Getting a whole lot more than bagels from your toaster oven

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May 19, 2004|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN FOOD EDITOR

These days one of the latest trends in kitchen designs is having a second oven, either in the wall or in the range. Linda Stephen's new cookbook, 125 Best Toaster Oven Recipes (Robert Rose Inc., 2004, $18.95), points out that many of us already have a second oven sitting on our countertop.

Stephen notes that almost anything you can cook in a regular oven you can cook in a toaster oven. That may come as a surprise to most of us who use our toaster ovens mainly to toast bagels and bake chicken nuggets for the kids. But, of course, a toaster oven that bakes and broils can do much more.

Stephen offers recipes for roasted chicken, casseroles and even baked Alaska. Toaster ovens have some advantages over conventional ovens, she says: They are more energy-efficient and easier to clean than regular ovens, and, of course, they are portable.

One point needs to be made about this book, however. The recipes call for a fairly large toaster oven. Stephen tested her recipes in a 0.5-cubic-foot model that was big enough to hold an 8-inch cake pan.

My toaster oven is not so large, so I was unable to make most of the dessert recipes. And there was no way a 3-pound whole chicken was going to fit in my oven to make the roast chicken with orange and sage. I also found my oven required longer cooking times than those called for in the recipes.

Nevertheless, my toaster oven was adequate to broil tasty salmon satays and bake crusted pork chops.

Salmon Satays

Makes 2 to 3 servings

2 tablespoons plum sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 teaspoons lemon juice or lime juice

1 teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot

1 clove garlic, minced

one 6-ounce salmon fillet, skin removed

1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

To make marinade, in a small bowl or measuring cup, combine plum sauce, oyster sauce, lemon juice, gingerroot and garlic.

Cut salmon lengthwise into 6 strips. Thread salmon onto six 6- to 8-inch bamboo skewers. Spoon marinade over both sides of salmon. Arrange satays on lightly greased broiler rack placed over oven pan, with exposed skewer ends near oven door to prevent burning.

Broil under preheated toaster oven broiler for 2 minutes per side, or just until white juices rise to surface. Turn carefully. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using, during last 30 seconds of cooking.

Per serving: 119 calories; 13 grams protein; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 6 grams carbohydrate; 0 grams fiber; 36 milligrams cholesterol; 170 milligrams sodium

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