Skillet meals can make preparing breakfast, lunch, or dinner quick and easy, as well as limit the amount of cleaning needed after you’re done cooking. A good suggestion for these types of dishes is to utilize leftovers as often as possible in order to cut down on the amount of time spent cooking and to prevent wasting food. It is also a good idea to experiment with different spices or herbs. Browning your ingredients before adding any liquids can help to increase the depth of flavor in nearly any meal, especially those prepared in a skillet.
One of the biggest draws of skillet meals is the fact that you can put nearly anything in them, making this type of dish the perfect way to use leftovers and small bits of fresh foods. Just about any type of pre-cooked meat, from grilled chicken to meatballs, vegetables, or other side dishes can be added to a skillet dish, giving you a completely different meal. Any unused fresh vegetables that you have can also make a great addition to most types of skillet meals. Using leftovers can save you time in the kitchen, as most of the ingredients are already cooked or quick-cooking, and will also help you to use your grocery money effectively.
Just as you can put nearly anything in this type of dish, you can also use almost any dry spice that sounds good to you. No matter what starch, vegetables, or meat that you use in your skillet meal, you can give it a southwestern flair with the use of chili powder, cumin, coriander, and other similar spices. For Italian skillet meals, try a combination of basil, rosemary, and garlic, and the addition of curry powder, garam marsala, or other spices can make for an interesting Indian meal. If you are using leftovers as suggested, you may want to stick to the same flavor combination that you’ve already used; however, there is still plenty of room for creativity. For a fresh topping and additional flavor, you can use fresh herbs in nearly any combination at the end of the cooking process or right before serving.
A good cooking suggestion for skillet meals is to always brown your ingredients before you add any liquids. This allows the outside of your meats and vegetables to caramelize, increasing their flavor, and it also seasons the pan, which will help to add flavor to any additional ingredients or liquids that you decide to use. In most cases, browning is best done in batches, with any meat first, as this will help to season the pan, and then the vegetables. This suggestion also includes any dry spices that you choose to use. Adding the spices first will help to enhance their flavors, as dry spices tend to lose potency after being in the jar or tin.