Saturday, April 26, 2008

More solar cooking

leeks, carrots and greens
Originally uploaded by wbajzek
Since the last time I'd used the solar cooker, I bought an oval-shaped aluminum roasting pan, which is painted dark. The hope was that it would heat up more quickly than the cast iron dutch oven did and NOT impart that cast-iron flavor on everything. It did the trick, and has a pretty big capacity. WIth enough preparation, I could cook multiple dishes in it at once.

The dish in the rear of the photo consists of carrots and leeks roasted in the solar cooker with sage, mint, oregano, chopped crystalized ginger, and olive oil. They cooked for about 4 hours and came out a bit crunchier than I'd intended but still very good. I am not sure they would have been better off cooking longer, but since there was a lot of juice at the bottom, I wonder if covering them with foil or something would have caused them to be soften up a bit more.

I never would have thought to eat leeks like this before I read "Seitan a la Ficelle" from What the hell does a vegan eat anyway. I was so inspired by the photos that I decided to have leeks some way other than boiled for a long time in soup, and also to perhaps start posting more photos as well. To that end, sorry for the blurriness of this photo, the lighting was not good and I had not properly prepared for it. 

The mustard greens and rapini were steamed for 5 minutes and then given a sprinkling of salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh-squeezed meyer lemon juice. This dish came out nicely, too; the greens were a bit bitter when raw but they mellowed out nicely with the steaming.

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