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Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Cheddar Cookies


Since Holiday meals usually involve lots of protein rich foods, it's nice to give your digestive system a break and make some simple flavorful vegetable dishes instead. And of course it's so much easier with Convection.  For this meal, I roasted cauliflower for soup and butternut squash for a simple side dish with sauteed spinach and white beans. I also made some spicy cheese crackers to serve with the soup.....easy and so delicious.

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Larissa Taboryski

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Ingredients

Roasted Cauliflower Soup


1 - medium head cauliflower, coarse stem removed, cut into 1” thick slices or florets

2 - cloves garlic, minced

¼ - teaspoon mixed Italian seasoning

2 - tablespoons olive oil

1 - large leek trimmed washed free of any dirt and sliced into thin rings

1 - tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter

6 - cups chicken, turkey or vegetable stock

Optional - chopped chives for serving


Roasted Butternut Squash with Sauteed Spinach and White Beans


1 - small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” dice

2 - tablespoons olive oil

¼  - teaspoon dried oregano

Pinch of cayenne or other chili spice

1 - tablespoon olive oil

1 - small yellow onion cut into 1” dice

2 - cloves garlic, minced

1 - bunch fresh spinach, washed, dried & stems removed, coarsely chopped

1 - 14oz can cannellini or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

¼ - cup chicken, turkey or vegetable stock


Spicy Cheese Crackers


½ - cup softened butter

1 ¼ - cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1 - cup all purpose flour

⅛ - teaspoon salt

¼ - teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 ¼ - cups Rice Krispies

Preparation


Roasted Cauliflower Soup


Combine all the ingredients and spread onto a rimmed baking sheet.

Heat the oven in the Convection Roast Mode 400 - 425 degrees and roast for 20  - 25 minutes until the cauliflower begins to caramelize and is soft.  Stir once during the cooking to avoid overbrowning on one side. 


Meanwhile, heat a 2 qt capacity saucepan on moderate heat and add the olive oil and butter .  When the butter is sizzling stir in the leeks and cook over moderate heat to soften.

Add the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.

Stir in the cooked cauliflower and simmer for 5 minutes, then puree till smooth.


Roasted Butternut Squash with Sauteed Spinach and White Beans


Combine the butternut squash with the remaining ingredients and spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Heat the oven in the Convection Roast Mode 400 degrees and roast for 25 - 30 minutes until the edges begin to caramelize.


Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and stir in the yellow onion. Cook the onion to soften then stir in the garlic, cook for a minute then stir in the spinach and cook till wilted.


Stir in the stock and the drained white beans, cover and cook over low heat for five minutes.  Gently stir in the cooked butternut squash and add salt and pepper to taste before serving.


Spicy Cheese Crackers


These crackers are very easy to make. Once combined, the batter needs to be rolled into a log and refrigerated for an hour or overnight prior to slicing and baking, so plan ahead. Since they are baked at 325 degrees Convection they can be baked before or after the vegetables are roasted.   The surprise ingredient of rice krispies gives these cookies a nice crunch.


Beat the butter and cheddar cheese in a large bowl till blended.

Whisk the flour, salt and cayenne together in another bowl and gradually beat into the cheese mixture. Stir in the rice krispies, then turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a stiff dough.

Shape the dough into an approximately 7” long roll, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.


Heat the oven Convection 325, cut the cookies into ¼” slices and place 1” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 14 - 16 minutes until the edges are golden brow

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Baked Ham with Tangerine Glaze and Roasted Carrots

Since ham is already cooked by smoking it is most often eaten cold, however heated through and brushed with a fruity glaze it makes a great centerpiece for celebration meals.  


In order to heat the ham through it usually needs a fair bit of time in a slow oven and to avoid drying out the meat it is covered until the final stage when the glaze is added. However, if you bake your unsliced ham in Convection you will not need to cover the ham and the heating through time will take approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours, depending on the weight of the ham. If you are heating a sliced ham then it must remain covered in foil to avoid drying out.

PDF Recipe

Ingredients

Preparation

1 - smoked ham, bone-in, skin on 7 - 9 lbs

1 - bunch fresh sage leaves

¾ - cup olive oil

1 - cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks

2 - cups tangerine juice

2 - tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed

2  - cups, packed light brown sugar

1 - cup water

½ - teaspoon whole cloves

2 - cinnamon sticks

1 ½ - lbs baby carrots

Preheat the oven in the Convection Mode 300 degrees.


Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan. 


Score the ham with cuts in a diamond pattern about 2 inches apart and ½ deep. 


Season generously with salt and pepper. Chop 8 of the sage leaves and mix with the olive oil to make a paste, rub all of the ham getting into the slits.


Bake for 2 hours.


Glaze: 


Combine the  butter, tangerine juice, tangerines, brown sugar, water and spices in a heavy medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.  


Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy glaze, 30 - 40 minutes.


Brush the glaze over the ham when it has completed its initial heating phase. Add the baby carrots and another 8 chopped sage leaves and continue baking for another 40 - 50 minutes until the carrots are tender and the internal temperature of the ham is 150 degrees.


Serves 12

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