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Cool Cooking in One Skillet

By Jane Butelâ„¢  January 1, 2001

With the summer heat tinging nearly everything in sight; spending hours cooking after a long, hard work day has little or no appeal.  I have always liked to dine and enjoy a flavorful, freshly prepared meal with an appropriate wine.  It is in this spirit that I am sharing some of my favorite, recent one skillet dinners.

I love Johathan Swift's statement, "Living Well is the Best Revenge" and even though I mostly eat alone at home, I still prepare my favorite things. 

Here are two of my memorable, yummy favorites using one skillet.  First, select a well seasoned, heavy skillet, so you won't have trouble with your foods sticking. 

You should be able to prepare either menu in 30 minutes or less. Let me hear from you how you liked these.

Sea Scallop Dinner

Pan Seared Sea Scallops

Braised Arugula with Cherry Tomatoes

Zucchini slices

To Prepare:  Place about a Tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium hot heat. Heat until the smoking point, then add the thinly cut (about 1/4 inch thick) Zucchini slices in the hot skillet.  In the meantime, place about 1 teaspoon pure ground mild chile (available from us www.janebutelcooking.com) with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar combined together on a plate (I use a paper plate for convenience) Lightly brown both sides of the zucchini and place on a warm plate (hot water on plate works well).  Dust the sea scallops with the above mixture and place in the skillet.  After about 3 minutes, turn and add arugula and cherry tomatoes to the skillet.  When the scallop is browned on both sides but still flexible when squeezed, remove to the plate with the zucchini.  Keep warm covered with foil, a lid or place in an oven. Turn and stir the arugula until a bit wilted and place on side of plate with the tomatoes and enjoy with a nice crisp white Sauvignon Blanc.  THis entire meal can be done in about 15 to 20 minutes and is wonderful to enjoy outdoors.  

Pork Loin Chop Dinner

Pan Grilled Pork Chops with Chilied  Cherry Shiraz Sauce

Braised Green Beans with Garlic Bits

Herbed New Potatoes

To Prepare:  Start the cherry sauce when you begin cooking the rest of the meal.  Or, make the cherry sauce ahead of time and freeze, available for later use.  Here is the recipe--

Chilied Cherry Shiraz Sauce  

Yield: enough for 4 servings, freezes well

1 cup Shiraz wine

1/2 cup Bing cherries, halved and pitted

! Tablespoon butter

2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon pequin quesbrado or chipotle powder (can order from us at www.janebutelcooking.com)

1. Place all of the ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened and reduced by about a third. 

Meanwhile, place a Tablespoon of olive oil in a well seasoned skillet on medium high heat.  Add about a handful of sliced baby new, red potatoes and dust with fresh minced or dried rosemary and fresh, cracked pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn and lightly brown the second side, about another five minutes.  Remove to a warm plate, then add a loin pork chop, lightly salted and peppered and sear on both sides.  After turning the pork chop the first time, add a coarsely minced garlic clove and lightly tinge and remove garlic.  Add the green beans and cook and stir until still somewhat crisp.  Place lid over skillet and allow to steam for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic to the green beans.  Remove the pork chop and green beans to the plate with the potatoes on it and pour Cherry Sauce over the pork chop.  Requires about 20 to 30 minutes to prepare. 


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