Coffee Maker Cooking: Brew Up Your Next Dinner
A few months ago, we introduced you to the wild world of dishwasher cooking. Poach salmon while cleaning dirty plates? No problem.But some of you expressed concerns about having your sockeye sit so close to soapy water and the high energy cost of running a dishwasher.Well, we've stumbled upon another wacky cooking method that may overcome these issues: using your coffee maker.From steamed broccoli and couscous to scrambled eggs and poached salmon, the possibilities appear endless.The chefs at Chowhound have brewed up entire breakfasts and lunches in the coffee maker. And the kitchen wizards at the blog Kaffekokarkokboken developed recipes for pumpkin soup, chutney, even cinnamon buns, all made in the humble appliance.So why in the heck would anyone not living in a freshman dorm ever want to do this? Well, if you're a soldier deployed in a war zone, a coffee maker might be your only option for a home-cooked meal."My nephew came home from Afghanistan complaining about the food in the mess hall," says Jody Anderson, a retired photographer in southern Oregon. "But the soldiers were allowed only to have coffee makers in their rooms."So Anderson started developing recipes for the coffee maker, including ones for mac 'n' cheese, short ribs and chicken soup."I put all my recipes in a little book and sent it over to the boys in Afghanistan," she tells The Salt. "I also sent split peas and canned ham so my nephew could make split pea soup." Anderson also posted some of the recipes on Facebook with a few tips.As Anderson describes it, the design of a traditional coffee maker gives you three basic cooking techniques:
- Steam: The basket at the top is a great place to steam vegetables. You can throw in broccoli, cauliflower or any vegetable that cooks in about the same time as those.
- Poach: The carafe at the bottom serves as a simple vessel for poaching fish and chicken. You can also use it to hard-boil eggs or make couscous and oatmeal.
- Grill: This technique is a bit more advanced — and time-consuming. But if you're really itching for a grilled cheese sandwich or a cinnamon bun in a motel room, the coffee maker's burner can serve as a miniature grill.
- Add chopped broccoli and cauliflower into the basket until it is halfway full.
- Add the maximum amount of water into the coffee maker's reservoir. Run the coffeemaker until the reservoir has just enough water left in it to cook the couscous. Stop the appliance.
- Dump out the water in the carafe. Add the couscous to the carafe.
- With a fork, mix up the vegetables in the basket to ensure even steaming. Then restart the coffee maker until the cycle finishes. Let couscous sit for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Keep the vegetables in the basket (it takes two cycles to steam-cook them). Place the salmon in the carafe. Add some soy sauce, ginger, garlic or whatever seasoning you'd like. Fill the reservoir with about 3 cups of water and run the cycle.
- Let the salmon sit in the hot water until it's opaque and flaky (for us it took only 7 minutes). Remove salmon and vegetables. Plate.
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