[Photo by: Zhao Shouren]
I had been making eggs on non-stick pans for as long as I remember, but regardless of how much care I put into it, the final taste could never be as good as the eggs Ma used to make, in her aluminium kadai.
I figured that one reason this could be is because of the unique burning that happens to food surface when cooked in aluminium cookware, which explicitly is prevented in non-stick surfaces.
So today, I fished out an old anodized pan that I had bought years back, and decided, of all the things, to make an omlette in it.
It was a disaster. Once the initial mix had settled in, there was no way I could make it move. Attempts to do so kept breaking it up, till out of exasperation, I broke it all up and made a mess of scrambled eggs instead. I obviously hid my failure by telling wife that that was what I wanted to make in the first place. :)
So what went wrong? It obviously was the seasoning of the pan. I didn’t remember how to season such a pan, and so I had just rubbed oil all over and left it on the stove for a few minutes and then dropped the eggs in.
Cooking for engineers says that I need to keep the oiled pan in an oven for two hours. That is seriously never going to happen. For one, electricity is not taken for granted in India. Secondly, it is more suited for countries where using hours on electrics ovens is an accepted way of cooking. I don’t think that is acceptable in any country right now.
The stovetop method in this really nice article on seasoning seems to be the way out. To try it, I need to first rescue my pan which is soaking in water to get rid of all the gunk sticking at the bottom. Apparently, that is not a nice way to treat a pan.
I will try this out and update this post with my findings. The ultimate aim is to be able to cook eggs (apparently the toughest to cook properly on such surfaces).
BTW, all the seasoning articles agree on never washing the pans after cooking. Only wiping them is recommended. I am not sure if I can live with cooking meat based stuff on pans and then not washing off with soap. Apparently, I need to season it everytime before cooking in that case. Sigh!