The Fragrance Route | Cooking In A PROEbag

Cooking In A PROEbag


COOKING IN A PROEBAG

The “hay box” concept is tried and trusted: food is heated to boiling point, well insulated, and then “slow cooks”. Food can’t burn and the cooking method seals in healthy nutrients and wholesome goodness.

PROEbag cooking is as easy as pie and absolutely ideal for soups, stews, bredies, curries, casseroles, one pot meals, game, stock, porridge, stewed fruit … indeed for any slow cooked meal. The longer it cooks, the more tender it becomes. Test this cooking method by using a cheap recipe to get the hang of it. Once you get used to cooking in this way, you will love the convenience – and the reduced electricity bill!

A rough guide to cooking times:

  1. RICE AND GRAINS: 5 minutes on the stove, at least 45 minutes in the bag.
  2. PRE-SOAKED DRIED BEANS: 15 minutes on the stove, 2-3 hours in the bag.
  3. ROOT VEGETABLES: 15 minutes on the stove, 1 hour or more in the bag.
  4. CHICKEN AND MEAT (NO SKIN / BONES): 10-15 minutes on the stove, 1 hour or more in the bag.
  5. CHICKEN AND MEAT ON THE BONE: 15-20 minutes on the stove, 2 hours or more in the bag.

Choose the right pot:

  1. HEAT RETENTION. Enamelled cast iron, copper, steel, aluminium and glassware pots are best – do not use clay or ceramic.
  2. SOLID LID. A tight fit is required to retain heat more effectively.
  3. SHORT HANDLES. Best when moving a pot in and out of the PROEbag.
  4. SIZE OF YOUR POT. Use the right size for the amount of food you wish to cook – it should be two thirds to three quarters full to allow sufficient space for steam.

The secret is to plan your meal. You don’t need another cookbook: adapt your favourite slow cook recipes in four or five* easy steps:

  1. PLAN IT. When do you have time to cook, and at what time should the meal be served?
  2. TIME IT. Start the night before, early morning, or a few hours in advance. Use a stove or other source of heat to bring dish to the boil. Cook for 5-20 minutes to ensure maximum heat, leave the lid on, and transfer your pot to the PROEbag.
  3. FORGET IT. Once tucked away in the PROEbag the dish can’t burn, the hot pot is safe for small children and pets, and possible unpleasant cooking odours are minimized.
  4. CHECK IT.* You might want to add vegetables at two stages, check for spicing, or add particular ingredients at a later stage. Transfer pot to your stove, stir, and bring back to the boil. Leave the lid on and put the pot back into your PROEbag.
  5. FINISH IT. Take your pot from the PROEbag to your stove. Stir, bring back to the boil, taste for spicing, and serve.

Follow this basic cooking method:

  1. BROWN. Start with oil, butter etc.
  2. FLAVOUR. Remove meat with a slotted spoon if necessary and add onions, garlic, vegetables that require more cooking time such as potatoes, carrots, etc. Add salt, pepper and other spices. Return meat and stir.
  3. ADD LIQUID. Water, stock, wine, etc. There is no evaporation while cooking so you will use less liquid than usual. Ensure that all ingredients are covered and put the lid on. DO NOT LIFT THE LID otherwise the cooking process will be interrupted.
  4. BRING TO THE BOIL. Cook for 5-20 minutes to ensure maximum heat, LEAVE THE LID ON, and transfer your pot to the PROEbag. Wrap pot in a kitchen towel to prevent possible spills, put the PROEbag “hat” on top and close the bag as tightly as possible. Leave the PROEbag in a cupboard, in a deep drawer, on the floor or on your kitchen counter.
  5. CHECK IT. Take your pot back to the stove, add vegetables that require less cooking time such as baby marrows, mushrooms etc. Stir and taste for spicing, then bring back to the boil. LEAVE THE LID ON and put the pot back into your PROEbag.
  6. FINISH IT. Take your pot from the PROEbag to your stove. Stir, bring back to the boil, taste for spicing, and serve. If you have too much liquid at this stage keep some of the liquid to use in soups etc.

You save on:

  1. ELECTRICITY. If soups, stews, bredies, casseroles and one pot meals are your favourite winter time recipes, tests have shown that you can save 40-60% on electricity.
  2. SPACE. Cooking in the PROEbag doesn’t require countertop space, it frees your oven, and very little stove time is required.
  3. WATER. You will have less washing up to do – and because food can’t burn, this cooking method is water wise.
  4. TIME. Worry about the curry, not the rice. Cook one of your menu ingredients – rice, samp, beans – in the PROEbag, and forget about it. It won’t burn and will be ready to be served, on time.
  5. MONEY. Long, low-temperature cooking help tenderize less-expensive cuts of meat.

Other advantages:

  1. POWER CUTS: Keep your PROEbag handy, use it in time, and enjoy a hassle-free outage period.
  2. IT’S HEALTHY: Slow simmer cooking retains all the healthy, nutritious goodness in ingredients and brings out the flavour in foods.
  3. IT’S ECO-FRIENDLY: Introducing the PROEbag to your way of cooking means less time on the stove or fire, so it contributes to green living and helps conserve resources like water and energy.

Your well insulated PROEbag can keep the contents hot OR cold and have numerous uses:

  1. Ideal to serve food buffet style: keep food hot or cold (and plates warm) until it’s time to open your bag.
  2. Great for weekends away and holiday accommodation: useful while travelling and you have an additional cooler bag / cooking option at your final destination.
  3. Keep your vitamins / medicine / beauty products / perfume cool when travelling by car.
  4. Handy to keep your baby’s bottles warm – especially when without a microwave oven.
  5. Handy for camping and caravans, when preparation options / surfaces are limited.
  6. Perfect for takeaways, picnics, “bring & braai” and sporting events.
  7. Use it as an emergency cooler bag for groceries and to keep cool drink / beer /wine cold.
  8. Ideal to cook meals in advance for religious days (Sabath / Ramadaan).
  9. If you operate a food stall you can’t be without!
  10. It keeps odours inside: perfect when cooking bones for a dog, offal, etc.
  11. Great to transport glasses and ceramic containers if you plan to picnic in style.
  12. Tourists can also use this handy bag to protect fragile souvenirs to take back home.

E-mail address: nelmar@vodamail.co.za
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