Pan-seared Fish (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)

What’s Cooking is a series in which I answer questions and share advice about food and cooking that you have but may be too shy to ask.

One of the quickest cooking techniques is pan searing, especially when you want to cook up boneless pork chops; boneless, skinless chicken breasts; fish and prawns. It is the same technique used also when cooking steaks.

To sear means to cook the surface of food at a high temperature until a browned crust forms. Searing is a term used interchangeably with pan searing, but I make a differentiation when cooking certain things. For example, if I am making a pot roast or a stew or starting a roast on the stovetop and finishing it in the oven, I would sear the meat to develop an attractive brown crust then proceed with roasting in the oven or stewing. Pan searing is the term I use when I want to fully cook things on the stovetop like steak, fish, prawns or chicken breasts to serve as an entrée. And that’s the focus of today’s column. You can get food on the table in no time with this cooking technique. Here’s some advice…..

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