In the hot days of summer, people fire up their grills to avoid turning on the oven. “Cookout” and “barbeque” are synonymous with summer. But what about those who lack a grill? If the neighbor’s grill-smoke is making your mouth water and another salad just won’t cut it, it’s time to fire up your toaster oven. With their smaller volume, toaster ovens use less energy to heat than the regular oven. And this time of year, they keep your house (relatively) cool. (If you really want to preserve the house’s cool, you could move your toaster out to the porch to cook! But the neighbors might look at you funny.)
It’s amazing what you can make in a toaster oven. Googling “cooking in a toaster oven” turns up everything from mini pizzas to seafood skewers to small batches of cookies. Here are some standouts:
Traditional Tuna Melts
Nothing takes you back like a good ol’ Tuna Melt. Toast bread or English muffins. Then top with Traditional Tuna Salad from our Grab N Go case, a slice of cheddar cheese, and a slice of locally grown tomato. Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes, depending on how brown you like your cheese.
Got a lot of mouths to feed? You can still heat everyone’s dinner at once if you make hot dogs! Coat the baking pan in oil to avoid sticking; then line up the hot dogs and heat. Serve with potato salad from the Grab N Go case and a wide array of condiments: relish, mustard, ketchup, chopped onions, sauerkraut.
Horno Tostador Quesadilla
Fill a tortilla with cheese, beans, cilantro, or whatever else you like. Don’t forget the salsa! Fold it in half and bake in the toaster oven until the cheese melts, about 10-15 minutes.
It’s not a Fish Fry, it’s a Fish Toast!
Two fish fillets fit nicely side-by-side on a toaster oven pan. Treat them as you would in the big oven: soak them in a lemon-dill juice or dip in egg and breading. If you have a deeper (1.5 inch) baking pan that fits in your toaster, try this: spread 8 oz of seafood stuffing (the cracker-based kind) in the pan, and lay tilapia or other thin fish fillets over the stuffing, covering it. (If you overlap a little, you can fit up to ¾ pound fish.) Top this with a cup or more of finely chopped/diced/julienned veggies (carrot, scallion, zucchini, summer squash, red bell pepper, etc.) that have been mixed with teriyaki marinade. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.