chop and drained the excess marinade? I was not disappointed. These were the best tasting potatoes that have ever crossed my palate.

Now for my point, if I was not using a cast iron pan, I would have removed that pork chop, drained the excess marinade, and through the supposed miracle of non-stick cookware, there would have been nothing left in the pan. Instead there were all kinds of tasty bits of pork stuck to the bottom in which to fry my potatoes. The pan was responsible for the delicious taste of my potatoes.

There are many other reasons why I like my little pan, but that is clearly the one freshest in my head right now. I recommend that anyone who does not have one now, go out and buy one as soon as possible. Don’t be tempted by those fancy-pants high end ones either. Cast iron is cast iron, so support your local dollar store. You will be happy you did.


Michelle said...

I am gonna have to get me one of those pans.. You know my thoughts in the Meat Dept.. but the potatoes thing .. Dad always used to fry us potatoes in a cast iron pan. Oh the Memories!

11:51 PM, May 15, 2006  

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