Fast (Fabulous!) Skillet Suppers

UPDATED 09/08/2010 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/08/2010 at 01:00 AM EDT

4 Great Recipes!

WHAT'S THE BEST SKILLET? WE LIKE THESE FOUR

LODGE LOGIC

Cast-iron pans are great for even heating and cooking at high temperatures; this 12-in. skillet comes preseasoned; $33.95; lodgemfg.com

LE CREUSET

All the even-cooking benefits of cast-iron plus a pretty enamel coating makes it easy to take this 11.75-in. pan from oven to table; $99.95; cookswarehouse.com

CUISINART

Durable and easy to care for, stainless skillets are great for even browning and searing meat. This one offers a cool-grip handle. $49.95; cuisinartwebstore.com

CALPHALON

Nonstick pans like this 12-in. one need little or no fat to prevent sticking and clean up easily, but they don't hold up well to metal utensils. $94.95; cutleryandmore.com

SIZZLING STEAK FAJITAS

Serves: 6

Hands-on time: 30 min.

Total time: 35 min.

2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. black pepper

1 (2-lb.) boneless beef sirloin, cut diagonally into strips

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 large red onion, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 orange bell pepper, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

12 (6-in.) flour tortillas, warmed

Toppings: chunky salsa, guacamole

1. Combine first 4 ingredients; sprinkle half of the mixture over beef.

2. Cook beef in batches in 1 tbsp. hot oil in a large, cast-iron skillet until brown. Remove from skillet and keep warm.

3. Sprinkle remaining spice mixture over onions and peppers; cook in remaining hot oil 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute. Return beef to skillet; cook 1 minute or until mixture sizzles.

4. Serve fajita mixture on warm tortillas with toppings.

SHRIMP & CASHEW STIR-FRY

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 15 min.

Total time: 20 min.

½ cup chicken broth

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tbsp. orange juice concentrate

4 tsp. cornstarch

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 onion, cut into 8 wedges

½ cup diagonally sliced green onions

2 cups frozen, cut green beans, thawed

1 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/3 cup roasted cashews

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

Cooked long-grain rice, hot

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Cook garlic and ginger in 1 tbsp. hot oil 1 minute. Add onion and ¼ cup green onion; cook 1 minute. Add beans; cook 2 minutes. Remove vegetables; keep warm.

3. Cook shrimp in remaining hot oil 2 minutes. Add broth mixture, vegetables, cashews and pepper; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute; add remaining green onions. Serve over rice.

PORK CHOPS WITH CABBAGE & APPLES

Serves: 6

Hands-on time: 15 min.

Total time: 40 min.

1 tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. kosher salt

1½ tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. dried sage

6 (½-in.-thick) pork chops

2 bacon slices, chopped

2 lbs. cabbage, chopped

2 onions, sliced

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 (12-oz.) bottle lager beer or 1½ cups apple cider

1. Combine first 5 ingredients; rub half of mixture over chops.

2. Cook bacon in a deep skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove and drain bacon, reserving drippings.

3. Cook chops in skillet 3 minutes on each side. Remove chops; keep warm.

4. Cook cabbage, onions and apple in skillet, covered, 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, beer, bacon and remaining spice mixture. Cover and cook 10 minutes.

5. Add pork; cook, uncovered, 5 minutes.

LEMON-THYME CHICKEN

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 15 min.

Total time: 30 min.

4 (6-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

½ cup lemon juice, divided

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 (14-oz.) can chicken broth

1 lb. small red potatoes, quartered

1 cup baby carrots

2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 cup frozen English peas

Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs

1. Dip chicken breasts in 3 tbsp. lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; dredge in flour.

2. Heat butter and oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts; cook 3 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet.

3. Add broth to skillet; stir in remaining lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, carrots, chicken and thyme. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 8 minutes. Uncover and cook until sauce thickens. Add peas and cook 3 minutes. Garnish if desired.

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