Saturday, June 30, 2007

My Frying Pan (including recipe)

After fifteen years of intensive use, the handle of the solid stainless steel frying pan my mom once bought me, broke off. And if she had to buy it to me, it means I couldn't afford it so these things must be expensive. Then not much later I found this very nice piece.

At the time, I wasn't even as much an active curb shopper as I am now. I just went on an errand in the morning and saw it. As I didn't want to go in the shop with a slightly dirty pan in my bag, I left it and went quickly on my way, hoping it would be still there when I returned. It was and after a thorough but quick cleaning job it looked as shiny as on this picture. I've had it for years now and it seems it's going to last a lifetime. I love the smooth surface of it (my old one had a grid-pattern on the bottom), and for me it cooks as great as a teflon-pan - shitty things you have to replace every two years. By the way the kettle is also a curb find. The cooker is a second-hand which I bought over fifteen years ago, when it must have been at least twenty years old already. The fun is I replaced many broken or missing parts of it with street finds (easy because it's a standard model that was mass-produced in the sixties and seventies).
Now to make this post a bit more crafty, here's one of my favourite recipes I cook in that pan. Completely in the spirit of my blog, it's a tasteful way to finish up old bread. More or less my personal variation on French toast (but with an Italian touch), but I call it a bread-omelette.

You need:
Olive oil (margerine, butter or another oil is ok, but for me the Italian taste the olive oil gives in combination with the tomato and garlic, is what makes this recipe really work for me), two eggs (three if they are very small), 1 tomato, 1 fairly large clove of garlic (or more if you like), herbs (chives, persil, pizza-mix, or whatever you think would be nice), salt and pepper and of course, two slices of stale bread (the heels are also fine).

Cut the bread in cubes of about half an inch, cut up or press the garlic, cut the tomato in very small parts (important because it has to 'integrate' in the mix - I slice the tomato in two directions as if it were an onion), and mix everything up with the eggs in a bowl. Stir firmly. The bread has to suck up all the egg and it's ok if it starts to crumb. In fact, the more the better, because then it will stick together better. (You can add milk here, as all French toast and omelette recipes prescribe, but I don't like milk and I think that's exactly what makes such egg recipes so heavy. Just try it my way one time and then decide for yourself.) Add the seasoning. Heat up the oil in your casserole or frying pan, then turn down the heat. Add your mixture and spread it out as if it were a pancake. Not really neccessary but it helps: cover the pan with a lid if you have one that fits. Now leave it for 10-15 minutes (still on the lowest heat). Then turn the omelette (for that I cut it in halves) and bake for another five minutes.

Served on one of my late grandma's large plates (1920's or 1930's). It's a complete lunch for one, but makes up to four portions if served with other food. Bon appetit!

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