Friday, February 25, 2011

Kitchen Tips, Part II

If you've heard this one before, go about your day.  Thanks!


Wednesday night I am attempting to fry some russet potatoes.  Nothing fancy - just some olive oil, some onions, and then the potatoes cut into small pieces, almost like home fries.  I wanted to put them in freezer breakfast burritos.

I'm usually very careful to keep potatoes from sticking to my pans, mostly because I hate cleaning them later.  Well, this time I didn't have enough oil (darnit!) and I had a fine later of potato on the bottom of my pan.  Great. 

No pictures of this failure exists, and we'll keep it that way.  It was nicely browned though, and not burned, so HA!

Ordinarily I'd let the pan soak in water and then scrub like crazy later. 

Then I remembered the word "deglazing."

In a recipe where you brown meat in a pan, you usually create a sauce by adding broth or wine to the pan.  It'll lift the brown bits off the bottom of the pan, and cook into a nice sauce.

After I removed the cooked potatoes from the pan (and tried to scrape what brown crispy bits I could) I added enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, and then some, put it back on the stove, and turned the heat to medium high so the water would come close to a boil.  When the water heated up, I used a spatula to scrape all the cooked-on bits from the bottom of the pan.

It worked perfectly.  All the little pieces lifted off with a little spatula scraping, but the effort was nowhere close to what I would have done with a sponge.  Success!  I win! 

I poured everything down the drain and ran the disposal promptly.  I then washed the pan as usual, and I am back in business.

Maybe I'll finally retire my quickly dying non-stick 10" frying pan.  Or this is a weekend for a dish with braised chicken.


  1. I will have to remember that! We use Calphalon stainless steel, so I deal with your scenario quite often!

  2. Ooh nice. My stainless steel pans are by Cuisinart. Nothing fancy, but they do the job.

  3. It was a VERY generous wedding gift :) Prior to our wedding we used cookware by IKEA haha.