Bonnie: I’ve been told I’m nuts for liking nonstick pans. Well, not that I’m actually crazy but that real cooks prefer other cookware. I beg to differ. To me, it’s all about time. I prefer to spend little of that precious time cleaning up, and using nonstick pans expedites this process.
I fell in love with my very first Circulon Toss & Turn pan for that reason and more. One side is taller than the other, providing any level cook the ability to look professional by tossing the ingredients with a flip of the wrist.
I reached out to the publicist to find out all the details about this pan so we could share them with you. But, sadly, I was told that Circulon was no longer making it. Fast-forward to a fabulous media luncheon at Adour Alain Ducasse in the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan this past spring. I arrived late as I was trying to squeeze in two luncheons that day. Yup, some say I’m a glutton, but I say I’m practical in getting to two press events for one trip to the Big Apple. I missed most of the presentation, but heard a buzz about a divided pan.
Divided pan, I pondered: How cool is that? I can cook two things at once. I wished I had had it while the boys were growing up. One would want his meat with cheese, the other without. This would have simplified my short-order cooking. And when my guests have different diet restrictions, I can cook the same dish two different ways.
I decided to reach out to Devin Alexander, Circulon’s new spokesperson and author of “The Most Decadent Diet Ever!” about how she uses this pan. “The pan is handy when one person wants steak fajitas and another wants chicken … keeps you from cleaning two pans and heating two burners. I also use it a lot when I invite girlfriends over for reality TV nights. Inevitably, someone is a vegetarian. And then I also love it when I want to make tonight’s dinner while making tomorrow’s lunch. Less juggling with a single pan, and, again, easy cleanup.”
I so agree. Seems that I’m in good company with liking and using nonstick cookware.
Bryan: How does one prepare fajitas properly when the audience doesn’t like different foods to touch? What is the best way to cook sausage and eggs at the same time without breaking out and sullying all the pans in the kitchen? Can I warm two side dishes (baked beans and potatoes) simultaneously with only one free burner? These questions may not be so deeply profound that you’ll turn to Dianetics for the life-changing answers, but they can be a real puzzler when you don’t want to wash an army of pots and pans while cooking a simple meal (btw – I’ve heard if you read L. Ron Hubbard’s classic backwards, there’s a really ripping recipe for lentil soup hidden in there).
All of these questions, and more, are answered with one of the newest products to leave the Circulon test labs: the Divided Pan. Ignore the old adage, “united we stand, divided we fall,” and get on board with this oh-so-simple invention. Circulon, one of the industry leaders in nonstick cookware, has a wide array of quality products to choose from. The company is best known for a constant focus on proper heat distribution and Teflon coating, ensuring that your kitchen creations will be properly cooked and your cleanup will be as simple as possible. The Divided Pan, one of the newest products in this successful stable, keeps to these high standards and traditional methods. There is basically very little difference between one of Cirulon’s standard large nonstick skillets and the new Divided Pan, aside from the wall running through the middle of the latter. This 12” pan has a ridge following the length of the diameter from the handle to the top. The pan’s bottom is also divided by an indentation following the same path. The ridge keeps the food in the pan from touching, while the indentation allows you to keep the two separate sides of the pan at slightly different temperatures, especially if you keep one side of the pan off the burner.
In my home, this product has halved my cleanup time on “Mexican Night.” A simple fajita dish of sautéed peppers, onions and chicken used to be a three-pan project. I now start my peppers and onions on separate sides of the pan with a little oil, salt and pepper. Once my veggies are cooked through, I carefully position the pan so one side is off the burner heat, and then dump the onions in with the peppers on the non-heated side of the pan (though careful not to combine these vegetables to avoid my girlfriend’s reaction to “mixing flavors.”) While the veggies are warming in the pan, I add the chicken to the side that previously held the onions, since this side adds great flavor to the chicken, and cook it through while the veggies stay warming. Once the cooking is completed, all food can be maneuvered from the pan to the plate without combining and, more importantly, without three pans to clean.
Another dish that has been salvaged from the realm of “too much cleanup” is sausage and eggs. I think by now you can imagine how one side of the Divided Pan holds the cooking sausage while the other side contains the cooking eggs. I imagine all our readers will find a plethora of other uses for this “Why didn’t I think of that?” gadget. Please let us know your favorite uses and I’ll just sit back and enjoy my single-pan cleanup for now.
Eric: Who likes to wash dishes? Honestly, I can’t think of a single person who’s ever said to me, “Hey, that meal was delicious, but what I’m really looking forward to now is standing over the sink for the next 30 minutes while I get elbow deep in soap, and scrub the pots and pans.”
Unfortunately, in my apartment, I don’t have a dishwasher. Instead I have my girlfriend. She might clean the dishes, but usually only after a discussion with me about who’s washed which dishes, and how many, throughout the day. We both try to pawn off the dirty deed onto each other, but in the end, cleaning dishes still takes up a chunk of someone’s time – and any time we can salvage is more than appreciated.
The Circulon divided pan, as my mother and brother have explained, is an invaluable addition to your cooking set. Whether it’s in the ability to cook up to three different items at the same time and at slightly different temperatures, or to simultaneously prepare food for a “meatatarian” and a vegetarian, this pan will save you cooking time. And that’s time you can enjoy sitting back and savoring that glass of wine.