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Ode to my spatula and a gluten free fig and brie grilled sandwich

Posted Jan 22 2009 6:52pm

In seventh grade "home-ec" (short for "home-economics"), I was annoyed to learn that what my family had been calling a 'spatula' for the duration of my life until that point (as short as it may have been), was actually called a 'pancake turner,' or 'turner' for short. It just didn't make any sense to me because we used that cooking utensil for all sorts of things, not just pancakes. Why on earth would it be named a 'pancake turner' when we used it to cook grilled cheese and move slices of lasagna from the large baking dish to our plates?

Well, I still don't understand.

But, what I do know is I had been keeping my eye out for a really good, flexible 'pancake turner' for the explicit purpose of flipping pancakes in my cramped skillet without tossing them on top of each other. It was a tall order, I know.

At a recent trip to the store, however, I found the kitchenaid 'turner' you see above. I am going to build a shrine in its honor.

No, not really - but it is THAT good. I tried it out this weekend, making pancakes for breakfast, and it felt like gold in my hand. The ease with which it bent, to slide effortlessly underneath each pancake without disturbing neighboring pancakes, was incredible. And, I made the most perfect pancakes ever.

It's amazing how having well-functioning tools in the kitchen makes cooking that much easier.

It's one reason why I love cooking in my parents' kitchen. Every time I visit my parents, I do a lot of the cooking. It's so much fun to chop vegetables with a knife that slides through celery and sweet potatoes with ease. It's exciting to season foods with a well-stocked spice and herb cupboard. And, it's oh-so easy to cook large meals with good-sized pots and pans.

Well, that, and I just love cooking for people. We had a small dinner party with friends this weekend and I made a mushroom-spinach risotto with pork and lamb frikadeller. Ben and I had tons of fun shopping for the food, planning the meal, and putting it together. We talked and laughed and filled our bellies with friends - what better way to spend an evening? And that frikadeller - oi! even I was impressed with how melt-in-your-mouth delicious it was!

We ended up with some leftover fig spread and brie, which, upon Ben's suggestion, became the impetus for a gourmet grilled egg and cheese sandwich: brie, fig spread, spinach and a fried egg. It was delicious - to say the least!

Oh, and I got to utilize my 'pancake turner' as a 'grilled sandwich turner.'


For a sandwich of your own, you will need:

2 slices GF bread (I used this recipe )

slices of brie to cover one slice of bread

fig spread

1 egg, fried over-easy or over-hard (depending on whether you like runny yokes)

spinach

Butter one side of each slice of bread and place one slice, butter side down, on your medium-heat skillet (for my burners, I set the heat at just-under-medium). Cover that slice of bread with fig spread, then your cheese, then some spinach, and then top it off with your egg and the remaining slice of bread (butter side up). Cook for a few minutes, until bread becomes golden brown on the bottom, then flip. Cook a few more minutes to brown other side and thoroughly heat through.

Enjoy!

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