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!
I 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!
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
1 large onion, finely diced
3 C. Bisquick
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!
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