Three-time All-Star Evan Longoria has played third base for the Tampa Bay Rays since 2008. He’s also an amateur chef. He prepares four family dinners a week in the offseason, co-owns a Tampa restaurant, Ducky’s, and spent a New Year’s Eve working the fry station at N9NE Steakhouse in Las Vegas. Here are his top four tips for the kitchen.
1. All you need to season a steak is salt and pepper. Heat a pan on high for at least five minutes, then cook the steak for three minutes on each side. Finish in an oven at 375F for five minutes. You need to have a good vent system, because it creates a lot of smoke. Usually I set off the smoke alarm.
2. You only need one good 10- or 12-inch fry pan. I have Scanpan in Florida and Calphalon at my house in Arizona. You also need a 10- or 12-quart pot in coated cast iron. I have a Le Creuset; it’s a bit expensive, but cast iron is the way to go.
3. When you make a roast, the most important thing is to brown the meat in the pan first. Then take it out and do a two-step deglaze: Put the onions in and let them get clear and start to sweat—that will loosen up the stuff on the bottom of the pan. Then add the liquid, usually chicken broth or wine.
4. Always heat up a pan for at least a couple of minutes before you put oil in. The pan becomes less porous as it heats up, so the oil will stay on the surface—and on the food—instead of sinking in.