Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Griddle me this...

There are some tools in the kitchen that every cook claims they can't live without.  In truth, there are necessities, nice-to-haves, and other things that are downright ridiculous and unneeded.  My griddle is somewhere between a nice to have and a necessity.  Technically, yes, I could live without the griddle, but oh the things I use if for!  The list is not short.

You can make an entire Sunday-sized breakfast on one griddle: eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes or french toast.  It's like having your own little diner in your kitchen with only one thing to clean afterward (oh, did I mention it is dishwasher safe???).  I have used this many a time, especially on Christmas morning when we have 10-12 people for breakfast.  Yes, you do become a short-order cook, but it's actually pretty fast and easy and impressive for your guests.

You want to make more than breakfast, you say?  Well, if it's the middle of winter and you want a great steak or burger, but you don't want to wear a winter coat and gloves to grill (for those who actually have a winter, anyway), go ahead - throw a steak on the griddle or burgers or hot dogs.  Have a picnic indoors while it snows outside.  You have so much room to cook, you can toss on some onions or mushrooms to cook alongside the meat for delicious "grilled" toppings for your steak or burger.  Great to make sliders for a crowd, too (which I did one New Year's Eve).

You say you like Mexican and want something easy and fast for dinner?  Fajitas!  Cook your peppers and onions on one side, meat of choice on the other.  I turn off the griddle and let people serve themselves right from there - it is like your own sizzling fajita station.  Heck, you could even set the thing up in the middle of your kitchen table and serve it from there.

The list of things I make on the griddle goes on and on.  It's great.  I have seared enough delicious scallops at once to serve at least four people.  You can make a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches or just a couple.  One of my favorites is making chicken gyros - cook the chicken, wipe it down and I cook an Indian Naan bread instead of the traditional pita bread.  I have used it when making a giant batch of spaghetti sauce to cook over 40 meatballs, italian sausage, chicken and even searing braciole all before they simmer away in the sauce for hours.

My griddle is well-loved and the second one I have purchased.  This one is probably 6 years old by now.  It is starting to show it's age and as with anything we love, I hate to think of trying to find a replacement that works as well.  My current griddle is an electric Hamilton-Beach.  It is the same brand as my original griddle that lasted about as long.  I will begrudgingly begin my search for the next one, knowing that I don't want to live without a griddle and needing to find the next one that will make many, many more delicious meals.

No comments:

Post a Comment