**Please note: To see the photos contained within a post, you must click on the title of the post to open it separately. Why? I don't know. I just know that it needs to be done to see the pics. :)
Wow. Linda and I were fortunate to pick up hundreds of pieces of cast iron kitchen ware on our journey last weekend. We purchased many pristine and exciting pieces from collectors, pieces that need some TLC, pieces that just need a scrub and a seasoning, and on and on. This inventory we picked up is very heavy on Griswold, along with some Wagner, Favorite, and others.
Linda will be working hard at first-stage cleaning, and I will be working hard on electrolysis and photographing and listing and packing in the next few weeks so that we can get much of the inventory to the site as soon as possible. In addition to that inventory, we still have about 100 pieces in queue to clean. We’ll be doing some rearranging in the queue to get some of the more scarce and rare pieces on the site as soon as we can, along with some of the pieces for which we had run out of stock.
Here’s a little preview of some of what we picked up, just to pique your interest!RARE Erie Spider Skillet, no. 8. I have never had an Erie Spider, had never held one and now have my very own! It pretty much rode home on my lap – I didn’t want to let it out of my sight! RARE Minty Griswold #13 large block logo skillet with heat ring Wagner stylized logo #13 skillet SIX #14 skillets including gorgeous Griswold #14 large block logos with heat ring, pristine SCARCE Griswold #14 slant logo EPU with heat ring, and Favorite Piqua Ware #14 smiley logo skillet with heat ring SIX #12 skillets including Griswold large block logos Beautiful HUGE SCARCE Griswold #20 large block logo EPU with heat ring skillet (the biggest skillet Griswold made) Many Griswold 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 skillets in all logos and bottoms. Iron Mountain pans (some of my favorites!) in all kinds of sizes Double skillets Hinged skillets Hammered pieces Two SCARCE Griswold #2 skillets Many Griswold round and long griddles of all sizes including some just perfect for stovetop cooking! SCARCE cool old rectangular Griswold waffle iron #0 Variety of Griswold and Wagner #4 skillets Dutch ovens and chicken pans with lids Griswold Heart and Star waffle irons with bases Griswold Colonial breakfast skillet Lots of other miscellaneous pieces – ashtrays, citrus squeezer, Wagner gem pans, lids, and much much more.
We are very excited to share these fabulous finds with you in the next few weeks and months. Watch the “new products” box on the right of the store page to see the newest products as they are listed; and check back often, as we’ll be listing in chunks as pieces are prepared.
Hope you enjoy viewing our new inventory as much as we enjoy sourcing and preparing each piece for its new home…with you, perhaps?
I decided I needed to get myself a mandolin. The mandolin is one of those contraptions that I see every year at the Minnesota State Fair, where hawkers tout them as miracle machines that slice, dice, and do everything in-between. I had read a recipe for thin-sliced potatoes roasted in a cast iron skillet, and so I set out to create a version using ingredients I love.
Wow, were they good!
What you need:Mandolin (mine is a Börner V5 PowerLine). I also have a mesh glove that I used so as to avoid slicing my fingers to bits. The blades on the mandolin are insanely sharp. I cut my finger just removing the mandolin from its box; imagine the damage I could do while actually using the mandolin! Cast Iron Skillet (mine is the one in the photos – it is a Griswold #8 slant logo EPU with heat ring) Baking potatoes (I used 3 large for my #8 skillet. I could probably have fit 4 in the #8) Shallot 5-6 garlic cloves Olive oil for drizzling (you could also dot with butter, which would be delicious) Freshly ground salt and pepper
What you do:
Preparation is a snap (unless, of course, you are trying to video and photograph everything, in which case it is not. Especially if, after spending hours setting up and doing video of the entire process, you discover that you do not really know how to use the video feature on your new camera. Not that I’d know anything about that).Preheat oven to 450°. Scrub your potatoes. Slice them up on the mandolin – easy! I used a “thin” setting – my mandolin has 4 settings and this was the second-to-thinnest. I wanted crispy potatoes. You could, of course, have thicker slices if you prefer. Arrange the potatoes in your skillet. As my skillet is well-cared-for and properly-seasoned, I did not need to use any oil prior to putting the potatoes in the pan. If you wish, you could spray Pam onto your pan before placing the potatoes. Slice up your shallot and arrange the pieces between slices. You could also use onion if you like. Smash and peel as many garlic cloves as you want. I like garlic, so I used a lot. Chop coarsely and place the garlic amongst the slices. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes. I “drizzled” more than I intended, but it worked just fine. Dotting with butter would be awesome. I adore butter, but it does not adore me, so I went without. Salt and pepper to your taste. You could also add whatever seasonings you prefer – Italian seasoning would be good, as would garlic salt, oregano, thyme, and/or rosemary. Let your imagination run spice-wild! Pop into oven and roast for 60 minutes. Watch the potatoes and pull them out when they are to your liking. Your cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your slices. (Again, the wonders of cast iron – usually my #8 skillet sits on my cooktop and is used there; today it was used in the oven. I love that). If you do not want your potatoes and onions to have crispy edges, you can cover the pan with foil during all or part of the cook time.
I ate the potatoes without additional toppings, but you could make all sorts of variations. You could add cheese to the top in the last few minutes of cooking (parmesan would be excellent, cheddar would also be good), top with butter, sour cream, or whatever else you like on your potatoes. I try to cut out fat where possible, so I did not give any of those a try, but I am sure they would be delicious. You could also add thin-sliced carrots to the potatoes, or lightly cooked bacon bits. You could load these potatoes with all kinds of goodies!
After I was done feasting on potatoes, I cleaned my pan. As always, while the pan was still wam (not hot), I added water and gave it a scrub with our chain mail scrubber (I also often use stainless steel scrubbie balls). Dried it with paper towels, sprayed with Pam. Voila! Ready for its next use!
I was looking at the article in “Taste of the South” the other day, and it commented on the notes that clients of The Pan Handler send me. It said that it really seemed that the clients felt a connection with The Pan Handler. I hope that’s true. Along with fabulous product, I do try to provide prompt, courteous and professional, great service.
Tonight I got a note from Debbie S, who purchased a kettle from me earlier in the week. Here is her note: “Got my kettle pot today!!! O…M….G…..it is gorgeous!!! I mean really gorgeous!!! Thank you so much! I love it….using it tonite!!!” She also sent me a pic of the kettle making some awesome-looking bean soup – that’s the photo featured in this post. I love all the superlatives! And Lori F. sent me a note tonight that was entitled “The Love of My Pan.”
How lucky am I to have such great clients? I have never asked anyone to write anything for me, have never asked anyone to send me an email about their piece, and I always ask before I use a “testimonial.” I just am darn fortunate to have a clientele that LOVES their pans, appreciates the history of the piece, and lets me know how happy they are.
Thank you, fab clients. I am so appreciative that you are appreciative! You are an awesome group.
Send me pics of your The Pan Handler pans in action, please…I’d love to add them to this post!
Delish. Scrambled eggs and leftover steak prepared this morning in my Griswold Iron Mountain number 5 skillet.
I am often asked what cast iron pieces I use most often. Admittedly, I am more of a “cooker” than a “baker;” I am only an occasional baker. I cook most often for one or two people (and a delightful Maltese dog). Because I cook more often than bake, my baking pans get less rotation than do my trusty cooking pans.
As I take good care of my pans and they have been properly cleaned and seasoned, they are virtually non-stick.
My favorite and most used pieces:My trusty Griswold Iron Mountain chicken pan with lid (if you read my blog, this doesn’t surprise you one bit), The chicken pan goes from range to oven and does double duty for me as Dutch oven, fryer, soup, stew, and casserole pan. My Griswold slant logo EPU with heat ring number 8 skillet (the Iron Mountain lid for the chicken pan also fits my number 8 skillet). Of course, I do also do some baking in the pan; cornbread, cakes, tarts and pizza, and the famous chocolate chip cookie baked in cast iron skillet. If you typically cook for more than one or two people, you might consider a larger pan such as a 9 or 10. For me, the 8 works great. The 8 is also a “typical” first vintage cast iron purchase; it is a very versatile size. My trusty Griswold Iron Mountain number 5 pan. This pan does duty just about every day for breakfast (today was a feast!) I also use this pan when I’m making just one chicken breast or burger, to toast nuts, and for many other small jobs. I would use a number 5 and 6 pretty much interchangeably; it just happens that I use the 5 most often.
Of course, I also always use my panhandlers. I use my panhandlers all the time; taking them off only when cleaning or cooking in the oven. Annamarie does a fabulous job making these for us!
I love these three pans, and they are constantly in use. As you can see, I cook on a flat-top cooktop. Pans with heat rings work just fine on my cooktop.
I have found that my pans are easiest to clean while still warm. If I feel like I need to use a drop or two of dishwashing soap, I do (this incites consternation from some folks,). I make sure that the pan is free from all food debris. Dry with a paper towel, spritz on some Pam and wipe the cooking surface, and voila. The pan is ready to go for the next meal!
I know that authentic Vietnamese Beef Pho soup calls for a slurpy tasty broth that takes hours to make, simmering bones and cooling and de-fatting. I had no time for that. I needed Pho, and I needed it now.
A search on the internet found a recipe from The Splendid Table, that was geared toward Pho soup stock cheaters like me. I based my soup on that recipe, and with slight adaptations, here it is!
For my recipe, you’ll need:Around 10 ounces top round steak About 8 ounces dried linguini-style rice noodles (I used Thai Kitchen noodles) 1 medium onion, sliced thin About a 3″ hunk of fresh ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 7 whole cloves 1/2 t. anise seed (I found my anise seed in the Hispanic food area of my supermarket – they didn’t have it in the spice aisle) Freshly ground black pepper 2 32-ounce boxes of chicken broth (I used Swanson’s – both Cooks Illustrated and I like Swanson’s!) 2 T sugar 2 t Asian Fish sauce (I used “Squid” brand, which I found in the Asian food section of my supermarket).
You’ll also need accoutrements for your soup. You can pretty much add whatever you wish, such as basil or coriander, thinly sliced bean sprouts, Hoisin sauce, Siriachi sauce, or limes. I used:About a cup of fresh bean sprouts About a cup of fresh baby spinach (I felt like I needed some greens since I was sick!) Wedge of freshly-cut lime Siriachi sauce. Start by putting your beef in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes while you work on preparing the ingredients for the soup. Slightly frozen meat is much easier to thinly slice, and you want thin slices! Put your top oven rack 4-6″ away from the broiler in your oven. Pre-heat the broiler. Thinly slice your onion, and put it along with the thinly sliced ginger and garlic in your handy-dandy versatile chicken pan. Add the anise and cloves. Give your pepper grinder a few grinds over all of it. Broil the contents of your chicken pan in the oven. Give it a stir about every 5 minutes. After about 15 minutes, you will see your onions begin to brown on the edges. That’s when the pan is ready to come out of the oven! Remove the chicken pan, but be careful. Your chicken pan will be screaming hot! Add the two boxes of Swanson’s chicken broth to your chicken pan, along with the sugar and fish sauce. Give it a stir. Cover the chicken pot and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, get your beef out of the freezer, and thinly slice it on the diagonal. Also, take your rice noodles and plop them into a bowl and cover the noodles with very hot tap water. Place a cover on the bowl to keep the water hot. You will want to let your noodles soak for about 15 minutes, or until they are al denté. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Place the desired amount of noodles into a soup bowl. I am a noodle girl, so I used a lot of them. 🙂 Place your thinly sliced beef into the broth in the chicken pan. [Note – the Splendid Table simply placed the raw beef on top of the noodles and poured the broth over. I do not care for rare beef, so I cooked the slices in the broth before serving. You can do this whichever way you prefer]. Continue to simmer the broth until the beef is cooked to your liking. Prepare your accoutrements and place them on the table in a bowl or on a plate. Ladle the broth and beef over the noodles. Add whatever accoutrements you prefer – I used spinach and bean sprouts. A squirt of Siriachi and fresh lime juice over the top and voila! Cheater’s Pho!
Utter deliciousness. And I think it cured my cold, too!