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
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.fridaymagazine.ae).