Sauté-pan VS Frypan: Artichokes Casserole with Peas and Prawns

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I am not joking when I say I spent hours tugging at my hair trying to think of the perfect dish that will showcase the qualities of the Tefal pans we received.

Yes you read that right; it’s a plural. Pan-s.

At the conclusion of the cooking workshop, we were given 2 pans from the Tefal Comfort Touch pans series, namely their Comfort Touch Sauté-pan and Comfort Touch Frypan. The fact that they are 2 distinct pans, with 2 distinct forms, makes it kind of obvious that the pans are functionally different. So what should I cook in each pan to best showcase its properties?

I know for a fact that sautéing and pan frying are 2 very different cooking techniques. Sautéing is essentially a method of cooking food, that uses a small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. It refers to tossing smaller cut pieces of food while cooking, in order to facilitate fast cooking while simultaneously giving the food a nice browned exterior. On the other hand, pan frying refers to cooking larger pieces of food quickly, flipping it on both sides.

After consulting my best friend (her name’s Google by the way) I realised that both pans are better suited for different kinds of dishes. And thus I came to the conclusion that 3 very different recipes should do the trick! First off: the sauté-pan.

While I had many fancy ideas running through my head after our meal at ONAKA, I realised that as home cooks, we don’t always have the luxury of making stocks, pre-roasting ingredients, nor spending time gathering spoonfuls of ingredients from various corners of the kitchen. I’m just a student, and I get really annoyed when I have to make dishes that calls for many different spices and ingredients in minute quantities. That’s kind of the reason why I almost never make curries. Now think about those mothers who have to attend to flit between attending to the stove and their screeching kids. Sometimes all we need are one-pan dishes that are simple and utterly delicious.

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When sautéing, the contact between the food and the pan is brief, thus whether it’s meat or vegetables it’s important that the food be naturally tender. With that in mind, I decided on a Artichokes and Peas with Prawn Casserole.

In a nutshell, I sautéed aromatic vegetables, before adding in the peas, sautéed prawns, artichokes, shredded turkey breast and finally a little chicken stock. Over medium heat with the lid off, I allowed the dish to simmer and reduce for about 15 minutes, tested it for seasonings, then dished it up straight in the pan. We ate it with a loaf of sourdough bread to soak up the juicy goodness.

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Prepared and dished out in a mere 30 minutes, I was delighted with how this dish turned out! I was a little apprehensive at the start cause I have never cooked with artichokes before given how it’s so hard to come by in Singapore. But I recently got my hands on this jar of marinated artichokes and so I thought, why not? Simple, savoury and hearty, the pan was wiped clean within 10 minutes. It’s definitely a keeper.

Artichokes and Peas with Prawn Casserole (serves 2)

1 jar of marinated artichokes
200g of de-frosted shelled peas
1 slice of turkey breast, cut into thin strips/cubes
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 splash of white wine
100 ml of chicken stock
3 tablespoons coconut milk
12 prawns, shelled

1. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a pre-heated sauté-pan, then add the sliced garlic and sauté till it is lightly browned. Add in the prawns, season and sauté them for a couple of minutes until they change color. Remove and reserve.

2. In the same pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and fry the turkey and onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the artichokes and peas and sauté for another minute.

3. Add the wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate before adding the stock and coconut milk. Lower the heat to medium-low, and cook lids-off for 10-15 minutes depending on how wet you’d like your casserole.

4. Check for seasonings. If it turns out too dry for your preference, stir in a little stock or water. Serve with slices of sourdough bread.

Fresher spin – squeeze one lime into the casserole

Vegetarian – use some vegetable stock instead. Replace the prawns with slices of tomatoes/carrots/other root vegetables, or omit the prawns and stir in some shredded buffalo mozzarella cheese before serving.

No coconut milk – replace with evaporated milk or cream, or omit entirely for a clearer soup and simmer it 5-10 minutes longer.

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