I don’t know how it happened, but I have six fashion designer friends and all of them are creative cooks. They were always experimenting by testing out unique ingredients in recipes. Not me. I struggled with the basics. I thought to myself: I am creative so why don’t I like to cook?
You can guess by now, I had acquired superb taste in eating top notch meals with no ability in creating that same excellence. One day, as I was about to try to make my first lasagna, I cried out to God, “I don’t even like lasagna and I don’t know how to cook!” God replied, “You will be a good cook. Start with three things that you really want to try.” And then he added, “Take that magnet off your fridge that says, ‘Just say no to cooking.’”
So I chose crepes, paninis and stir fry.
For some anointed reason the crepes turned out perfect and they always have. My gourmet cook friend could never get them so thin and delicate while using a Teflon pan. I guess I had the angelic touch…hmmm, help from above.
However, things did not go well with the stir fry. Not well at all. It was a good thing my boss gave me a gift card to Target to buy a wok so I didn’t waste the money. On my first try, I burned the wok. I grieved! It even took me awhile to find the right sauce - like the kind they have at fancy restaurants. Thankfully, the Trader Joe’s guy saw me starring for about an hour in the stir fry sauce section and told me his trick. He said, “Get yourself some Soyaki sauce and put in a dab of toasted sesame seed oil for a bit of a kick.” Sure enough I found my dream stir fry sauce. With the heat adjusted to a much lower level, I was able to throw in some chopped baby bok choy and chicken. It was better than the restaurants – if I do say so myself.
My designer friends suggested that I take the freebie classes through Williams Somona. That’s where I got my famous pepperjack and asparagus panini recipe. Fortunately, there was one cook that gave me hope along with a good laugh. He called himself the lazy cook. He taught us all kinds of time-saving tips. While making baking powder biscuits, he said, “You don’t need to care about presentation. Skip the cookie cutter and just plot the dough from your spoon.” I would gasp and think, “My hero!”
He was great, even though we had to be the ones to watch the clock. He had no talent for multi-tasking and so we all had to remind him so he wouldn’t burn the other dishes. But that was part of the show, and he always had a big crowd even though the other teachers were much better.
In time I learned the deep and hidden secrets of being a gourmet panini chef. I am sharing them with you today, so I hope you feel a sense of awe.
Essentially, a panini is a glorified grilled cheese that is smashed. So, it’s not all that glamorous to be the panini queen, but I’ll take the flowers, crown and sash - if you please.
There are key three essentials:
1) Soft French bread cut lengthwise - not the hard kind or any dark breads
2) Melty cheese like mozerella, provolone, gouda, and fontinas; but you can mix them with the not-so-melty kind.
3) Olive oil works better than butter.
*Here’s the bonus tip if you are making my famous asparagus pepper jack recipe. The little grooves in the panini maker are a great place to stick the sprigs until they are soft. You don’t want harsh veggies.
*Also, when gathering options for a group, I stop at a salad bar and grab already diced meat and chopped veggies.
Yep, all my friends call me Panini Pam. I don’t take the title lightly. Every so often at a large group gathering, I’ll heat up that p-grill and show ’em my specialty. At those times I can almost sense my dad (in heaven) hovering over my shoulder gushing with pride.It’s been many years since my trepid beginnings. I have since moved on from the stove top to the oven but not quite the crock pot. I learned that brushing meat with olive oil keeps it tender, and herbs and spices are the answer to blah-ville Scandinavian dishes
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR, LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
Read more articles by Honey Stone or search for other articles by topic below.
Main Site Articles
Most Read Articles
Highly Acclaimed Challenge Articles.
New Release Christian Books for Free for a Simple Review.
NEW - Surprise Me With an Article - Click here for a random URL
God is Not Against You - He Came on an All Out Rescue Mission to Save You
...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
LEARN & TRUST JESUS HERE
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.