THE ELECTRIC KITCHEN
No need to heat up the big oven; asparagus spears can be roasted in a toaster oven.
Toaster oven versatile in summer
NOW that the weather's getting warmer, it's a good time to think about ways to keep the kitchen cooler while preparing family meals. Using a toaster oven instead of your full-size oven for small meals will not only keep your home cooler, but you'll save energy, too.
Toaster ovens are perfect for dorms or studios, where a full-size oven is not feasible. A toaster oven can also be a nice complement to your full-size oven when entertaining. Use it to prepare a side dish or appetizer to free up the main oven for the entree or dessert.
Toaster ovens can prepare so much more than just toasted cheese sandwiches or frozen pizzas. Try our English Muffins with Curried Cheese Topping -- it's a longtime favorite. We also found recipes for an open-faced sandwich made with turkey, three kinds of cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, and for Roasted Asparagus in the cookbook "The Gourmet Toaster Oven," by Lynn Alley and Oudkerk Pool.
This cookbook made us hungry with recipes for scones, grilled steak with cracked peppercorns, and chocolate lava cakes. It's amazing what you can do with a toaster oven!
English Muffins with Curried Cheese Topping
6 English muffins
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 can (2-1/2 ounces) chopped ripe olives
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and curry powder. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Lightly toast muffins. Spread with cheese mixture and broil in toaster oven until topping is hot and bubbly. Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 760 calories, 48 g fat, 17 g saturated fat, 90 mg cholesterol, 1,000 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 24 g protein
Savory Open-Faced Turkey, Cheese and Tomato Sandwich
"The Gourmet Toaster Oven," by Lynn Alley and Oudkerk Pool (Ten Speed Press, 2005)
1 slice whole-grain bread
1 slice (about 1 ounce) Brie cheese
2 to 3 thin slices smoked turkey
1 slice (about 1 ounce) Gouda or smoked Gouda
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1 tablespoon chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
Preheat toaster oven to broil. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Place bread on toaster-oven baking tray and lay Brie on top. Broil just until cheese melts, then remove from even.
Place turkey on top of Brie and drizzle with sauce. Top with Gouda and return tray to toaster oven. Broil just until the Gouda is melted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate and serve hot. Serves 1.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 500 calories, 35 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,500 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 30 g protein
"The Gourmet Toaster Oven"
10 ounces fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat toaster oven to 375 degrees.
Toss asparagus with olive oil and vinegar in oval baking dish and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake 20 minutes, until asparagus is tender. Serve hot as side dish, or cold in salad. Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (includes 1/16 teaspoon salt): 180 calories, 14 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 3 g protein
Hawaiian Electric Co. presents this weekly collection of recipes as a public service. Many are drawn from HECO's database of recipes, accessible online at www.heco.com