Solar Oven Confessions

I'm a Daring Cook!

I'm a Daring Cook!

My confession is not that I’m a good cook. The confession is that I’m a bit daring in my cooking, in that I’m not afraid to try new things and new recipes. I can usually read through a recipe and determine whether or not it will be good, and even what to add or subtract from it prior to making it. In the past I’ve even ventured to cook things on the fly, even when it was for a large gathering. I started this somewhat dangerous habit on the menu of a girlfriend’s wedding reception over 12 years ago. I still remember how amazingly well

the Swiss cheese fondue turned out by my combining a few recipes. All was well. The food was great. I felt I could trust my culinary instincts and I’ve done so ever since. Until yesterday…

This is where the confession comes in. Yesterday I taught a solar oven cooking class for a kitchen store. To be honest, I was kind of bored with the same old recipes I’d been using. I had recently received a new cookbook in the mail from Amazon that was supposed to be specifically for solar oven cooking. It was the only book I saw on Amazon dedicated specifically to solar oven cooking recipes. I saw a couple things they did a bit differently than I would, but I figured that the recipes were safe. To my horror, I was soooo wrong. And what’s worse is that I used these sweet ladies in the class as guinea pigs! The bread I made was tender, thanks to the solar oven, but just downright uneventful, and perhaps even painful to eat as a result. The enchilada recipe could not have been more bland. While I usually play my group recipes down on the less-spicy side of things in order to not offend a sensitive palate, I have to say that the taste of this recipe was just plain torture. Boy howdy, was I embarrassed!

solar-powered-ovenI decided that I didn’t like getting my butt kicked by some amateurish cook/author. So, considering I have another solar oven class to teach tonight, I decided to try the recipes again, this time letting my instincts kick in and make them worthy of the Preparedness Pro name. I’m happy to say that I managed to do that today. In light of the fact that some of you are taking the Preparedness Pro food challenge this month and some are also taking the Solar Oven Challenge of cooking for 2 days in their solar oven alone, I decided to share my redeemed recipes with you. Not only do I hope you enjoy them, but at least this time I can be assured that you won’t hate them. :) Enjoy! For those of you trying to find the perfect solar oven, the online preparedness source, Five Star Preparedness has a GREAT deal on my favorite solar oven, The Global Sun Oven!

Our Ms. Divine Chicken Enchilada Recipe - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

 

Our Ms. Divine Chicken Enchilada Recipe - photo c/o Preparedness Pro
Divine Ms. Chicken Casserole

2 T. butter
¼ C. white flour
1 ½ C. chicken broth
½ C. plain yogurt
1 (3 oz.) block of cream cheese, cut into about 5 pieces
1 t. of cumin
1 t. black pepper
½ t. garlic powder
1 C. of green enchilada sauce
1 small can of diced green chilies—heat of chilies is dependent on your taste buds
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch strips
3 C. of cooked and shredded chicken
1 small can of sliced olives
1 ½ C. of grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 scallions, thinly sliced, greens only
Slices of fresh avocado for garnish

Melt the butter on the stove over medium heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly until bubbly. Add the broth and increase heat to high. Add the cream cheese, cumin, pepper, yogurt. Stir with a whisk until hot, but not boiling. Add the enchilada sauce and green chilies, continuing to whisk.

Cover the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan or small round Graniteware pan with about a third of the sauce. Sprinkle half of the tortilla strips over the sauce, then layer with the chicken, olives, and all but ½ C of the cheese. Then add another third of the sauce. Top with the remaining tortilla strips, sauce, and then cheese.

Cover with the pan lid or a dark, moist towel and bake at about 300 to 350 F degrees for 1 to 2 hours in the solar oven, until the cheese has melted. Serve with sprinkled scallions and sliced avocado. Yum! Yields 6 servings.

 

Easy Onion Dill Cheese Bread - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

 

Easy Onion Dill Cheese Bread - photo c/o Preparedness Pro
Easy Onion Dill Cheese Bread

1 large onion, finely diced
3 C. Bisquick
1 egg
1 ¼ C. buttermilk
1 T. dried dill
2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
Scant dash of salt

In a large bowl, beat the egg and buttermilk until well blended. Stir in the baking mix and mix until completely moistened. Stir in the dill, onions, and 2/3  of the cheese.

Lightly oil a dark 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Cover and cook in the solar oven (about 300 degrees) about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

(Note: This is a dense bread, not light and fluffy. It also makes for great muffins. Just cook a little bit less time.)

Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake

Since we have previously published the delectable Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake, click here for the recipe!

Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake - photo c/o Preparedness Pro


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Comments

Great post, Kellene. I always enjoy your blog and your comments are right on track. Have you seen the "solar oven chef" blog? She is doing solar meals every day for a year. Not many recipes, but she gives ideas. We all need to learn to do this!!

Kellene, that chicken casserole recipe sounds so yummy, I'm going to use it to make my very first meal in the solar oven we recently purchased. It's been three days of clouds and rain since it arrived, but the forecast looks good for this weekend.

Just FYI, if you ever decide to publish a solar oven cookbook I'll be your first customer and eagerly await volume 2!

Emily, the chicken was a HUGE hit last night. Everyone commented on how "gourmet" it tasted. Then again, how can one go wrong with cream cheese, a roux sauce, and more cheese, right? :-) You could probably hide dirt in a mixture like that and still come out all right. hee hee

You are so right, Kellene. My husband jokes about how my top favorite foods all start with "ch" -- cheese, chicken and chocolate.

I'll let you know how the chicken casserole turned out and share my husband's comments as well. Keep up the good work.

Loved your class on cooking with solar ovens Wednesday night. Have one on order now, and can't wait to start using it!

Yes, everyone DID love the chicken! It was better than what you get from the pros in restaurants ...

I haven't seen that yet, Laura. But I'll be checking it out now. Thanks.

Just weighing in on the chicken casserole.

We had everything ready and in the oven, but a half hour into cooking the clouds appeared, which of course caused the oven temp to drop. Not a problem. We finished the cooking in our kitchen oven, and very much enjoyed the excellent meal.

My husband said it was definitely the best "chicken enchilada" dish he's ever had, and I agree. Super comfort food. We both thank you!

So glad you enjoyed it! I've consumed an entire batch of it myself in one weeks time. (Hubby doesn't care for the green chilis.)

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