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Author Topic: Cooking gadgets/gimmicks
al-Qa'bong
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posted 01 September 2008 09:18 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
About a year ago the kids had paninis in a Moose Jaw sandwich shop. Ever since they've been yakking about paninis.

About a month ago we got a panini grill with our Mastercard points (aside: This is a great scam. We use the card just to receive the points; we have never paid interest and don't pay any fees, so have never given Mastercard any money).

Anyway, the kids are enthusiastic about this gizmo and grill all kinds of stuff now, including their own sandwiches. I like it because it spreads the kitchen labour around, cutting down my role. I've never used it yet.

My question is: are panini grills the hot new kitchen gadget, or are there others out there even more popular?


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
WendyL
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posted 01 September 2008 10:53 AM      Profile for WendyL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is a panino just a grilled sandwich? We have a very old 'sandwich maker' which I've never liked but for some reason the younger family members like their sandwiches grilled this way rather than on top of the range. I have always found the maker a nasty piece of equipment to clean. I have a lot of friends who gush, still, about their George Foreman grills. I think panini grill up well on these as well.

Merchants pay a fee to the credit card company every time a credit card is used for a purchase; that cost is handed on to you and me, the consumer. We all pay for your (and my) 'free' points.


From: PEI Canada | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 01 September 2008 10:59 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm thinking of using MC points for a new espresso machine. The blond guy dropped ours, which was ancient, and it's not quite working right.

I have a "pro" waffle iron that I quite love. I haven't got a panini grill or a pancake griddle, both of which would be cool, because I don't have the space to store them.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 01 September 2008 12:34 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Merchants pay a fee to the credit card company every time a credit card is used for a purchase; that cost is handed on to you and me, the consumer. We all pay for your (and my) 'free' points.

That seems backwards.

The credit card companies should be paying the retailers.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 01 September 2008 12:44 PM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's certainly not how it works.

Also, the history of the general credit cards is that small retailers were losing sales to big stores which had their own credit cards. That makes a credit card a service to the small owner that justifies a fee. One trick is that there is a lot of pressure on retailers not to discount cash transactions, which would be a rational response (at one level) to the current pricing structure.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 02 September 2008 01:49 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well OK,now that we've ascertained that I'm Andrew Carnegie, here's a great recipe that could call for the use of a panini grill:

Tomato, halloumi, cucumber and mint salad

quote:
200g haloumi, thickly sliced crossways, halved diagonally
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 Lebanese cucumbers, ends trimmed
1 x 250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 x 250g punnet golden grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup small fresh mint leaves
1 tbs balsamic vinegar


Method

Preheat a barbecue grill or chargrill on medium. Lightly brush the haloumi with a little of the oil. Season with pepper. Cook on grill for 1-2 minutes each side or until golden brown and heated through.

Use a vegetable peeler to slice the cucumber lengthways into thin ribbons. Place on a serving platter. Add the haloumi, combined tomato and mint and toss to combine.

Combine the vinegar and remaining oil in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad to serve.


It seems like a weird idea, grilled cheese in a salad, but it tastes pretty good. Aniother good thing about it is that all the vegetables it uses are ready in the garden right now.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 02 September 2008 03:18 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yum, halloumi. (little halloumi on the Prairie)...

As for panini, if I want to make a panino schiacciato or 2, I simply warm up a dry cast-iron frying pan and press a lid from an old Le Creuset casserole (slightly smaller across than frying pan) down on it. Though you don't get the neat browning marks.

The old-fashioned sandwich makers don't work to make Italian (or other vaguely Med-inspired) panini as they are designed to use square, fluffy, sandwich type bread. But you can certainly make a grilled cheese on a panino press.

I try not to have too many gadgets as I have limited counter space and like to keep it useable. But then, I have a range of espressi, halloumi etc within easy walking distance, so it isn't such a need to have them at home.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 02 September 2008 09:06 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, we have no room for anything else in the kitchen, yet we keep getting more things.

One cool cooking implement we got last spring was a tagine, handmade in Fez. Mme. Bong picked it up from a guy who sells imported tagines the last time she went home.

All you do is stir the contents on the stove in a bit in olive oil, then let everything bake in the oven for half an hour or so.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 03 September 2008 05:32 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, I'd love a tagine. But I have a similar earthenware oven dish from Italy (though not the cool shape) so I make tagines in that. Mmm artichokes and fresh peas. The version of that one a friend from Fez (Fassis are famed as cooks) taught me has dead beast in it, but I think a veg one could perhaps include potatoes to round out the other two veg.

I buy frozen artichokes from Egypt, by the way. Don't find any kind here tender enough to eat the whole thing. But of course there are oodles of tagines.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 03 September 2008 06:58 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, it's almost impossible to find veg recipies for tagines. I use frozen tofu once in a while, which works well. I once made one with whatever I had in the garden at the time - onions, baby spuds, green beans, zucchini, carrots and fava beans. Sometimes I throw a few dates or dried apricots in tagines to give them that maghrebian touch.

Funny you should mention artichokes. I never cook with them, but I found a couple of tagine recipes that called for them, so then I started looking for artichokes everywhere I went. There's a long convoluted story here, but the upshot is that whenever I see canned artichokes in the store, we have a bit of a giggle, and the kids roll their eyes.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 03 September 2008 07:19 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I buy the frozen ones in Maghrebi or Middle Eastern shops here. Any in your town?

The artichoke and pea tagine is a Fassi classic, though they usually do it with lamb. I wouldn't suggest using tofu for a vegetarian version - seitan would seem more appropriate, or just not put any more protein in it (sure there is protein in peas, but not as much in green peas as in haricot beans etc). It is seasoned with saffron, of course.

Look up tagine végétarien in French and you'll get quite a few hits.

Remember that winter squash is also lovely in tagines. Broad beans or fresh haricot beans (such as borlotti) are a great vegetable-protein addition.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Digiteyes
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posted 03 September 2008 11:57 AM      Profile for Digiteyes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Favorite new kitchen gadget: immersion blender.
I bought it last summer when I had my last wisdom tooth removed (so I could purée my soups).

I found a recipe over on YouTube that I had to try (hmm... maybe I read about it here first!)... mayonaisse!

Just tried it this morning. So cool. So tasty, and no transfats and I'm not supporting big conglomerates that make mayo out of goodness knows what.

Now I want to figure out what else I can use my immersion blender for :-D


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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