While I was down with this crummy cold I spent a bit of time sleeping to the TV and I can't say where I heard this but it must have lodged into a corner of my sticky brain because I woke up thinking of--Cooking Green. Now this doesn't mean eat your veggies, no it refers to being efficient with your cooking fuel. Something, I'm sorry to say, I'd not thought of before but it does make sense. Conservation of energy should not only be for your car.
Only baking one thing in your oven tonight? Don't do it, take advantage of the whole oven and partition off a baking sheet with little foil packages. What the heck, you've two racks, add another baking sheet. Adding more than two might cut down on the efficiency of the oven so don't overload.
What did I cook? The first foil lined baking sheet had separate small foil packets of onions, beets, garlic, and sliced apples. All were seasoned appropriate for their final use and wrapped. The second sheet was a cut-up fryer on a bed of sliced onions and carrots. I pealed a few Yukon Gold potatoes and tucked them in amongst the chicken pieces. All was seasoned with salt, pepper and some yummy smoked paprika. The chicken was tented and both sheets went into a 375 oven for about an hour and a half.
I'm sure you're saying, "I bet that smelled awful." Let me just say the roasting of apples, onions, garlic and beets didn't smell like garbage cooking but it did make you wonder, "Just what IS for dinner?"
The apple packet was the first done, maybe about 30 minutes so out it came. The sugar I sprinkled along with cinnamon and nutmeg had created it's own sweet sauce.
The beets and garlic were next out but the onions needed more color so I unwrapped the packet and put it back in for about 15 minutes more.
When the chicken was near done off came the foil ten so the pieces could brown. I should have either browned the chicken first or removed the foil earlier because it wasn't as brown as I wanted.
Ok, let's take stock. I had dinner for that night. Roasted garlic and leftover potatoes for garlic mashed the next night. Enough chicken for a yummy Orzo salad with roasted beets and onions for lunch. And, not to forget, those baked apples. They went in a non-stick skillet, juice and all, and dusted with a bit of flour (cornstarch would work, too) cooked until a bit thicker and over some ice cream.
All this was done with the same energy used to cook the chicken so I was quite pleased with myself. So next time you're gonna fire up the cooker think of what else you could do at the same time. Save you and the planet some energy.
Don't forget to enter PBE's Pullet Surpise .