Sauteing & Stir Frying is a lot better and healthier when done with MEC pots and pans. One of the biggest issues with this kind of cooking in conventional pots/pans is — the food sticks to the bottom, burns and a lot is lost to the burnt food. AND it also adds a burnt taste to the food. Some might think the non-stick pans and other coated or enameled cookware are good options for this reasons, but they have even more serious issues — the coatings that makes them “non-stick” is full of chemicals and toxins that contaminate food and render it unhealthy. Just one of these chemicals are a group called perfluoroalkyl substances. These are found in different proportions is all the coating materials for their apparent oil and water-repellent properties. These chemicals are also known for their disruption in the hormone producing organs, immune dysfunction, high cholesterol and even various forms of cancer.
How is Sautéing & Stir Frying Different with MEC?
Food sticking or burning to the pot will be a thing of the past when using MEC pots or pans because they are naturally non-stick! Also, less water is needed because of the gentle yet penetrating heat from pure clay which cooks food to almost completion before a lot of steam is released. What is the value of this steam and how MEC manages it inside the pot is explained in detail here. But in brevity, MEC’s excellent steam management makes sure it stays within the pot and settles right back into the food instead of escaping through the vents like in metal cookware, so your food stays moist and juicy unlike the dry and withered taste of food sauted in other ware.
Not only this, the gentle heat keeps the flavonoids and other important phyto-nutrients intact retaining the rich color in food.
These five saute/stir-fry recipes can give you a good idea of how this type of cooking is done in MEC and the difference from metal cookware. Enjoy!
1. Sautéed Broccoli and Garlic
2 tablespoons kosher salt; 4 bunches broccoli (1 1/2 pounds); 3 tablespoons good olive oil; 6 garlic cloves, minced
In a large MEC pot, bring 8 cups of water and the salt to a boil. Remove and discard the bottom third of the broccoli stems. If some stems are very thick, cut them in half lengthwise. When the water comes to a full boil, add the broccoli, return to a boil, and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, until the stalks are crisp-tender. Drain and immediately immerse the broccoli in a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking. Drain in a colander and set aside. Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and stir until heated through.
In MEC this is much simpler & healthier:
In a Large or Medium MEC pot or pan, place the chopped broccoli, sprinkle some water cover and cook on medium heat. When you see steam building up on the inside (after 10 -12 minutes), sprinkle some salt and add minced garlic and the oil. Stir, cover and cook till broccoli is done to your liking — crispy and crunchy – in 7 -10 minutes. Softer — in 12 minutes.
Enjoy you delicious broccoli
2. Spicy Scrambled Eggs with sliced Mushrooms & cilantro leaves
6 eggs; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 tsp cooking oil, 1 cup sliced mushrooms — slice them small, 1 tbsp Cilantro leaves chopped fine.
Crack the eggs into a bowl, add mushrooms, and cilantro, whisk until smooth. Add the salt, pepper and whisk until well combined. Heat a MEC pot on low heat, and add oil. increase heat to medium and pour the eggs and veggies into it. Cover and cook till some steam builds up on the inside, check in 5-7 mins. Open lid and stir and cook to light and fluffy.
3. Chicken, Spinach & Bell-pepper Stir-fry
1.5 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1 -2 -inch pieces, 2 cups spinach washed, 1 whole bell-pepper chopped into strips, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chopped garlic
Heat the olive oil in a large MEC pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, the spice powders and a generous pinch of salt and saute for 2 minutes. Add the chicken, stir in with the spice mixture in the pot. Cover and cook for 10-15 mins till chicken is almost done. Add spinach and bell-pepper to the pot, stir it in with the chicken. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.
Serve with a side dish of rice or hot bread.
4. Sautéed Mushrooms Recipe
2 pounds button mushrooms, halved; 2 tablespoons butter/ cooking oil; 3 garlic cloves, minced; 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves; 3/4 cup dry sherry; Salt and pepper
Place a large MEC pot over medium heat. Add the oil and let it warm up for a few minutes, add the mushrooms. Allow the mushrooms to sear for 5 minutes -cook covered for 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mushrooms to sear another 5 minutes to develop a rich caramelized color. Stir in the fresh thyme leaves and sherry. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for approximately 5-7 more minutes, stirring on occasion. The goal is for the mushrooms to absorb the sherry, leaving only a small amount of moisture in the pan. Taste, then salt and pepper again if needed. Serve warm over meat or as a side dish!
5. Mushroom and Carrot Saute
6 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch rounds; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 1 garlic clove, minced, 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced; 1 teaspoon sugar; 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme; 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
Place carrots in a medium MEC pot. Add 4-5 table spoons of water, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Then add olive oil. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute, stirring occasionally, until mushroom is cooked– about 10 minutes. Add sugar, thyme, salt, and pepper, cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes. Open lid stir all ingredients together and turn stove off.
Can also be served as filling in a roll or a tacco! Or as a side dish with any meal.