I couldn’t wait to share this photo and to expound on just how delicious it was. If only restaurants could produce such flavor!
These were the remnants from two separate meals, but clearly they were all made for one another. I just can’t say enough about this method of reheating leftover food so that there is not only no waste of food, but the effort involved is practically zip. Way better than take out; no worries about who has had access to the food you are about to put into your system. Also, no driving, waiting, or tipping involved!
For best success, I have found that investing in quality cookware is key. If this meal had glued itself down to the pan, then I would be less enthusiastic for the process. But an amazingly simple procedure allows me to do this repeatedly in this 12″ Calphalon covered frying pan.
One trick I have learned is to pre-heat the pan. This can get dicey because it makes no sound, and there are no lights to tell you when the pan is hot. So what I do is put the burner on medium-high and put in a couple of tablespoons of distilled (so there are no minerals to cook out onto your pan) water, and then put the lid on while it pre-heats. Depending on the relationship between the pan and the lid, you may hear a bit of rattling as the water creates steam. This is your cue to know that it is ready.
Depending on the food to be reheated, you might want to put in a bit of oil in the pan. When this is deemed appropriate, I use just a thin film of avocado oil because of its tolerance to high heat. Maybe it is my imagination, but I also feel that it does a better job, somehow, than generic oil. Olive oil has a much lower tolerance for heat, and is not recommended.
The next two steps may sound a bit out of the ordinary, but I have found them to be invaluable for achieving success in this endeavour.
After your food has been safely ensconced in the pan, grab your trusty spray bottle of distilled water, and give everything a good coating of moisture. This creates the steam that will help to heat all parts of the food, not just concentrating on the bottom parts where they are touching the frying pan. Steam is your friend. ;->
Next – pop on a tight-fitting cover, and turn the burner OFF! This allows the food to heat up gradually instead of the bottom layer becoming way too hot, with the potential of burning. After three to five minutes (set a timer), turn the burner back on at a low setting and monitor the progress until the food is at the perfect temperature for dining.
At this point, evaluate what toppings might add to the overall ambience of the items. After I took this picture, I sprinkled a bit of grated Cheddar cheese on the rice, plopped a nob of butter on the beets and black kale, and sprayed the chicken with a bit more water to moisten up the BBQ sauce. Another minute or two – while NOLA Boy set the table – and we were enjoying a fabulous dinner that required almost no effort!
Take out just can’t compare!