Solar Beans and Bacon

Bean and Bacon Stew

This stew is filling enough on its own but for a heartier meal add some grilled sausages. Either way, serve it with some good, crusty bread to soak up all the juices.

Sun Oven Bean and Bacon Stew

Ingredients

4 slices previously cooked bacon, chopped

3 cups previously cooked white beans, (Great Northern, Navy, Cannellini, or Mayocoba)

2 tablespoons bacon fat (or olive oil)

1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup broth, (chicken, vegetable, or beef)

1/4 cup white wine

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the bacon fat in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the bacon, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, wine, bay leaves, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the flavors have blended, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 

Solar Cooking for A Rainy Day

Bacon!

Bacon! It seems like everyone loves bacon. But before I had a Sun Oven it was something I rarely ate at home. I hated the way the smell permeated the entire house and nine times out of ten I burnt it to beyond a crisp. Maybe that explains the unpleasant aroma. With the Sun Oven bacon is easy. However, it’s still an occasional food around our house; so much so that if I don’t cook the entire package in one go the uncooked portion will likely spoil. Luckily, cooked bacon will keep in the fridge for about a week and because it already cooked it easily finds its way into soups, salads, and sandwiches. I’ve even started saving and using the fat. Use two baking pans, with or without racks, to fit a full pound of bacon in the Sun Oven. Cross-stack them on the leveling tray. Bacon is on of the few things that can burn in the Sun Oven so start checking on it after half an hour or so. Take it out as soon as it’s ready. The top tray will cook a little faster. Don’t let its bacony goodness cause you to forget about the bottom one.

Bacon! and Cat!

 

Solar Quiche to Go

Quiche Muffins

Make these delightful portable breakfast muffins your own by using your favorite add-ins with the eggs. Any kind of vegetable can be used and the bacon can be replaced with ham or cooked sausage. They keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days and are great for meals on the go. I like to serve them for dinner with a bowl of tomato soup and a salad.

Sunny Savory Quiche Muffins

Ingredients

5 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 package refrigerated biscuit dough (10 biscuits)

6 eggs

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess water squeezed out

salt

Preparation.

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray the indentations of 10 muffin cups with cooking spray.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Flatten the biscuits into 5-inch rounds and line the muffin tins. Top the biscuits with silicone baking molds. Start baking the biscuit shells in the Sun Oven while preparing the filling.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the chopped bacon, sautéed onions, cheese, and frozen spinach. Season to taste with salt. Remove the biscuits from the Sun Oven. Remove the silicone molds and carefully spoon the egg filling into the shells. Do not over fill*. Return the muffin pans to the Sun Oven and continue baking until the egg fill is set and the shells are golden brown, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Set pans on a rack a let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of each muffin and remove the tins. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Quiche Shells

*Trust me on this, you do not want to clean cooked egg off the bottom of your Sun Oven. If you have too much filling use the empty indentations to make one or two crustless pies.

 

Solar Braised Cabbage

Braised Cabbage

Bacon infuses the cabbage with flavor for a side dish everyone will love.

Sun Oven Braised Cabbage and Onions with Bacon

Ingredients

3 strips bacon

1 head green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges

1/2 onion, sliced

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Sunny Potato Soup

Bacon!

The bacon can be cooked ahead of time or along with the soup. If cooking it with the soup, turn the lid upside down on the soup pot and set the pan with the bacon on top, and keep an eye on it. The bacon will cook faster than the soup and, unlike most everything else, it can burn in the Sun Oven.

Sun Oven Leek and Potato Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 leeks, (white and pale green parts only) finely sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

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Solar Frittata with Rapini and Pancetta

Rapini Frittata

I really liked the egg, rapini, pancetta combination of the savory pudding I made a few weeks ago but don’t often have the right kind of bread on hand. This frittata delivers the same flavors to the taste buds without the extra trip to the bakery.

Sun Oven Frittata with Rapini and Pancetta

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bunch rapini, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8 eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon milk

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Savory Solar Bread Pudding

Rapini, also known as broccoli rabe, has a slightly bitter taste that pairs perfectly with pancetta. If you can’t find it, or don’t like it, use regular broccoli instead.

Sun Oven Savory Italian-style Bread Pudding

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bunch rapini, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature

8 cups county-style white bread, cut into 1-inch pieces

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Solar Black-eyed Pea Soup

 

Whenever I cook bacon I try to make some extra to have on hand for recipes like this soup. I learned from experience to squirrel away any strips I want to save for later. Otherwise it tends to mysteriously disappear from the serving plate. Bacon is easy to cook in the Sun Oven, click here to see how.

Sun Oven Black-eyed Pea Soup

Ingredients

1 pound dried black-eyed peas, picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight

1/4 pound smoked ham, cubed

1 onion, diced

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Solar Sweet Potato Quiche

The recipe I used for Wednesday’s pie left me with a quite a bit of extra dough. If I’d left it in the freezer I’m sure it would have wound up pushed to the back and forgotten, so today I put it to good use with some of the other Thanksgiving Day leftovers and make some quiche. After consulting a few different recipes online I decided to wing it. First I baked the crusts (in the Sun Oven, of course) then filled the individual tart pans with a mixture of 4 eggs, about 2/3 a cup of mashed sweet potato, cooked chopped swiss chard, some crumbled cooked bacon, and grated Parmesan cheese. Then back to the Sun Oven to bake until the filling was set. The four pans would fit on the leveling tray, but for easier handling, and better air flow, I used two of the dehydrating racks as pictured below.

 

 

More Soup from the Sun Oven

The bacon adds flavor to this rich soup but can be omitted for a vegetarian version. It’s added after the beans have been cooking for a while and I often forget. I like  it either way.

Sun Oven Cuban Black Bean Soup

Ingredients

1 pound dried black beans, picked over, rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained

5 cups water

1 large onion, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon paprika

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