I’ve raved about sheet pan suppers, but it’s time to give them another shout-out for the new year. This efficient cooking method is especially great if you’re like me — time-strapped but determined to make sit-down family meals every day.
In a recent class on sheet-pan dinners by Debra McVicker, we made five dinners in three hours in her home kitchen, where she holds Chef’s Table Cooking Classes.
Here are her basic concepts:
1. Use protein that is good roasted or broiled, not cuts that should be braised, such as pork shoulder, lamb shanks or short ribs.
2. To keep seasoning at a minimum, toss with oil, salt, and pepper.’
3. Don’t overcrowd the pan, or the food will steam rather than brown.
4. Cut vegetables into small sizes that will cook at about the same rate.
5. Cube sweet potatoes before placing them on the pan, because they will roast faster than whole potatoes.
6. Timing is key. Start with the ingredients that take the longest, and add the others at the appropriate time. For example, potatoes and squash need more time to roast than broccoli, so factor that into your cook times.
7. If the food is cooked but needs a little more browning, finish under the broiler.
8. You can actually do a whole meal under the broiler if you’re using vegetables that cook quickly, such as asparagus, peppers and cherry tomatoes, and protein that broils well, such as fish or steak.
9. Consider preheating the sheet pan for more browning.
To learn more about McVicker’s classes, visit: chefstablecos.com.