Long before I moved into my latest apartment, I had been living with an electric stove. It was the first apartment I’d ever had, and I didn’t know that I would soon be wishing for a gas stove. Why? Well, as I started to enjoy cooking, I also began to find myself transfixed by the Food Network. With no actual TV I was forced to stare at the computer screen and I had to specifically choose which shows to watch. Ted introduced me to the show Chopped, and there I saw for the first time: A cast iron grill pan. It fit over two gas burners and it enabled the chefs to grill indoors. I wanted! I needed! But, alas, I could not, for I did not have a gas stove. Oh well, such is life. Then, this past October we moved into a new apartment, and it came with a brand new gas stove. Oh joy! Finally I was able get my magical indoor grill! For months I agonized over the purchase. Every trip to the cooking store undoubtedly left me gazing longingly at the heavy iron pans. I carefully picked them up, turned them over, compared prices, and thought to myself: is it worth the money? Yes, yes it is.
I am not a professional. I did not know which one to get. I don’t remember which one I did get. What do I know then? I know that tongs are essential, as is cooking spray. I opted for my grocery store’s organic cooking spray (why organic? I will soon add a blog about why I choose certain organic things). The pan gets really warm, make sure that you do not touch it, if you are really scared of the heat then get out of the kitchen! (just kidding) get a good oven mitt.
Another important tip for apartment dwellers, is open your windows! Cooking on a grill pan can get a little smokey, you do not want your fire alarm going off!
So here I am. My new love and I at last! What to cook? First I try some veggies. You can’t really go wrong, as long as they are warm it will all be ok. Meat is a different story, you don’t want to undercook or cross contaminate.
Here is the best thing I came up with my first night with the grill pan:
Grilled Thyme and Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms
These would be great as the veggies for your dinner, or as appetizers for a littler dinner party. If you make them, let me know what you thought, what you changed, of if something didn’t work for you.
What you need:
- one package of “baby bella” whole mushrooms
- bunch of fresh thyme
- a head of garlic
- olive oil
- crushed red pepper (optional)
- Spray down your grill pan with cooking spray
- Wash your mushrooms and take the stems out so that there is hole in which to add stuffing
- Chop stems very finely
- Turn both burners on to medium heat
- In a bowl combine 4-5 cloves of crushed garlic, 1/4 cup of fresh thyme, teaspoon of ground sea-salt, chopped mushroom stems, teaspoon of crushed red pepper (optional), 1/2 cup olive oil
- Dip mushrooms (one at a time) into bowl to make sure they get an even coat oil and salt
- Stuff each mushroom with the garlic and thyme from the bowl (make sure that it is packed very tightly)
- Put the mushrooms hole side down on the grill pan, let sit for about 30 seconds to one minute
- Flip over and cook the rounded side for about two minutes