I made ahead a Mediterranean Orzo Salad , which had roasted veggies, pasta, a Greek type vinaigrette, feta cheese and some Kalamata olives. It came out beautifully and I think everyone really enjoyed it! I also made a yummy appetizer called Elegant Artichoke Cups using a mini muffin pan, some won ton wrappers and a delicious filling similar to a hot artichoke dip. They were quick, simple and you make them in two steps, so the little won ton cups could be made in advance, then filled with the filling when your guests are arriving and popped in the oven. It'll look like you spent all day making them, when you spent only minutes on these yummy treats.
Lastly, I made a Microwave Rocky Road Brownie Dessert... YES, you read that correctly... MICROWAVE! Now, anyone who knows me, knows, I am more of "from scratch cook" not a from the box kind of gal, and I have mostly used the microwave for reheating things, melting butter, etc... So this was NEW for me.. This recipe was made using one of the many pieces of Stoneware The Pampered Chef sells. You make a simple brownie using melted butter, unsweetened chocolate, the usual suspects, flour etc.. then you cook it in the MICROWAVE... it comes out perfect in 5-7 minutes... you top this off with some cut up jumbo marshmallows and unwrapped Hershey's Kisses. Put it back in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and out comes a warm, delicious, gooey dessert.. not dried out, not over cooked, no strange texture... just yum! To say that I was impressed is an understatement!
Until I became a Pampered Chef consultant, my experience with stoneware in baking was a couple of pizza stones, which work marvelously, and a Pampered Chef Stoneware pie dish, I purchased about 10 years ago, still have and still love. I now have the Large bar pan which came as part of my starter kit... Let me just say, I don't how I have gone so long without such a great piece of cookware/bakeware in my kitchen! This pan does everything, anything and does it well. Thus far I have made several different types of pan pizza, all which came out with a perfect crust, multiple pans of brownies all of which came out divine! Perfect edges not hard or over-baked, but still giving you your "brownie regions", for those who like middles, or edges. I cooked a whole package of bacon,, it cooked quicker, can out perfect and everything I cooked afterwards, didn't taste like bacon! I also used it to roast the veggies for the recipe listed below and they came out perfect! I told my husband, I think this pan has a brain!
I have been amazed at the quality of food you achieve using any piece of stoneware, whether you are cooking in the oven or the microwave. What do you think of when you hear about cooking chicken in the microwave? Rubbery? Not if you use stoneware.... how about a cake? Try a 12 minute cake in the fluted stoneware cake pan... your jaw will drop, as will anyone you serve it to!
To say that I have found something I am passionate about may be an understatement! I am thrilled to be on this journey! I have the recipe for the Mediterranean Orzo Salad below... Give it a try!
|Mediterranean Orzo Salad|
Nutrients per serving:
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 starch, 1 medium-fat meat, 3 fat (3 carb)
Cook’s Tips: Vegetables can be roasted up to 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature until you're ready to use them.
Orzo is a tiny, rice-shaped pasta, which can be found in the pasta section of most grocery stores.
To trim asparagus, snap off and discard tough stem ends.
Italian dressing can be substituted for the Greek vinaigrette dressing, if desired.
© 2011 The Pampered Chef used under license.