We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, March 27. 2012
I suppose I was raised on some foods you might term "Hotdish" - Shepherd's Pie, Tuna Noodle, Macaroni and Cheese, Lasagna, Seafood Casseroles, and the like - but it's not a New England term.
As his main course offering for our game dinner, my hunting pal brought his Oryx Moussaka over in his 18 qt. Nesco roaster oven. Just carried it into the kitchen and plugged it in to keep it hot.
(Being a Louisiana-born-and bred guy, he also made 4 Pecan Pies from his Mom's recipe. Made the crusts, too)
His Moussaka came out great, even though he had never made it before. (At our guy dinners, the men cook, the womenfolk are guests, and a helper cleans up. Mrs. BD does the flowers, of course.)
Point being, I'd never seen these roaster ovens before. Very handy. Waring makes a cheaper one.
If your oven is full, these seem to function as a spare oven, large enough for a 16# turkey, and their portability, their ability to keep food warm, and the inability to burn food in them, are useful features.
Can they give you an oven-like crusty or gratin surface if that's what you want? No. To brown the top of something, you have to put the enameled insert under the broiler for a few minutes.
Do any of our readers use these things?
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"Hotdish" - Tuna Noodle, Macaroni and Cheese, Seafood Casseroles, and the like - but it's not a New England term. "
Reading that has the same effect on me as chewing alum gum.
I always thought "hotdish" was an upper mid-western Lutheran term?
Yes I have one of those things. Somewhere. Only it is a different brand. And I have never used it. But I am told they are worth having around.
It is a Lutheran term, more or less.
Minnesota mostly, I think. They probably sell lots of these things there.
My sister-in-law grew up in Wisconsin-Minnesota. She is Lutheran and uses the term all the time.
My parents got one for a wedding present. It is still in use today, and cooks the big turkeys. It's now over 60 years old. I doubt the ones they make today will last 10 years.
My grandma used one constantly back in the late 1940's through the 1950's. I think she had it all of her life up until mid-1970's. She had it set up on it's own stand in the kitchen and used it all the time. I particularly remember the large turkeys.
While we are on the subject of food --what can you tell us about Bolognese?
I have seen these before, but only recently. We visited friends in Wisconsin for their eldest daughter's graduation, and they had implored several friends to bring their Nescos. The party was at a local park, which had electricity but not much else in the way of kitchen facilities. I had never seen them before, but at least in Fort Atkinson WI, they seem to be a kitchen staple like a crock pot.
My boyfriend's late wife had one, so I am using it now. I've done a turkey with it and it was adequate. Next time, I'll brine the turkey first. I think it would be very serviceable, if you used it often enough to get used to the quirks of baking in it.
I ran a railroad construction crew in the 70's and 80's we still had converted passanger cars to house the crew. we also had shower cars, cook car and dining cars. We had a great cook a woman who cooked 3 meals a day. When we changed work locations, we were without our cars, nevertheless our cook fed us using this kind of cookers. pork chops, chicken, roast beef.......I have seen them used in churches around here for any number of dishes including chicken noodle and beef noodle
I have one my mother always used to make a sort of cube steak / salisbury steak meal. That's all she ever used it for, as I recall. Now I've got it and never use it!!
My mom bought me one from QVC about 20 years ago. Tried a turkey but it didn't get brown and never really did much else with it. It sat in the basement all this time and last year I took the insert out to use for water in the chicken pen but the Moussaka idea intrigues me. Always figured it might come in handy if I ran out of propane.
Those of us brought up in the Middle West are greatly familiar with the Nesco Roaster. In my childhood, when stoves with double ovens were rare, we used the Roaster as an extra oven, very useful if you were cooking a meal which needed two cookers at different temperatures for dishes for the same meal. You could cook the Turkey in the built-in oven, and use the Nesco for vegetables and dressing.
I grew up just east of Ft Atkinson WI and the term "hotdish" was not in use - the term was "casserole". Nesco's weren't used when I grew up - no one I knew used them.
Many years ago, my grandmother made a biscuit-based, slightly sweet strawberry shortcake in one of these every year for our family reunion in a nearby park.
It made a very old-fashioned dessert that was just lovely made with lots of fresh berries and served warm after we kids played for an hour or two.
My mother-in-law has one. She is: The. Worst. Cook. In. The. World.
My wife won't argue the point.
It might not be the roaster's fault, but what I've seen come out of those things is not edible.
--add that crisp brown top with a simple propane torch using the fan shaped nozzle. These things scare folks, who confuse them with welding equipment. Naw, it's a big cigaret lighter made to unfreeze plumbing and to solder electro-mechanical connections and such. If you like melted cheese on say a skillet full of scrambled eggs, no need to put the whole thing under the oven broiler --just scatter the cheese and spark up that propane torch and give 'er a quick melt. A knob controls the size of the flame --usually use just a small couple inch long blue flame but if any say toddlers are bothering the chef, the thing will dial up to a two-foot long combat flame thrower fire, and it'll chase off the rugrats real good every time.
Here in Michigan these roasters are part of your kitchen - nearly all farm families have one, some have two. Our church uses them for the Ice Cream Social and Sauerkraut dinner - has a whole closet full of them. I believe that Sunbeam or some other manufacturer used to make the older models.
To brown a turkey in them, put the turkey in a cooking bag. That's what I do when it's my turn to cook the turkey.
These are awesome for cooking ribs. Season and brown the ribs under the broiler as desired then place in cooker and let them cooke until they fall off the bone while you're playing golf, boating, hunting or whatever activity that will keep you away for several hours and work up a great appetite.
My wife has 3 of these - one of which she got from her grandmother, who had used it for years. It still works fine. She's cooked turkeys and all kinds of other things in it.
I love these! My mother had one for use at thanksgiving to cook the turkey and free up the oven for other dishes. The best part is that it is indirect heat and does not dry out the food.
No it will not brown the turkey but will make a really juicy bird. Throw about 5 pounds of caramelized onion and low fat broth in the bottom. I have a rather larger family and will cook 2-14 pound birds in it.
I also use it for lunches at work. We usually have about 50 people attending. Our favorite is hot dog lunches but I have also reheated 30 pounds of pulled pork in it and it was just as good ( maybe better) than when it come off the smoker.
Wow! I can't believe so many folks have never seen these before. It must be a regional thing. Here in Ohio I've seen them used at large family or church gatherings since I was a child for dishes like stuffed cabbage. They are also very popular in rural areas. Our young miss uses hers to make ketchup since you can leave it on low overnight to reduce without tending to it.
I am still using the Westinghouse Oven like this; one my husband's grandmother purchased in 1949. We use it for Turkey every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I still have the user's guide, with recipes, and the pyrex dishes and stacking grills that came with it. I have never used it with multiple dishes, but I could. I have used it for heating tamales, a Christmas Eve tradition here in south Texas. They are very prevalent in the sale ads around holiday times. Mine originally had a table to hold it with an electrical connection.