One thing I love about online recipes are the reviews. In the pre-internet days I always felt I had to follow a recipe exactly as written. That meant lots of last minute runs to the store for a missing ingredient and a drawer full of expensive spices that I may have only used once. Once my favorite publications began making their recipes available online I was surprised to discover that almost no-one follows a recipe to the T; or at least not the ones who take the time to write reviews. Now when I try out a new recipe I don’t mind improvising with ingredients I happen to have on hand. This recipe adapted from one I found on Martha Stewart’s site is a perfect example. Hers used cannellini beans and scallions in place of the chickpeas and minced onion in mine, and, of course, a slow cooker rather than a Sun Oven.
Sun Oven Couscous and Chickpea Stuffed Peppers
4 bell peppers, orange, yellow, or red
Getting the timing right for cooking dried chickpeas is tricky even when using traditional cooking methods. The older they are the longer they take to cook. For this reason I like to get chickpea based dishes started early in the day. You can always wait until it’s closer to dinner time to add in the other ingredients, or, they might even be ready in time for lunch. In any case, the superior texture and flavor of dried chickpeas make up for the guess work involved.
Spicy Solar Chickpea Curry
2 cups dried chickpeas, picked over
8 cups baby spinach leaves
2 (15 oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
Soak chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with enough water to cover them by two inches.
Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.
Drain chickpeas, put them in a large pot with 1 cup water. Cover and cook in the GSO until tender, 3 to 4 hours. Stir in spinach, tomatoes and their juices, coriander, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Return pot to GSO and cook for another hour or more. Remove pot from GSO, stir in cilantro and remaining salt. Serve with rice.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
This is a simple, yet satisfying chicken dish that is perfect for solar cooking. The green beans were cooked along with it, in a parchment packet that I put on top of the dutch oven towards the end of the cooking time.
Sun Oven Chicken with Turmeric and Chickpeas
1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
6 chicken thighs, skinned
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat
Heat oil in a large dutch oven, add onion and cook until softened. Stir in turmeric; add chicken, turning to coat. Add water, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and garlic. Place in Sun Oven for approx. 2 hours or until chicken is tender. Mix in chickpeas and leave in Sun Oven until heated. Serve over couscous with hot sauce.
Braising, baking, and slow cooking are a few of the things that the GSO does best, but it’s not limited to that. And while you can’t use it for deep frying, it is possible to pan fry with satisfactory results. These chickpea patties paired with a salad make a quick and easy lunch using ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. They may take longer than normal to crisp up, but on the plus side they can be left unattended while you prepare the salad.
Sun Oven Chickpea Patties
1 (15.5-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.
Put oil in a dark, rimmed baking pan and set in GSO to heat.
Pulse first 5 ingredients (chickpeas through salt) in a food processor until coarsely chopped and mixture comes together. Transfer to a bowl, add egg and 2 tablespoons flour. Form into 8 patties. Place remaining flour in a small dish and roll patties in it; tap off excess flour.
Cook patties in preheated, oiled baking pan, turning halfway through, until golden. About 15 minutes per side.
Serve with Tzaztzki sauce.