Kainaz got me an OTG and from then on I was out of Mumbai. Jaipur first. Then Kolkata. We bought it from this electronics chain which uses a 'consultant'' plank in their communication. I have no idea why for its like buying it from a warehouse.
The OTG was still kept in the drawing room when I returned.I got hold of the electrician, got a plug and the newest member of our kitchen was put in its place. I had always thought that the first thing that I would make when I got an oven would be to bread. Except that I chickened out, pun intended. I decided to take baby steps and begin by grilling some meat. More specifically chicken.
Now, as K pointed out, I know as much about ovens as Stewie does about sex. So all I had to bank on was K’s stories of putting cheese on chicken and then in to the oven when she was at school.
I asked around a bit on twitter and Facebook on time required and temperature. Ironically almost all the answers I got were from men.
Have women handed over the grill to men? Or are they just plain insecure?
Well bad luck ladies because barbecuing is a man’s thing. And with that bravado I launched into the first dish. Grilled chicken. Learnt from it and then the next day grilled tenderloin. This is going to be the week of grills at our house.
Here are the first two. Both oil free.
1. ‘Before sunrise’: Grilled chicken with baked potatoes
- Chicken marinate (1 hour): I called for two chicken legs. One with skin and one without. Rubbed on some table mustard that we had bought from Indigo Deli on it. Some salt. A touch of honey to balance the sting of mustard. I topped this with about 25 g of grated Dutch Vince cheese. Don’t forget to slit the chicken skin. Slip in a bit of the marinate below the skin too. I poked a few fresh rosemary leaves through this. Not too many. Rosemary is a very strong herb
- I placed cubed potatoes next to the chicken. Wanted a different taste so topped it with 25 g grated cheese, salt, pepper, fresh rosemary. Touch of olive oil
Basis various suggestions I went for 25 minutes at 200 degree. After heating the oven for ten minutes at 200 first.
Kept the tray in for another ten minutes before taking it out.
Got psyched in between as smoke started coming out of the oven and through the entire cooking process. We panicked. Then folks on twitter assured me that this happens.
Apparently when it comes to OTGs the first time is smokin hot.
The chicken was cooked to perfection. Browned well. Extremely juicy. And unlike in the micro it had not emitted water. I loved the way the marinate came together. The mustard, the cheese, honey, rosemary … none out shouted the other. The flavours had spread across the meat.
The potatoes? Well they turned out to be burnt at the bum. Possibly because they were a bit too dry. However, tasted nicely baked once you scraped off the butt.
Learnings: Place the food on a cooking foil so that the tray doesn’t get dirty.
On to day 2
2. ‘After sunset’: Grilled tenderloin with baked potatoes
Excited by the previous day I had decided this to make a grilled dinner week. Alternating between red and white meats. I’d never cooked beef before.
Turned out I was at the right place to prepare for it.
I stopped at Jude’s Cold Storage, Bandra, for tenderloin. The helpful owner pointed me to Modern Stores owned by vegetarian Gujaratis to buy beef tenderiser. He also told me that curd and ginger are garlic are used as marinates for ‘our style of cooking’ and wine or vinegar for Continental. If I remember right the Catholic owner of Jude’s is actually vegetarian. I think his wife told me once at the shop. He then pointed me to his brother’s shop, Jude’s Wine, for cooking wine. Where, after much discussion with his sister in law I picked a tiny bottle of local Port. And then hot samosas and jalebis at Punjab Sweets to go with the rain.
I love Pali Naka.
- Marinate the chicken in Port, tenderiser, salt plus Peri Peri sauce to add heat. K got this from me from SA. I glazed the meat with the Epicure mint sauce that my former partner in food crime, Ipsita, gave me before she left town
- I sprinkled some Mediterranean sumac and lemon powder on sliced potatoes and added some salt and olive oil
- This time I lined an aluminium foil on the baking tray. Heated the oven at 200 for 10 minutes
- Placed the beef in and put it for 10 min at 200 degree
- Added the potatoes after that at one side of the dish and put it in for another 25 min and then kept it in for another five minutes
- No burnt potatoes this time. No smoke either. they had cooked pretty well. Though the cubed ones had baked better if you ask me
- The meat was largely juicy barring the odd char grilled ends. I think a total of 30 minutes followed by standing would be better than 35. That’s what C suggested to start with when I asked her
Learnings: The foil helped but next time I should put some oil below the foil so that it is easier to take the darned thing off. Tandoori chicken next
Here are some of the FB/ twitter help that I got. Thanks folks
Tips on time required & temperature:
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Plan to inaugurate the OTG with basic grilled chicken. any tips on how long, what temperature?
Sunday at 15:54 ·LikeUnlike ·
ISingCakes & more I am sure you will have a lovely meal. Do let me know when u bake a cake in it..your tips will help me.
Sunday at 16:10 · LikeUnlike
Gururaj Kulkarni 170-180 deg C for 20-25 mins.
Sunday at 16:13 · LikeUnlike
Finely Chopped Thanks Guru. Oh that's hard core Preeti, long wait before I can give tips
Sunday at 16:20 · LikeUnlike
Debopriyo Datta If it is a Philips OTG, then 35 mins in a preheated oven @ 180 C and leave the chicken to rest for 10 mins before serving.
Sunday at 17:10 · LikeUnlike
Finely Chopped Is smoke supposed to come out while you grill in OTG? Seems strange
Sunday at 22:17 · LikeUnlike
Debopriyo Datta Should not happen unless there is some plastics or oil in the OTG. The other reason could be that there is almost no liquid in the pan and
your chicken and /or marinade is burning. Don't worry. It will take a few tries to get it perfect. I had exploded potatoes and veggies
turning crisp before I could get the timing right.
On burnt tray (FB)
Rini Simon Khanna ...and why didn't you line the base with foil?....would have saved the burn...
When smoke came out (twitter):
@Finelychopped ya. It can at times ...
manojnayak Mr. Postman
@Finelychopped no, it probably burning, less oil I guess.
And on FB:
Need help deciphering Morphy Richards OTG controls. Manual doesn't explain. And I bought it Croma. 1 button with a line below, 1 with line on top, 1 with both, 1 with a rod which I assume is rotisserie
Rhea Mitra-Dalal try all settings and see..the element itself will glow red once it heats up, if it is not covered and is visible
Finely Chopped Thanks Rhea. So for the sort of cooking I have done so far I guess it must both. Line on bottom is for baking?
Rhea Mitra-Dalal Yeah, I guess so...but for cakes I usually have both on. Need a more professional opinion on this one :)
Claudia Tanna If you wanna brown something or melt cheese in a bake, you will need more or only heat from top.....if you have a heavy fruit cake that tends to burn from top, after half baking time you switch to bottom heat only etc! ;)
Naveen Bachwani Rhea is right in her first comment. You'd use only bottom element when you're basically warming. You can also switch to it periodically (from both on state) when you want the top of the dish to not overcook (eg. cheese topped bakes, etc.)
.Rini Simon Khanna All above correct...the options will be warm, grill, bake and roast...alternately use this to read the manuals