Cooking with Residual Heat

That’s what cooking potatoes in the dying embers of a bonfire is – cooking with residual heat. Thanks to my daughter – because she’s the one I saw using this method with her porridge – I’m now cooking a number of dishes with residual heat and saving electricity dollars in the process.

Porridge, my favourite breakfast dish, responds wonderfully to residual heat. Here’s the process.  A day before, soak however much steel-cut oats you need in water to cover. (Don’t use quick-cooking oats – there’s very little goodness in those heavily refined flakes.) Add a few drips of apple cider vinegar to the soak water. The next morning, you’re ready to start cooking. Pour the oats in their soak water into a saucepan, add more water to make the porridge the consistency you want and set it on high on the stove top. Bring it to the boil, and keep it there for about three minutes. Then turn it off with the lid on and don’t look at it for an hour. Then, you can have breakfast! And what a breakfast it will be – delicious and very healthful.

Some of the other dishes that respond well to residual heat are

  • pork tenderloin in the oven: put it in a baking dish in the oven and turn the heat to 450 to 500 degrees. As soon as the oven reaches the right temperature, turn it off and don’t open the door for an hour. The tenderloin will be tender and moist.
  • sweet potatoes and yams in the oven: put any combination of large root vegetables (i.e. carrots are not thick enough) in the oven, along with the tenderloin and they will cook in the same residual heat.
  • quinoa on the stove top: as is, or as part of a different kind of porridge, quinoa is a perfect food.

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