I bought an aluminium grill today. It cost £12.99 me and I love it. It’s square (about a foot long ((Actually, it’s 28cm x 28cm.)) on each side), it has a wooden handle ((With a loop of metal at the end so that you can hang the pan on a hook.)) and it’s got an amazing Teflon “three layer non-stick coating” ((The coating on the one I bought was actually broken through in several places, so when I got home and inspected it – finding a couple of spots where I could see the aluminium underneath – I took it back to Aldi for an exchange. They handled it perfectly.)).
I was excited to try it as soon as I got home. I washed the pan in hot soapy water, and then I was instructed to ‘grease the pan with cooking oil’ and put it over a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes before cooking.
I spent about 5 minutes washing the pan because it was so fun to watch how the water behaved on the non-stick surface. The way that the water held together and raced around the pan reminded me of how mercury behaves in a normal container ((I’d love to play with a large quantity of mercury. It’s so dense that you can float many metals in it.)).
I had some salmon left over in the freezer from when I bought a whole side ((It was reduced from £18 to £6.)), so I decided I’d test my grill with a piece of that.
That’s a picture of the salmon side, just after I bought it from Tesco back in June. It looked healthy and smelt alright despite being reduced to clear, so I bought it. It’s always nice to have a bit of raw fish or meet in the freezer because you never know when you might need something to cook at short notice, as happened today ((I also like it because I forget about it, and then when I go through my freezer I’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that I have some lovely salmon still to eat.)).
At this point it would be appropriate to mention something else I bought today. In the photograph above, there’s a knife next to my salmon. It’s called a santoku knife, and I bought it about a year ago. It’s an incredibly sharp and strong general-purpose knife, and it has a perfect balance in my hand. I use it to do pretty much everything in the kitchen. Aldi was selling santoku knives today for £19.99. I bought one to take to university – I can’t cook happily without a good knife any more, and the santoku is the best one I’ve found ((I’ve not yet decided if I’m going to take my grill to university.)). And FYI: I bought 4 tins of coconut milk ((It cost 47 pence for each 400ml tin.)) whilst I was as Aldi, too.
When the grill was ready, I placed the frozen piece of salmon ((I couldn’t be bothered to defrost it. Too boring.)) into the pan and cooked it over a medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side. I’ve read that Teflon can break down at extreme temperatures but I don’t think I’ll be able to reach such a heat without noticing that something is wrong – probably the oil starting to burn. It’s nothing to worry about. After the fish was seared, I continued to cook it gently for 10 or 15 minutes ((I wanted to make sure that it was thoroughly cooked, as this is fish that’s been in the freezer for 8 weeks and I hadn’t defrosted it before cooking.)) until I thought it was done.
In all my excitement I’d forgotten to cook anything to go with the salmon, but that didn’t matter – it was delicious to eat all by itself. My grill did a great job.
P.S. I can highly recommend both the grill pan and the santoku knife from Aldi. They’re both rather good.