Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
With a well-stocked spice shelf and some bottled flavorings, you can put a homemade touch on easy dishes such as these.
Grenadian Honeymoon Soup
This is my adaptation of a soup that goes together quickly, using canned foods. The original version is from the spice island of Grenada in the Caribbean.
1 large onion, finely diced
1 pat butter
16-ounce can chicken broth
16-ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
Small can crabmeat, drained and picked over
Dash of hot sauce
1/2-teaspoon nutmeg or to taste
1/2-cup evaporated milk
Sauté the onion in the butter in a roomy soup pot. Add the chicken broth and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Stir in the seafood and heat through. Add seasonings to taste (be generous with the nutmeg) and turn off the heat. Stir in the evaporated milk and ladle into soup bowls. Pass the sherry to splash in to taste. (A soy sauce bottle makes a good dispenser for shaking drops of sherry into soups.) This recipe serves 3 to 4 people as a main dish with bread and a salad.
Have plenty of hot sauce on hand for this spicy one-pot dish, but let each diner add it to taste, because some people like more heat than others. Even without the hot sauce, this recipe has plenty of character and zest. This recipe makes a big batch for 6 to 8 servings, but leftovers can be frozen.
1 pound Italian sausage
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into large pieces
1 pound frozen shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
2 medium onions, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
Half a green bell pepper, diced
1 medium carrot, diced in small pieces
3 cloves garlic, mashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Pepper to taste
16-ounce can (2 cups) chicken broth
28-ounce can tomatoes, with juice
2 cups long-grain rice
Remove the sausage from its casings and stir-fry it in a hot pot with the chicken just until the chicken is lightly browned. Pour off any excess fat. Thaw the shrimp. Stir-fry the vegetables with the sausage and chicken mixture, then add the seasonings and liquids, including the entire can of tomatoes. Bring to a boil and stir in the rice; cover; reduce heat; and simmer gently until the rice is tender, which should take approximately 20 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cover; cook over very low flame until the shrimp is thoroughly heated. Serve with crusty rolls and salad, and pass the hot sauce.
Vegetarian Vegetable Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 large stalks celery, sliced
16-ounce can vegetable broth (2 cups)
1 pound sweet potatoes (two large), peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium zucchini, cut into chunks
1 medium summer squash, cut into chunks
1 sweet pepper, diced into large pieces
8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/3-cup dried cranberries or raisins
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon cornstarch or instant flour
Stir-fry the onion and celery in the hot oil in a large stew pot. Add the broth, raw vegetables, and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the dried fruit, seasonings, and beans. Make a paste with the cornstarch or flour and enough water to mix, then stir into the boiling stew to thicken. Ladle into shallow soup bowls and top each serving with a scoop of steamed rice, a slab of garlic toast, or a cloud of couscous. Complete the meal with a salad, whole grain rolls with honey butter, and raspberry sorbet.
Turkey Dilly Dijon
The easiest way to dredge meat cutlets or fish filets in seasoned flour is to mix the flour and seasonings on a paper plate, then discard the mess when you’re finished.
4 servings boneless turkey cutlets
Flour, salt, and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2-teaspoon dill weed
1/4-cup cream or canned milk
Dredge each cutlet in the seasoned flour and fry in the hot oil until browned on both sides, approximately five minutes per side. Remove the cutlets and add the mustard, dill weed, and milk or cream to the pan. Stir, incorporating any browned bits, until the sauce is heated through. Do not boil. Spoon the sauce over the cutlets. Serve with buttered caraway noodles, steamed carrots, cabbage slaw peppered with raisins and peanuts, and a chocolate candy treat for dessert.
Pancake Maple Syrup
This recipe comes from Mike and Sheila Herron, F280346, of Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. The Herron family has always made its own maple-flavored syrup, because it’s far more compact and convenient on the go. They’ve made many versions of this recipe, including using all white sugar, all brown sugar, or adding a few drops of butter flavoring.
1-3/4 cups white sugar
1/4-cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2-teaspoon maple flavoring
Mix together all the ingredients and boil for 1-1/2 minutes. Serve the syrup hot, warm, cool, or cold. Store leftover syrup in the refrigerator.
Low Country Pork Chops
Marinate the herb-spiced chops all day in the refrigerator and grill them outdoors for dinner. This recipe makes four servings of two thin chops per person.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon sugar
Black pepper to taste
8 thin, lean pork chops
Mix everything but the chops in a sealable plastic bag and then add the pork chops. Refrigerate, turning several times, for 8 to 10 hours. Remove the pork, discard the bag and marinade, and grill the chops. Complete the menu with grill-baked sweet potatoes in foil, grilled zucchini, chilled cranberry sauce, and fresh strawberries.
Serve this as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish that combines vegetables and a starch.
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
24 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 large or two medium onions, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1/2-teaspoon dried Italian seasonings
½-teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4-teaspoon white pepper
1 cup sour cream, regular or fat-free
Set out the pastry, allow it to come to room temperature, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. You’ll need a rectangular pan the size of the crust, or you will have to trim the crust to your pan size. (Leftover pieces of crust can be baked and served, topped with jam, as cookies.) Sauté the mushrooms and onion in the olive oil in a big skillet until tender. Add the flour, then gradually add the water, and stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Turn off the stove. Stir in the remaining ingredients and turn the mixture into the baking pan. Cover with the pastry crust, cutting slits in the top to allow steam to escape and to create a pretty pattern. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serve with a spoon, making sure everyone gets a good balance of filling and crust.
Buy an entire bunch of fresh tarragon for this recipe. Cook half of it with the chicken and stir the rest into the gravy just before serving.
1 roasting chicken, approximately 4 to 5 pounds
1 bunch fresh tarragon, divided
1/2-pint heavy whipping cream
Slice the lemon thinly and slide several of the slices under the chicken’s skin. Place the remaining lemon slices in the chicken cavity. Chop the tarragon leaves finely and sprinkle half of them atop the chicken. Put the onion in the cavity. Salt and pepper the chicken. Roast the chicken at 325 degrees until it tests done using an instant meat thermometer or a pop-up timer. Remove the chicken to a platter and or cutting board and discard the contents of the chicken cavity.
To make the gravy, stir the cream and additional tarragon into the pan juices. Cut up the chicken and pass the gravy. Complete the meal with parsley rice, boil-in-the-bag vegetables, and a salad of mixed field greens.
Warm Rice Salad
Serve this recipe with deviled eggs for a cold lunch or as a side dish with meat and vegetables from the grill for dinner. It’s a salad and a starch all in one.
2-3/4 cups boiling water
3 cups instant rice
1/4-cup thawed orange juice concentrate
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1/3-cup shelled pistachio nuts
1/3-cup sliced, pitted dates
French or a citrus-flavored salad dressing
In a large, heatproof salad bowl, pour the boiling water over the instant rice. Cover and let stand 5 minutes until the water is absorbed. Stir in the orange juice concentrate. Lightly toss the rice with the tomatoes, scallions, nuts, dates, and cranberries, and add enough salad dressing to moisten.
Canny Potato Salad
The secret to getting rid of the tinny taste of the canned potatoes is to rinse and drain them, then chill them with the salad dressing.
2 cans, 1 pound each, sliced potatoes
1/2-cup Italian dressing
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2-cup grated Parmesan cheese from a can
or 1/4-cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Drain, rinse, and drain the potatoes; toss them with the salad dressing; and chill several hours. Just before serving, toss with the peas, celery, tomatoes, and cheese.
Microwave-convection recipe of the month
Serve this tasty dish on a nest of linguini for a filling meal.
4 large, firm bell peppers
12 ounces lean ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 cup cooked kidney beans; pinto beans; or large, white navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/2-teaspoon dried basil
1/2-teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Freshly ground pepper to taste
24-ounce jar mushroom or herb spaghetti sauce
Grated cheese (optional)
Cut the tops off the peppers, remove the seeds, and cut a very thin slice off the bottom of each so the peppers will stand upright. Be careful, however, not to cut through to the inside of the pepper. Set aside. In a microwavable casserole dish that also can be used in the oven, cover and cook the ground beef on high, stirring and turning every minute, until it’s no longer pink. Add the onion and garlic; cover; and cook on high until the onion is tender. Stir in the beans, seasonings, and 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce. Place the peppers in the casserole dish and spoon the ground beef mixture into the pepper cavities. Pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the tops. Bake, uncovered, for approximately 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the peppers are crisp-tender. Don’t overcook. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Complete the meal with a tossed salad, crisp bread sticks, and lemon bar cookies.
Send a self-addressed envelope with two stamps to The Idaho Potato Commission, Potato Lovers Brochure, 599 W. Bannock St., Boise, ID 83720 and receive a packet of recipe cards that call for fresh or instant Idaho potatoes. For additional potato recipes, visit www.idahopotato.com.
A new product
One of the most popular dishes in Great Britain today is chicken tikka masala, an Indian-inspired dish in a tomato sauce that contains a galaxy of flavors including cilantro, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, turmeric, ginger, and other herbs. The sauce now can be found in supermarkets. Look for the Patak’s brand of tikka masala sauces and pastes. For an exotic, one-dish meal, saute chicken with a little onion and oil; add the jar of sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, and two tablespoons of cream; and serve over rice.
Books for cooks
The ultimate spice reference book is The Spice and Herb Bible by Ian Hemphill ($22.95 paperback, Robert Rose Inc.). Have you ever wondered what’s in file’ powder? How long cinnamon keeps? How to store lemon grass? Or what mastic or kokam are? This 512-page book contains only a few recipes, but it is rich in spice lore and romance, as well as hard-core information about how to store, mix, and use spices. If you love ethnic recipes, you’ll find the book’s translations invaluable. For example, if Grandma’s Swedish recipe calls for senap, she means mustard; and when Tia Elena’s recipe for Spanish lamb asks for romero, you should pull out the rosemary.
Editor’s note: An RV cookbook titled Cooking On The Go by JoAnna Lund has no connection with Janet Groene’s book of the same name, the latter of which is out of print at this time. Janet’s current book, Cooking Aboard Your RV, is available; see below.