One Skillet, 5 Fast Dinners

Singing the praises of the pan that can do it all.

Like Johnny Appleseed setting off with a pocketful of hope and a saucepan for a hat, my children have begun to make their way in the world. They don't have to wear their pots—but their kitchens are tiny enough that they have to choose carefully. Microwave or toaster? Saucepan or skillet? I say skillet - a pan you can cook your whole dinner in. And it will do a better job of keeping off the rain.

The five recipes that follow make a good case for stocking your kitchen with two large skillets in particular: nonstick and stainless-steel. For gingery, Indian-inspired Chickpea & Potato Hash, a nonstick skillet keeps the potatoes from clinging too tenaciously. Another night, cook tender gnocchi and shrimp using minimal oil. Steak for a beef curry browns nicely in a stainless-steel skillet and the flavors build as each ingredient joins the pan. And I'm especially glad for Garlic Chicken, a fabulous skillet version of the classic "chicken with 40 cloves of garlic," a dish my kids will come home for.

Either way, skillets are essential to making a quick, easy, only-one-pan-to-wash dinner tonight. Wear one proudly, and spread the word.

—Wendy Ruopp, Managing Editor

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