Solar Sweet and Sour Onions

cipolline

These would take just as long to cook stovetop as they do in the Sun Oven. But in the Sun Oven, not only do you save on fuel, you don’t need to constantly monitor them as you would stovetop. If you can’t find cipolline onions (I had to go to three different stores to find mine) use small white onions. They go great with any kind of roast or braised meat.

Sweet and Sour Onions

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cookbook)

Ingredients

2 pounds cipolline onions or small white onions

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

To peel the onions, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and immerse the onions for about 30 seconds, drain. Remove the outer skin and the dangling roots only. Use a sharp paring knife to score and cross in the root end of each onion. Spread the onions out in a single layer in a large pot. Dot with butter. Add enough water come about half way up the side of the onions. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until very soft and have absorbed most or all of the liquid, about 3 hours.

makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

 

Vegetarian Chickpea Curry Pie

Curry Chickpea Pie

The easiest way to make this savory, vegetarian pie is in a skillet, but make sure yours fits in the Sun Oven. If not, bake it in a pie tin.

Curried Chickpea Pot Pie

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, finely chopped

8 ounces white mushroom, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups frozen chopped mixed vegetables

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1 1/2 cups previously cooked chickpeas or 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed

salt to taste

1 refrigerated pie crust

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms have released most of their water, about 5 minutes. Stir in the frozen vegetables and continue cooking and stirring until just softened, about 5 more minutes. In a small bow, whisk the broth into the cornstarch. Add at broth mixture to the skillet and simmer until it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and the chickpeas. Season with salt. Remove from heat and top with the pie crust. Use a sharp knife to cut a few slits in the crust. Transfer to the Sun Oven and bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

 

Sun Sautéd Chicken with Butter and Sage

New Sun Oven

This simple chicken dish is the ideal accompaniment to risotto with turnips.

Sautéd Chicken with Sage

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry

4 fresh sage leaves

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet (make sure it fits in the Sun Oven) or shallow pot. Add the chicken thighs and brown on all sides. Add the sage and the wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Serve with pan juices.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Venison Sausage Stew

Deer hunting season is a highlight of the winter months. Here is our favorite recipe made in the Sun Oven®. Served with warm Artisan bread, this makes a hearty meal in any weather.

INGREDIENTSVenison stew

1 medium onion, sliced

2-3 garlic cloves, diced

4-6 peeled carrots, 2” pieces

3 peeled white potatoes, chunks

1 lb. venison sausage, bite-size pieces

6” sprig rosemary

1 tomato cut in sections

Cavendars Greek no salt seasoning Venison stew

to taste

2 Tbs coconut oil

1 tsp chicken bullion dissolved in

6 cups hot water

Garnish:

Dollop of sour cream

Dust of Paprika

Sprig of basil

Makes 4-6 servings

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat Sun Oven® to 300-350ºF.  Saute onion, garlic and celery in coconut oil and partially brown venison. Add all vegetables and meat to pot that fits in Sun Oven®. Smother with broth and cover with lid. Bake in Sun Oven® 2-3 hours, until potatoes and carrots are tender and flavors blended. Garnish and enjoy!

Billie Nicholson, Editor
December 2014

This month’s issue includes:

  • During our conversations with Pearl Harbor Survivors, they continued to warn us of the importance of being prepared – on every level, from our national military down to each individual. During World War II, everyone sacrificed to insure that world peace would be restored.
  • Mama’s Last Gift ~ Who would expect 33 year old jelly to be any good? The jelly was firm and no crystallization or mold was apparent. A taste test confirmed the goodness within.
  • Preparing for a Pandemic ~ A pandemic is basically a global epidemic. Learn how to protect your family should a viral sickness begin to spread around the world.
  • Generosity during the holidays often includes contributions to food banks. Think about contributing something healthy in your Food Bank Contribution.

Creamy Red Lentil Soup

Apple Lenti Soup

This soup has a sublime, velvety texture. The sliced apple garnish is a nice touch, but the soup’s just as good without.

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Apples

(adapted for the Sun Oven from WW Veg Power!)

Ingredients

2 Granny Smith apples

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

3 cups water

1 cup vegetable broth

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

sour cream for serving

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Peel, halve, core, and chop one apple. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped apple, onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder. Add the water, broth, and lentils. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the lentils are very tender, about 1 hour. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.

Halve, core, peel, and thinly slice the remaining apple. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with apple slices and sour cream.

Makes 4 servings.

Sun Baked Lentil Loaf

Lentil Nut Loaf

This mild flavored lentil loaf has a nice, slightly crunchy texture. It has a tendency to fall apart so leave in the pan to slice it. If you’re not going to eat the whole loaf at one meal line the pan with parchment paper. It will make it much easier to remove it from the pan. It goes great with yesterday’s Classic Italian Tomato Sauce or use your favorite red sauce.

Sun Baked Lentil and Nut Loaf

(adapted for the Sun Oven from W. W. Veg Power!)

Ingredients

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

1 onion, finely chopped

4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped

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

1/2 cup raw, unsalted mixed nuts, chopped

3 tablespoons plain dried bread crumbs

2 large eggs

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

For serving:

Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a 4 x 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper, set aside.

Put the lentils in a large saucepan with 3 cups water. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Leave the Sun Oven out. Stir the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, nuts, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, salt, and pepper into the lentils until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing as you go. Bake the loaf in the Sun Oven until lightly browned, 1 t0 1 1/2 hours. Remove from Sun Oven and let cook 15 minutes before serving. Cut into 6 slices in the pan. Serve with sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Solar Simmered Classic Tomato Sauce

Simple Sauce

There’s probably not a household in Italy where this sauce does not appear on the table at least once a week. There also is probably not a single household where the home cook bothers to measure the ingredients; and you shouldn’t either. The quantities below are only a guideline. Just chop up equal amounts of onion, carrot, and celery to measure about 1 cup total and lightly sauté them in the oil. The choice of tomatoes is, on the other hand, essential to a successful outcome. Choose high quality, preferably imported, canned or boxed tomatoes that contain no other ingredients – no salt, no citric acid, no seasonings. My preferred brand is Pomì.

Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup carrot, finely chopped

1/3 cup celery, finely chopped

2 cups strained or chopped Imported tomatoes

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté briefly. Add the carrot and celery and sauté for about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the flavors have blended and the oil has separated from the sauce, about 1 hour. Serve over pasta.

 

Sun Oven Polenta and Cheese

Polenta

Polenta, a simple porridge made from cornmeal, was the staple food of northern Italian peasants. Traditionally it is prepared over an open fire in a copper caldron. It took close to an hour to cook and required almost constant stirring. I have neither a fireplace nor a copper caldron, much less the patience for the constant stirring. Luckily, Marcella Hazan’s no stir method can be easily adapted for the Sun Oven. Now, with minimal effort, I can enjoy it whenever the sun is shining.

Sun Oven Polenta with Gorgonzola Cheese

(adapted from Marcella Hazan’s ‘No Stir Polenta’)

Ingredients

7 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

1 2/3 cups polenta (yellow cornmeal)

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 ounces soft Gorgonzola cheese

1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Bring the water to boil in a dark, light-weight, lidded pot. Add the salt. Add the polenta in a very thin stream, keeping the water boiling and stirring with a whisk the entire time. When you have put in all the polenta, stir with a long-handled wooden spoon for 2 minutes, cover the pot and place in Sun Oven. Cook until the water has been absorbed, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir in the butter, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, parsley and pepper. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8.

Beef Stew with Pasta

Dutch Oven

Sometimes when the weather is a bit iffy I like to use my Dutch oven for solar cooking. If clouds do roll in, it’s easy to transfer to the stove. Browning the meat stovetop not only improves the flavor of the meat, it also preheats the pot which in turn reduces the over all cooking time.

Corsican Beef Stew

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Mediterranean Food of the Sun)

Ingredients

1 ounce dried mushrooms (preferably porcini)

6 cloves garlic, divided

2 pounds stewing beef, cut into chunks

4 ounces salt pork or thick bacon, cut into strips*

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 onion, thinly sliced

1 1/4 cups dry white wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

pinch of ground cinnamon

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

for serving:

8 ounces (dry) macaroni or other similar shaped pasta

2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in warm water; set aside.

Cut 3 of the garlic cloves into thin strips. Use a sharp knife to cut 1 or 2 slits into each chunk of beef. Insert a piece of garlic and salt pork into the slits. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven, add half of the beef and brown on all sides transferring it to a plate as it browns. Repeat with the remaining beef. Add the onion to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Mince the remaining 3 cloves of garlic and add it to the onions with the meat and any accumulated juices. Strain the mushroom reserving the soaking water. Stir in the wine, tomato paste, drained mushrooms, cinnamon, bay leaf, and rosemary. Strain the mushroom water through a paper towel and add it to the pot. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the beef is very tender, about 3 hours. Discard the rosemary sprig and the bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Just before serving cook the pasta according to the instructions of the package. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef chunks to a warm serving plater. Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce in the Dutch oven and the grated cheese.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

*Frozen salt pork or bacon will be easier to work with.

 

 

Fall Veggies in a Curry Stew

Veggie Curry

A bowl of this rich, satisfying, vegan stew hits the spot on a cold winter’s night.

Curried Vegetable Stew

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Ellie Krieger’s Comfort Food Fix)

Ingredients

1 onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 piece (1 1/2-inch long) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (or more to taste)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup light coconut milk

1 cinnamon stick

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 head cauliflower broken into 1 1/2-inch florets (about 3 cups)

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 larges carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

grated zest of 1 lime

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 can (15-ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

5 cups baby spinach leaves

salt to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Place the onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, and cayenne in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add the coconut oil and process until a smooth puree has formed. Transfer the curry puree to a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue cooking and stirring until the mixture darkens; about 5 more minutes. Add the broth, coconut milk, cinnamon, pepper, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick (can be prepared up to this point then finished stovetop just before serving).

Transfer the Dutch oven to the stove over medium heat. Stir in the zest, lime juice, chickpeas, and spinach. Cook until the spinach has wilted; about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Ladle into bowls or serve over rice. Garnish each serving with cilantro.

 

 

 

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