|Baking an onion "tart" in my cast-iron skillet|
1. Cast iron skillet. Absolute go-to. I try hard not to use water on it EVER (sometimes I have to: gasp)--but here's the best way to clean it. Place dirty skillet over high heat. Add a thin layer of vegetable oil. Let it heat until the food (the "dirty" part) starts to cook--you will see it kind of sizzling. Add a couple of tablespoons of salt--the food will practically stick to the salt like...as if the salt were a magnet...I have a well-used wooden paddle/spatula "thingee" that I use to scrape the salt around in the skillet, working off any residue. I let the whole mess cool, then I scrape the salt/oil into the trash. If needed, I add another layer of oil to protect the skills. Now it is ready to go for the next time..I promise you if you do this all the time, your cast-iron skillet will be nearly non-stick. I have recommend Lodge for the cast-iron purchase. Beyond compare... Accept no substitutes!
2. Knife Magnet for storing knives..(let's say it's a given that good knives are part of my must have!). I got so tired of giving up drawer space for my knives. A magnet strip mounts to the wall and keeps knives safe, dry, easily accessible and keeps them from dulling so quickly.
3. Lemons. Lemon peel, lemon juice, real lemonade, best chicken by Marcella Hazan (my adaptation since MY FAMILY WON'T EAT CHICKEN ON THE BONE (wimps)), easy chicken with rosemary, garlic, lemon and olive oil... Never be without lemons.
4. Good olive oil. It stays on the counter, always at the ready. I don't use veg oil very often--just about everything gets sautéed in olive oil. EVOO, as Rachael would say.
5. Wine. Um. Does this need explaining? Cook with it, drink it. Never be without it. It's GOOD for you.