That sounds really good! Do you have a link to a recipe?
I do! It’s one of the recipes in my online cookbook, but I went to get the link and it was easy enough to copy and paste, so here’s the recipe as well.
If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you can bake them on a cookie sheet or in a pie tin. The skillet adds a nice golden crust, but isn’t strictly necessary.
Fluffy Yeast Biscuits
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
¾ cup warm water 2 tsp yeast 1 ½ cups flour ¼ teaspoon salt 1 ½ tablespoons melted shortening (or coconut oil or butter) 4 tbsp melted butter, for dipping
Mix sugar and warm water together in a small bowl; add yeast to sugar-water mixture and let bloom for 5 minutes, or until foamy. In a larger bowl, sift together dry ingredients and add yeast mixture. Add melted shortening and mix.
Roll out ¼" thick on a lightly floured surface (it doesn’t need much) and cut into biscuits (I use a plastic cup, but you can just slice them into roughly similar-sized squares). Dip in melted butter and place on greased cast iron skillet. Let rise, covered, for 1 ½ hours. (I let my biscuits rise with a tea towel on top, in a cold oven with the oven light on). Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes, or until golden.
Hey Sam! What kind of pots & pans do you like to use?
Oh, it varies of course by what I’m cooking, but I have essentially four go-to pans:
Cast iron 9″ skillet
5qt steel-clad aluminum saucepan with strainer lid
2qt steel-clad aluminum saucepan with strainer lid
Teflon-lined 12″ griddle pan with glass lid
These are the ones that live on the stove because I use them so frequently it’s pointless to put them in a cupboard. I also have a cast iron dutch oven, I believe 8qt or 10qt, but I use it less frequently than I used to; mostly for baking bread or deep frying, or on the rare occasions I make soup.
I use the cast-iron skillet for baking biscuits (it’s ovenproof), making ground beef (sometimes; sometimes I boil the beef in the saucepan), sauteeing onions/mirepoix/etc, fried rice or spanish rice, and other food that needs a high-lipped frying pan or the heat-holding capabilities of cast iron – cast iron is great for holding in the heat but tends to heat unevenly, to have super hot spots and super cold spots, so it’s not great for stuff that needs to cook evenly, like say a crepe (if you fill a cast-iron frying pan about a quarter inch full of water and boil the water, you’ll see some bits begin to bubble way before others). For quesadillas, potstickers, fried eggs, pancakes, and other “flat griddle” foods, I use the teflon pan; I don’t love teflon but it has its uses and a lot of flat griddle foods have sticking issues without it.
A few years ago I replaced my teflon saucepans with steel-clad aluminum and I will NEVER GO BACK. They’re more durable – you can use metal implements on them with impunity, and there’s no lining to eventually scratch off. They’re almost as nonstick (I do oil them for some things), hold and distribute the heat better, and look much nicer for about the same price (the ones I bought are admittedly low-end but were cheaper than mid-range to high-end teflon pans). I can’t believe I used teflon saucepans for so long.
Anyway, the saucepans are for soups, sauces, pasta, etc; the larger one I generally use for soup, large pasta batches, caramelizing onions, or anything that needs a very high lip but a wide bottom surface area. The smaller saucepan is for single-serve helpings of pasta, small amounts of sauce while the bigger one is in use, that sort of thing. They are slightly more difficult to clean in that they can develop sooty black patches if you’ve burned something (or even if you’re just cooking something at high heat) but a scrub with large-grain salt followed by baking soda will remove that, generally speaking.
The kinds of pots and pans you use generally depend on what kinds of food you’re cooking most often. Like, I also own a wok, but I didn’t list it in the above list because I only ever use it as a third saucepan, and I got it free from the Free Stuff table in our building; on the other hand for someone making a shitload of fried rice or stir-fry a wok would be a huge advantage to have. I don’t own a large stock pot because I don’t cook much soup and never in those quantities; if I want to, I just use my instant pot (which is also steel-clad aluminum), but it’s tough to boil a lot of stock in an instant pot, so if I did need to make mass quantities of sauce or soup, a stock pot would be an advantage.
Essentially, if you’re building a kitchen from the bottom up and want to know what kinds of stove top cookware to buy, I’d recommend the basic setup I’ve got: one piece of really good wide-bottomed cast iron for foods that need the pan to hold the heat, two different sized saucepans with good lids (strainer lids are the BEST) for most of your cooking, and a nonstick griddle of some kind. All of this is reasonably inexpensive; my cast iron came from a hardware store, my saucepans came from Target, and my teflon griddle was a gift, but I don’t think they run more than about $30.
Beyond that, look at what you cook a lot of and figure out what would be best for it, and accessorize as necessary!
This simple, single-skillet supper is packed with bold flavor, but is quick enough for a busy weeknight. This foolproof recipe for salmon is brightened up with a little spice and zesty cilantro-lime butter that you’re going to want to slather over everything from here on out.
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 salmon fillet and about 1 cup vegetables)
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder 1 teaspoon cumin 11/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 poblano peppers, diced 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juice 11/2 cups fresh white corn kernels (about 3 ears) 4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned 2 ounces unsalted butter, (¼ cup) softened 1 teaspoon lime zest 2 teaspoons honey ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk together chili powder, cumin, and 1 tsp salt in a small bowl; set aside.
2. Heat oil in large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add poblano peppers and sweet potato and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes, corn, and ½ of the spice mixture.
3. Place salmon fillets on top of vegetable mixture and sprinkle evenly with remaining spice mixture. Place skillet in oven and bake at 425° for 10-15 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through. While salmon cooks, stir together butter, lime zest, honey and remaining ½ teaspoon salt with a rubber spatula in small bowl until evenly combined. Top salmon with butter mixture immediately. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve.