I once read a story about a mother who would cook roast lamb. Her husband and children enjoyed the results. Then one day her oldest child asked why she cut the lamb joint in two before putting it in the oven. Her reply was that was how her mother always did it. Why did my grandmother cut the joint in two asked the child. The mother could give no reason. The child, being naturally inquisitive, kept repeating the question. Eventually mother and child went and asked the grandmother. Her reply was that she just copied HER mother, the child's great grand mother. The great grand mother was not long for this world and the child was persistent so mother and child quickly made the journey to talk to her. How does cutting the joint in two help the flavour the child asked her great grandmother? The reply was both unexpected and illuminating. The great grandmother's reply was 'The dimensions of my oven were such that the only way of getting the whole joint into the oven was by cutting it in two'.
The above story comes to mind as a result of my short acquaintance with my JML HO. Whilst I have cooked, and eaten the food, using it, I realise that I have been performing experiments rather than repeating known recipes. What have I learnt from these experiments?
(1) it is possible to do fried eggs - 3,4 or 5 minutes in a small cake tin on the high rack at 200C. But are they really fried eggs - frying is done via a heat from below;fried eggs in the HO is done via both heating from above and circulated heat.
(2) the fan is at the center of the HO lid - if you look at the yolk of an egg directly under the fan you can see it vibrating and likely to be cooked quicker than a yolk outside the direct influence of the fan. Hence I place my cake tin to the side.
(3) having tried sausages and fried eggs I believe what you see through the glass bowl can be deceptive. This applies to food on the top rack. When the halogen light is on its intensity is such that any browning effect is distorted. That is, what you see and what your previous experience of other ovens leads you to expect needs adjustment. When the halogen light is off the lid casts a shadow, again distorting your view of any browning and egg white solidity. Until you have perfected recipes I would suggest removing the lid to check on food on the top rack.
(4) Timing and temperature. I followed some instructions I found for the 'perfect' grilling (frying?) of sausages; 15 minutes at 180C. I found the result to be over done sausages. So I need to make an adjustment to the instructions to get the result I would like. However, my knowledge of cooking is so minimal that I have no idea whether I should experiment with the temperature or the time or both.
(4a) I suspect that everyone on this forum is not a professional cook. Consequently, we will wish to, and try, to eat whatever we cook. We can't write off any failures against tax, nor do we want to have to grab a tin from the cupboard and use the microwave because we are still hungry. This leads to the suggestion that if a meal turns out to be uneatable any adjustments made to a repeated attempt should be minimal. Is this statement correct?
(5) Cleaning: or something I want to make as simple and quick as possible. The self cleaning instructions are both extremely accurate and vague at the same time! So far, the best method appears to be to use shallow cake tin(s) rather than just putting food directly onto the racks - the racks don't get dirty so don't need to be cleaned. The instructions say to fill the glass bowl with one point 5 centimeters of water after the bowl has cooled. The 1.5 cms seems to be a very precise figure and the word 'cooled' is vague. By the time I have eaten what I have cooked the glass bowl is still warm, but not too hot to touch. This seems to be the best time to start the cleaning cycle. I use a half litre measuring jug to collect water from the hot tap. Three fillings seems to be about right. Set the temperature to wash and the time to 15 minutes. As others have pointed out the bowl is heavy so getting it to the sink and emptying it needs some thought. First, as has been suggested elsewhere, use the plastic base to carry it to as close to the sink as possible. Only do this when it has cooled sufficiently for you to be comfortable with handling it - in my case it needs to be cold to the touch. Empty the water out. Now wipe the inside of the bowl with a cloth. Also carefully wipe the glass part of the lid. Reassemble, set the temperature to wash and the time to 5 minutes. This drys the bowl. Come the morning you should be able to walk into the kitchen and see what looks like a new HO. (Don't leave the emptying over night - the result isn't pretty!)
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Join date : 2009-12-13
Whilst I have cooked, and eaten the food, using it, I realise that I have been performing experiments rather than repeating known recipes.
That exactly what I believe. We need to experiment with the Halogen Oven . We are the pioneers of the HO
Thank you for the tips and advice npower1.
The Zen of Your Halogen Oven I like this tittle. I picture you as this wise person advising us on attaining enlightenment through the art of cooking with the HO
Well "Grasshopper" is going to attempt to cook chicken tikka for her family for dinner. I'll tell you all about it next time.
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Join date : 2009-09-18
Location : England