Even before I was given a shiny new 12-inch All-Clad stainless skillet for my birthday last year, which makes me sigh in apprecation every time I pull it out of the pot drawer, there was always a special place in my heart for the Skillet Dinner. Once I got the formula down for it…
[Add fat to pan; brown meat; remove meat; add onions and other vegetables; return meat to pan with liquid; simmer til meat is cooked]
…there seemed to be no end to the combinations I could churn out for a quick one-pot family dinner that was made for improvising. Here are my top 10 favorites. I’m always looking for more, so feel free to suggest your own.
1. Chicken with Artichokes (Pictured above) A classic. It’s the first dinner I think of when I spy my bag of frozen artichokes in the freezer. It’s on the line-up this week.
2. Fried Rice with Pork or Shrimp - You need leftover rice for this one (and the next) or you just need to pick up the pre-cooked rice in the freezer section of Trader Joe’s.
3. Crispy Rice Omelet with Soy Sauce - Good vegetarian option and takes 10 minutes.
4. Chicken with Lemon-Butter-Wine Sauce - The full dinner is not cooked all at once, but just add some spinach or kale to the pan after you’ve finished with the chicken and wine and butter and you’ve got yourself a meal.
6. Pork Chops with Tomatoes and Kale - A quickened Bugiali recipe that I really need to make more often. So simple and the kale turns out silky and sweet — which is just right for my kids.
7. Beef with Broccoli - A recipe developed by my friend and former Gourmet kitchen staffer Melissa Roberts. Good all year long, but great when broccoli is in season.
8. Cornmeal-crusted Chicken with Soy-Lime Sauce OK, fine, this isn’t all done in one skillet, but it’s so quick and satisfying that tossing together a salad on the side will not feel like extra work.
9. Chicken with Spinach and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette How could this be bad? And you don’t have to feel so guilty about the bacon because remember, a little goes a looong way.
10. Shrimp with Feta - We made this once a week in the early days of parenting. My daughters are currently in an anti-feta phase which makes things difficult, but I’m thinking they need to just suck it up and deal.