October 3, 2002
DINNER IN 25 MINUTES
(Renee Schettler, October 2, 2002, washingtonpost.com)
Seared Steak on Spinach Dressed
With Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
A simple technique.
And a simple recipe for a weeknight supper that is ready in minutes, easily committed to memory and well worth repeating.
Anybody know where you can get a quality skillet?
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 3, 2002 10:09 AM
Try the local hardware store (not Home Depot) and ask for a cast iron 12 or 14" one. Don't scrub it with steel wool pads or abrasives, so that it will acquire the necessary oil-laquer aging. Keeping an eye on garage or estate sales is a cheaper venue and usually will allow you to get a skillet that is already aged, usually by several decades.
I remember reading in one of Robert Parker's Spenser novels that he cleaned his with salt?
Nominally, you aren't supposed to use detergent on the aged skillet. I can recall a Boy Scout hike where the fathers (this was Georgia) were comparing the rigorous methods they used to preserve the perfect lacquered-oil film. That went on for over an hour. The issue does come up that if you don't use the skillet periodically, the grease might go rancid. So salting it kills the little buggers, keeping the grease from turning. Only problem is that salt doesn't dissolve in fat too much, and salt and water rusts the iron. So the real answer to this whole matter is to use the skillet or to simply leave it in the oven and when you bake it will get seared and sterilized even if it isn't holding anything.
With three kids, I don't have any trouble keeping two skillets and a dutch oven in decent shape, but with the teenagers doing the pots I'll let them use soap on the skillets if there is too much grease and stuck on food. One can't be too orthodox on such matters with teenagers and retain their cooperation.
Thanks, luckily we're a few years from the teen problem. :)