Thursday, December 15, 2005

Iron Chef

Although I have several roommates, I basically live alone. I see one of the guys lurking around the house a few times a week, but otherwise I never really see anyone here. This house is HUGE, everyone has different schedules and/or travels a bit, and we all pretty much keep to ourselves. It's a little different from the 'frat house' environment from back in the days when I was living in Tempe, as those guys were all my buddies--my current crop of housemates are all basically strangers.

So what that means is that when I cook anything, it's always just for one--not for a group. I love to cook, but cooking for one always presents some unique challenges as most recipes and packaged foods are for several servings. No worries--I can adapt. But it limits my creativity--I rarely make a big pot of soup or spaghetti anymore, and if I buy one of those Stouffers lasagna trays I end up having to eat it every night for four days straight to justify the purchase, or else it will go bad. So I guess I've fallen into a routine--lots of salads, sandwiches, canned soups, quesadillas, etc.

But even though I may have fallen into a culinary rut, I still have to heap a little praise on my favorite kitchen accoutrement--my Lodge cast iron skillet. It is seriously the most useful pan in my arsenal. I use it to make quesadillas, grill burgers, cook sausage patties or links, and it makes the absolute greatest grilled cheese sandwiches in the history of mankind! Since it's got so much heft, once it heats up, it stays hot for a good long time and I can actually turn off the stove once I get about halfway through the cooking process. So I'm guessing it saves a few pennies a month on the energy bills.

About the only thing I don't cook with it is bacon (the low edges don't hold the grease in) or eggs (I have another favorite pan for that). And in a pinch I can use it for home defense if Mr .45 isn't handy and the same ruffians who lifted the faceplate from my car stereo show up again looking for more loot.

I like my skillet so much that I'll end with the sage advice from Ferris Bueller--If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up!


No comments: