Adapted from the oddly named Grillswith, at the White Spot in Charlottesville, Va.
Glazed doughnuts (I prefer raised doughnuts for this, and Krispy Kreme is unassailable)
Vegetable oil, as needed
Ice cream, for serving
Special equipment: A thin metal spatula is very, very handy
Heat a large, heavy pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Lightly coat it with oil. When the oil is shimmering, place the doughnuts down and let them sear. Stay alert and keep sniffing.
As soon as you smell caramel, flip the doughnuts, being sure to scrape tightly against the pan to scoop up any of the hot sugar. When the second side caramelizes, remove the doughnuts, flipping again so that the first side you seared lands on the plate. (The sugar on that side should have cooled to the point where it's solid again.) Let them cool slightly, just enough so the cooked glaze hardens to a thin, thin shell, and serve with a scoop of ice cream.
Francis Lam is Features Editor at Gilt Taste, provides color commentary for the Cooking Channel show Food(ography), and tweets at @francis_lam.