Solar Chinese Inspired Chicken

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Serve this sweet and sour chicken over white or brown rice.

Sun Oven Chinese BBQ Chicken

Ingredients

1 onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoon hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons dry vermouth

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 whole chicken legs (leg and thigh), skin removed

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a large, lidded roasting pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the onion, ketchup, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, vermouth, and garlic. Add the chicken, turning to coat. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in the prepared roasting pan. Brush the chicken with the remaining sauce. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

 

Solar Snack

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Yesterday’s Curried Solar Black Beans, Squash, and Rice left me with half a bunch of  kale. All to often in these cases the odd amount of unused vegetables will go to waste. Luckily, kale can easily be transformed into a tasty, healthy, solar snack.

Sun Oven Kale Crisps

(adapted for the Sun Oven from “The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook”)

Ingredients

1/2 bunch kale

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

salt to taste

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line a baking rack or pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Using a sharp knive, remove the tough rib of each kale leaf. Wash the leaves and dry thoroughly, use a salad spinner if you have one. Cut the leaves into pieces.

Put the leaves in a medium sized bowl.

Add the olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. Use your hands to mix until all the leaves are coated with oil.

Arrange the kale in single layers on the prepared baking rack or pan. Bake in the Sun Oven 10 to 12 minutes or until the kale is crisp.

 

Spicy Sun Oven Black Beans and Rice

Curried Black Beans

The contrast of the black beans and orange squash make this appealing to both the palate and the eye.

Curried Solar Black Beans, Squash, and Rice

Ingredients

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, an cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup brown rice

2 teaspoons hot curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups hot water

1 1/2 cups previously cooked black beans

1/2 bunch kale, stems removed, thinly sliced

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Spay a baking pan with cooking spay. Spread the squash out in the pan in a single layer. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt. Roast in the Sun Oven until tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from Sun Oven and set aside.

In a large pot, toss the remaining tablespoon oil with the onion, ginger, and garlic. Cover and sauté in the Sun Oven until the onions begin to soften, about 20 minutes. Heat the water along side the onions. Stir in the rice, curry powder, allspice, salt, beans, kale, and water. Cook, covered, until the water has all been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Remove pot from Sun Oven and stir in the roasted squash.

Makes 4 servings.

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Sun Oven Cauliflower Quiche

Cauliflower Crust

Any savory filling will work with this flourless dough. Don’t mind the cracks, they weren’t there before I dropped it.

Cauliflower Crusted Solar Quiche

Ingredients

Crust:

1 cauliflower, stems and leaves removed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 large egg

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Filling:

6 slices thinly sliced pancetta

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

5 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a pie pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Prepare the crust: Remove the florets from the cauliflower, discard the stem and leaves. Working in batches, pulse the florets in a food processor until they resemble cornmeal. Put the ground florets in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool completely, at least 10 minutes. Place the cooked cauliflower in a sturdy kitchen towel and wring out all the moisture. Put the dry cauliflower into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, Parmesan, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, mix the egg mixture into the cauliflower. Pat the cauliflower dough into the prepared pie pan. Bake in the Sun Oven until edges brown, 30 to 45 minutes. Leave Sun Oven out. Cool the crust on a rack.

Prepare the filling: In a skillet, cook the pancetta until just lucent, about 3 minutes; do not cook until crisp. Line the cooled cauliflower crust with the pancetta. Squeeze excess water out of the spinach. Put the spinach in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach, stirring to combing. Pour the mixture over the pancetta in the cauliflower crust. Bake in the Sun Oven until the filling is set, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings.

Cauliflower Crust w:Pancetta

 

Cauliflower Quiche

 

Solar Panforte with Mango

Panforte-for-Pi-Day-Solar-300x225 Panforte is a traditional delicacy of Siena, Italy. It’s very rich; a tiny piece is all you need. It keeps for weeks at room temperature and for months in the freezer. It packs a lot of energy in each portion and is ideal to take on long hikes. Most recipes call for candied citrus, but I don’t like the quality of the kind found in most supermarkets and making my own is not an option – I’d eat it all long before it ever made its way into a recipe. Diced, dried mango delivers just the right amount of sweetness and is the perfect texture for this rich cake. Sun Oven Panforte Ingredients To line the pan: 1 tablespoon cake flour 1 tablespoon plain dry bread crumbs 2 tablespoons finely ground nuts, almonds or hazelnuts For the cake: 1/2 cup cake flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 cup honey 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup sweetened dried mango, diced 1 cup almonds or hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped* For the topping: 2 tablespoons cake flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Preparation Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom and the sides with parchment paper. Prepare the bread crumb lining: In a small bowl, combine the flour, bread crumbs, and ground nuts. Line the baking pan with the mixture and set aside. Prepare the cake: In a small bowl, combine the flower, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, and nutmeg; set aside. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the honey and sugar, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a full boil; remove from heat. Stir in the mango and chopped nuts. Add the flour and spice mixture a stir until well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using slightly dampened hands, smooth the batter out. Prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour and cinnamon. Sift the topping over the batter in the pan. Bake the cake in the Sun Oven until it starts to bubble around the edges, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the Sun Oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the sides of the pan and invert the cake onto a rack, letting the excess flour fall off. Carefully remove the parchment paper. Invert the cake again onto a cutting board. *To toast the nuts, spread them out on a baking pan in a single layer and toast them in the Sun Oven for 10 to 20 minutes. If using hazelnuts, wrap the toasted nuts in a clean kitchen towel. Let them steam for about five minutes, then rub vigorously against the countertop to remove the skins.

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.

 

Muffins and Cupcakes

Coffee Cake 1

Over the years I’ve tried various methods of fitting a full batch of muffins or cupcakes into the Sun Oven. Often a 12 cup pan, or two 6 cup pans placed side by side, won’t fit on the leveling tray. Plus, if  your recipe yields more than 12 muffins there’s no way to get them to fit all in one layer. I’ve found what works best for me is a combination of silicone baking molds, baking pans, muffin tins, and a metal rack. I prefer using a baking pan for the bottom layer. It provides a more stable base and, if your recipe happens to yield an extra muffin or two, it’s easy to fit in a couple of extra molds. The top layer can be a standard 6 cup muffin pan or, if you’ve got a really big batch and need to fit more than six on the top layer, another baking pan. Whichever type of pan you use for the top layer be sure to cross-stack it to allow for better air flow. Put both pans in the Sun Oven at the same time. The top will be ready a little faster (about 5 minutes) and will need to be removed first. The rack simply adds a little extra space for the bottom muffins to rise and keeps the top pan from touching them. I also try to bake anything that is cross-stacked around midday, when the sun is at it’s highest, and the Sun Oven does not need to be tilted too much.

Coffee cake 2

Solar Baked Lentils

Lentil Nut Loaf

For a heartier meal serve this lentil loaf with whole wheat pasta and extra tomato sauce.

Sun Oven Lentil and Nut Bake

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups brown lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 onion, finely chopped

4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped

1/2 bell pepper (red, yellow, orange, or green), finely chopped

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup raw cashews

3 tablespoons plain bread crumbs

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

For serving

Your favorite tomato sauce, purchased or homemade

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Put the lentils in a large pot with 3 cups water. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the lentils are soft, about 1 hour. Drain the lentils and transfer to a large bowl. Add the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, nuts, bread crumbs, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover the loaf pan with an inverted rectangular baking dish. Bake in the Sun Oven until lightly browned, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from Sun Oven and let rest 15 minutes. Leave in pan and slice. Serve with sauce.

Slow Solar Stewed Onions

Stewed Onions

Never let a sunny day go to waste. When nothing else is going on in your Sun Oven whip up a batch of slow cooked onions. They’ll come in handy for all sorts of things: a base for soups, a topping for burgers, or a sauce for pasta, just to name a few.

Solar Stewed Onions

Ingredients

3 onions, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a medium to large pot, toss the onions with the oil. Pour the wine over the onions and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook in Sun Oven until the onions are golden, 2 to 3 hours. Let cool then store in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to 4 days.

Solar Roasted Veggies

Roast Veggies

Roast the vegetables during the day then combine with them pasta later for a lovely, solar-cooked dinner.

Sun Roasted Eggplant, Tomato, and Garlic Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

1 eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

salt

1 pound farfalle, rigatoni, or other pasta

1/2 cups fresh basil, chopped

1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line 3 baking racks or rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on two of the racks. Brush both sides with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt. Arrange the tomatoes and garlic on the remaining rack. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil over the tomatoes and garlic; season with salt. Stack the racks in the Sun Oven and cook until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, top racks will cook faster. Remove vegetables from the Sun Oven and cut the eggplant into pieces. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the pulp into a serving bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, mashing to combine. Stir in the basil and cheese. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the garlic mixture and toss with the eggplant and tomatoes. Add reserved cooking water as needed.

Makes 4 servings.

corin