We know that this time of the year is perfect for two things: family and hearty meals. We want to give you the opportunity to create delicious, healthy and hearty meals that can bring the family together to cook and eat. What's even better? You're using the sun to do so. The Solavore Sport is kid-friendly and it's always fun to get them involved! We've put together the 6 best solar oven recipes for you to make this holiday season. These recipes combine all aspects of what a meal should be and will have your meals bursting with flavor. Take some time to create and eat these with the help of family, friends and the sun.
1. Solavore Roast Turkey
Roasting a 20-lb turkey stuffed with dressing is a job best left to your conventional oven; even the USDA recommends cooking stuffing separately for optimal safety and uniform doneness. However, that doesn’t mean solar-cooked turkey and dressing is off the menu. In fact, the moist tenderness you’ve come to expect from roasting in the Solavore Sport may shift your holiday menu to the sun for good. Use one pot for turkey, one pot for dressing or your family’s favorite side dish and the feast is on!
Combos that work
As with chicken, cutting the turkey into pieces and arranging them loosely in your GraniteWare pots works better for solar oven cooking than roasting whole. You can, however, roast a turkey breast with back and sides intact – a 6-pound breast fits snugly in one pot. For dark meat, use a combination of legs and thighs. In either case, fill the cavity and/or empty spaces with quartered onions, celery tops, and peeled carrots. Crumble a chicken bouillon cube into the bottom of the pot for a flavor boost for the gravy yet to come. Rub the turkey with melted butter and season generously with salt and pepper. No need to add liquid; you’ll have plenty of savory juices as a by-product of solar cooking.
Place the pot(s) in the Solavore Sport. Cook 3-4 hours at 225º-275º, using reflectors if necessary to reach temperature. Be sure to get an early start (10:00 am) if preparing this dish in November or December – the sun is low in the sky this time of year! Test for doneness using a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the meat.
- 4 pounds large, meaty oxtail pieces, patted dry
- Coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons safflower or other neutral-tasting oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 bunch watercress, trimmed
Season oxtail generously with salt and pepper. In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow pie pan; season with salt and pepper. Dredge oxtail in flour mixture until coated all over, shaking off excess flour.
Working in batches, sear oxtail until well browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove oxtail and set aside. Place oxtail in Sport graniteware pots. Add wine and enough water to cover one quarter of the oxtail. Place in the Solavore Sport to cook. After 3 hours, add additional 2 cups water if necessary. Continue cooking until meat is tender and pulls away from bone, 3 hours more.
Remove oxtail and set aside. Pour cooking liquid into a fat separator. Allow fat to rise to top. Pour defatted cooking liquid back into pot. Cook until reduced and thickened, about 15-30 minutes. Return oxtail to pot and stir in watercress. Cook until oxtail is heated through, about 5 minutes.
Serve oxtail either on the bone or with meat removed from bone and transferred to a shallow dish. Pour reduced cooking liquid and watercress mixture over meat and serve immediately.
3. Rosemary Red Potatoes
This simple side dish in perfect for the solar oven; the subtle flavors develop slowly as the potatoes roast in the sun. Also a perfect opportunity to let the kids get involved. You cut the potatoes and then let them add the extra ingredients!
- 1 pound small red potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper
- Cut each potato in quarters, or smaller if you have large potatoes. Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add garlic, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the potatoes to evenly coat, then pour them into your Sport graniteware pot.
- Put the pot in the oven and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, between 1.5 to 2.5 hours.
The kids will love these, desserts!
4. Pecan Snowball Cookies
These classic holiday cookies do great in a solar oven. If you are baking them on a sunny day at Christmastime in the northern hemisphere, aim to back before noon. That's when the sun will be at the best angle for heating the oven.
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for coating)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups finely chopped pecans
1. Preheat your Solavore Sport and line a cookie sheet that fits in the oven with parchment or silicone baking mat.
2. In a large bowl, (or in the bowl of your stand mixer) cream your butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and salt and mix well. Slowly add the flour, mixing well after each addition. A thick dough will form. Add the chopped pecans and mix well.
3. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough out and roll it into a ball and place it on the cookie sheet. Continue until all the dough has been formed into balls. Place them on the cookie sheet about 1 inch part.
4. Bake for approximately 1 hour. Your cookies will not brown, but they will be done as long as you've had oven temps over 225 degrees.
5. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes then gently roll them in powdered sugar while still warm. Allow them to cool completely and then coat them in powdered sugar again.
5. Upside-down Cherry Cornmeal Goodness Cake
This recipe was adapted for solar cooking from the Malibu Farm Cookbook: Recipes from the California Coast. It's a perfect candidate for the solar oven. You can use sweet cherries, tart cherries, or a mixture of both.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 5 cups pitted cherries
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup cornmeal
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 stick salted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup buttermilk or kefir
- Whipped cream or powdered sugar (optional)
1. In a saute pan, melt the butter with the agave and pomegranate molasses. Add the cherries. Combine, and spread the cherry mixture in the bottom of your Graniteware pan.
2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a mixer, combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and buttermilk. Once you add the buttermilk, the wet mixture will curdle -- not to worry. Add the dry mixture and mix just until combined. Do not over mix.
4. Pour this combined wet-and- dry mixture over the cherry mixture. Place the cover on the Graniteware pot.
5. Bake the cake in a preheated Solavore Sport for 60-90 minutes or until just baked through and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, and then turn the cake upside down. Do not let the cake cool completely before releasing it from the skillet, as the cherry mixture will become too sticky to release. When the cake is still warm, it will come out more easily.
6. Serve with whipped cream or powdered sugar, if desired.
6. Chocolate Truffles
- 16 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- cocoa powder
- Optional flavor add-ins include peppermint extract, orange extract, espresso powder, chipotle powder, you name it!
- Place all ingredients in your graniteware pan, cover, and place in the Solavore Sport solar oven. Leave in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until chocolate melts. If you see small lumps of solid chocolate, stir until everything is melted and mixed. At this point you can add flavorings if you choose to. Place in refrigerator for 30-60 min until firm. If you are making these in the winter you can just place the covered pan outside to cool.
- At this point it's best to get the children involved. Allow them to roll their own truffles so they can eat their own. Once the chocolate is cooled and hardened, roll into small balls. Roll each ball generously in cocoa powder. Place in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight to set.
There you have it. The 6 best solar oven recipes you'll find this holiday season. You've got three hearty meals for dinner and three dynamic desserts that will keep your tastebuds guessing. Each recipe can be made with help from your family. It's our goal to bring people together this winter and inspire you to create something different. Whether you make these exact recipes or use them as a base to create something new, we know they'll be of help to you. So go on, be inspired and put that Solavore Sport to use this winter!