Grilling on top of the stove Trend: Hugely popular pans reflect nation's interest in reducing fat while keeping taste and eye appeal.

January 14, 1998|By John Stark | John Stark,Cooking Light

Virtually unheard of a few years ago, stove-top grill pans are experiencing the kind of overnight popularity usually reserved for starlets and purple dinosaurs. The number of stove-top grill pans for sale has increased a whopping 30 percent over last year, according to the NPD Group, an independent marketing research firm in Port Washington, N.Y.

But who needs statistics? That you can now buy them at your local Wal-Mart means they've gone from being a gourmet item to an everyday, low-fat way to cook.

"My husband and I received a Calphalon square grill pan as a wedding gift last year, and it has really changed the way we cook," says Melanie Heiser of Ellicott City. "We use it almost every night for chicken, fish, steak and vegetables. In fact, it gets so much use that we're planning on buying a second grill pan for when we entertain."

They range in price from $24 to $120, so there's certainly one for every budget. "It's the whole low-fat effect," says Dave DiResta, a retail consultant and cookbook author. "In fact, the nonstick surfaces are selling 9 to 1. People love the great-looking grilling effect that stove-top grills offer. And yet the food still gets a nice browning. That's because the food in the pan is raised so that you get a roasting effect. The height allows dry heat to get under the food. I like to do pizza in mine."

Salmon With Grilled Vegetables

Serving size: 1 salmon steak, 4 onion wedges and 1/4 cup zucchini slices

Yield: 4 servings

2 large red onions (about 1 pound)

1/4 cup honey mustard

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 small zucchini, each cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 1 pound)

4 (6-ounce) salmon steaks (1 inch thick)

cooking spray

Peel onions, leaving root intact; cut each onion into 8 wedges.

jTC Combine mustard and next 7 ingredients (mustard through salt) in a small bowl; reserve 1/4 cup mustard mixture.

Place onion, zucchini, and salmon in a large shallow dish. Drizzle with remaining mustard mixture; cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour.

Place a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium heat until hot. Place zucchini on pan; grill 2 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove zucchini; keep warm. Place onions on pan; grill 3 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove onions; keep warm. Place salmon on pan; grill 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Drizzle salmon and vegetables with reserved mustard mixture.

Per serving: 401 calories (39 percent from fat); 17.2 grams fat ( 2.8 grams saturated, 8.2.grams mono, 4 grams poly); 37.2 grams protein; 24.8 grams carbohydrate; 2.6 grams fiber; 111 mg cholesterol; 2.2 mg iron; 591 mg sodium; 79 mg calcium

Grilled Pepper Steak With Bell Pepper Salsa

Serving size: 1 steak and 1/2 cup salsa

Yield: 4 servings

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks (about 1 inch thick)

3 large shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered (about 8 ounces)

1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and quartered (about 8 ounces)

cooking spray

4 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper

thyme sprigs (optional)

Combine first 10 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes. Remove steaks and vegetables from bag, reserving marinade. Place reserved marinade in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3 tablespoons (about 2 minutes).

Place a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add shallots and bell peppers; cook 3 minutes on each side or until crisp-tender. Chop shallots and bell peppers; place in a small bowl. Stir in reduced marinade; set aside.

Press 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper onto 1 side of each steak. Wipe pan clean with paper towels; recoat with cooking spray. Place pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add steaks, peppered sides down; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Add bell pepper salsa; cook until thoroughly heated. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Per serving: 245 calories (36 percent from fat); 9.7 grams fat (3.4 grams saturated, 3.5 grams mono, poly 1.1 gram poly); protein 25.2 grams protein; 14.6 grams carbohydrate; 2.1 grams fiber; 71 mg cholesterol; 5.9 mg iron; 209 mg sodium; 51 mg calcium.

Pub Date: 1/14/98

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