Anyone who has followed the blog knows that I love to cook with solar! You really can cook with solar just about anywhere, all you need of course is the sun! Many people believe you can only cook with solar in a rural setting? Today’s post will demonstrate that with only a few square feet of space and the power of the sun, you can easily cook in an urban environment as well! In fact, in some cases an urban environment actually helps when cooking with solar because you can often place the solar oven next to a wall which helps heat the oven more quickly. Additionally, in an urban environment, the wind is often less of a factor because the many buildings block breezes which can lower the oven’s temperature. I have even cooked in a parking lot with a solar oven on the roof-rack of my truck. As long as you get the oven temperature above about 165 degrees fahrenheit, you can cook almost any dish using solar, much like you would in a crockpot, that is to say…. slowly. Many people new to solar cooking worry too much about exact temperature control when cooking different dishes. They also worry that the solar oven will not get hot enough. I suppose if you were trained at “Le Cordon Bleu” cooking school, then your instructor would be absolutely mortified if he learned you cooked your rack of lamb at too low of a temperature. But for me, slow cooking most dishes is appropriate.
Today, in uptown San Diego, I cooked my version of a Brazilian fish stew dish called “moqueca.” I guess since I’ve been watching the World Cup Soccer Tournament for the last few weeks… it got me thinking about some of the delicious dishes I ate when I lived in Brazil! Moqueca is basically a white fish stew with shrimp, coconut milk and tomato sauce.
There are many different moqueca recipes on the internet, so I won’t list all of my ingredients. The one variation I made was to use crab meat instead of shrimp. The “Sunflair” solar cooker reached 225 degrees in about 30 minutes in the sun. I only repositioned the oven once, in order to maximize the sun’s rays and after about 2 hours of cook time… the stew was ready! Moqueca is typically served over a bed of rice! Today’s solar-cooked “Moqueca” was absolutely delicious!