Engineering and Cooking. Part 2

I had some higher priority projects require my attention, so it wasn’t until last night that I tried using a dutch oven as a panini press.

It works.  I had to fill the dutch oven with about 3 quarts (3 liters) of water to get both sandwiches compressed.   If you cook only one at a time, less water would be needed for “squash duty”.

My wife liked it.

What I did:  I put four slices of my homemade sourdough bread on the counter and lightly brushed the top side of each slice with olive oil.  I flipped the bread over and spread a thick coat of thousand island salad dressing on each slice of bread.  Then on each slice of bread, I added, in order, a thin slice of Swiss cheese, a couple of thin slices of turkey, a piece of cooked bacon that had been broken in half and a leaf of spinach.  I then put  the bread slices together to make two sandwiches.

To cook them, I put the sandwiches into a skillet that had been heating over medium heat and placed the dutch oven on top of the sandwiches.   I cooked each side for about 5 minutes.




Engineering and Cooking

Tomorrow, I’m going to find out if a skillet and a dutch oven can be combined to make a panini press.   I’m going to try cooking the panini in the skillet while using the dutch oven, maybe with some water in it, to replace the press.

Unless I find something more interesting, the recipe will use some of my home made sourdough bread, thousand island salad dressing, thin sliced turkey and swiss cheese.

Plett, Part 2

I made the Swedish pancakes yesterday.  They were good and my family hopes I make them again.  The pictures I took aren’t that great, but it’s all I have. When I’m working in the kitchen I don’t like grabbing the big (full frame) digital camera with potentially sticky hands, so I content myself with cell phone camera pictures.



I had the pan too hot for the batch pictured here.  After I lowered the stove temperature and the pan cooled down, the little pancakes took on a light almost tan color.  With the scorching gone, the “ice cream” flavor became very noticeable.

The recipe mentions lingonberry sauce as a topping.  I had never even heard of that before and, obviously, I didn’t have any.  While the recipe also mentioned maple syrup, I decided to try strawberry jam.

I’m glad I tried the strawberry jam–it goes well with the ice cream flavor..

Plett Pan

As I was walking to go check for mail in the mail box, I stopped at a neighbor’s garage sale and noticed an interesting cast iron pan.  It was about 10 inches wide with seven 1/4 inch deep and three inch wide, circular depressions in it.  The neighbor called it plett pan and since he wanted only $1 for it, I bought it.

Internet search engine results for “plett pan” took me to here, which even has a helpful recipe for me to try.   From the site, it appears it’s a pan for making Sweedish pancakes.

Sourdough Waffles

Today was one of the sourdough feeding days.  Instead of drying the starter out to save it, I keep it in the refrigerator and feed (or use and replenish) the starter a couple of times a week.  But before I can feed it, I have to let it warm up on the kitchen counter for a couple of hours.

Our daughter noticed the starter out on the counter and asked if I could make sourdough waffles tomorrow.  She had even picked out a recipe at  King Arthur Flour sourdough waffle   for me and got the strawberries at the store.  It is not possible for me to say no to sourdough waffles (or pancakes).

The sourdough sponge is in a bowl–waiting until tomorrow morning and so is the old Griswold cast iron waffle iron.

A New Breakfast–Simple Too

If you haven’t figured it out, this engineer (me) loves to cook and has a long history with very old family heirloom cast iron cookware.

Yesterday my mom was  some receiving some medical tests and while she was away with the medical technicians, I entertained myself by reading through wordpress posts with the “cast iron” tag.

That’s how I came to find Andrew’s Fit Foods ( recipe for Tuscan Potatoes and eggs.

After I took my mom home, I went to the store to get fresh fennel and prepared Andrew’s recipe this morning.  I grow yellow pear tomatoes in a large pot that I can move inside when it gets too hot or too cold outside, so I substituted those for the cherry tomatoes.

I thought it would make a good presentation to serve my wife and daughter with their own skillets, so I used fajita skillets in their wood “cradles” and served the eggs atop the potatoes.

This is definitely going into my “little red notebook” of recipes.

I use an old Hermes Ambassador (manual) typewriter to type the recipes onto heavy acid free archival bond paper.  I’ve dealt with enough almost 100 year old engineering reports typed on good paper and enough 30 year old engineering reports on 8 inch floppy disks created with WordStar on a CP/M computer  — and it’s obvious to me that a typewriter and good paper totally outperforms computers for low volume storage applications.  So, I’m off to uncover the old typewriter and start typing.