He has not been finishing half-written books, mind you, nor concluding business deals mired in the post-Bushian bog, nor even responding to stale holiday correspondence.
Mr. Henry has been finishing the chops, the fish filets, and the steaks. It’s quick and remarkably foolproof. Indeed, it’s the easiest way to look like a real chef.
Preheat your oven to 350º
Having salted and spiced your pork chop, lamb chop, or what-have-you, sear it in a hot skillet with a bit of oil (and butter, too, if you want to live right). Get a good burn on one side, flip and do the same to the other. Your chop is now beautifully browned but raw in the middle.
Pop the skillet into the oven. Depending on your chop’s thickness, this usually should not take more than 10 minutes. Poke it with your finger to feel doneness.
Remove and let rest for at least five minutes. Slice and serve. (On a warm plate, if you please. Honestly, having come this far you can do that much extra preparation).
On a fish filet Mr. Henry invariably adds a splash of white wine at the turn. Once in a while he adds capers or sage, too. Oh yes, and for a basic meuniere – dredged in flour – he doesn’t skimp on the butter.
Of course you will need a sauté pan with an ovenproof handle. For this operation a good old-fashioned twenty-dollar iron skillet is hard to beat.