This weeks lesson was pan searing, because let’s face it pan searing is every hungry cooks favorite trick. Not only is it an incredibly quick way to cook almost any animal protein, from lamb steaks, scallops, chicken, venison, quail, tuna, to all other delicious fish, when done correctly the pan seared crust is unique carmalized goodness while the inside stays medium rare, juicy and tender. The key to pan searing is to make sure both the pan and oil are sizzling hot, as in just before smoking. You want it actually hear the animal protein sizzle as it hits the pan and once it does hit the pan do not move it around. Ideally, pan searing is done in a cast iron skillet, but can be done in other metal skillets as long as they don’t have a mirror finish or teflon. For really good local meat I recommend just seasoning it on both sides with salt and pepper and searing in 2 tablespoons of either safflower or grapeseed oil, both of which have a high flash points, for 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.
Before we put the meat in the pan we stemmed and shredded the kale into bite sized pieces. Last week when Andrew gave me a surprising long list of vegetables that he loved, kale wasn’t on it but spinach was and I thought the risk was worth taking. Once the meat hit the pan we put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate pan and heated over a medium high heat, then added 1/2 bunch of the kale, which cooks way down like spinach. We sprinkled the kale with a teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (not Andrew’s favorite and he would leave it out next time) and stirred quickly. After the kale cooked for another minute we added 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and cooked for another 2 minutes while stirring. The entire meal took us less than 20 minutes to make including prep, less time than it would have taken Andrew to order something in a restaurant, fast food or not. He was most impressed with the speediness.
Though it isn’t a great idea to eat pan-seared red meat all the time, it is still better for your body to eat local and organic foods made at home with no chemicals added than it is to eat almost anything pre-packaged. The real high light of this story was that Andrew a few days later went out and bought himself a lamb chop, cooked it at home and enjoyed it with a green salad he also made. Seriously, I couldn’t have been prouder when I received this picture below.
I may have teared up a little. Next week we are taking on healthy burritos say bye-bye to sour cream and hello greek yogurt.
- Recipe: Pan-Seared Scallops with Ginger-Curry Mango Sauce (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Pan-Seared Venison Chops in a Spiced Marinade (marksdailyapple.com)
- GO GREEN! – Avocado and Pan Seared Shrimp Salad (thefloribeancook.wordpress.com)
- Kale & Potato Gratin with Kale Pesto (missiondelectable.wordpress.com)