One humble pan, minimal ingredients and a few minutes' prep -- and you've got a full-fledged meal.
By Lynn AndrianiOprah.com
The Pork Chops You Just Sear, Simmer And Sauce
Braising is a fantastic cooking method, but the fry-then-slowly-stew technique isn't ideal on a busy weeknight. Quick braising, though, is a variation that works well in a skillet, especially with pork chops. A sizzling-hot pan browns the meat, helping to give it richness, then you finish the cooking by adding stock and letting it simmer with the lid on, so the moisture keeps the pork tender and juicy. You can make the dish with apples and onions, just onions, onions and peppers or mushrooms, depending on whether your tastes veer sweet or savory.
Aside from neatly arranged layers, there isn't much that separates a traditional baked lasagna from this speedy skillet version. Sautée ground beef, add canned tomatoes and seasonings and then throw in wide egg noodles (which are almost like mini lasagna sheets). The pasta cooks in the sauce as you stir in ricotta and shredded mozzarella -- and the cheeses melt on the spot.
This supper -- a kind of American take on fried rice -- tastes like a casserole, yet you make it in a cast-iron skillet entirely on the stovetop, perfect for nights when you don't feel like turning on the oven (or waiting for it to preheat). It's wonderfully satisfying, and features ingredients pretty much everyone loves: bacon, cheddar and shredded rotisserie chicken.
Subtly sweet-tasting shrimp and tangy feta are such a natural match that you don't need to do much to make them taste great together. All you really need to turn the duo into a hearty -- and speedy -- meal, along with some tomato sauce and flavor boosters (onion, garlic and oregano)? An ovenproof skillet. Just be sure to have some crusty bread on hand, to sop up the juices from this delicious supper with sunny Greek vibes.
Corned-beef hash gets a fresh makeover with this foolproof recipe, which keeps the potatoes and onion, but swaps in prosciutto for the corned beef, and adds asparagus for a bit of green crunch. Once they're well-cooked, you use a spoon to form four nests in the hash and crack an egg into each. You can cook them until they're hard, or let them go just until the whites are firm but the yolks are still runny; and add some hot sauce for a kick.
Sweet or hot Italian sausage may be a summertime cookout staple, but it also deserves kudos for how easily it transforms into flavorful patties. Since the meat is already seasoned, all you have to do is remove the casings, form the pork into burgers, brush with oil and cook in a frying pan or grill pan until browned and crusty, about five minutes per side. While you're doing that, sauté a bag of baby spinach with garlic in olive oil for a fresh-tasting topping. Toasted ciabatta rolls will soak up the juices. <br><br> <strong>Get the recipe: <a href="http://www.oprah.com/food/Italian-Sausage-Burgers-with-Garlicky-Spinach" target="_blank">Italian-Sausage Burgers with Garlicky Spinach</a></strong>