Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:13:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2 Thai Sweet and Sour Tofu http://steamykitchen.com/39756-thai-sweet-and-sour-tofu-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/39756-thai-sweet-and-sour-tofu-recipe.html#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:13:04 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=39756 In this recipe, you’ll learn: 20-Minute recipe that you can serve over rice or noodles Simple sweet and sour sauce that can be used in countless dishes Recipe from the famous Rosa’s Thai Cafe in London Rosa’s Thai restaurants in London are known for their locally sourced ingredients, blending over 100 authentic Thai recipes with a modern flair and seasonal ingredients of ...

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Thai Sweet and Sour Tofu

In this recipe, you’ll learn:

  • 20-Minute recipe that you can serve over rice or noodles
  • Simple sweet and sour sauce that can be used in countless dishes
  • Recipe from the famous Rosa’s Thai Cafe in London

rosas-thai-cafeRosa’s Thai restaurants in London are known for their locally sourced ingredients, blending over 100 authentic Thai recipes with a modern flair and seasonal ingredients of London.

In keeping with our contemporary twist on authentic Thai cuisine “Rosa’s Thai Café The Cookbook” celebrates traditional Thai cooking techniques. The book features over 100 recipes, including dishes from the menu at Rosa’s as well as family favourites and regional dishes from founder Saiphin Moore’s regular trips back home. Recipes range from the aromatic Beef Massaman Curry to the Soft Shell Crab Salad, Larb Spring Rolls, homemade Sriracha Sauce and Mangoes with Sticky Rice. Rosa

Rosa's Thai Cafe: The CookbookRosa began her culinary adventure in her hometown, Phetchabun, in northern Thailand, with the opening of a grocery store. Nineteen years later, and 6 restaurants under her belt in London, Rosa is now famous for her homestyle Thai cooking.

I had such a great time exploring through Rosa’s blog – she makes frequent trips back to Thailand and documents her visits with some video. Come check out her flavorful and authentic Thai recipes on Rosa’s blog, including Chicken Green Curry and Pad Kra Pow.

Rosa has generously shared her Thai Sweet and Sour Tofu Recipe with us on Steamy Kitchen!

Buy a copy of Rosa’s Thai Café: The Cookbook (it’s currently the #1 Thai cookbook on Amazon!)

Serve this Thai Sweet and Sour Tofu Recipe with Jasmine Rice

 

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Thai Sweet and Sour Tofu Recipe

Servings: Serves 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
Thai Sweet and Sour Tofu

Reprinted with permission from Rosa's Thai Café: The Cookbook; photography by Dan Jones, Interlink Books, an imprint of Interlink Publishing Group, Inc.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk green onion, chopped2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 ounces canned baby corn, sliced in half, lengthwise
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into cubes
14 ounces tofu, cut into pieces (soft or firm)

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, vinegar, wine, soy sauce and sugar.

Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in the cooking oil. Add in green and red bell pepper and the onion. Stir fry for 30 seconds, until vegetables are slightly softened. Then add in the green onion and garlic and stir fry for another 10 seconds.

Lower the heat to medium. Pour in the sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Add in the baby corn, tomato, pineapple and tofu. Let simmer for 3 minutes.

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Batistini Farms Olive Oil Review and Giveaway http://steamykitchen.com/40135-batistini-farms-review-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/40135-batistini-farms-review-giveaway.html#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:35:05 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40135 Organic Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Gold Award Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Estate 15 Wood Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena - Aged over 12 years
Dark Barrel Fig Thick Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Wood Barrel Aged
Vanishing Grape White Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Zero Additives, Zero Artificial, Gluten Free, Non-GMO
Also included:

Uttermost Chocolate Box with Lid:  genuine fir wood, . . .

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Batistini Farms provided the olive oils and vinegars for taste testing, and for the giveaway. No monetary compensation was provided. All opinions are my own. 

BatistiniFarms.com-Steamy-Kitchen-Basket-Photo

Batistini Farms Olive Oil Review

The unparalleled health benefits of olive oil is one of the reasons its use is getting more and more popular these days. And on top of that game is Batistini Farms’ unrivaled olive oil.

In fact, among the 651 entries from 25 countries at the New York International Olive Oil Competition, the Batistini 100% Toscano PGI Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil took home the Gold Award. It’s also listed as one of the top 254 best olive oils in the world on BestOliveOils.com.

It comes directly from olives that are grown in Daniele Batistini’s La Batistina Farm in the town of Suvereto in Tuscany. The Batistini family hasBatistini-Farms-Gold-Award been growing grapes and olives for about 100 years now and they’re very meticulous when it comes to their traditional method of planting, growing and even the selection during harvesting of  the olives and production. The olives are also grown naturally and sustainably in mineral rich farmlands and because of this, an exceptionally smooth and fresh taste is ensured in every bottle of olive oil.

We’ve been enjoying Batistini’s Olive Oil and their amazing selection of vinegars these past two weeks on our salads. In a mason jar, just a little minced garlic, a couple tablespoons of their vinegar (we love the 12-Year Wood barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena), some salt and pepper, and a glug of Batistini olive oil. Close the lid and shake. It’s a dressing that’s so simple, and lets you taste the full complex flavors of Batistini family products in full glory.

You can purchase Batistini award-winning Olive Oils and vinegars direct from their website. ~Jaden

Giveaway Includes:

  • (1) Organic Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • (1) Gold Award Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • (1) Estate 15 Wood Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena – Aged over 12 years
  • (1) Dark Barrel Fig Thick Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Wood Barrel Aged
  • (1) Vanishing Grape White Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
  • (1) Zero Additives, Zero Artificial, Gluten Free, Non-GMO
  • Also included:
    • (1) Uttermost Chocolate Box with Lid:  genuine fir wood, distressed, aged ivory finish with burnished details and black accents.
    • (1) Himalayan Crystal Salt
    • (1) Dried Wild Italian Mushrooms
    • (1) Red Serving Dish Made in Italy
    • (1) Mint Green Salad Tongs
    • (1) Bon Appétit Kitchen Towel

Approximate Retail Value:  $225 – $250

About Bastini Farms:

Batistini Farms Logo

We are a family business located in the USA. Our ingredients come from farms and estates sharing the same values and love of authentic, high quality foods cultivated by centuries old traditions handed down for generations. We invite you to experience a taste of artisan foods from our farmers that carefully hand select only the best ingredients. Each step of farm to table production is carefully managed to present award winning treasures from the harvest.

Enter the Bastini Farms Giveaway:

 

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Ball FreshTech Electric Water Bath Canner & Multi-Cooker Review & Giveaway http://steamykitchen.com/40125-ball-freshtech-electric-water-bath-canner-multi-cooker-review-giveaway.html http://steamykitchen.com/40125-ball-freshtech-electric-water-bath-canner-multi-cooker-review-giveaway.html#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 19:27:52 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40125 Replace your old, stovetop water bath canner with the Ball 21-qt. FreshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner and Multi-Cooker, which can be used anywhere there’s a power outlet. Not only is this electric water bath canner 20 percent more energy efficient than traditional stovetop methods for canning, you’ll free up valuable space on your cooktop for . . .

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FreshTech Canner 2

Ball FreshTech provided a Electric Water Bath Canner & Multi-Cooker for testing and one for a giveaway (good luck!) No further compensation was provided. All opinions are my own. ~Jaden

Ball FreshTech Electric Water Bath Canner and Multi-Cooker Review

Our aquaponics garden runs year-round (the fish don’t take summer vacations) and our raised bed is open for business Fall, Winter and Spring. Our intense Florida heat forces a shut down of our beds, and I don’t much enjoy being outside tending to the garden while sweating like a pig!

With so much produce, I like to either dehydrate or cook/freeze our vegetables. We’ve canned a handful of times, but found the process too cumbersome to do regularly in the old kitchen. Plus, that time I slipped and spilled 4 gallons of hot water in the kitchen? Not fun.

I took the Ball’s brand new product, the Electric Water Bath Canner & Multi-Cooker for a test last week. I made a big batch of Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter to gift to a friend.

First off, this electric unit is more than just a canner, it also can simmer soups, cook marinara sauce or serve warm cider for a party (a BIG party!) Because it’s an electric appliance, your stovetop is free to do other things. This is great for potlucks, churches or organizations serving dozens of people. Note that the Multi-Cooker is big! It holds 21 quarts of water, enough to process 7 quart jars, 8 pint jars or 12 half-pint jars at one time.

freshtech automatic canner review-4244

The FreshTech Electric Canner makes canning for a novice easy and safe. I didn’t have to measure temperature manually, there is a dial that adjusts the heat setting from pre-heating jars to processing the canning.

We set the unit right next to the sink, so that our sink hose could reach in and fill up the pot.

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There’s also a very convenient spigot to drain back into the sink (no more spilling gallons of water in the kitchen!) Inside the unit, is a stopper, so that you can cover the spigot when using the unit as a Multi-Cooker. You wouldn’t want to get food stuck in the spigot. Remove the stopper to drain the water – or if you’re serving Hot Buttered Apple Cider with Rum.

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Also included in the package is a steaming rack, which is perfect for steaming a whole fish, Chinese style.  Another great feature is that the unit lifts up and out from the detachable base – so that it is easy to clean and carry. The glass lid was nice – you can just peer in to see what’s going on in the pot. Silicone handles meant no more fussing about with clumsy pot holders.

FreshTech Canner 3

The Ball Electric Water Bath Canner and Multi-Cooker came with a few recipes, but I highly suggest checking out my friend, Marisa’s blog, Food in Jars (she also has 2 cookbooks that are great too.) Read up on her Canning 101 series of posts to learn all about jars and canning.

As a novice canner, I do like this appliance. The price is high, at $149.00, but if you are using it as a Multi-Cooker for big potlucks are parties, then it is absolutely worth the money. For the occasional canner, it is expensive and big – you’ll have to find a place to store this baby when not in use.

About Ball FreshTech Electric Water Bath Canner and Multi-Cooker

Replace your old, stovetop water bath canner with the Ball 21-qt. FreshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner and Multi-Cooker, which can be used anywhere there’s a power outlet. Not only is this electric water bath canner 20 percent more energy efficient than traditional stovetop methods for canning, you’ll free up valuable space on your cooktop for other cooking tasks. This canner accommodates large batch canning, fitting 7 quart jars or 8 pint jars comfortably at one time. The ingenious drain spout on the exterior allows you to drain directly into the sink or empty water into a smaller container – no need to worry about moving gallons of hot water at the end of the canning process. The drain spout also enables this item to be used as an electric beverage urn, perfect for dispensing hot tea, cider or cocoa at your next party.

Cook up a storm without using the stove, by conveniently using this electric cooker to steam, simmer, boil, or blanch. It can be used as a stockpot for pastas, soups, and stews, or as a steamer for vegetables and seafood. Heat-resistant rubber-coated handles on the cooker and lid offer a comfortable non-slip grip. The tight-fitting glass lid allows you to monitor the cooking process without losing heat and moisture. The base is detachable for easy cleaning and conveniently nests inside the cooker for more compact storage. The spiral-bound recipe book takes you from canning to fresh chicken noodle soup.

 

Includes:

  • Electric Canner/Multi-Cooker
  • Tempered Glass Lid
  • Steaming/Canning Jar Rack
  • Recipe Book

FreshTech CannerFeatures:

  • Large 21-quart capacity
  • Jar capacity: 7 quarts or 8 pints
  • One simple dial controls temperature
  • Uses 20% less energy than stovetop
  • Removable canning jar rack keeps jars from touching the bottom of the pot
  • Multi-cooker/steamer for pastas, soups, vegetables, and seafood
  • Tempered glass lid allows you to monitor food and keep moisture in
  • Easy-drain spigot for simple draining
  • Great way to serve hot beverages using the spigot
  • Non-slip, heat-resistant handles are comfortable and easy to grip
  • Detachable base nests for easy storage and cleaning
  • Dishwasher safe lid and steaming/canning jar rack

 

Enter the Ball® FreshTech Electric Water Bath Canner & Multi-Cooker Giveaway:

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Chinese Steamed Buns http://steamykitchen.com/39943-chinese-steamed-buns-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/39943-chinese-steamed-buns-recipe.html#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 17:22:46 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=39943 This Chinese Steamed Buns Recipe features: Simple dough that can be used for many different Chinese steamed buns Step by step photos to show you exactly how to make the buns How to prevent the buns from splitting apart too soon Tips to get your buns smooth, white and puffy A few weeks ago, my parents came to visit from the ...

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chinese steamed buns recipe roasted duck-4194

This Chinese Steamed Buns Recipe features:

  • Simple dough that can be used for many different Chinese steamed buns
  • Step by step photos to show you exactly how to make the buns
  • How to prevent the buns from splitting apart too soon
  • Tips to get your buns smooth, white and puffy

chinese steamed buns recipe roasted duck-4205

A few weeks ago, my parents came to visit from the lovely state of Nevada. Even though their stay is just for a week, we are never surprised to see that they’ve brought enough luggage to stay a month.

That’s because the luggage are all packed with goodies for us and the kids! Food goodies! Seaweed crackers, special Chinese sausage, lap cheong, that you can only buy from Canada (the brand is called Happy Meat), salted kumquat for sore throat, dried anchovies with peanuts.

Mom also used a cooler in her carry on to bring fresh roasted duck and crispy roasted pork from a famous restaurant near her home. That’s the dedication of a loving Mom and true food lover!

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Chinese Roast Duck certainly begs for handmade, freshly steamed buns. I’ve shared before our little shortcut secret using store-bought sourdough biscuit dough sold in cans, or a pre-mixed flour found in Asian supermarkets. This time, Mom and I made them from scratch, experimenting with a couple of different recipes and declaring this recipe the winner.

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How to make Chinese Steamed Bun Recipe 

The first step is to make the dough, mixing in warm water, yeast, sugar and cooking oil. Then flour, baking powder, salt. In the photo below, the dough was sticking to the side of the bowl, we added another tablespoon of flour.

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Let your food processor do the work for you, mixing with the paddle first, then switching to the dough hook to knead — or turn out on your counter to knead by hand, which is what my Mom prefers to do.

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Knead until you get a smooth, supple dough.

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You can return this dough back in the same mixer bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rise in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, until it just about doubles in size.

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After the rise, gently turn out the dough back on your counter that you’ve lightly dusted with flour. Divide the dough into half, roll out each half into a long log. Cover one log with plastic wrap so that it doesn’t dry out. Further divide the log into 6-7 pieces, depending on how big you want your buns.

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Take one piece of dough into your hand.

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Fold the edge of the dough into the center and press down. Do this all the way around. This motion creates a smooth ball and increases the surface tension to help shape the ball.

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See how all the edges of the dough have come into the center? Pinch that center to keep all the edges together.

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Turn the ball over. Now you should have a perfectly smooth, round piece that is nice and taut with surface tension.

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Use your palm to flatten that ball out.

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Use a rolling pin to roll back and forth to create an oval.

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Like this:

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Brush the surface with cooking oil.

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Fold over one edge.

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To create the bun. The cooking oil helps keep that seam, so that when you are ready to eat, you can open the bun. Without the cooking oil, the dough would stick together and be difficult to open the bun.

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However, if you steam the bun after this step, the bun will open up in the steamer. That’s not what you want. You want the bun to stay closed during cooking.

So, what you need to do is roll one more time on top, not too hard, just a little bit of pressure is all that’s needed.

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Place bun on a small square of parchment paper.

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Fill your steamer, but give the buns enough room to expand during cooking without touching. We use 10″ bamboo steamer at our house (I suggest no smaller than 10″). My Mom loves her multi purpose, stainless steel double boiler/steamer set.

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I used to just set my bamboo steamer directly into my wok, but it would sit so low that I would constantly run out of water during steaming. This is a big problem – when you run out of water during steaming, the food will begin to taste burnt and metallic. No water in the wok means no steam…instead, smoke.

I began using Helen Chen’s Steaming Ring set on top of any of my large pots. The Steaming Ring is $9.99 and allows you to transform any of your stockpots or dutch ovens to work with a bamboo steamer. It’s definitely worth every penny!

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Place the ring on top of the pan. Fill pan with about an inch of water.

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Set your bamboo steamer on top. It works perfectly with a 10″ bamboo steamer.

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Next steps:

1. Do not turn on the heat yet. Let the buns rest and rise for 10 minutes, just as-is.

2. After 10 minutes, turn on the heat to high.

3. When you begin seeing steam rise from the top of the bamboo steamer, reduce heat to medium-high and set your timer for 5 minutes.

4. After 5 minutes, turn off heat. Do not open steamer – let the buns rest for 1 minute.

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Secret Tips That Make a Big Difference

Here’s the secret to white, puffy buns that don’t collapse or fall:

I’ve made these buns so many times, and each time, the buns would turn out beautiful and perfect, but then would deflate or flatten after cooling. They also would take on a little yellowish tinge and be a bit chewy.

The secret that I’ve learned from my Mom:

The bamboo steamer needs to be in place before the heat is turned on. This allows the buns to heat up and steam gently and slowly, as the water begins to boil. My old method was to wait for the water to boil before placing the bamboo steamer, which caused the buns to cook too quickly, which resulted in a chewier bun.

Remember, steamed buns should be delicate and light — and so the cooking method needs to be gentle as well.

Turning off the heat (step 4 above) but NOT opening the steamer for 1 minute allows the buns to gradually come down in temperature and also lets the buns sit in gentle steam to finish the cooking process. This helps prevent collapsing buns — and keeps the buns nice and white.

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Take a look at this bun – nice and fluffy. The seam is distinct and easy to open, but stays closed during cooking, which is what you want.

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I hope you have a chance to make these Chinese Steamed Buns, the next time you get a Chinese Roasted Duck on your hands (maybe you are lucky enough to have Mom who will bring you one?) Or you can make your own Chinese Roasted Duck – here’s my easy recipe.

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To Accompany the Chinese Roast Duck

  • Julienned cucumber
  • Thin slivers of green onion (I soak in ice cold water to get them super crispy/crunchy and curly)
  • Hoisin sauce (store-bought)

Chinese Roasted Duck Recipe (with pre-mixed Asian dough for steamed buns)

Chinese Pork Belly with Steamed Buns (with cheater buns recipe from store-bought sourdough biscuit dough in can)

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Chinese Steamed Buns Recipe

Servings: 12-14 buns Prep Time: 30 minutes + 1 hour resting Cook Time: 18 minutes
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Equipment: Steaming basket, pastry brush, parchment paper

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon cooking oil (canola or vegetable), plus more for brushing
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
14 squares parchment paper (4"x4")

Directions:

1. In a mixer bowl, add the warm water, oil, yeast and sugar. Let sit for 1 minute, until the yeast begins to bubble a bit. Next, add in the flour, baking powder and salt, in that order. With the paddle attachment, mix on low for 2 minutes. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl. Change to a dough hook, and on speed 2, knead for 4 minutes, until dough is smooth, supple and clear the sides of the bowl. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time.

2. Dust your counter with a little flour and turn out your dough. I like to hand knead it a few times, so that I can get a feel for the dough. Shape the dough into a smooth ball. Return the dough ball to the mixing bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm, dry spot for 1-2 hours, until it nearly doubles in size.

3. Turn out your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half. Gently roll each half into a log shape. Cut each log into 6 or 7 little balls. We'll work with one ball at a time, so keep the rest covered with plastic wrap so that they don't dry out. Form each ball by bringing in the sides (see photos above) and pinching the center. Turn ball over to get a nice, taut ball. Roll the dough ball out to a long, oval shape about 6"x3". Brush the top with a little cooking oil. Fold over one side of the oval. Use your rolling pin to gently roll and press one last time. Place bun on a parchment paper square, place into the bamboo steamer and cover with lid to prevent drying. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

4. Fill your pot or wok with 2" of water. Place the steamer ring (if you have one) bamboo baskets on top. Do not turn on the heat yet. Let rest for 10 minutes. Then, turn on the heat to high. When you begin to see steam coming up from the top of the steamer, reduce heat to medium-high. Let steam for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, without opening the steamer. Let rest for 1 minute. Open steamer and gently lift the steamer baskets off one another to let the buns cool.

TIP: If you are not eating right away, you can keep the buns in the bamboo steamer, on top of the pot of water. Make sure there is plenty of water in the pot. Turn heat to low, so that you have a gentle mist of steam coming up to keep the buns moist and warm. Make sure you don't run out of water in the pot!

Other recipes for Chinese Steamed Buns

Chinese Mantou Buns (Food 52)

Char Siu Bao (Woks of Life)

Chinese Fold Over Buns (Thirsty for Tea)

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Personalized Cutting Board from Black Canyon Giveaway http://steamykitchen.com/40042-black-canyon-cutting-board.html http://steamykitchen.com/40042-black-canyon-cutting-board.html#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 17:55:34 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40042 How It Works

Your cutting board is made-to-order and completely designed by you! Black Canyon will walk you through the steps:

Choose a cutting board style

Pick from our quality materials

Add a personal engraving or logo

Black Canyon handcrafts cutting boards as customized gifts and attractive additions to any kitchen. Each unique cutting board is made with precision by skilled . . .

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black canyon cutting board review

This review and giveaway is provided by Black Canyon Woodworks. We received a customized cutting board for an honest review. No monetary compensation was provided. ~Jaden

Black Canyon Personalized Cutting Board Review

We own a good dozen of cutting boards – each a different size and shape and made of different types of materials. Our go-to board that is always out on our counter has been a sturdy walnut end-grain board that we had made years ago. But without a trough to catch juices or drippings, we only used it for chopping vegetables.

Black Canyon Woodworks from Bend, Oregon, sent me a gift certificate to use on their site, and I immediately chose the large platter-style cutting board with a deep trough, perfect for carving chicken, turkey, prime rib or anything juicy for that matter.

I loved customizing my perfect cutting board – you can choose from 1 of three styles:

Board Style

Then choose from your desired material. I’ve always been partial to dark, chocolatey walnut.

Board Material2

You can also engrave and personalize it with your name engraved or even a logo:

Cherry Packaged Cutting Board

Each cutting board is hand crafted and packaged with an oil that’s specifically designed to take care of your cutting board, so that it will last for years to come.

The platter shape is my favorite – I love the handles to help with easier transport of food. The other side of the cutting board is flat (no trough) and is perfect for your everyday chopping. The thickness is 1.25″ – which is perfect thickness for me. The standard 1″ thick is a little too thin – and warps too easily over time. This Black Canyon Platter style cutting board at 1.25″ feels so strong.

A few people asked about the Butcher style cutting board – the design of that board is “end grain” meaning small pieces of wood are joined together, with the end grain up. These end-grain boards are very sturdy and actually are better for your chef’s knives because of the “give” in the grain when you chop. They keep the knives sharper as well. The reason I’m not a fan of the very thick 2.5″ cutting board is because I’m short! That extra 1.25″ in height means I’m chopping at a weird angle. However, if you’re lucky enough to be taller than me (I’m barely 5 ft 2″) – I would highly recommend the Black Canyon Woodworks Butcher style personalized cutting board. Cons: It is heavy, more difficult to carry, and you only get 12″ x 12″ square.

Order a Black Canyon Cutting Personalized Board for your favorite cook.  ~ Jaden

About Black Canyon Woodworks

Black Canyon Woodworks

Black Canyon Woodworks is a company known for its
” Quality Craftsmanship, Designed to Last a Lifetime “

Our Vision:
At Black Canyon Woodworks, our artisans focus on creating hand crafted “heirloom quality functional art” that is designed for everyday use in your home. These special pieces include traditionally crafted and quality built furniture, or customized cutting boards, that are designed to last.

Black Canyon Woodworks is a local family-owned business. Our wood products are made where we work and play– in beautiful Bend, Oregon. Whenever possible, we use wood that is from northwest sources and do our best to provide a sustainably produced product.

Enter the Black Canyon Woodworks Giveaway:

Giving away (1) Black Canyon Woodworks Personalized Cutting Board.

 

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Giveaway: ErgoChef 3 Piece Duo Tongs Set http://steamykitchen.com/40037-giveaway-ergochef-3-piece-duo-tongs-set.html http://steamykitchen.com/40037-giveaway-ergochef-3-piece-duo-tongs-set.html#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 15:42:52 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40037 This 3pc. Locking Kitchen Tong set has a 9" pair for serving and small stove top cooking. A 12" Pair (Tested & Recommended by Cooking Club of America) when you need a bit more reach and a 15" Pair for the grill & professional kitchen. They feature 500 degree silicone heads on one side for . . .

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Review:
We use several different types of pans for cooking:  cast iron, nonstick and hard anodized. Oh, and also our outdoor grill! To make sure we don’t scratch our nonstick cookware, we have been using silicon or plastic tipped tongs. The problem with this is that I’ve had several melt in the cast iron pans and on the BBQ grill.
I’ve also ruined 2 pairs while cutting with a sharp chef’s knife too. To further explain – after grilling the chicken breast, I’ll use the tongs to bring them to the cutting board. The chicken is too hot to handle with my bare hands, so I use the tons to steady and anchor the chicken while I cut the meat into strips.  Well, I didn’t move the tongs back far enough and it got nicked in the knife’s edge!
ErgoChef provided the perfect solution. One side is silicon, heat safe for up to 500F, for my nonstick cookware. The other side sturdy metal for everything else, including slicing chicken. ~ Jaden

ErgoChef Locking Tongs:

This 3pc. Locking Kitchen Tong set has a 9″ pair for serving and small stove top cooking. A 12″ Pair (Tested & Recommended by Cooking Club of America) when you need a bit more reach and a 15″ Pair for the grill & professional kitchen. They feature 500 degree silicone heads on one side for non-stick pan use, and steel teeth on other side for picking up anything you need a real firm grip on.
Will pick up anything, from Ice, pasta, vegetables, to shredded lettuce, salads, chicken, steak, & pork. Anything! You can even stick them in a deep fryer and let the slot in the heads drain the oil before plating. The non-slip grip handle keep you in control & locking slide ring keeps them closed when storing & opened when in use.
Watch the video below for more information!

Enter the ErgoChef 3 Piece Duo Tongs Set Giveaway:

Sponsored by ErgoChef.

 

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Lemon, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf Basmati Rice http://steamykitchen.com/39725-lemon-cinnamon-curry-leaf-basmati-rice-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/39725-lemon-cinnamon-curry-leaf-basmati-rice-recipe.html#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 17:03:29 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=39725 In this Lemon, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf Basmati Rice recipe: Flavoring plain basmati rice with fragrant cinnamon, curry leaf and lemon Stunning presentation, rice baked in a pan Customize with your own spice and herb combination Recipe from award-winning chef, Yotam Ottolenghi This past week, my parents came to visit for a few days, to see the family, relax from the ...

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Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice Recipe

In this Lemon, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf Basmati Rice recipe:

  • Flavoring plain basmati rice with fragrant cinnamon, curry leaf and lemon
  • Stunning presentation, rice baked in a pan
  • Customize with your own spice and herb combination
  • Recipe from award-winning chef, Yotam Ottolenghi

This past week, my parents came to visit for a few days, to see the family, relax from the bustle of Las Vegas, where they reside, and to cook for their daughter (me!) My Mom is a cookbook collector of all cuisines, with an entire room in the house dedicated to her glorious collection.

During this visit, I let my Mom have a go at my own glut of cookbooks that I’ve collected over the years, many of which come directly from publishers, pitching their latest releases. In what I would describe as one of the greatest gifts that I could bestow upon my Mother, I told her, “You may have any of my cookbooks – take as many as you’d like!”

My Mom gleefully spent hours sitting in front of my bookshelf, sliding one cookbook off at a time, flipping through them, and sorting which she would like. Mom doesn’t have many hobbies, but cooking and cookbooks are one of them.

I didn’t peek. I didn’t tell her which books were hands off, and I didn’t even hide any of my favorites! Mom was thrilled and even sent me a photo after she arrived back home – of her haul.

It wasn’t until today, writing this post, that I panicked a little. “What if she took Plenty More Cookbook?!”

I’m not ashamed to tell you that I did run back to the bookshelves, scanned quickly but didn’t find it on my first pass – and my heart sank. My second pass on the shelves spotted the book, sitting safe and sound right in front of me. “Whew!”

Plenty MoreI’m not the only who loves this book, Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi was nominated as a finalist in the James Beard Awards. It’s well deserved, with 150 recipes featuring vegetables, and stunning, earthy photographs that highlight creative cooking techniques beyond the simple braise, boil and bake.

Yotam Ottolenghi HeadshotWhy I cherish Plenty More Cookbook:
We’re thrilled to be sharing with you a recipe from the book, Lemon, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf Rice.

With all the fun gadgets at my disposal for making rice (I love to use the microwave to cook rice or my ultra fancy, technology wizard Zojurishi Rice Cooker), I rarely bake rice.

Such a shame, because the technique produces rice that is cooked more evenly and produces a nuttier, more flavorful rice. If you add aromatics, like lemon, cinnamon sticks and curry leaf, “this will be a revelation…” notes Ottolenghi.

What is curry leaf?

Curry leaf are the leaves of a South Asian curry tree, often used in Southern Indian, Cambodian and Malaysian cooking. The flavor is complex, pungently lemon, and is added to dishes as a whole leaf. The curry leaf is deeply aromatic, just a few leaves can flavor an entire dish. It’s called curry leaf, because the leaf is most often added into Indian curries, though I really love stir frying with whole curry leaves too.

We used have a curry tree growing at our old house, but sadly, it died after being forgotten in a corner of our garden. These days, when I need curry leaves, I head to a local Indian grocery store. If you can’t find the leaves fresh, they will probably have them frozen. The leaves freeze really well! If you buy a bunch, feel free to freeze the rest. The color of the leave will darken when frozen, but the flavor will be preserved.

More about Curry Leaves

What if I don’t have curry leaves?

No problem! Use any herb that you love – from basil, parsley, bay leaves….to sage, oregano, cilantro and dill. Of course, the flavor profile of the rice will be different from the intended recipe, but use any spice/herb combination with this same exact cooking technique.

Learn more about Plenty More and Yotam Ottolenghi

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi

Yum
Print

Lemon, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf Basmati Rice Recipe

Servings: Serves 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes
Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice Recipe

Reprinted with permission from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Photography credit: Jonathan Lovekin © 2014

This will be a revelation to those who tend toward plain steamed basmati. The method is fail-safe, and the result is stunning. Serve this rice with an Asian savory pickle to make a vegetarian meal, or next to a freshly roasted chicken. Try to look for fresh curry leaves for this dish, using them on the stem. They freeze well, so don’t worry if you end up getting a large bunch.

Ingredients:

5 short cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
1 lemon
3 stems fresh curry leaves (about 25 leaves)
2 cups basmati rice
1/4 cup unsalted butter
salt and pepper

Directions:

Prep:
In a large bowl, add the basmati rice. Fill bowl with water, swish the rice around a bit, drain the water (just use your hands to cup the rice and keep from spilling out), and repeat again. Fill again with water and let rice soak for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat your oven to 400F. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind off of the lemon in large strips (yellow part only). Cut lemon in half, squeeze out 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.

Cook:
Put the cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon rind, curry leaves, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a saucepan. Cover with 2-3/4 cups of water and place over high heat. As soon as the water boils, remove the pan from the heat.

Spread the rice out in a baking dish or roasting pan approximately 9-1/2 by 12 inches, cover with the boiled water and aromatics, and stir well. Lay a piece of waxed paper over the surface of the water and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes, then remove and leave to sit, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes.

Just before serving, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once it’s melted and very hot, carefully add the lemon juice and swirl together to mix. Pour this over the hot rice and fluff up the rice with a fork. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve at once (you can remove the curry stems and cinnamon sticks or keep for the look).

 

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Food Blog Forum 2015 | Walt Disney World http://steamykitchen.com/39958-food-blog-forum-2015-walt-disney-world.html http://steamykitchen.com/39958-food-blog-forum-2015-walt-disney-world.html#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 18:54:57 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=39958 Wow. I can’t believe this has been our 8th Food Blog Forum event! Add that to the additional 6 overseas food blogging events in Ixtapa, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Cancun that I’ve organized — that makes me a professional event coordinator! What is Food Blog Forum? A not-for-profit company that Scott, myself, Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple created ...

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Wow. I can’t believe this has been our 8th Food Blog Forum event! Add that to the additional 6 overseas food blogging events in Ixtapa, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Cancun that I’ve organized — that makes me a professional event coordinator!

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What is Food Blog Forum? A not-for-profit company that Scott, myself, Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple created to host events for food bloggers – to teach things like photography, food styling, business of blogging and social media. Our intention has always been to give back to the food community, encourage & mentor bloggers and celebrate our love of food.

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Our 3-time host was Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Having kids, and one big kid (Scott has been a regular to Disney World since 1973), it’s one of our very favorite spots to host an event.

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Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes, Kenji Lopez Alt of Serious Eats // Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple

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Our 120 attendees had an experience of a lifetime — 3 nights at the Grand Floridian Resort, a welcome party at the brand new Four Seasons Resort and an amazing lineup of speakers:

  • Victoria, the Director of Creative, Inc. at Walt Disney World – she’s in charge of inspiring creativity for all of Disney’s employees! When the cast members and magic makers at Disney need a little dose of inspiration – they call Victoria’s team.
  • Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom of Pinch of Yum, Scott and myself taught all about business and blogging.
  • Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple showed us how to create stories through our food photography and styling.
  • Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes and Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats helped with with strategies on blogger burnout.
  • Enid, #4 employee of Pinterest taught us impactful Pinterest strategies for our blogs.

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Scott and I were so happy to FINALLY meet in person our friends Lindsay and Bjork of Pinch of Yum.

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I think our biggest thrill (along with the 10 Disney Fast Passes per person per day!!) was a once in a lifetime luncheon with Walt Disney World at the California Grill restaurant above the Contemporary Resort.

They closed off the entire restaurant, just for us.

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Ten of the Walt Disney World Executive Chefs took off from their regular duties at their respective restaurants to come cook and meet with us.

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If you think amusement park food is all hot dogs and fries, you’re not at Disney World!

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It was such a treat to be the guests of honor, sampling some of Disney World’s finest fare from:

The Be Our Guest Restaurant (located in MAGIC KINGDOM Park), California Grill (Disney’s Contemporary Resort), Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bakery, Flying Fish Cafe (Disney’s BoarkWalk), Le Cellier Steakhouse (Epcot), Narcoossee’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), Sanaa (Disney’s Kingdom Lodge), Sunshine Seasons (Epcot), The Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney’s Hollywood Studios), Trattoria al Forno (Disney’s BoardWalk).

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A Food Blog Forum event is never complete without a local food experience. Visit Orlando and the wonderful shop owners of East End Market graciously suprised us with a delicious food event.

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My favorite was Kappa, a Japanese omakase bar with only 7 seats. “Omakase” means chef’s choice, so the menu is different every day, based on what’s fresh and what’s on the chef’s mind. That day, we were treated with Salmon “Oyaokon” which translates to “parent and child.”

In this case, the rice was topped with salmon and salmon eggs (parent and child.) I haven’t had this particular dish since a visit to Japan 18 years ago!

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But what is a trip to Disney, without fun?! Disney sent all of us on a scavenger hunt, and the boys loved it! Uncle Todd and Auntie Diane helped us find each and every clue.

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With the 10 fast passes per day, person – we rode rides over and over and over again. Have you ever been on Everest at Animal Kingdom? It scared the eyelashes off me!

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Big, big thanks to our friends Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil for helping coordinate the event. Without the dynamic duo, Pam Brandon and Karen McClintock of Walt Disney World Dining, this event would have never happened! Pam and Karen have always been big supporters of Food Blog Forum. Many of these photos were shot by our photographer, the one and only Guy Michelier of Simply Recipes – thank you!

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Screenshot 2015-04-09 06.21.17Food Blog Forum also must give a giant thank you to our sponsors, Walt Disney World for hosting our conference and providing magical moments for all of us, PB&G at Four Seasons Resort for the lovely opening party, Visit Orlando and East End Market vendors for their hospitality.

KitchenAid, Florida Dairy Farmers, Oxo and Sabra provided such amazing prizes for our attendees! We love our sponsors for being so passionate about food bloggers and for being our partners!

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Harley Pasternak Power Blender Review http://steamykitchen.com/39936-harley-pasternak-power-blender-review.html http://steamykitchen.com/39936-harley-pasternak-power-blender-review.html#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 17:32:01 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=39936 Diet and Fitness Expert, New York Times bestselling author and the man behind Hollywood's best bodies, Harley Pasternak knows all about staying in shape. If you don't believe me, just go ask Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox and Rihanna (to name a few) about it. After all, Harley is the man to whom these celebs . . .

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Harley Pasternak Power Blender

Diet and Fitness Expert, New York Times bestselling author and the man behind Hollywood’s best bodies, Harley Pasternak knows all about staying in shape. If you don’t believe me, just go ask Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox and Rihanna (to name a few) about it. After all, Harley is the man to whom these celebs need to express their gratitudes to when it comes to their unbelievably amazing bodies.

Harley Pasternak Power BlenderAnd just in case you’re still not convinced what an awesome human being Harley is, he teamed up with Salton to come up with something that would surely help all smoothie-loving, health-crazy people out there! (Or at least those of us who don’t have his number on speed-dial and therefore would not be able to just call him up and ask him about the best way to blend a smoothie or how to easily liquify veggies to turn into soup.)

If you’ve always had a problem with your blender cooperating with you when it comes to crushing ice for your smoothies (or frozen fruits for ice cream, yummm!), read on my friend! Cause our next giveaway might just be the answer to all your blending problems!

The Harley Pasternak Power Blender packs quite a mean punch. With a power of  30,000 RPM (2 HP, 1500 watts), 8 blade blending system that could easily blend, crush, emulsify, chop, purée and liquify whole fruits and veggies, ice, frozen fruit & nuts and can prepare hot foods, including soups and sauces in minutes, this professional-grade blender is an absolute force to be reckoned with in the blending department!

We switched out our beloved Vitamix blender to try out the Harley Pasternak Power Blender for a week. Would I notice the result?

Smoothies and Ice: Absolutely no difference in texture or smoothness of the smoothie. The Pasternak blender performed flawlessly, in the same amount of time as the Vitamix. I do wish the Pasternak blender container was wider and shorter, it was difficult to scrape out every little bit of smoothie with a rubber spatula. My current pitcher that I use for the Vitamix is the short, squat version, which makes it easier to clean. The Pasternak blender pitcher is not as sturdy as the Vitamix pitcher. But, performance-wise, they both were excellent.

Soups: I make a lot of soups, which is why I bought the Vitamix that included the hot soup function. I was surprised that the Pasternak blender could do the same. I tested a batch of soup using leftover, cold, roasted cauliflower – hoping to make a creamy, no-dairy soup. The Vitamix produced the hot, creamy soup faster than theHarley Pasternak blender, but the difference was minor, less than 30 seconds difference. I do like having a “hot soup” setting on the Vitamix (on the Pasternak blender, you just have to stop the blender, check to see if the soup is hot.)

The Harley Pasternak blender is currently being sold at Bed Bath and Beyond for $249 (and if you sign up for Ebates, you’ll also get between 2%-5% cash back on  your Bed Bath and Beyond purchase.) This is a huge savings from the Vitamix at $699. If you’re on a budget, and still looking for a high-performance blender, give this Harley Pasternak blender a try. At 30,000 RPM with a 2 HP, a 1500 watt motor and an 8 blade blending system, you can’t go wrong!

Enter the Harley Pasternak Power Blender Giveaway

Sponsored by Salton.

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Robert Irvine 1300-Watt Halogen Oven Review http://steamykitchen.com/39939-robert-irvine-1300-watt-halogen-oven-review.html http://steamykitchen.com/39939-robert-irvine-1300-watt-halogen-oven-review.html#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 17:31:16 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=39939 One of the very first cooking appliances my Mom gave me years ago was a portable oven just like this one. She instructed me to use it when I needed to cook a turkey, chicken, ham, roast -- basically any type of meat that you'd normally roast or bake.

I used it faithfully, until the dreadful . . .

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One of the very first cooking appliances my Mom gave me years ago was a portable oven just like this one. She instructed me to use it when I needed to cook a turkey, chicken, ham, roast — basically any type of meat that you’d normally roast or bake.

I used it faithfully, until the dreadful day that it broke, from overuse. What I love about the oven is that it freed up my big wall-oven to do other things AND it didn’t use as much energy.

Robert Irvine and company sent me this amazing Halogen Oven to try out a few weeks ago. We’ve used it four times already to roast chicken for family dinner! The halogen lamps ensures the most efficient cooking with convection heat. There’s also a built in timer to ensure you don’t over cook your food (timer turns the oven off.)

Here’s what I love: robert-irvine-1300-watt-halogen-oven-with-extender-d-20141029181913057~376624_alt1 

1. Clear enclosure – I can see my food cook!!! I’m a little bit of a control-freak when it comes to roasting :-) I loved being able to see the roasting process happen.

2. Frees up my oven. I only have 1 wall oven. It’s nice to have my oven free.

3. Energy saving

4. I really like the extender. My old portable oven didn’t have an extender, so I couldn’t roast anything too big.

5. Super easy to clean.

6. Looks like a robot! (okay, that’s what my kids said)

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This oven uses a Halogen lamp to produce convectional heat for broiling, baking, steaming and roasting and it comes with an extended ring that extends the already generous cooking pot to 17 quarts, perfect for large cut meats or for cooking multiple dishes at one – talk about efficient!

Buy Robert Irvine 1300-Watt Halogen Oven with Extender from HSN.

Robert Irvine 1300-Watt Halogen Oven with Extender Specifications:

Model #: RIGO0010
Measurements: Approx. 16″L x 13″W x 13-1/2″H
Power Source: Plugs into a standard household outlet
Listing: ETL
Wattage: 1300 watts
Country of Origin: China

What’s in the box:

  • Base
  • Glass pot
  • Extender ring
  • Low cooking rack
  • High cooking rack
  • Glass lid with control unit
  • Pair of tongs
  • Lid rest
  • Owner’s manual
  • Manufacturer’s 1-year limited warranty

Buy Robert Irvine 1300-Watt Halogen Oven with Extender from HSN.

Enter the Robert Irvine 1300-Watt Halogen Oven Giveaway:

Sponsored by HSN.

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