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Apr 20, 2005 04:10 AM

cooking twice in the same pan

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As I made dinner tonight, I started to think about lunch tomorrow. So I took the le Creuset frying pan I had used to saute onions, cauliflower, and brocolli, and I added some oil and tossed in thinly sliced brocolli stems and fried them for a while. I got the worst burnt-on crust I have seen since I was cooking as a teen.

Anyone have any suggestions for cooking twice in the same pan and not getting a burnt-on crust? I do this all the time in my wok and have no problem, but in my wok I am usually not caramelizing onions and melting cheese. Perhaps the answer is "deal with it and clean the pan", but I am hoping someone out there has some magic trick for me.

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  1. Can you deglaze the pan between each cooking? Either with some stock, wine or lemon juice?

    I do that all the time, trying to do less washing. And I find using the same pan actually adds flavors, as long as what you are cooking "goes" with each other.

    1. Well, this isn't some magic trick, but I too try to use the same pan to avoid washing lots of dishes. Usually, a swipe with a dry paper towel gets out the offending leftover gunk.

      I'm trying to imagine what your burnt-on crust looked like. Was it bits of the onions, etc., burnt on to the brocc? Or the burnt remains of whatever lubrication (oil, butter, etc.) you used? Either way, a swipe with a paper towel should do it, I would think.

      1. In addition to the other suggestions, you might consider using a non-stick skillet for multi-tasking. Even melted cheese bits can detach easily w/ a swipe of the pan. I like to brown meats and caramelize veggies in my All-Clad stainless (and usually deglaze in these instances), but will typically use my non-stick for lightly sauteeing veggies and such.