Meet the hardest working pan in your kitchen: the cast iron skillet. With it you can grill, sear, roast, bake, toast…am I missing anything? Like cooking itself, I came late to the cast iron skillet party.
When Mr. Gonzo and I first shacked up together, he had an ancient pan that was lovingly seared. At one point I tried to get rid of the pan (man, is it heavy!), but with a mere raise of his eyebrows Mr. Gonzo let me know the pan and the man would not be parting ways.
Today I happily cook all manner of things in his cast iron skillet, and even added a grill pan and mini-pan to the collection. Just this morning I pulled it out to stove-grill a steak for lunch (and by morning I mean 11:30am, because, honestly, who doesn’t crave a one-pound NY steak for lunch?!). A huge hunk of meat is not my usual lunchtime fare, but I’m taking little GG to her school’s art show tonight then out to dinner, and since Mr. Gonzo is dining in the OC I figured, why let a good steak go to waste?
Prep the pan by heating it over medium-high heat for five to six minutes; you’ll know it’s ready by flicking a few drops of water into the pan. If you hear a sizzle, you’re good to go.
Meanwhile, I spritzed the steak with a few squirts of olive oil, then did a quick rub of a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of freshly ground pepper per side. Not too spicy, not too salty. Once the pan is ready, cook per side the way you’d grill your steak. I’m a rare-steak kind of girl, so I did five minutes a side. Transfer the steak to a plate, cover in tin foil, and let rest for five to ten minutes while you pull together a salad, steam some edamame or simply wait for your steak to rest.
Then tear on in, lunch is on!