Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
Whether you munch while traveling or pull over for a quick bite at a roadside rest stop, these snacks fill the bill for easy preparation and delicious eating.
These snacks can be made in the coach or whipped up ahead of time at home. Keep them in tightly sealed containers so they stay crisp.
8-ounce package shredded Cheddar cheese
2 sticks butter or regular margarine (not soft or liquid)
2 cups flour
1/2-teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups crispy rice cereal
Let the cheese and butter come to room temperature and mix them together in a bowl. Stir in the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper, then add the cereal and mix until everything is evenly blended. Scoop into walnut-size balls and place each on an ungreased baking sheet two inches apart. Crisscross the top of each ball with a fork to partially flatten. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until set and lightly brown on the edges. Cool, then store. This recipe makes approximately 48 pieces. They can be served with apples for a meal on the go, as cocktail nibbles, or with hot cider as a bedtime snack.
8-ounce can whole water chestnuts
1 pound sliced bacon
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons jelly or marmalade
Drain the water chestnuts. Cut each slice of bacon in half and wrap it loosely around a chestnut, securing it with a toothpick. Bake at 425 degrees until the bacon has shrunk around the water chestnut and is crisp. Drain on paper towels. Combine the soy sauce, ketchup, and jelly in a small container and microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds until the sauce is well mixed. Arrange the water chestnuts on a serving dish and drizzle with the sauce. Note: these appetizers can be cooked ahead of time, then warmed again in the microwave and drizzled with the sauce before serving.
6-ounce can orange juice concentrate, thawed
3-3/4-ounce package instant vanilla pudding, regular or sugar-free
1 cup milk
1/4-cup vanilla yogurt
Whisk all ingredients together and chill. Use as a low-calorie dip for apple wedges, pineapple chunks, sesame seed breadsticks, celery, or carrots.
2 cups cooked shrimp (fresh or canned)
Juice of 2 large lemons
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Party rye for serving
Drain and chop the shrimp, then marinate it in lemon juice for an hour. Using a mixer or a wooden spoon, cream the butter with the dill and anchovy paste. Drain the shrimp well and carefully fold it into the butter mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Press the mixture into a crock or bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Remove the crock from the refrigerator in enough time for the mixture to soften and become spreadable. Serve with bread or crackers as a snack or a light lunch.
Canned sardines are easy to keep on hand and can make nutritious snacks that are packed with calcium. This filling also can be used as a stuffing in Belgian endive leaves, halved cucumbers with the seeds scooped out, hollowed-out small zucchini, or on small latkes (potato pancakes).
2 cans sardines, well drained
2 hard-boiled eggs, mashed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mayonnaise to moisten
Celery or other vegetable
Using a food processor or a fork, mash together the sardines, eggs, and lemon juice, then mix in just enough mayonnaise to make a paste. Fill the pieces of celery or other vegetables with the mixture, or place a dollop on each small pancake and fold in half.
Fony Foie Gras
Put on airs without busting your budget. This realistic pate is made with liverwurst.
10-ounce tube liverwurst, such as braunschweiger, at room temperature
3-ounce package cream cheese
1/4-teaspoon garlic granules
2 to 3 tablespoons cognac, brandy, or, as a last resort, juice from canned black olives
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and, using a food processor or a fork, blend everything into a smooth paste. Press the mixture into a crock or bowl and garnish with sliced black olives if you like. Use at once or cover and refrigerate for up to three days. Serve as a spread with crackers or party rye.
8-ounce package cream cheese
10-ounce package pitted, chopped dates
1 jar or 1 package salted, roasted sunflower kernels
Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature and mix in the dates. Scoop into small balls with two teaspoons, drop into a dish filled with the sunflower kernels, and roll until completely coated. Place each on a cracker or a round of melba toast and serve immediately.
Hot Crab Dip
15-ounce can artichoke hearts, well drained and chopped
1/4-teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning or
1 teaspoon lemon juice plus several turns of freshly ground pepper
6-ounce can crabmeat, drained and picked over
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
Mix all of the ingredients in a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve hot as a spread or a dip with crackers, toast, or party rye. Alternate serving method: butter 6 slices of bread on one side and spread the other side evenly with the crab mixture. Place each piece of bread butter-side down on a baking pan and, watching carefully, broil just until the crab mixture is bubbly and lightly brown. Cut into halves or triangles and serve warm.
Baked Chicken Fingers
The marinating step is important to firm up the chicken for easy baking and eating.
3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into finger-size strips
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1 stick butter, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 cups bread crumbs
Bottled sweet-and-sour sauce
Put the chicken fingers in a large, sealable plastic bag and add the buttermilk, lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, garlic, pepper, paprika, sugar, and cinnamon. Refrigerate overnight. In a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan, melt the butter and add the olive oil; swirl to coat the entire pan; and pour off and save the excess. Drain the chicken and discard the marinade. Place a deep layer of bread crumbs on a paper plate. Using a pair of tongs, coat each chicken finger with the bread crumbs and place in the buttered pan. Drizzle the leftover butter-oil mixture over the crumb-coated fingers. Bake at 350 degrees until the coating of the chicken fingers is crusty brown. Serve with the sweet-and-sour sauce as a dip. This recipe makes six to eight appetizer-sized servings.
More snack ideas
- Experiment with flavored cream cheese as a spread for toast or crackers or as a dip for raw fruits or vegetables. Let an 8-ounce brick of cream cheese come to room temperature, then select your choice of additions. Try stirring in 3 tablespoons of your favorite jam; 1 teaspoon of orange zest and 2 tablespoons of orange juice; 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and an 8-ounce carton of lemon chiffon yogurt; 1/3-cup of peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce; or 1/2-cup of chunky blue cheese dressing.
- Put a brick of cream cheese on a plate, slather with Heinz Smokey Mesquite Kick’rs (a new flavored ketchup), and sprinkle with finely diced sweet onion. Surround with crackers.
- Gather up all your leftover cheeses, totaling about a pound, and blend in the food processor with 2 tablespoons each of butter and sherry, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and red pepper sauce and/or Worcestershire sauce to taste. Press into a bowl or crock and serve as a spread.
- Place an 8-ounce brick of cream cheese in a casserole dish with a jar of chopped chipped beef, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, and a tablespoon of milk. Microwave the mixture on high, turning and stirring every 30 seconds until it is hot and well combined. Add hot sauce to taste. Serve warm as a dip or spread.
Microwave-convection recipe of the month
This recipe can be served for breakfast or, by adding a green vegetable and a cranberry relish, can make a terrific main dish for dinner.
Breakfast In A Basket
Chopped celery and onion to make 1 cup
1-1/2 cups seasoned stuffing mix
Small can chunk chicken
6 six-inch flour tortillas
Break four of the eggs into a large, lightly oiled casserole dish. Pierce the yolks, cover, and microwave on high until the eggs are cooked solid. Turn out onto a cutting board and, once cooled, chop into small pieces. Add a little more oil to the casserole dish, add the celery and onion, cover, and microwave on high until tender. In a bowl, combine the chopped eggs, vegetables, milk, stuffing mix, chicken, and the remaining two raw eggs. Set the oven for 400 degrees. Form the stuffing mixture into six balls and place on a buttered baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between each. Bake for 5 minutes, then carefully drape a tortilla over each and continue baking until the tortilla is toasty brown and the stuffing mixture is set. Flip onto plates, with the tortilla forming a basket.
Durotherm thermal cookware products offer a new way to prepare meals, but at prices starting at $139 for a small saucepan, this Swiss-made, double-walled, stainless-steel cookware isn’t for everyone. I chose to buy the 3-liter casserole for $184 despite its cost and heavy weight. Why? First, it is a lifelong showpiece that goes from oven or stove to the dressiest table. It can be used on the stovetop or in the oven for waterless cooking on low heat.
Take it off the stove, add the insulating clip-on serving base to the bottom (to hold the heat and protect the tabletop), and carry it to the potluck table, where it will keep food piping hot for up to two hours. When preparing a large meal on three burners, I can start cooking potatoes in this pot; take it off the burner when they are half done; and let them finish cooking on the countertop, leaving the burners free to make gravy, vegetables, coffee, etc. Go to www.kuhnrikon.com or call (800) 662-5882 to request a free CD-ROM with recipes and instructions for using this new cookware.
Cook’d Right is a new, instant meat testing product that can help you determine whether your pork or poultry has been thoroughly cooked. This product also can come in handy when grilling rare or medium-rare steaks. Sold in packages of six, nine, or 18, these disposable picks are plunged into meat to give an instant readout to help judge whether the meat is rare, medium or well done. Be sure to get the right type: one is for poultry; the other is for burgers, steaks, and roasts. Unlike pop-up timers, this sensor is not left in meat during cooking. Cook’d Right testers can be found in supermarkets and at cooking supply stores.
Smucker’s Classic Cookie Recipe Collection is a free recipe booklet filled with great recipes featuring the company’s jams, jellies, and preserves. Send a self-addressed #10 envelope with two stamps to The J.M. Smucker Company, Attn: Classic Cookie Recipe Collection, Consumer Relations Department, P.O. Box 280, Orrville OH 44667.
Have you discovered pimenton, the smoked paprika that’s the “secret ingredient” in many Spanish dishes? If you’re looking for authentic ingredients for your Spanish recipes, visit www.tienda.com. You can order directly from the Web site or request a catalog of specialty foods offered by the company, which include boquerones (white anchovies), atun claro (yellowfin tuna in olive oil), bacalao (boned, salted cod), Calasparra rice, and Spanish olive oil, by calling (888) 472-1022.