Now before we get to that New Year’s resolution of getting ourselves to eat better and exercise more, let’s have one last gluttonous experience to cleanse our self of our decadent desires. Some of the recipes below do have some health ingredients, but if you stuff your face it will kind of defeat the whole purpose.
For this exercise you are going to need a toaster oven. If you do not own one of these then you may be missing out on an opportunity to make quick and delicious meals in half the time and with a fraction of the energy costs of a full sized cooking oven. Before buying one of these small appliances for your kitchen you can check out current toaster oven reviews at http://www.gourmetworrier.com to see which models are the best on the market. Here are just a few examples of some of the things that you could be doing with one of these top countertop ovens. They certainly can do a lot more than just make toast.
Fast and Simple Toaster Oven Recipes
My personal favorite toaster oven recipe is the good ol’ tortilla chip sandwiches. Many toaster ovens have a little pan that can be placed right onto one of the racks. Pull this out and spray it down with some cooking oil. Place a tortilla chip on the pan and load it up with your favorite taco toppings. I like to plop some refried beans and spicy tomato salsa on top. Then, just as a finishing touch, I carefully add a few jalapeno peppers. Once you’re satisfied with your filling, squash another tortilla chip over top of everything. Make as many of these sandwiches as you can fit on the pan and then throw it in your toaster oven. Set the temperature to about 350 and only keep them in long enough to heat everything up.
While we’re on the subject of sandwiches, let’s talk about s’mores! That’s right, you can even make a few s’mores in your toaster oven as a delicious dessert. Or, in my case, a reward for a nice, long run. Assemble them just as you would as you stand over a campfire. Just make sure you leave the top graham cracker off for now. Toast those puppies up until the marshmallows develop a brilliant golden brown color. Then top it off with your final cracker and chow down!
S’mores are just one example of toaster oven twist on a classic. Did you know you can even make grilled cheese sandwiches in your little oven-toaster hybrid? Just pretend you’re cooking up some of that cheesy goodness on the oven top, just throw it in your mini version instead. Make sure you pay close attention to where the heat is concentrated, however, or else you may get some strange toasting.
Let’s Go Nuts
Let’s get off this sandwich trip and delve into something more creative. For those of you who love toasted nuts, a toaster oven has you handled in a quarter of the time it takes to make these healthy treats in a normal oven. Experimentation is key here but I do suggest you try out a recipe with a special chocolate twist. Lay a baking liner on your pan and spread some unsalted, raw cashews on the pan in a single layer. Let that toast up for about eight minutes at a temperature of 350. Meanwhile, mix up cocoa powder, powdered sugar and just a touch of salt in a large bowl. While the nuts are still nice and warm, dump them in your mixture and toss them about. These will keep for about a week.
Something Smells Fishy
Who says you can’t go a little gourmet with a toaster oven? This next recipe will prove those nay-sayers wrong! How does some glazed salmon sound? Get your salmon marinated in a mixture of miso, sake (which is a type of Japanese wine), soy sauce, oil and sugar for a minimum of a half hour. Once the salmon is nice and flavored, crank up your toaster oven’s broiler to high. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, rub the extra marinade off the salmon and place that fish right on the foil. Broil for about five minutes are until the top is beautifully charred.
Let’s Do A Little Italian Food
I’ve got one more recipe for you. This is sure to be a hit for you and the whole family. I know this because I lived off this particular recipe when I was a kid. Grab some bagels and rip them apart. Spray down your toaster oven pan and plop the bagel halves on top, flat side up. Grab some tomato sauce and spread it evenly over the bread. Then sprinkle a bit (or a lot) of cheese on the sauce. You can even throw Parmesan cheese on there for some added flavor. Finish it off with your favorite pizza toppings: pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers or (in my case) some jalapeno peppers. Plop your creation in the toaster oven until the cheese is melted and everything is nice and cozy warm.
There you have it! Once you’ve finished making all these recipes in your nifty toaster oven, you and that strange mini oven will have developed a special bond. For another great recipe that you can use to cook a delicious meal in your toaster oven, check out this fantastic video below.