Ever wondered how chefs flip food around in saute pans like it's no big deal? Ever tried it and lost 20 mushrooms within the cracks of your stovetop? Chef Jon over at Food Wishes made a video to keep you from continually messing this up.
Learning this trick is not only about showing off how smooth you are in the kitchen (although there is nothing wrong with showing that off, you guys). Flipping food spatula-free will save you dishwashing time, since you're not using another utensil, and will also help to incorporate salt, pepper, or whatever else you add to the pan.
It seems so simple when he's doing it with cheese balls, right? As with everything, practice makes perfect. Just remember the mantra: back and forth, not up and down. Don't be afraid to drop a few cheese balls now and again and happy flipping!
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Clambake On The Grill
Forget about digging a pit and making all that mess in your backyard -- use a grill. The following methods will show you how you can grill your clambake on a charcoal grill or a gas grill. Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/5958640672/" target="_hplink">Dinner Series, Flickr</a>.
Cook Your Clambake In A Roasting Pan On The Grill
Much like an old-fashioned seafood boil, you can prepare a clambake in a roasting pan placed on the grates of your grill. <em>This method works on a charcoal grill or gas grill.</em> You'll want to start with placing the potatoes, corn and sausages on the bottom and cooking them partly first before adding the seafood. <a href="http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/dinner-recipes/backyard-clambake" target="_hplink">Here's a recipe we like that uses the roasting pan method.</a> If you prefer an easy cleanup, use an aluminum foil roasting pan, <a href="http://www.theculturebite.com/2010/01/05/clam-bake-on-a-grill/" target="_hplink">like this recipe</a>. Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdickert/2475146188/" target="_hplink">ilovebutter, Flickr</a>.
Grill (Or Bake) Your Clambake In Foil Packets
The French call this method "en papillote" and it's the perfect way to steam food to perfection, whether it's seafood or vegetables. <em>This method works on a charcoal grill, gas grill or oven.</em> You'll want to package your seafood tightly in foil packets, but don't just leave them hanging dry. Pour some flavorful broth, clam juice, wine or beer in with the contents of the packet so the food will absorb the flavor during cooking. Don't forget fresh herbs, like thyme or rosemary. You can even put some seaweed, like nori, in the bottom of each packet. <a href="http://www.bhg.com/recipe/seafood/high-and-dry-clambake/" target="_hplink">Here's a recipe that uses the grilling packet method.</a> Grill the packets on the grates of your grill or placed directly on the coals or, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/10/dining/the-minimalist-clambake-without-the-sand.html" target="_hplink">if you don't have a grill, try baking the packets.</a>
Clambake In A Cloth Sack
<a href="http://projects.washingtonpost.com/recipes/2009/07/22/grill-clambake/" target="_hplink">Here's an ingenious way for cooking your clambake</a> -- in cloth sacks. <em>This method works best on a charcoal grill.</em> Basically what you do is create individual portions that include vegetables and seafood and bundle them in beer-soaked cloth, like a flour sack, muslin or many layers of cheesecloth. You'll want to have your charcoal grill preheated. Throw some seaweed over the coals (and toss in some wood chips for extra smoky flavor), top with the grates and add your bundles. Don't forget to pour some additional beer over the bundles as they cook to ensure everything stays moist. Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrea_nguyen/6862886906/" target="_hplink">Andrea_Nguyen, Flickr</a>.
Buy Some Seaweed If You Can
Seaweed is a great way to add the classic flavor of a beach clambake to your make-shift clambake. Whether you're preparing you clambake on the stove-top, on the grill or in the oven, add some seaweed to your preparation. It will add a characteristic briny flavor to the food. In many cases you can get seaweed form your fishmonger -- so you don't have to steal it from the ocean. Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bowena/699757208/" target="_hplink">bowenmurphy, Flickr</a>.
If All Else Fails, Try The Seafood Boil
If you don't have a grill or don't want the mess that's associated with charcoal grilling, then the easiest way to do a clambake is indoors, right on your stove-top in a big stock pot. You'll want to layer the pot with potatoes and corn near the bottom and the seafood toward the top (in order from what cooks longest to shortest). Cook the ingredients in water, a flavorful broth, beer or wine. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/clambake-at-home-with-thr_n_1049766.html" target="_hplink">Here's a recipe for a simple stove-top clambake.</a> For cleanup sake, you may still want to eat the seafood outdoors over a large picnic table covered in newspaper -- it's fun and classic! Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tynigh/3718974886/" target="_hplink">Ty Nigh, Flickr</a>.