This is another hybrid recipe. Half solar and half traditionally cooked. Unlike most of my mixed cooking method dishes this one starts out in the Sun Oven, where the beans are cooked, and is finished up in a frying pan. The beans can be made ahead, while the sun’s shining. Don’t fry the patties until you’re ready to serve them.
The recipe is one from a collection of recipes that I cut out of Italian magazines over twenty years ago. I don’t use them very often, but always get a kick out of how they are written. Unlike American recipes with their precise measurements and detailed instructions, Italian recipes are more like the instructions you’d get from Grandma if you called her and asked how to make a family favorite.
When you get into the habit of using you Global Sun Oven on a regular basis you almost hate to see a sunny day go to waste. When I have my dinner covered I like to throw in a big pot of beans. Once cooked, store them in their cooking liquid. They’ll keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. I suppose you could freeze them; mine never last that long. Once you have cooked beans on hand, and cooked dried beans are so much better than canned, you’ll be able to create everything from dips to main dishes.
Bean and Tuna Salad
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cups cold or room temperature cooked cannellini beans
The potato and the onions give this soup a touch of sweetness that contrasts nicely with the tartness of the sour cream and the lime. It also freezes well for a quick, hearty, weekday lunch. If you plan ahead you can use cooked dried black beans instead of canned.
Sun Oven Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 (14 oz each) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Huevos rancheros from the GSO make an easy to prepare, attractive lunch.
Solar Baked Huevos Rancheros
6 small corn tortillas
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
6 room temperature eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
green or red salsa
Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat
Spray a six cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
Soften the tortillas one at a time by covering them with a paper towel and heating in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds each. Place one corn tortilla in each muffin cup. Divide the beans among the cups and make a well in the middle of each one. Crack one egg into each well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in GSO approx. 30 minutes. About 1 minute before eggs are cooked sprinkle cheese on each egg, continue cooking until cheese melts.
Carefully transfer huevos to plates. Top with green or red salsa.
Oven roasted garlic is delicious and the Global Sun Oven does a great job of bringing out its sweet and mellow flavor. Serve this garlicky dip with vegetable crudités and toasted French bread. The recipe calls for canned beans, but dry beans that have been cooked ahead of time work just as well.
Solar Garlic White Bean Dip
3 (15 oz cans) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Place Global Sun Oven out to preheat
Combine beans, water, cheese, garlic, oil, sage, oregano, salt, and pepper in a 5 to 6 quart pot. Cover and cook in GSO until garlic is browned, about 1 hour.
Add lemon juice and zest; coarsely mash with a potato masher until all the ingredients are blended. If mixture is too dry add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes thick and spreadable.
Easy Sweet Potato Chili
1 table spoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 14 oz can Mexican stewed tomatoes
1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo sauce (or chili powder to taste)
salt to taste
Heat oil in a large dark sauce pan, add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add next four ingredients, tomatoes through chipotle cover and place in GSO for approx. one hour or until glass door begins to steam up.
Garnish with cilantro and sour cream.
This recipe can be easily doubled, but you’ll need a really big pot. You might have to remove the leveling tray and place a cooling rack or a trivet on the floor of the GSO’s cooking chamber to get it to fit.
If you made the lamb shanks and beans from yesterday’s post you can use the reserved liquid, which I’m sure you refrigerated overnight, to make Pasta Fagioli. If not you can use any kind of broth you have on hand. This soup can be made entirely in the Global Sun Oven if you’re going to eat it right away, if not you may have to do the final step – cooking the pasta in the soup – on the stove to keep the pasta from getting soggy.
Pasta e Fagioli
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
reserved liquid from lamb shanks and beans, fat removed, plus additional water to make 4 cups total, or 4 cups broth
1 14 oz can cannellini beans, drained (or 2 cups left over beans for lamb shank recipe)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
freshly grated parmesan cheese
Set Global Sun Oven® out to preheat
Combine olive oil, leek, garlic, carrot, and tomatoes in a large dutch oven. Cover, place in GSO and cook until vegetables soften, approx. 40 minutes. Add reserved liquid or broth and beans and continue cooking in GSO until heated through and simmering. Stir in pasta and cook until ‘al dente’, 10 to 20 minutes depending on type of pasta used.
Remove from GSO, stir in rosemary and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls. Flavor with a drizzle of olive oil and grated cheese.
Make 4 servings
Cooking is a lot of work so I like to get more than one meal out of my efforts. I also like to stretch my money. When I make these lamb shanks and beans I always make more than enough and used the leftovers for various recipes later in the week.
Lamb Shanks with Cannellini Beans
2 tablespoons oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped leeks
1/2 cup diced carrot
6 cups water
2 bay leaves
3/4 lb cannellini beans, soaked overnight
2 large lamb shanks, excess fat trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy dutch oven. Add leeks and carrots and cook for a minute or two. Add beans, water, bay leaves, and lamb shanks. Cover and place in Sun Oven for approx. 3 hours. Remove lamb shanks. Drain beans (reserve liquid for future use). Return beans to pot, season with remaining tablespoon oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Remove meat from bones and serve with beans.
Makes 4 servings
A side of dark greens, steamed, and sauteed with garlic and olive oil will complete your meal.
Do not be tempted to throw away the cooking liquid. It can be used to make the best Pasta e Fagioli (pasta and bean soup) you’ve ever tasted.