Saturday, July 10, 2010

Time Saving Prep - Misto Forno - Simple Saturday

Today, I'm giving you one of my favorite Go-To's for saving time and energy. You know me and my love of options, well, this one is limitless.

Misto Forno (Mixed Bake)

Here's the deal:

Using one large sheet pan - and turning the oven on one time - you create a week's worth of eating options for you and/or your family. It saves time later, uses less electricity/power/heat, etc. and makes use of any ingredients that are hanging out in your refrigerator.

I used to do a version of this when I was in college (although it included pans and pans of brownies), and then I saw it a couple years ago on a Gourmet video with Ruth Riechl (love her!)


Preheat the oven to 350F.
1) On a large parchment covered sheet pan, place vegetables (ie. potatoes, tomatoes, sections of fennel, large pieces of zucchini, squash, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, halved brussel sprouts, onions, etc.) with just a bit a room between them. Drizzle with Olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

2) For vegetables that are pungent or have colors that run (ie. beets, garlic, turnips, etc.), place them in their own loosely wrapped foil tent, then onto the pan. * Do NOT do this with a tomato as they do not react well with the foil. *garlic needs to be wrapped and closed so the buds don't explode in your oven when baked (trust me :/ )
3) For fruits, so the flavors don't blend, place in their own little foil wrapped tents and sprinkle in your desired seasoning, ie. cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, etc. Even oranges taste great this way, cut in half or peeled sections and sprinkled with seasoning.
BAKE for 30 minutes, remove pan and let cool. If you would like the onion more caramelized, remove the other veggies, etc. and return the onion (and any other veggies you want more cooked) to the oven for 10 or so more minutes.

Divide veggies as you like, into containers for keeping in the refrigerator for the week's meals)

Use the roasted veggies cut up in your pasta dishes, or soups or salads. Make a roasted fruit topping for ice cream or easy breakfast crumble with granola. Add roasted potatoes to your egg dishes, or a side for entrees, or scoop out - sprinkle in cheese and broil for twice-baked potato appetizers.
Just knowing that you have some of the work done and there are home-made roasted items waiting to be used, will give you inspiration and more time to create and eat well.

The grocer stores do this, pack them in containers and charge you twice just for cooking them. Just think of how you can spend that extra money, right? I'd love to hear about your ideas and your comments could inspire others. Go forth, and cook up a "mixed bake".


Cowgirl Chef said...

A girl after my own heart. I believe that almost everything tastes better roasted - and I love your idea of throwing everything on the pan and turning on the oven once for the week...great for those of us w/o a/c. Let the roasting begin!

showfoodchef said...

Cowgirl Chef: Always love hearing from you. Yeah, any time I can save some of that extra heat in the kitchen, I'm all about it. :D