I spend a lot of time in Shoprite. I walk the aisles at least once a week, I know when the fresh produce is delivered and I can know not only in which aisle almost anything is located, but on which shelf. I’m not bragging or anything, but sometimes I feel like I should give supermarket tours.
The baking aisle is my favorite and not only because that’s where the pareve chocolate chips live. I enjoy walking down that particular aisle as it may as well be renamed the Corridor-of-Small-and-Useless-Kitchen-Items. I love to browse, but does anyone really need a dedicated watermelon knife? A flavor injector? A 3-egg microwave cooker? And honestly, if I did need these very specific kitchen items, I’d buy them from the As-Seen-On-TV channel – that way I’d be sure to get a second one for free, after shipping and handling, of course. Because if one useless small kitchen item is good, two is obviously way better.
There is, however, one small item that I always felt the need to stop and look at: a mini-frying pan, and not just because it was cute. Like most families, time is a premium in the mornings and I was drawn to the idea of pre-making mini egg omelettes. My children enjoy eating eggs, and I just don’t have those few extra minutes in the morning to start fussing with cracking eggs and scrambling them. But pre-made eggs? That sounded like something one might find in an airline meal. Can cooked eggs really freeze well? I could not imagine that they would, but a quick Google search said they do.
Okay then. Two mini-frying pans into my shopping cart.
Two months later – because that’s how long the estimated-waiting-to-be-toiveled-time is in our house – I got to work. Several batches of egg sandwiches later, we had a winner. Now I cook these in large quantities (the recipe yields 24 sandwiches, and I often double it) and while we do not eat them every morning, they do come in very handy – and are very delicious.
I also use these frying pans to make mini pancakes. The smaller size (theoretically) means less mess when the kids eat these pancakes in the car.
Salt and pepper
2 small onions, chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 cup shredded cheese
24 slices of mozzarella (or American) cheese
24 English muffins
Optional add-in ideas: frozen cooked spinach, diced tomatoes, chopped olives, small pieces of lox or salmon.
Special equipment: one (or more) mini frying pans
In a large bowl, whisk all 18 eggs, plus salt, garlic powder and pepper to suit your taste and set aside.
Heat several teaspoons of olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Add the onion, and once they start to cook down, add the mushrooms (and/or any other vegetables you enjoy). Cover the frying pan and let the vegetables cook until soft, stirring every minute or so to prevent them from burning.
Once the vegetables are cooked through, allow them to cool, and then add the vegetables to the egg mixture. Stir them together and pour in the shredded cheese. Mix all the ingredients gently, until just mixed.
Heat a small amount of oil in each frying pan (I use two mini-frying pans with this recipe to cut the time in half). Using a 3-ounce cup (6 tablespoons), pour the egg mixture into each frying pan. Don’t worry about exact measurements – some omelettes may turn out smaller and some larger, it’s all good.
Allow the egg to cook until firm on the bottom, and then flip the omelettes over to the other side. Once both sides are cooked through, remove the omelette from the pan and place it on a prepared plate or baking sheet to cool. Continue with the rest of the egg mixture until you have 24 omelettes. Any extra egg can be cooked and stored as leftovers in the fridge. Or just eat it standing at the stove, that’s what I do. Batch cooking is hard work.
Clear a large space on the counter and slice open the 24 English muffins. Place one omelette and one slice of cheese on each of the 24 muffin bottoms. Cover each stack with the top of an English muffin.
Wrap each sandwich in parchment paper and then in foil. Place all the sandwiches in freezer bags (you will need several) and freeze until needed.
Take the sandwiches out of the freezer the night before and allow them to defrost in the fridge. Warm them in the oven or toaster in the morning.
Or, place the still-frozen sandwiches straight into a preheated 350°F oven for twenty minutes.
4 cups of flour (whole wheat, white, whatever)
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar or honey
½ cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
1 ½ cup of almond or regular milk
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix slowly, being careful not to overmix the batter. It’s okay if the batter is still a little lumpy – as long as the flour is mostly mixed in, the pancakes will be fine.
Heat all the mini-frying pans you own, melting a small amount of coconut oil in each pan over a low flame. Using a 3-ounce cup, pour the batter into frying pan(s). When several bubbles start to appear on the surface of the pancake, carefully flip it over and fry it for barely another minute on the second side. Once done, remove the pancake from the pan and allow it to cool on a baking sheet or cooling rack until completely cooled.
Freeze the pancakes by flash freezing them. To do this, place the pancakes in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the sheet (uncovered) in the freezer for twenty minutes or until the pancakes are frozen. Once the pancakes are frozen, stack them in a freezer bag, squeeze out all the air and store in the freezer. The flash freezing works because each pancake is frozen individually. Had we frozen the pancakes in a stack, they would have frozen to each other and it would have been nearly impossible to just defrost anything less than all the pancakes at once. With flash freezing, it’s easy to grab the number you need while keeping the rest of the pancakes frozen for later.
Defrost these by warming them for a few minutes in a toaster oven. They are delicious all by themselves, but are even better with butter, jelly (although that’s messy for a car breakfast), or with cream cheese and sliced strawberries sandwiched between two pancakes.