Do­mes­tic dilem­mas solved

Want to im­press your part­ner with a Turk­ish treat, or con­fused by cu­ri­ous kitchen­ware? Sil­vena Rowe, Fri­day’s Do­mes­tic Diva, has the an­swers. Plus, she shares some of her top recipes

Friday - - Living - ● If you have a ques­tion for Sil­vena, email her at fri­ Please write ‘Do­mes­tic Diva’ in the sub­ject line of your email.

My mother-in-law gave me a cast-iron skil­let and told me to ‘cure’ it be­fore I use it. I’m not a doc­tor, so I don’t know what she’s talk­ing about. Since I didn’t want to ask her what she meant by ‘cure’ as that might have made me look fool­ish, could you please save me from the em­bar­rass­ment and tell me what does cur­ing a skil­let mean and how should I do it?

It sounds like your mother-in­law knows her pots and pans and un­der­stands how valu­able a cured cast-iron pan is to the kitchen. Prob­a­bly that’s the rea­son why she has not given you hers!

A cured cast-iron skil­let is the best non-stick pan that you can have. Un­like the reg­u­lar non-stick pan, which de­vel­ops scratches and loses its coat­ing af­ter a while and then has to be dis­carded, a cured cast-iron pan lasts a life­time and prob­a­bly longer if it is well looked af­ter.

I know of peo­ple who not only use it on the hob to stir-fry or sauté, but in the oven to bake or roast, which ex­plains how ver­sa­tile and hardy it is.

Here’s how you can cure your cast-iron skil­let: Place the skil­let on a very hot hob or a stove on high heat. Driz­zle oil over the skil­let and swirl it to en­sure it coats the base and sides of the skil­let evenly. When the oil be­gins to smoke, take the skil­let off the heat and wipe lightly with a thick wad of kitchen towel. Be care­ful, as the skil­let is very hot at this point.

Place the skil­let back on the heat. Do not add any more oil. Let the skil­let reach smok­ing point again. Take it off the heat then wipe any ex­cess oil that you see on the sur­face of the skil­let.

Re­peat this process at least three or four times or un­til the skil­let has a glis­ten­ing shine. Your skil­let is cured!

To en­sure the skil­let re­mains cured for a longer pe­riod, rinse it with hot wa­ter im­me­di­ately af­ter you’ve cooked in it. Do not leave it to soak in the sink and if some bits of food get stuck to the skil­let, do not use a strong de­ter­gent and a scrub. Use a bit of salt to scrub the skil­let in­stead. Wipe the pan dry be­fore you put it away.

Fol­low these tips and your mother-in-law will be im­pressed.

It’s my wed­ding an­niver­sary soon and I’d like to sur­prise my hus­band with a cel­e­bra­tory breakfast. We spent our hon­ey­moon in Istanbul so I’d like to take that as my theme. Any ideas?

First of all, happy an­niver­sary. What bet­ter way to cel­e­brate than to start the day with some de­li­cious food. HHere’s a sim­ple breakfast menu that will not only bring back the happy mem­o­ries of your hon­ey­moon, but will help make new ones. A start of a rit­ual per­haps?

I’d sug­gest that you make a salad of wa­ter­melon, feta cheese, mint and a sprin­kling of pome­gran­ate seeds; a dip of honey and lab­neh, which will go well with crack­ers; and sim­ple borek with greens and cheese ( the recipe was in last week’s is­sue and is on­line www.fri­day­

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