March 10, 2017

Wonderbag Review

There are many wonderful things about the Wonderbag. Let me count the ways;

1. Acts like a slow cooker but no electricity is needed
2. Continues to cook food long after you have placed your pot in the bag
3. Super portable
4. So, it's perfect to take to parties, bbqs or tailgates
5. For each bag purchased, a bag is given to a family in Africa

I was gifted one of the bags to try out recently. I really think it's fantastic, hopefully as evidenced by the above. My only wish, is that tailgate season would hurry up and get here so I can try out more recipes.

Of course, in order to give a proper review I had to cook something in it. I was invited to a house party last Friday night and all of us were asked to bring a dish. It was the perfect opportunity to try out the Wonderbag. My first thought was queso! Why? Because queso has to stay warm and be served warm to truly be tasty.

I made the queso on the stove, per the normal directions, then I placed the pot in the Wonderbag, about an hour before we were supposed to be at the party. The bag made it very easy to transport and caused quite the commotion when we walked in with it. Everyone there wanted to know what it was  and how it worked. Not to mention, the queso was so good and stayed the perfect temperature the whole evening.

Here is the recipe I used.

1 pound ground beef (you can also use ground turkey, chorizo, buffalo, whatever meat you prefer)
1 large shallot, diced
1 small jalapeƱo, seeded and diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups of your favorite beer
1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
12 ounces of white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
1 cup of black beans

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add meat to the skillet, using a wooden spoon to break apart until it is in crumbles. Cook until the fat is rendered and the meat appears to be cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.

Keep the heat under the skillet around medium-low and add olive oil, peppers, shallot and garlic with a pinch of salt. Stir well to coat. Let cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat up to medium and add beer. After a few minutes, stir in softened cream cheese and continue stirring until it's melted. At first it will look crumbly and separated, but it will melt! Once it is creamy, add in the white cheddar, stirring again until melted and reducing the heat to low. Stir in the black beans and sausage, then remove from heat and serve immediately. Top with scallions and cilantro if desired.

This is the original recipe that I modified. I like that the recipe didn't call for Velveeta. Cheers!

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