I’m so excited to bring you a great giveaway today from Calphalon. They’re a brand that’s new to my kitchen, and I am happy to say that I really love them. I’ve used another high-end brand (for my stainless steel pieces) in my kitchen for years. You know the one that’s all over the Food Network. It preforms beautifully, but when my younger sister-in-law recently asked me which brand of cookware she should invest in, I was hesitant to recommend the brand I use solely because of the price. I knew they’re must be a comparable line on the market with a better price tag.
Recently I was able to try Calphalon AccuCore stainless cookware. I tried out the piece in the pictures, a 3 quart saute pan. It browns as good as my other skillet, and actually fells better in my hand. The handle feels more stable. The only downside I see is that the sides of the skillet, towards the top may be a little thinner. But on the other hand, these pots and pans come with an attractive clear lid. So there are upsides and downsides to each line.
To really test this skillet out, I tried the most difficult browning that I do. That’s over high heat, with sliced meats, in a purposefully overcrowded pan. I first drizzled a very hot pan with rice oil (it has a high smoke point). Then I added pork slices that had been sprinkled with kosher salt. Now if you have never cooked with stainless, this is what’s going to happen.
The meat will be completely stuck to the pan at first, but then as it browns, it releases, and that’s when you flip it, or in this case toss it around. I then continued to cook the meat over high heat, letting the other side brown. I made sure there was a good dark brown film all over the bottom before I went to turn down the heat. This is where all the good flavor in the sauce will come from.
I was happy to see that my pork browned nicely, and didn’t burn. Less expensive skillets that I have owned in the past cannot brown foods without burning them.
Next I add the vegetables and some chicken stock or dry white wine. I continue to cook this, while scrapping from the bottom of the pan, until the vegetables are tender crisp.
As you can see, the liquid that I deglazed the pan with turned the same dark brown color that the bottom of the pan was. Now that’s some flavor packed goodness.
Next I add some sweet chili Thai dipping sauce and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
Then to finish the stir-fry I add some Thai basil and remove from the heat.
I was overly impressed with this skillet. Cleanup was a breeze too. Because I had deglazed the pan, all I had to do was just gently clean it with my dish brush.
I served the stir-fry with some sushi rice and garnished with sliced green onions. The sweet chili sauce, usually only used as a dip, makes a wonderfully flavorful stir fry that’s not to sweet or spicy. My whole family loved it, even my young son.
Thai Basil Pork Stir Fry
2 lbs lean pork loin chops, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable or rice oil
1/2 lb snow peas
1 red bell pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons finely diced onion
1/4 cup chicken stock, dry white wine or water
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili dipping sauce
2 tablespoons fresh Thai basil leaves
1/4 cup sliced green onions, for garnish
Cooked white or brown rice
Preheat skillet over high heat. Add salt to pork and toss to combine. Drizzle skillet with oil and add pork. Cook over high heat until one side is browned. Turn over pork and cook on the other side. When pork is done, and browned, add chicken stock or wine to deglaze pan. Add snow peas, onion and bell pepper. Cook over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pan until all the brown bits are up.
Add sweet chili sauce and stir to combine. Cook until sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and add Thai basil. Serve with rice garnished with green onions.
Calphalon is launching a really cool new site where you can customize your own unique Calphalon set. This set can be customized specifically for your OWN culinary style. With the Your Set by Calphalon, you can pick and choose your favorite pieces from Calphalon’s Unison Nonstick and their AccuCore Stainless Steel. Calphalon.com/YourSet
For a chance to win a $500 Calphalon Gift card, just leave a comment below telling me your favorite stir fry.
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This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Calphalon blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.