Griddling seems complicated but it is not. If you are cooking in your own home kitchen you may be the proud owner of a griddling pan to try to make your food restaurant looking like. The perfect grid upon a Steak or and a Veg like a superb aubergine or courgettes especially if you grown them give somewhat a little thrill. With a giggle I will mention the Disney scenes where Dumbo can Fly or the children can fly in Peter Pan, or in Mary Poppins when you can fly if you laugh. So there is definitely something uplifting to see nice distinctive griddle marks upon your food. It feels like winning noughts and crosses.
Now, I will boast that I do own two Griddle pans, but I will also say that you need to care for that type of pan in a peculiar way because as it is grooved, the cleaning of them are different. So how I will confess about that point is to read the instructions leaflet that comes with the pan. So when you mess the cleaning of one up, you do not have to buy another one... Smile. Mistakes help you to learn something better along the way. And what my Grand Pa would say there are multiple ways. Therefore you may feel like Alice in Wonderland lost in a cross road wondering which one to take upon the cleaning of your Griddle pan. But anyway it is worth a try to make it last longer because as I mentionned it gives lots of pleasure
Apart for that little cleaning hiccup, comes the happy sight of rendering a dish which is appealing to the eyes and the stomach so much so that you can salivate with anticipation.
Griddled Lamb Steaks, a Cast Iron heavy pan is so useful.
The Result, Griddled Lamb Steaks with Sautéed Green Veg.
Using a griddling pan is perfect for steaks of all sort from Beef steaks, Tuna steaks passing by Cauliflower ones. One little tip which I have learnt is that you must let the Steaks reach room temperature. Anything frozen must be perfectly defrosted before having a sizzle in that griddling pan.
Getting the Rump Steaks at room temperature.
Another tip is to not oil the pan. You must let the pan reach the temperature needed for what you want to cook: dry pan. Plan number 3 is simply to apply your seasonings and/or oil on what you are about to griddle therefore the food itself.
Think like you are giving a coat to the king of the meal. You do not have to be extremelly precise but you have to treat it with care, for your taste buds to become a palace. Therefore my humble advice would be to prepare your coating of choice in advance. I use a little glass bowl, a fork or a small whisk and a kitchen silicon brush in that process.
Now the coating is your tailoring choice. It is all about what you are designing, want to see, experience and taste. I will give you just a little example for a very simple griddle Beef steak. What I would do is choose an oil I like and pour it in the bowl, add a little cracked black peppercorn, followed by a little garlic powder or minced garlic, and a little onion powder or chopped shallots, crushed sea salt comes last during cooking. You whisk then brush your flavouring mixture gently upon the Steak on both sides.
Brushing slices of Aubergines with Olive Oil prior to Griddling.
Now do not use a fork but a pair of tongues to put the Steak in, to turn it and to take it out and let it rest. Tongues do not prick therefore the juices, the moisture, the tenderness you want from your dish remains. For the timing, I would be a bad advisor because it is really down to the thickness of what you have to cook and what you are cooking, Meat, Fish or Veg. This time it is really a keep an eye all the time, stay by the stove, and judge with your senses. Be on the ball, stay, watch, turn and care. You can apply more seasonning with your brush during that time.
Your griddled ingredients have flavours, but not all are to be seen. They may be hidden within an Aubergine parmigiana for example apart if you put some lovely slices to decorate the top to show the care you took to the dish. Griddling is a show stopper method at the end of the day.
The Griddled Aubergine Slices.
I will not enter in the technicallities of griddling but you must know that it is also mixed or confused with grilling. If you want to be encyclopedic about it fill your boots. Read Wiki about it. You will either be giggling about it, bored or snoring.
However on a cheerful note Griddling is a technique I enjoy and it gives great results.