Nowadays we are often lured into buying expensive kitchen gadgets and refined technology to obtain “the perfect taste”. However, there exist simpler, albeit somewhat forgotten, cheap solutions to prepare tasty, flavorful, juicy or even diet meals. For example, a baking bag does all the tricks we need.
If we love meat really tender but don’t wish to spend hours in the kitchen, if we would like to use the least possible amount of fat, but still enjoy full flavors, we do ourselves a good service if we always have baking bags at home, Not only meats, but also vegetables and fruits or combinations of these, bread, side dishes and other food may be prepared in bags. It simply can’t be overlooked that food becomes healthier if cooked in a bag, as it practically cooks in its own juices.
If these arguments are not convincing, we have another one: after cooking or baking, there is no need to scrub pots and pans; also, side dishes can be cooked with the meat, so there is no need to use other cooking dishes.
Before trying out some recipes, it is worth to listen to some advice.
– If food is prepared in a cooking bag, the oven should never be heated over 200 degrees, or else the bag may explode, and a meal of baked plastic will be the result.
– The bag is expanded and rounded up by heat, so it is important to leave enough space around it. If the bag touches the sides or top of the oven when filled up with steam, it will explode.
– With a fork or a toothpick, poke at least 8-10 small holes on the bag, so steam can escape.
– The ingredients should be placed in the bag without covering one another, or else they won’t cook properly. If we have no other choice but to put one ingredient on the top of another, then the juicier or fatter item should go on top.
– Be careful when opening the bag, as hot steam may escape suddenly, causing injuries.
And now, let’s get on to the recipes.
Marinated chicken thighs with potatoes and red onions
4 while chicken thighs
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon marinade mix (or own mixture of spices)
2 tablespoon olive oil
12 medium-sized potatoes
3 medium-sized red onions
2 whole sour apples, peeled
Clean chicken thighs and make a few shallow cuts on the sides. Mix olive oil, marinade spices and garlic, and thoroughly rub the mixture over the thighs. Let the meat sit for at least half an hour if in a hurry; if there is time, the chicken should be left to sit two hours, or even for overnight in the fridge.
Peel potatoes, onions and apples, and cut them into wedges.
Place all ingredients in a baking bag with some holes poked into. Pour the leftover marinade in the bag too. Close the bag and place it on a baking sheet. Bake it in a 180 degrees Celsius pre-heated oven for 50 minutes. After that, cut off the top of the bag, and broil the chicken for 10 more minutes at 200 degrees.
– Chicken – even a whole chicken – can be baked without side dishes, or with pears instead of apples, or with any other vegetables: mushrooms, broccoli, carrots. Instead of store bought marinade we can use our favorite spices or own spice mixtures (thyme, rosemary, salvia, garlic etc.)
– An extra tip: if the chicken is sprinkled with beer in the bag, the meat will be very flavorful, red and crispy.
Sea Fish Filet with Vegetables
800 grams fish filet
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
5 cloves garlic
3 medium-sized tomatoes
1 small zucchini, sliced
8 – 10 pieces black olives
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Clean and dry fish in a paper towel, and put it in a baking bag. Mix the rest of the ingredients well in a bowl, and pour the mixture over the fish. Close the bag and bake it in an oven preheated to 190 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve it with jasmine rice or potatoes.
Baked bread with butter and sour cream
500 g all purpose flour
3 dl milk
30 g fresh yeast
50 g butter
3 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix sugar and yeast in lukewarm milk. Sift flour, add salt, sour cream and melted butter. Add milk and yeast mix, and knead ingredients well. The dough is ready when it separates from the wall of the bowl and becomes bubbly. Cover dough with a kitchen cloth and let it grow double in size for the next 40-50 minutes.
Knead the dough again on chopping board sprinkled with flour, shape it into a bread form, make 3-4 shallow cuts on top of it, sprinkle it with water and place it carefully in a baking bag with 5-6 holes in it. Close the bag and bake it at 190 degrees for 40 minutes. When ready, place it on a rack for cooling. The resulting bread is very tasty and crunchy, and will stay fresh for a long time.
Garlic hock steamed in wine
1 nice bone-in hock
10 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons oil
0.5 dl dry white wine
Ground bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large red onion
Wash hock, cut the skin in a few places. Crush garlic, put it in a small bowl, pour oil over it; add the other spices and mix well. Rub mixture all over the hock.
Peel onion and cut it into wedges.
Place the hock in a baking bag with some holes in it along with the onions. Pour white wine over the hock, close the bag and put it in a pan.
Bake hock at 200 degrees for 1.5 hours. After that, cut off top of the bag and broil the hock for 20 minutes. Serve it with mashed potatoes and steamed cabbage.