Monday, 4 October 2010

Cooking With Table Top Halogen Ovens / Cookers

Well - I've had umpteen email requests over the last week or two for some more halogen oven meal ideas.

I must admit, I've got rather lax in this area. I use my halogen oven most days (unless I'm doing lots of baking for work or need a full size oven). It's just that when I get home from work with a hungry toddler and a husband arriving in not long after - I simply forget to make note or take photographs. Not surprising really I suppose, and I'm sure few of you rarely take photos of your dinner !

Well - first up is some stewed plums with greek yogurt. Plums and apples are in season right now and both of these autumn fruits are a real delight to eat. These were some of the last of the year's victoria plums which were halved and stones removed. Sprinkle well with some cinnamon (if you wish) and some granulated sugar. Leave to sit for around an hour for the juices to start to come out the plums. Generally works well if you prepare this before cooking and eating your main meal.

Pop in the halogen oven in ramekins for approx 10mins at about 180 > 200deg. Serve hot with a dollop of greek yogurt for a healthy and tasty pudding..

Fat and juicy butchers sausages. These sausages are from our local butchers - Tony Perkins. Tony's shop in Attleborough, Norfolk has had a total overhaul and is really fab. Go and check it out if you are local.

I cooked these sausages in my Sarah-Jane's Halogen oven on the baking tray upon the top rack. As I like to grill them, I tend to set the temperature to around 225deg C and cook for about 10mins.  I never bother turning them. They are beautifully browned. Serve with some hot english mustard in a crusty roll or chopped up and thrown in a pasta bake - there is a multitude of things you can do with them ! Best of all, no smoke alarm going off - easy cleaning up and no burnt bits :-)

You'll see there is barely anything comin out the sausages - that's cause they are so darn good !

Next up is my chicken calazone. Even the bread bit is home made.

First of all, make up a batch of bread dough. You can use a 500g bag of premix for a bread maker and knead it by hand. Alternatively, 500g strong white bread flour, a sachet of bread maker yeast, teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar. Add approx 300ml of warm water to it and bring together in a bowl. Feel free to add in some chopped fresh herbs, chopped olives, bits of sundried tomato, etc

Tip on to work surface and knead for approx 5 > 10 mins until becoming elastic. Leave aside in a cling filmed bowl for about 15 > 20 mins. I don't want this to rise much as it is for flat breads - but it gives me time to get on and cook a couple of bell peppers in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil..

When the peppers are done, put aside in a covered bowl.

I've got two lemon pepper chicken breasts here - again from Tony Perkins - which have been butterflied. Tony will happily coat them in lemon pepper coating or a multitude of other things he offers in his shop. Lazy, but ideal for a quick dinner ! I cooked these in the halogen oven on the baking tray / top rack at approx 200deg C for 12mins. Then I added the peppers to reheat for another 3 > 4 mins

Whilst the peppers were cooking, I cooked the flatbreads. Divide the dough into approx 6 balls and roll each out into a large, thin circle. Pop into a dry, hot pan and cook until bubbles rise on the surface.

At this stage, they are ready to flip over.....

Once both sides are done - you end up with these : 

Put them on a plate and cover with tin foil to keep warm. I had a load exttra left - which is fine as they reheat great the following day..

Here's the sliced lemon pepper chicken breasts. You can see how wonderfully moist and juicy they are !

To fill, I just microwaved **CHEAT ALERT ** a jar of tomato and chilli sauce..

Add some of the tomato chilli sauce, 1/2 a sliced lemon chicken breast, a few slices of bell peppers, some black olives and crumbled feta. That's it ! One chicken breast can easy serve two people and this is not a skimpy dinner by any means despit the fact it's fairly frugal and low budget :-)

Sweet potato wedges, bokwurst german sausage and fried onions

A fast and easy weekend meal - ideal for when my stepson is staying over.

First of all, chop up some sweet potato into wedges. I tend to leave the skin on. Toss in a little olive oil and season well. These are in a 10" silicone cake baking mould , on top of the tray and on the bottom rack. I use that mould a lot in the halogen oven for loads of different things. It's great for containing stuff and stops me flipping wedges over the side of the tray when I want to turn them over !

These were cooked for about 15 mins on the bottom rack at 225deg C.

After that, I popped the top rack in.

Bokwurst went on the top rack at approx 200deg C for about 5 mins or so. These bokwurst weere from Lidls and already cooked - so only need heating through. I like them done long enough that the skins start to split open. Doesn't make them too attractive - but they taste good ! There isn't any fat, water etc comes out of these - they taste as Bockwust should.

The fried onions were the only thing not cooked in the halogen oven

This is a 1kg cheap gammon joint from Lidls. The sort I would normally boil for hours and hours on end.

Remove from plastic and put inside a roasting bag, with a couple of little slits on top. This went on the tray and on top of the bottom rack in my halogen cooker. With it, I put in some hatched baking potatoes. I prefer to hatch (cut) baking potatoes on both sides as they cook much quicker.

This was a while ago. I THINK I cooked it at about 200deg for 1hr 10mins approx in the table top halogen oven. All the juices stayed in the bag - you can see how juicy the meat was. The joint lasted us several days as I used some for sandwiches and later what was left with the reserved juices for a pot of soup.

Enough for now - it's 2am and time for bed ! Hope this helps some of you new halogen oven owners out there.

Happy cooking !

Sarah-Jane Nash - on table top halogen convection ovens  - October 2010

1 comment:

  1. Loving stewed plums with greek yogurt, recently heard apple and plumps makes great combo...can't wait to try!


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