Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Thermal Cooker Trifecta

Soup This past Sunday was the Quaker potluck in a space that doesn't have a stove, though it does have electrical. Rather than get out my crock pot, I used my thermal cooker for soup. It also had the advantage of being a deeper pot so there is less likelihood of leakage while transporting. Another Friend brought chili in an oval crockpot and he had some mess to clean up.

The soup was based on the harvest I have on hand: tomatoes ripening in newspaper, delicta squash in storage, canned tomato stock, lightly salted vegetable stock, dried chard, and dried zucchini slices. I add some mixed dal and curry and produced a hearty, warming soup for lunch. After bringing it all to a boil, I set the pot in the vacuum sleeve, closed the insulated lid, and went for an hour long walk. I checked the seasoning when I got back, brought it to a boil again, and set up for Meeting. The soup cooked through meeting and announcements and all but two servings was joyfully consumed. I put those two servings in the fridge and rinsed out the cooker preparatory to its next use.

Rice Once I got my thermal cooker and found out how easy it was to cook rice in it, I donated my rice cooker to a thrift store. It was also far easier to clean and you never have to worry about it burning. It takes 45 minutes to cook brown rice in the cooker. Just bring 2 cups of rice in 3 cups of water to a boil, set it in the sleeve, cover and forget it. Supper got a little bit delayed, but the rice stayed fluffy in the cooker. We always use leftover rice in fried rice, under stir-fries, or perhaps even in a rice pudding. After supper I put the remaining rice in a container and cleaned out the cooker for its next use.

Steel-cut oats Usual recipes for steel-cut oats (the oat grains are cut into pieces rather than rolled flat) call for a half-hour boil. There is also the ease with which the oats will cling and burn to the bottom of your pot. I used the same proportions of water and oats as called for: 4 parts water to 1 part oats and did up 2 cups of steel-cut oats for a week of breakfasts. I also added hemp hearts, nutritional yeast, ground flax seed, and wheat germ (a round teaspoon of each per quarter cup of oats) as I do for my usual oatmea. I brought this to a boil and set the pot in the vacuum sleeve, closing the lid. After 4 hours they were nicely cooked through. It was bedtime then, so I simply took the pot out of the sleeve and set it in our "walk-in" fridge (the enclosed porch in December - March).

I moved the finished oats to containers this morning (Tuesday) so I could used the thermal cooker for tonight's supper of Southwestern stew. To used the oats, I microwave them for 2 minutes with fruit then top with some yogurt -- a very hearty, rib-sticking breakfast!

No comments:

Post a Comment