Pan-frying allows busy moms to cook dinner quickly, often in 30 minutes or less. Skillet meals include everything from flavorful homemade hamburgers to healthy one-dish meals filled with vegetables. Moreover, most skillet frying requires only a few tablespoons of oil, sealing in moisture while preventing your meal from soaking in too much added fat.
Stir-fried meals combine meat and vegetables in one dish. A pan with deep sides, such as a wok or heavy skillet, works best for stir-frying food. Cut your meat and vegetables before you begin cooking. Many stir-fries use 1-inch strips of beef, chunks of chicken, or strips of pork. Cook your meat first in 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Once you thoroughly brown your meat, add your vegetables and cook a few minutes longer until the vegetables become tender-crisp and the meat finishes cooking. Common stir-fry vegetables include sweet peppers, snap peas, broccoli, and carrots. Add any glaze or sauce once the other ingredients finish cooking, heating it through. Serve your stir-fry over rice or noodles for a well-balanced, kid-friendly meal.
Pan-fry ground beef, hamburgers and steaks for an easy, quick beef dish. Heat 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Season as desired before adding it to the skillet and cooking until done, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking. Drain the fat prior to serving. For skillet-fried steaks, consider marinating the steak 15 minutes to 2 hours prior to cooking to preserve moistness. Create a skillet casserole by adding pasta, vegetables and condensed soups or cheesy sauces to browned ground beef. Serve customized burgers by forming your own patties from ground beef and adding salad dressing mix, shredded cheeses or breadcrumbs.
Chicken and Pork
Marinate chicken using a flavorful salad dressing, a store-bought marinade or a marinade you've made from a recipe. Thin tenderloin cuts work especially well. Cook the chicken in 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until all sides are brown, then finish cooking over lower heat 10 to 15 minutes longer. For pork, use pork chops 3/4 inch thick or thinner, pounding them flat when necessary. Season to taste and skillet-fry in oil on medium-high heat until brown on all sides. Reduce heat and cook until done. Consider adding condensed soups, gravies, or other liquids for a quick sauce that adds flavor and moisture to the finished meat. Serve meats with quick-cooking rice and a fresh salad with a choice of dressings to please all family members.
Fish cooks quickly in the skillet. For oily fish like tilapia or salmon, marinate or season prior to skillet-frying. Fry in 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, turning once and removing the fish as soon as it begins flaking. For less oily fish, like flounder, cod, or halibut, consider sealing the moisture in by covering the fish with a bread crumb breading or simple batter consisting of ingredients such as flour, cornstarch, milk, and water. Cover the bottom of a deep, heavy skillet with 1/4-inch oil and fry for a couple of minutes on each side.
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