Torta, Italian for cake, is a good name for this savory treat. The potato, cheese, and salmon mixture resembles cake batter and the end result is light and delicious.
Torta di Patate e Salmone
(adapted for the Sun Oven from Bon Appétit)
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup low fat milk
4 ounces soft goat cheese
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 large eggs
1 can (14.5-ounce) pink salmon (with bones), drained, skin removed
1/2 cup chopped green onions (about 4)
Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.
Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling, salted water until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the milk, goat cheese, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Use an electric mixer to beat until just smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Beat in the eggs. In a small bowl, use your hands to separate the salmon into chunks and smash the bones. Use a rubber spatula to mix in the salmon and green onions into the potato mixture. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Cover with a second baking dish and bake in the Sun Oven until heated though and golden, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let cool slightly and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
There’s really nothing easier to cook in a Sun Oven than baked potatoes. Well scrubbed potatoes can be placed along side a pot or even on the lid. They’ll come out just fine. They don’t even need to be pierced with a fork. However, when baked potatoes are the only thing I’m cooking in the Sun Oven I like to wrap them in aluminum foil and put them in a lidded roasting pan (the rack is optional). This way the steam gets trapped in but the heat is not deflected by the shiny foil. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes but 1 1/2 to 2 hours on a nice sunny day should do the trick.
After years of leaving them on the plate I finally found a way to actually eat the boring steamed carrots that many diners and restaurants seem to believe are perfectly acceptable to serve as the vegetable included with the dinner entrees. I mash them up with a fork and mix them in with the potatoes. I’ve done it so many times that I came up with this recipe for homemade carrot-potato mash. And I always serve something green as the vegetable – as it should be.
Solar Roasted Mashed Potatoes and Carrots
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
If your household is anything like mine, the only way to have leftover mashed potatoes for a recipe is to make a very large batch and set aside (hide) the needed amount before serving. Any kind of leftover vegetables can be used instead of cabbage, but if they were not cooked with bacon you might want to fry some up to throw into the mix.
Sun Oven Baked Bubble and Squeak
About 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
3 or 4 wedges Sun Oven Braised Cabbage with Bacon or other left over cooked vegetables
2 tablespoons butter, divided
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Roughly chop the cabbage and combine it with the mashed potatoes. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a pot over medium heat. Press the potato mixture into the pot. Dot with the remaining tablespoon butter, cover, and bake in the Sun Oven until nicely browned. Serve warm.
Makes 4 servings.
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
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, (white and pale green parts only) finely sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
The savory vegetarian filling in this pie can be served on its own as a side dish. Just add the peas about five minutes before taking the pot out of the Sun Oven. Traditional pie crust can also be used in place of the filo dough.
Sun Oven Samosa Pie
2 tablespoons butter
2 russet potatoes (about 1-pound), peeled and diced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
The rutabaga and buttermilk give these mashed potatoes great flavor and texture.
Sun Oven Potato and Rutabaga Mash
1 large rutabaga (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
These smashed potatoes along with steamed kale, broccoli, or other green vegetable go great with beef, chicken, or pork.
Garlicky Sun Oven Smashed Potatoes
3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons minced garlic
As the days get shorter and the weather less predictable I tend to do more hybrid cooking. I’ll start a dish out in the Sun Oven and finish it stove top or in the conventional oven. This recipe lends itself perfectly to dual heat sources. The carrots and potatoes can be solar roasted early in the day, then if the clouds roll in, or you want to eat after sunset, the assembled dish can be baked in your indoor oven at dinnertime.
Sun Oven Potato and Carrot Bake
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
1 pound carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 to 1 cup milk, warmed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Put the carrots in a shallow pot, add 1/3 cup water, and dot with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Arrange the potatoes around the sides of the pot and on the lid if they don’t all fit. Cook until carrots and potatoes are tender, about 2 hours. Leave the Sun Oven out. Press the carrots and any cooking juices through a ricer into a large bowl. Cut the potatoes in half, scoop out the flesh, and press through the rice into the bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, cheese, and gradually add the milk until reaching the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt. Butter an oval roasting pan or baking dish. Spread the potato mixture out in the pan (Can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill). Cover and bake in the Sun Oven until heated through and browned, about 45 minutes. (For conventional ovens, preheat to 350˚F and bake uncovered).
Solar braised potatoes couldn’t be easier to make. Just spread the spuds out in a single layer in a cast iron pan; small varieties such as fingerlings or butterball work best. Toss in some garlic or onions. Add enough water or broth to reach about halfway up. Drizzle with olive oil or dot with butter. Add bay leaves, rosemary, or other herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and braise in the Sun Oven until the potatoes are tender. A few minutes on the stove over high heat to let the remaining water evaporate completes the dish.