Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Trim the top . I use a serrated bread knife.
Trim the stalk to the bottom of the petals.
Cut the tops of the remaining petals to remove the thorns. Remove and discard discolored or dried petals.

Rinse and let drip upside down.

Place in the 7" pot. Salt. Drip two tablespoons white wine vinegar or juice of half a lemon. Drip two table spoons olive oil.

Cook in the summer position for an hour.

The 7" pot will hold upto four artichokes. Increase about fifteen minutes per artichoke.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chutney chicken rice

Soak one cup brown rice in two cups water overnight. This is half a cup less water than is needed to reconstitute brown rice.

two bunches cilantro with half a bunch mint.
Juice of one lemon
one clove garlic
half inch ginger
one tablespoon cumin
one serano chilli
One tomato optional.
Half an onion optional.
This is a basic Indian chutney. You can replace the mint with parsley if that's what you have in the kitchen. The chutney is spread on white bread that is generously buttered, and cut into little triangular sandwiches, or used as a relish with food.

Two chicken breasts or chicken thigh, meat only, portions cut into half inch x one inch chunks.
Marinade in the chutney. Safeway and Wholefoods carry organic free range chicken.

Cook the rice for two hours in a 7” round pot. The rice should be almost cooked with water all evaporated.

Pour the chicken and marinade on top and cook for another hour.

Trim leaves only off one bunch cilantro.
Mix in the chicken rice when done and salt as needed.

We have a fire raging in the south bay, in Sierra Azul off the summit in Los Gatos. The air is smoky and muggy like an overcast day. So I used the reflector today in the summer position.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rigatoni with tomato sauce and mushrooms and spring vegetables.

These are the medium sized tubular pasta. REMEMBER in a solar oven you have to watch the quantity. Pasta is one of those things thats easy to make too much off and it will only add to your waste. If you really need a larger quantity, for like a potluck, cook two pots.

9oz Rigatoni (250 grams) in the 7” pot.
Top with one tablespoon cooking oil and turn with a spoon until coated.

In the other 7" pot place
Two cups button mushrooms sliced.
One small zucchini sliced.
Half a cup fresh peas
Half a cup fresh fava beans.
One tomato quartered.
Two cups tomato sauce
One garlic chopped fine
Chili pepper to taste
Salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and cook both pots in the summer position for one hour.

Remove and pour the vegetable tomato mix over the rigatoni.
Cook for a half hour in the summer position.
Mix in pot with the pasta.
Garnish with chopped parsley, chopped olives, grated Parmesan type cheese and serve.

Tomato sauce

Middle of May and the produce just seems to have exploded at the farmers market. Tomatoes, peas, fava beans, strawberries, garlic were all on display. This tomato sauce is easy and great on pasta or vegetables. It has an intense herb and tomato flavor.

6 large Roma Tomatoes cut into four quarters on the long side. Use whatever tomato you can get if Roma are not available.
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne to taste
One long sprig of fresh oregano leaves only. Use basil if that's what you have. The Asian table at the market had Asian basil which I will try next time. But I grow my own oregano.
One garlic chopped.
One tablespoon olive oil drizzled on top.

Cook in the 7” round pot for two hours.
Let cool with the lid on.
remove the skins from the tomatoes and discard. Blend the balance with another tablespoon of olive oil and store in a jar. Yields three cups of sauce.

Good for toping over vegetables or pasta or both.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Chard with dried ancho.

One bunch chard. One dry ancho pepper, seeds removed and discarded, broken into small 1/2” pieces, one clove garlic chopped fine, one stalk celery chopped fine, and salt to taste. Layer in the pot and cook for an hour.

Add three tablespoons vinegar, handful chopped parsley or one tablespoon chopped oregano, and one tablespoon olive oil before serving.

The anchos in the local mexican grocery store are bright and fleshy looking. We like Chavez Supermarket in Redwood City which also has a delicious deli counter.

Fish salad and food riots

Salmon or sole or left over piece of fish at least 3” across.
Marinade one red onion diced fine in juice of one lemon.
Add one serano chili chopped extremely fine.
Add handful of cilantro chopped.
Add one tomato, seeds and water removed, chopped small.
Mix, salt, pepper, and as the fish breaks up add olive oil to taste and to get the consistency to spread on crackers

Why is Somalia not self sufficient in food especially fish? The planet is coming apart because of our insatiable desire to feed our cars. Jeffery Sachs called for rethinking the commitment to ethanol. In the United States, as much as one-third of the maize crop this year will go to the gas tank and this is a huge blow to the world food supply, so these programs should be cut back significantly," he said.

Yet despite this its surprising to see a third world country after the legacy of colonialism not be able to feed itself. Its even more surprising to see these riots on the coast where these communities have fished for eons. Greenberg says that one of the problems is that the world is running out of fish. Since cod collapsed we have continued to exterminate whole species from the ocean. Today native farmers cannot sustain their coastal communities as factory trawlers stalk the oceans for fertilizer and feed. They go farther out and only end up finding new species for the trawlers to wipe out like the Chilean Sea Bass. Now they can't even go farther out.

Greenberg writes: As we reach the end of the big natural predators, farmed fish will replace wild, just as beef cattle replaced buffalo. Which is no favor for the environment or the economy.

Sole with salsa

Fish is one of the harder items to cook in a solar oven because it requires monitoring. If left they will dry out. The opposite of chicken.

Six fillets local caught sole (relatively cheap light fish.)
Squeeze half a lemon into water and soak the fish in the lemon juice acidated water for ten minutes.

Place the fish in the 7” round pot. Dust with salt as needed and dust with paprika. Cook in the summer position for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and check the fish. A toothpick inserted into the fish should come out dry. Pour out the stock. The fish will be poached in its own juices. If necessary cook ten minutes more.

Meanwhile chop one tomato small. Add half a red onion chopped tiny. Add half a garlic clove chopped fine. Add a few sprigs fine chopped cilantro. Squeeze the rest of the lemon over the salsa and add salt to taste. Mix and set aside.

Serve a spoon of salsa on top of each fish fillets.

You can use the balance of the salsa when cooking rice. Or add a chile and eat with tortilla chips.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Orange mango jam and the seedless threat

There aren't any organic Valencia oranges at the farmers market. The suppliers say that they don't use any sprays. I'm going to have to read up some more on this. More later.

After juicing 6 Valencias, scrape the pulp out of the orange halves, and put into the five inch round pot. Add pulp of one mango. Add zest and juice of one lemon. Add 1/2 cup organic brown sugar, less to reduce the sweetness. Add two thin cut slices of ginger

Cook in the oven in the summer position for two hours. Remove the ginger, toss, and blend the rest before storing.

The orange pulp will impart a mild bitter flavor to the jam.

Seedless oranges are radiated as samplings, then sprayed with a germinator (? a hormone to get the flower to fruit). If the flower is pollinated by an insect it will seed.

Consumers don't like seeds in oranges. I think the market is like 10% for seeded oranges versus seedless. The prediction is that in ten years there won't be any seeded oranges in stores. The GMO folks are trying out new varieties. The dollars are large and growers are threatening the legislature that similar restrictions overseas will cause the market in CA to disappear.

So growers do everything to limit bees around their orchards. The ongoing war against life. Growers use neuro toxins, banned in some European countries, to kill the bees.

Quote: The growers were not afraid of being stung, they were afraid that the bees would pollinate their trees, something farmers usually want bees to do. But these trees in the San Joaquin Valley were planted to bear seedless fruit, and pollination would create seeds.

This spring ('07) a citrus growers trade association will be lobbying the state legislature for a Seedless Mandarin Protection Act that would establish ''no-fly zones'' of two miles for hives around designated orchards. End Quote

Orange drink

This time of year at the farmers market the Valencias are juicy and sweet.
6 valencia oranges
3 tablespoons sugar
6 cups water
Cut the oranges in half and squeeze out the juice.
Reserve the remaining halves for jam.

Mix and refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Juice of one lemon.
3 tablespoons sugar
2 more cups water.
Mix and refrigerate for two hours before serving.