Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
Here are some time-saving recipes that can be whipped up on the go or made partially at home and finished in the motor coach.
Smoked Salmon Roll
Stir this up several days ahead of time and keep it cold. Serve it surrounded by crackers so everyone can scoop and spread what they want. It’s ideal for happy hour, a light lunch, or a late snack.
8-ounce package cream cheese
6 ounces smoked salmon
3 to 4 dashes red pepper sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons dried dillweed
1/4-cup finely diced onion
1/4-cup dried cranberries or currants
1/4-cup chopped almonds
Let the cream cheese come to room temperature, then stir all of the ingredients together and press into an oiled mold dish that has been sprinkled with chopped parsley. Top with more parsley. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until served.
Peaches ‘n’ Cream
1 large can peach halves
1/2-teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk or half-and-half
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2-cup packed brown sugar
Open the can of peaches and add the vanilla to the juice. Stir gently with a knife to mix in the vanilla. Let the peaches marinate for up to 30 minutes, then drain well. Discard the liquid or save for another purpose. Whisk the milk into the pudding mix until it begins to thicken, then spread in a broiler-proof dish such as a metal pie tin. Nestle the peach halves, cut side down, in the vanilla pudding. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Just before serving, sprinkle with brown sugar and broil, watching very carefully. Remove from the broiler when the brown sugar just begins to bubble. Serve at once to preserve the contrast of the hot topping and the cold pudding.
Tutti-Frutti Sweet Patootie
Throw together this side dish in a few minutes, using canned ingredients. It’s terrific with grilled ham or a roasted bird.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
18-ounce can pineapple chunks
18-ounce can apple slices (not apple pie filling)
2 18-ounce cans sweet potatoes
3/4-cup packed brown sugar
Maraschino or candied cherries for garnish (optional)
In a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup, stir together the cornstarch and a little of the pineapple juice to make a paste. Drain the rest of the juice from the pineapple and apples into the measuring cup and add water if necessary to make 1 cup of liquid. Microwave the mixture on high, stirring every 20 seconds, until it thickens. Carefully mix the sweet potatoes, pineapple, and apples and put into a buttered casserole. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and drizzle with the hot liquid. Dot the top with cherries, if you like. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days, or bake immediately, uncovered, in the oven or microwave just enough to heat through.
Marinated Olives #1
If you’re looking for a new snack or condiment, or a gift to give campground neighbors, whip up a quadruple batch of these olives. They should be eaten within 10 days.
4-ounce jar oil-pack sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
16-ounce can pitted ripe olives (colossal is best for this recipe)
1-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried, crumbled rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4-teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Chop the tomatoes and mix with the garlic and salt. Add the remaining ingredients and marinate at least three hours. If you’re using fresh rosemary and thyme, use a tablespoon of each instead of a teaspoon.
Marinated Olives #2
16-ounce can large, ripe olives, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Combine all ingredients and marinate at least three hours. Eat within 10 days.
This tangy fruit side dish goes well with grilled chicken or pork. Serve it with a draining spoon.
4 large, ruby red grapefruits, about 1 pound each
1/2-cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
Peel and section the grapefruit, preserving the juice. In a small pot, bring the juice, brown sugar, cloves, and apple pie spice to a boil. Pour the mixture over the grapefruit and chill for up to two days in a tightly sealed container that can be turned gently once or twice to distribute the flavors.
Butterscotch Pecan Cookies
Feel well-prepared when you have a batch of homemade rolled cookie dough in your refrigerator or freezer. Just slice and bake as many as you wish each day, filling the coach with sweet aromas. This recipe is from Esther Brody’s book, The 250 Best Cookie Recipes ($18.95, Robert Rose Inc.), a sturdy, sewn edition that will be the only cookie cookbook you’ll ever need at home or on the go. I often double or quadruple the recipe. The dough will keep in the freezer for two to three months or in the refrigerator for seven to 10 days.
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2-teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons softened butter
2/3-cup packed brown sugar
1/2-cup chopped pecans
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg and stir in the vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until everything is well blended. Fold in the pecans. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half and shape into 2-inch-diameter logs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours. To bake, cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Note: 2 cups of chopped dates can be substituted for the pecans. For a chewier cookie, add 3/4-cup crushed cornflakes with the pecans.
Tips for refrigerator cookies
- Rinse out and save frozen juice cans and press cookie dough into them. Chill or freeze. When you’re ready to bake your cookies, use a can opener to remove the closed end of the can, push the dough through, slice, and bake. This also works with firm pate and with polenta that you will grill or fry. Tin cans also can be used in various diameters for different results. They make ideal molds, because the product can be pushed out without digging. And they’re disposable, so you don’t have extra dishes to wash. You might also try this with a molded gelatin salad, which can be removed and cut into rings.
- Create special effects by patting cookie dough into a flat rectangle and sprinkling lightly with flavored gelatin dessert mix. Roll the dough up, wrap in plastic, and chill. When you slice the dough before baking, you’ll have spirals of color.
- To make “elephant ears,” sprinkle a sheet of puff pastry with cinnamon sugar, and some finely chopped nuts if you like, and roll up both sides toward the middle, creating a twin spiral. Slice and bake.
- Here’s an easy way to give your rolls of cookie dough or cold spread rolls a “border.” Sprinkle the plastic wrap you’ll use to wrap the roll with an ingredient that will form an even layer on the outside of the roll and, at the same time, keep the roll from sticking to the plastic. For cookies, use finely chopped nuts, dried fruits, or shredded coconut. For savory rolls such as liver pate, try chopped parsley, chives, sweet onion, scallions, cornflake crumbs, or flavored bread crumbs.
Microwave-convection recipe of the month
This recipe was developed by the people who make Boston Market Chicken Broth, and I’ve adapted it for use in my microwave-convection oven. It’s a starch and vegetable all in one. Times may vary slightly in your microwave, depending on its wattage. This recipe makes four servings.
14-1/2-ounce can chicken broth
2 small acorn squash, scrubbed, halved, and seeds removed
2 cups dry herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1/2-cup chopped pecans
1/3-cup seedless raisins
Reserve 2/3-cup of the chicken broth and pour the rest into a microwave-safe baking dish. Place the squash, cut side down, in the broth. Cook on high, uncovered, for 6 to 7 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender. Remove the dish from the oven, drain the broth into another container, and microwave the butter and broth, including the reserved broth, until the butter melts. Stir in the stuffing mix, pecans, and raisins. Set the convection oven to 375 degrees. Turn the squash cut side up, pile high with the stuffing mix, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Serve with meat from the grill and a leafy lettuce salad with grapefruit sections, French dressing, and a peppering of pomegranate seeds.
Chicken A La King, Microwave-Style
This recipe is from Woodall’s Favorite Recipes from America’s Campgrounds ($12.95, Woodall’s Publishing Corp.). It starts in the convection oven and then uses the oven in microwave mode.
4 frozen puff pastry patty shells
1/4-cup chopped celery
1/4-cup shredded carrots
1/4-cup chopped onion
1/4-cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 cups cooked chicken
2-1/2 ounces mushrooms, canned or fresh
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the pastry shells for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside and let the oven cool. In a deep, 2-quart microwavable casserole, combine the margarine, celery, carrots, and onion. Cover and cook on high for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. Blend in the flour and salt and cook on high for 30 seconds. Add the broth and milk and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and bubbly, stirring once every minute. Stir in the chicken and mushrooms; cover; and cook on high for 3 minutes or until heated through. Spoon the mixture into the pastry shells or on top of toast or mashed potatoes. Complete the meal with chilled cranberry sauce and a boil-in-the-bag green vegetable. Go easy on dessert; the pastry shells are loaded with calories. This recipe serves four.
For a free laminated color booklet of recipes that use natural peanut butter, send a self-addressed #10 (4-1/8-inch-by-9-1/2-inch) envelope affixed with two 34-cent stamps to J.M. Smucker Company, Attn: Peanut Butter Recipe Collection, Consumer Relations Department, P.O. Box 280, Orrville, OH 44667.
Book for cooks
Magic In The Kitchen ($50, Artisan) is for foodies interested in learning about famous chefs. It’s a heavy, coffee-table book filled with color photos and “insider” recipes. Don’t look for time-saving tips here. This book would be a great gift for gourmet cooks who like to tinker and fuss.