Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Oven It's Not Just For Cakes And Cookies

Most home chefs just use the oven for making sweet treats such as chocolate chip cookies or red velvet cake.. Yet the oven can produce  such savory masterpieces as crown roasts  and baked sandwiches. Using this way is a nice departure from stove top cooking.

Of course one of the best savory oven meals is the pizza. It's a nice departure from the pizzeria and frozen kinds. Some purists get a pizza stone, a round disc made out of soapstone or marble. These help to create a crispier crust, however, a round baking sheet or even an oblong one . The crust won't be as crispy as one baked on a stone but it will still be delicious. A homemade pie can be customized to fit everyone's needs, wit extra sauce or more cheese. Then there's the toppings which can feature the traditional pepperoni and olives or the unusual like buffalo chicken and pineapple chunks. Another Southern  Italian treat that's oven baked is the calzone. It's a pizza turned inside out. Calzone translates into big sock and it is just that. It's filled with everything from ricotta and mozzarella to spinach, ham and, chopped pork sausage. Baking time is a quick fifteen to seventeen minutes. Sandwiches such as grilled cheese actually taste better oven baked than they do fried, They're also a very quick bake too. It's only five minutes in a 450 degree F. oven.. Another plus is that you can make six to eight sandwiches at a time. This is great if you have a hungry crowd to feed and there's no time to wait.

Baked sandwiches are wonderful lunches or Sunday suppers. Grilled cheese in the oven has so many variations. Try sharp Vermont cheddar on white bread. Jazz it up with some bacon slices and sliced tomatoes for a diner special  The Happy Waitress. One of my favorites is a Piedmontese dish from my Nonna's side. Leeks on toast is a tasty and filling combo of cooked leeks on buttered toast. More butter is added on top of the leeks along with a heavy sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, The average sandwich can also be baked. Think baked club sandwiches for a hot Saturday lunch or a baked ham and cheese for a Sunday supper. One of the biggest oven trends right now is sheet  pan meals This is an easy way to cook the main dish and sides all together. There are so many variations from vegan to hearty meat lovers, Many home chefs combine chicken with different vegetables.Small red potatoes are the veggie of choice along with broccoli and peppers to create a tasty and filling meals.Cut sausage makes a wonderful main ingredient in a sheet pan meal, Try it with peppers and potatoes cut into cubes..Pork chops are also wonderful in a sheet pan dinner. Pair with string beans and sweet potatoes for a real rib sticking meal.

Ovens are not just for baking sweet treats such as cakes and cookies You can create delicious, savory meals that are baked to perfection. Try them and get hooked on this ingenious way of cooking lunches and dinners.

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