Tuesday's Tip: Let 'er flip - FamilyEducation

Tuesday's Tip: Let 'er flip

February 08,2011

I cook distracted.  Heck, I do a lot of things distracted:  I am a mother.  I can’t tell you how many times I am with a friend, by all accounts, having a conversation, only to find myself later realizing that there were about half a dozen conversations that were interrupted by kid’s needs.  So I talk distracted, cook distracted, do laundry distracted, and yes, I have many times ascended my stairs to get something, only to realize once upstairs, I have no idea why I came up there in the first place.

Again, I get distracted...

What was I writing again?

Oh yes, about distractions.  I do try and do all my writing when I am alone, without the kids, and hence, the distractions are far less.  But when I cook, I am distracted.

Here’s a tip that has helped this mom remember when to flip things in the pan.  It used to be that I would place items (veggie burgers, falafel, chicken, tofu cubes, potato pancakes, etc) in a hot pan and then forget in what order they would need to be flipped.  Now, I realize it is not the end of the world if items are flipped out of order in a pan, but to achieve a good browning, it is crucial to give even cooking time to each item.  First in, first flipped, is a good rule of thumb.

Also, when trying to achieve a good browning, you don’t want to flip the item too soon, or you will lose that great brown on the bottom.  So here’s what you can do:

Place your items in a structured pattern in the pan, starting at the twelve o’clock position in the pan and proceeding around in a clockwise direction.  If you finish the outer ring and have room, then begin in the middle, until you reach the very center of the pan.  

This simple tip has become habit to me while cooking, so even if I am distracted, I automatically fall into the pattern of moving around the pan clockwise.  And I get distracted a lot...