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BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

April 16 2010

Iron Works

The college student's real secret weapon when it comes to dorm room dining is the clothes iron. Yes, it's true: this commonplace household appliance can turn out splendid grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas, often in less time than it takes to heat a skillet or griddle. (For extra credit, rent "Benny and Joon.") Caution: keep a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil between the iron, the food, and the surface you're ironing on. Ever try to pick melted cheese out of an iron? It's not pretty.

Heat iron to cotton or linen setting. Turn off steam.

On your work surface, place a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil large enough to accommodate bread or tortilla. Place bread or tortilla on foil and top with desired filling. Cover with remaining slice of bread or tortilla. Cover sandwich or quesadilla with another sheet of aluminum foil. Fold foil to seal edges and make a packet.

Press iron on surface of foil-covered packet, passing iron over entire area for about 30 seconds. Carefully turn entire packet over and iron again for about 30 seconds, taking care not to tear the foil. Unwrap an edge and check for doneness. If contents are not hot or cheese is not melted, rewrap the foil and repeat the ironing step.