Friday, July 6, 2007

Jamaican Jaffle Recipe

Found a wonderfully refreshing pie iron recipe today from the British tv show, Great Food Live on the UKtv Food network.

The recipe is for Jamaican baked bean and sausage toasted sandwiches.

What at first seems like a simple baked beans on toast a la pie iron (or in this case, the jaffle) adds a delightful twist with the addition of a cracked egg in the center. Keeping flavors distinct, Chef Emma Sharp presents two variations on the jaffles. One with baked beans as the primary ingredient and one with a jar of vienna sausages. Served with a little mango habanero hot sauce and I think she's got a delicious savory summer dish.

Links -
UKtv Food
Great Food Live
Jaffle Toasted Sandwich Recipe

Monday, July 2, 2007

Cooking Contest & the Birth of the Pie Iron Man!

Here at Rome central, we love to hear about the fun people have using our pie irons. Last year I began corresponding with a group of campers from southern Wisconsin who were going to hold a Pie Iron cooking contest during their annual campout. Wow did they get into it. Going as far as creating a Pie Iron superhero! I'll let the ringleader of the group, Kathy explain futher -

We have a group of campers that get together every August for the Persied Meteor Showers. We call ourselves S.P.A.M. - Special People Admiring Meteors. Meteor watching at night, cooking contests during the day!

2006 was the year of PIE IRON MAN! Inspired by Rome Pie Irons, of course. We even had shirts made up with our favorite Rome Super Hero on it! There were 12 contestants and 3 very lucky judges. Campers made a variety of pies using everything from tortillas to doughnuts and fillings of pineapple to shrimp. Our judges tell us they were delicious. Our champions, Kurt and Liz won a fabulous trophy and other useless prizes. But their big award was bragging rights for eternity!!

First Prize: Pie Iron Pizza Pockets by Kurt & Liz K of Burlington, WI
Flour Tortillas
Sliced Pepperoni
Ground Italian Sausage
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Italian Seasoning

For the Sauce:
Your favorite Marinara or Pizza Sauce
Italian Seasoning
Dash of Worchester Sauce
Dash of hearty Red Wine
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper

Add wine, Worchester, and seasonings to taste to the sauce and cook down to the consistency of tomato paste. Brown the Italian sausage and pepperoni slices, drain on paper towels. Lightly butter insides of pie iron. Place tortilla in bottom half of iron. Spread 2 Tablespoons sauce on tortilla. Add a layer of sausage, pepperoni, and cheese. Cover with additional sauce. Place second tortilla over the top, close the iron and trim off the excess. Brown the pie evenly on both sides. Remove from iron and let rest a couple of minutes. Cut into wedges and top with additional cheese and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning. Use any leftover sauce for dipping.

Marinade chef with any leftover wine.

2nd place: Caramel Apple Pudgy Pie by Stephanie D of Brookfield, WI:
2 slices of cinnamon bread
4 caramels
3 tbsp. apple filling
2 tbsp. butter

Unwrap the caramels. Butter the hot pie iron and the bread. Put one slice of bread butter side down on the pie iron. Scoop the pie filling onto the bread. Evenly space the caramels on the pie filling. Add the top piece of bread butter side up and close the pie iron. Toast the pie in campfire hot coals until the bread is golden brown, and the caramel is melted. Now make 10 more, because everyone wants one!

Third place: Ummmmm - Shrimp Pie by Doug J of Palmyra, WI
1/4c. cooked shrimps
4 cloves of roasted garlic
2 T. alfredo pasta sauce
Put in between two tortillas and slow roast in hot coals.

The Judges

The classic Wisconsin Beer Tap Trophy

I have a pie iron and I know how to use it!

Kathy I hope the casting wasn't hot when you put your hand that close

Kit pulls out his antique toas-tite

The battle's on!

Pies waiting to be tested by the judges

foccacia with a dash of culinary art garnish

Our 1st place winners - Kurt & Liz

2nd place - Caramel Apple Pudgy Pie

Doug comes in 3rd place for Ummmmmm - Shirmp Pie

Check out the Apron!


Smokehouse Pies

The Toas-tite was an early brand of sandwich cooker that was popular in the 40s and 50s. Round in design, the cooker had ridges which gave it a UFO look to the sandwich and was quite in keeping with mid-century modern design.

photo of a an original toas-tite circa 1940s (credit mere.mortal) has a fun story about Toas-tites here.

On a related note, I recently I received a letter from John in Groveville New Jersey who told me about growing up eating the tasty pies that his grandma would cook in her "Toast-rite" (I've never heard of the Toast-Rite, so given the similarity in name and the time period, I'm guessing that he's describing the Toas-tite.) which includes the secret recipe to "Smokehouse Pies"


I don't know where you got your idea, but your pie irons take me way back. My Grandmother had a similar cooking device (which I still have and use) called a Toast-Rite. Same principle as your pie iron.

So I couldn't resist myself, I bought one of your through Cabela's, along with your cookbook. Love both. I'm glad I got one.

As I said, I still use my Grandmother's Toast-Rite to make pies. My favorite, which is not in your cookbook, uses fresh blackberries. Grandma used to clean the blackberries, sprinkle a good bit of sugar on them. Then the next day she would take two pieces of bread, butter side out, and fill one with some blackberries, cook over the stove top (gas flame) and they made the best pies. I'd take them in my lunch to school during berries season, and always had kids trying to trade me something for my pie.

Grandma also did this with fresh peaches, apricots, and strawberries. Each one was great, but the blackberries were always my favorite. There was only one better, it was made with Indian Blood Peaches - we had one tree, and they were the best peaches ever. Grandma used to can 20-30 quarts each year, so we had a good supply for pies all year long.

My wife never met my Grandma, so I showed her this Toast-Rite one day and told her about the pies. Well, she went out and got some blackberries and now has to have some every berry season. She calls them smokehouse pies. Our story was simple. Today, it is hard to find bread slices that are large enough to make a fully sealed pie. There is always a small spot that leaks. One day we were making some pies, and the berry juice leaked onto the burner - started smoking - set off the smoke detector - hence Smokehouse Pies. Oh, the pies were even better after that.

Well thanks again for bringing back old memories, keep making pie irons, and we'll keep eating pies.

John T
Groveville, New Jersey"