03/7/09

Kitchen Gadgetry

I have a love/hate relationship with kitchen gadgets. I love finding great tools (big or small) with a perfect purpose in mind just for them. I enjoy receiving them and giving them as gifts. However, I hate storing them. I hate remembering, too late, that I had the perfect tool for something that I had to struggle through on my own.

In my recent recipe investigations, many of the recipes I wanted to try required the use of a food processor. So, after much research and debate, I bought a food processor (which actually was a great gift from my mother-in-law). So, as I picked out two new recipes to try, I made sure one of them required my new food processor, henceforth referred to as “Little Red.”
First, I made Tuna Pan Bagnet (Cooking Light) for lunch. Made with tuna, lemon juice, olives, red onion, fresh basil and tomatoes, it was a light, fresh sandwich full of flavor. I would make it again, especially for one of my book club luncheons. What makes this sandwich interesting is that after you put the filling inside the bread, you wrap it in plastic wrap. Then, you let it sit for about 20 minutes so the flavorful liquid seeps into the bread, hence the name pan bagnat – which means “bathed in bread” in French.
A great accompaniment to this sandwich would be my second new recipe of the weekend – Lemony Hummus with Spicy Whole-Wheat Pita Chips (Cooking Light). This was Little Red’s first tentative step in the Uden household and it performed wonderfully. I have never made hummus before and I still cannot believe how little time and effort it took with the basic ingredients (lemon juice, spices, garlic, and chickpeas) and my magnificent new food processor.The result was a delicious hummus with just enough heat from the pita chips to make it interesting! I would make this dish again in a minute – which I might need to since I started eating it as soon as this picture was taken…I hope there will be some left for Stacy! This would be a great appetizer to take to a party. One thing – be sure to buy pitas that are easy to slice horizontally, otherwise you make a mess of everything.
Speaking of gadgets, last week I bought my first grapefruit spoon. A couple of years ago, a friend told me I was too young to buy a grapefruit spoon, but I think I am old enough now. Of course, when I was at grocery store I saw that Florida Department of Citrus is currently offering a deal where you can get free grapefruit spoons (with purchase of grapefruit). This is the season for citrus, so sign me up! More gadgets!