Sunday, 5 July 2009

My new frugal appliances

As predicted the weather has turned cold - or coldish - again so we probably could have left the AGA on but who knows what it will be like next week? And besides I'm getting quite used to our new cooking arrangements

The induction hob in particular is fantastic. I have to admit I was deeply sceptical when my husband suggested it and pretty well gave in to humour him but as usual he had researched the subject exhaustively and was (annoyingly) right: they are incredibly efficient.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with them they only kick in when a compatible stainless steel pan is placed on them which then heats up very quickly leaving the surface around the pan completely cool. You can also adjust the temperature very easily - today I made scrambled eggs on ours for the first time and found it turned right down low when I needed it to. Our model, a Stellar, cost £59.95 which I thought wasn't bad at all and should apparently cost very little to run.

The other success - apart from the grill on which I reported the other day - was an old Remoska cooker I was sent several years ago when I was researching a feature and had never got round to using. Basically it looks like a baking tin with a heavy glass lid which conceals the element and works like a mini-oven.

We cooked a Spanish-style dish of cod and chorizo (above right), sweating off a red pepper with some wet garlic and the chorizo then placing the fish steaks on top. The whole thing took about 15 minutes.

It has one of those websites that claims the Remoska can cook everything including Yorkshire pudding and pizza (bit sceptical about the latter but I imagine you'd have no trouble with all kinds of small roasts and bakes. The temperature range is around 190°C-220°C) Again, it's supposed to run at a fraction of the cost of a conventional oven.

Both would be useful even if we weren't in our hobless, ovenless situation. The Stellar would be a great spare hob if you regularly have to cook for a crowd and the Remoska, which you can buy from Lakeland, would be ideal for anyone in a bedsit or a student a hall of residence who didn't have an oven. Or someone living on their own who wants to keep their fuel bills down. I'm converted.


Johnonfood said...

That portable induction hob looks like a pretty handy thing, perfect to cook something at the table or outside.

I'm still in love with gas, but the idea of induction hobs is growing on me a lot.

Claire in France said...

I totally endorse the Remoska.
I have been using a large model for over 7 months and I used the oven only for the Christmas diner.
I cook everything in the Remoska, from bread rolls to loaves, cakes, muffins, potato dauphinoise, quiche, spatchcock chicken...
It is the perfect complement to the microwave oven (as is the slow cooker in winter) and uses less than half the electricity the oven uses.
For the two of us, it's just the job!

Fiona Beckett said...

Hi John - I agree. One of the reasons I wasn't grabbed by the sound of an induction hob is that I've never been a fan of electric hobs but in fact the temperature control is just as good as gas!

I'm intrigued with the idea of cooking quiche in the Remoska, Claire. Doesn't the pastry go soggy?

Claire in France said...

I made a quiche only yesterday!

I bake it in a metal loose-based tin.
The pastry is baked blind and sealed with egg white before it is filled.
To ensure the heat reaches the underside of the tin, I also use a metal rack to lift the the tin off the base of the Remoska pan (Lakeland sell a rack, but as it happens the microwave rack fits perfectly!)

You can see pictures of my Remoska bread-baking efforts on this expat forum (pg 3 and pg 6).

ramtops said...

We have a baby Remoska, just big enough for 2 portions. I use it for cauliflower cheese, pasta bakes, reheating casseroles and stuff out of the freezer - it's a fab gadget. Between that and the oven in the microwave and the slow cooker, I rarely turn the oven on at all these days!

Fiona Beckett said...

Great-looking loaves, Claire. I can see I've got plenty to learn about the Remoska. (Cauliflower cheese sounds tempting too . . . )

James said...

The good thing about cooking after midnight (with electricity anyway) is you're cooking on economy 7. Add to that doing the ironing and switching on the immersion for the bath in the small hours and watch the (very expensive these days) electricity bill go down.