Dinner in under 20 minutes

Broiling is a cooking mode that has been dominated by grilling or bbq.

The problem is that a broiler can set off the smoked alarm, or dry out your food.

Broiling in a steam oven is a feature of the Gaggenau, Thermador and Miele Combi-Steam ovens.

The benefit is, unlike restaurant broiled food, you do not have to add tons of butter or fat to the food while cooking.

The top deck searing can take place with humidity in the oven to help retain moisture without the need of excessive fats.

The wall oven are equipped with internal cooling fans to keep the oven from heating your cabinet along with internally filtering the smoke. This means you are less likely to set off the smoke alarm 😉

In this recipe I simply cooked prepared kebobs at Whole Foods that were already marinated. Whether you purchase prepared food or do the work yourself the benefits of steam in the oven provides moist and crispy results. For an added crispy or grill mark place the rack over the solid pan into the oven on the middle rack and set the oven on Broil with humidity. When the oven is up to temperature (I use 425˚f) place the food on the hot rack to produce grill marks.

Depending on the size of your kebobs it may take longer for thicker portions but keep the rack at the middle level. In this video below I set my timer for 10 minutes but actually turned them over after 8 and cooked for about 3 minutes longer.

Serve over a salad to keep the meal healthy and easy to prepare. Also if you have leftovers, the reheat setting on the Steam oven provides excellent results even a day or two later.

Video Cooking Kebobs in a Steam Oven

Rack of Lamb in Convection

Sometimes cooking a roast, steak or chops can get dried out when cooking on a grill or broiler. After you initially sear the meat, cooking in a convection oven can achieve a fantastic result.

It keeps the moisture inside the meat and the smoke and smell from filling up in your kitchen.

I have a recipe for cooking a rack of lamb in my Cook Book, Convection Cooking for the Home Chef

The link below is a video of cooking a rack of lamb in a convection steam. If you are worried about getting the temperature just right, try a meat probe with an internal temperature of 132˚f for medium rare. Add 5˚ for each doneness higher but please don’t cook it well.

In this video I cooked in the Wolf Steam oven that is equipped with a meat probe for convenience of accuracy. After you remove from the oven allow the roast to rest for a few minutes before cutting.

Serve with a vinaigrette or demi glaze.

Rack of Lamb Video

Enjoy!

The Best Way to Reheat Leftovers

I don’t like to Hate anything.

The word Hate produces wasted energy but when I hear “I hate leftovers and just throw them out” it drives me nuts.

Listen, either some chef, a cook, your mom a friend or You went through the trouble of making this food. It cost either You or Someone some money. If it was good, you still had some remaining, went through the effort of bringing it home and placed it in the refrigerator, why not ‘Like’ it?

Back to me rolling my eyes on reheating in a microwave. I know many do this but seriously, the results are terrible and produce the Hate Flavor and Consistency.

Certainly the heat up time is quick since most plates of food average about 3 1/2 minutes but with uneven results.

When food is placed in the refrigerator, it takes a while to bring it down to temperature and in the process it begins to loose some moisture. The dryness only gets worse when using the microwave to heat it up since the microwave heats the remaining moisture, can evaporate it and dry out your food.

Using the Steam or Humidity along with the Convection heat breaks down the cold barrier and introduces enough moisture to ‘refresh’ your food.

In this video below, I reheated grilled chicken in which is famous for being dry the next day when you are trying to heat a quick lunch or dinner.

I placed it in for 8 minutes but it was really ready in about 6. Most dishes take about that long but keep in mind that thicker portions like Lasagna or bone in chicken need a more time.

You can simply place either the food onto the pan that came with your oven or use a oven safe plate on the oven rack. (Check the take away container your food was packed in because many can safely heat in an oven up to 325˚f) Select the Reheat Mode and adjust the temperature if necessary. Steam Convection ovens are preset at 250˚f and can go up to 325˚f. Most food is fine at 250˚f but will just take a few minutes longer. When reheating breads and pizza, set the oven on before you place the food in.

If your oven has a Meat Probe, place it into the food and set to an internal temperature of 165˚f . If you are reheating leftover beef that was cooked to medium rare or medium then set the probe to 140˚f. This takes the guesswork from determine if it is properly heated through.

Video of Reheating Food in a Steam Oven

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta

Video of Brussels Sprouts in Steam Convection oven

Whenever I mention Roasting food in a Steam Oven I get the same response:

“Isn’t it going to be gray and wet?”

Food would have that appearance if you are poaching in Steam Mode but when you combine with Convection, the oven temperature is set high enough to Brown the food that you are cooking. The bursts of steam help retain moisture to the food so that it doesn’t loose as much volume as when traditionally cooking in a Dry Heat Oven.

The increase of humidity in the oven also helps speed up the cooking time.

I recommend keeping your temperature the same as the recipe but reduce the time by 25-30%.

Remember to cut your vegetables in similar sizes, although softer vegetables should be cut larger than dense ones to produce even results.  If softer vegetables are cooking too much, add a bit of vegetable stock or wine to the pan.

In this recipe I cooked the vegetables on the pan that came with the Steam Oven. You can also cook on a pan on the rack set into the oven. Metal will produce different results than Glass cookware.

If you have a 1/4 size sheet pan that is thick such as a USA Pan, the pan helps produce nice browning and crispiness. Also, it won’t bend like an aluminum pan and cleans up very easily.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tomato Sauce, Fresh from the Garden

When the tomatoes start turning from green to red, it’s time to go and NOT STOP.

The basket fills up, friends and family don’t want anymore. Perhaps you can set up a table at the end of your driveway and sell some.

OR

Go make some sauce.

Here is an easy recipe. I used the tomatoes, onion, garlic & fresh thyme from the garden. The additions are dried oregano and sun-dried tomatoes (store-bought)

Ingredients:

Approximately 15 Fresh tomatoes, medium to large in size

3 Tbls. Olive Oil

1 Medium onion, small dice

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tbls. Dried Oregano

1 tsp red pepper seed

2/3 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes

3/4 cup water

1/2 bunch fresh thyme (approximately 1/4 cup)

Salt to taste

Method:

Set a large pot of water on the stove to blanch the tomatoes. Set up another pot or container with a cold water bath to shock the tomatoes.

Let the tomatoes boil to the point that the skins begin to peel away then immediately place tomatoes in the cold water.

Peel & Seed the tomatoes. Simply put, pull away the skins and break the tomatoes by hand and squeeze out the seeds. Retaining the pulp of the tomato.

In another large pot or saucepan, heat over a medium heat, add the oil. Add the onion and cook to translucent.

Add the garlic, oregano & red pepper seed and cook for a minute.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes and water. Cook to reduce the water in half.

Add the fresh tomatoes. Heat over a high heat for about 8 minutes then reduce to a low simmer. Add the thyme.

Stir occasionally. Reduce the water or obvious liquid to reach a nice thick consistency (about 2-1/2 hours)

Using a hand blender or food processor, blend to smooth. Season with salt.

Pack it up and freeze it, eat it, sell it or give away as a gift.

Pan Seared Sole, lemon caper sauce

This recipe can be used for a variety of fish or chicken.

If you are gluten-free, substitute the AP flour with tapioca, rice, or corn flour.

This should feed 4 people. Sole or flounder fillets are small so pick the largest ones you can get or select two per person.

Ingredients:

Sole, 4-8 fillets

3/4 cup flour

4 tbls canola oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 shallot, minced

2/3 cup white wine

Juice from one lemon

2 tbls capers

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

3 tbls Dijon Mustard

Method:

Set some paper towel over a bake pan or large platter.

Turn on your vent hood. Set a large saute pan over a medium to high heat.

Season the fish with salt & pepper, then dust both sides with flour.

Add the oil to the pan. Turn the pan to coat. Carefully place the fillets on the bottom of the pan.

Don’t touch them. After three minutes, the flour around the edges of the fish begins to turn brown,turn the fish over and shut the heat off. Let them continue cook from the heat of the pan for about two minutes then transfer to a paper towel lined platter.

Return pan to stove and set over a high heat. Add the shallots, lemon juice, white wine and capers.

Let the liquid reduce in half then stir in Dijon. Season with a pinch of salt.

Plate the fish and cover with sauce, garnish with fresh thyme.

Enjoy!

Pineapple Papaya Salad, lime ginger vinaigrette

I needed a fruit and lettuce combo that has some pizzazz. The presentation is up to you. Certainly you don’t have to go through the effort of using a Mandoline for slicing.

This salad could be combined in a bowl with the dressing on the side.

This shall serve 6-8.

Ingredients:

4 Heads of Belgian Endive, leaves separated and cleaned

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 Papaya, peeled, seeded & sliced

1 Pineapple, peeled, cored & sliced

1 English Cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced

1 quart micro greens or shoots

Either individually plate the above or display in a large serving bowl. Refrigerate until service.

Dressing:

4 tablespoons rice vinegar

Juice from 1 lime

1 tsp fresh ginger

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup fresh mint, loose not packed

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, loose not packed

2 tbls honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp hot sauce

3/4 cup olive oil

Using a blender, combine the first 9 ingredients. While the blender is running, slowly add the oil. Blend to a slightly thick consistency.

Dress the salad and enjoy!

Cooking on an Infrared Burner, sliders

Cooking with Infrared burner is like using a grill burner on steroids.

This baby is HOT

Some restaurants have gas grills with 100,000 btu or wood grills that heat over 700˚f. If the average home cook had something this hot, the fire department would be making frequent stops at their home. Also, most of cooking would resemble the bottom of your shoe.

Grills that offer a Infrared burner, provide a heat that is close to what the professionals use without the need of that extra fire extinguisher (although it does make sense to have one in your home for safety).

I recently cooked sliders on a Lynx Grill.

Since sliders are small I could cook them start to finish over the Infrared Burner. You can cook thinner and smaller cuts over the Infrared burner.

Most items should be just ‘seared’ over the Infrared burner and then finished over a standard burner to cook through.

 

Ingredients:

1 lb ground pork

1/2 ground beef, sirloin or chuck

1 small onion, minced

3 tbls bread crumbs

3 tbls minced sun-dried tomatoes

3 tbls fresh basil, minced

3 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbls steak sauce

Salt, to taste

Cracked pepper, to taste

Method

Cooking Spray, I recommend Coconut or Canola oil

In a stainless steel bowl combine the first 10 ingredients. Form golf ball size meatballs.

Turn on your grill. Set the Infrared Burner on high and place the lid down. Let the great heat for at least 8 minutes to get the grates hot.

Raise lid and clean the grates with a grill brush.

Spray the meatballs with cooking spray. Carefully & quickly place them on the hot grate with space in between. Let them cook for 2 1/2 minutes or until they will pull away from the grates without sticking. As you turn the over, place them on a clean grate or not over the same spot that they were cooking on. This keeps them from sticking to the remnants on the grates. Turn the heat down to low.

Allow them to cook for another 4 minutes. Remove and place on a pan or platter to rest while they continue to cook. Serve on a fresh roll with your favorite condiments.

Enjoy!

Blood Orange Mint Sorbet

Great opportunity to break out that ice cream machine that has been sitting in the box since last summer.

Or perhaps fill up some popsicle forms for a great treat on the go!

Ingredients:

1 cup loosely packed mint

2/3 cup sugar

1 -1/2 cup water

1 cup Blood Orange juice

Juice from 2 limes

Method:

In a sauce pan,combine 3/4 cup of water with sugar and place over a high heat. Boil to reduce liquid in half. Take pan from stove top and let simple syrup cool.

Light chop the mint and combine with juices & remaining water, in a stainless steel bowl. Mix in the simple syrup and place bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for a few hours. Strain the liquid and discard the mint before freezing your sorbet or pouring into popsicle molds.

Set into ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions.

Freeze it, share it or eat it.

Enjoy!

Kick up the recipe by adding 2 shots of light rum or a dash of both cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

Zucchini Pasta, no flour

Okay Vegetarians and those of the gluten free preference, break out that mandoline that is sitting in the back of the cupboard and get ready for a great dinner and no scarred knuckles.

Okay admittedly I have the pro version but the inexpensive plastic one works just fine. Set the cutter in the julienne setting. Use a towel to hold down the zucchini. You want to cut this lengthwise to get the spaghetti pasta effect. The cutter guard is too small for that.

 

 

Here are the ingredients for a great simple dish for two for dinner or four as the side dish:

2 Medium to Large Zucchini,  remove ends, cut julienne

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

1 Tablespoon of Butter or non dairy butter

1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, I used yellow because that is what is I have growing , cut in 1/2

4 ounces Mushrooms – Cremini, Portobello or your favorite – sliced thin

2 cloves Garlic, minced

Juice from 1 Lemon

2 ounces Pesto

2 ounces Tomato Sauce

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/2 cup white wine, stock or water

Method:

Set a large Saute pan on a high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes to extract some moisture, then remove from pan set aside on a plate. Return pan to stove top over a high heat. After 1 minute add the oil and turn pan to coat. Add the Zucchini and cook occasionally stirring just to the point of light brown.

Add the cherry tomatoes and garlic. Carefully stir then add the lemon juice and mushrooms. Let the veggies absorb the juice for a minute then add the pesto, tomato sauce & 1/2 cup of liquid.

Season with S & P and carefully stir to combine.

Plate it up and Enjoy!