Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
If bread is the staff of life, then quick breads are essential to life on wheels. Making breads with yeast is a multi-step process that takes hours. Quick breads, on the other hand, rely on baking soda or baking powder for their rising power. They bake, slice, toast, and taste different from yeast breads. A new book, 125 Best Quick Bread Recipes ($18.95, Robert Rose Inc.), by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, is the only recipe book you’ll ever need for making loaves, scones, biscuits, and muffins. The authors also cover gluten-free recipes, and provide updates of old-fashioned quick breads that Grandmother baked.
Dry ingredients for most recipes can be measured at home and carried as ready-made bread mixes. Just add the wet ingredients for baking on the go. What a hit these baked goods make, fresh from the oven! Here’s a sample bread that calls for no added fat.
Poppy Seed Oat Bread
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4-cup poppy seeds
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg and buttermilk until combined, and then add the honey. (The author says to use an electric mixer, but I used a hand whisk with good results.) Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients, stir just until combined, and spoon into a greased 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 70 to 80 minutes, or until the bread tests done with a cake tester. Remove the bread from the pan and cool it on a rack.
Camembert On A Plank
I first wrote about beer can chicken in this column a year ago, and many of you have discovered this grilled favorite on your own. Now Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible ($19.95, Workman Publishing Company), has written a book titled Beer Can Chicken And 74 Other Offbeat Recipes For The Grill ($12.95, Workman Publishing). The book presents endless variations on the theme of cooking a whole chicken that sits on a half-full can of beer or soda. It also provides many other recipes, including this one. You’ll need a covered grill prepared for the indirect heating method (see Steve’s book or consult the book that came with your gas or charcoal grill), plus a cedar plank. You can find cedar planks at a gourmet food or barbecue specialty shop. While this recipe calls for peach chutney “” the author tells you how to make it “” I saved time by buying mango chutney. This recipe is ideal for cocktail guests.
1 cedar plank, soaked 2 hours in cold water
2 wheels of Camembert cheese, 8 ounces each
1 cup chutney
1/4-cup chopped, toasted almonds or pecans
2 tablespoons melted butter
Cut a very thin, white slice off the top of the cheeses and discard it. Spread half of the chutney over each cheese wheel, mounding it in the center. Sprinkle each with chopped nuts and drizzle with melted butter. Set up the grill for indirect cooking and preheat it to medium-high. Drain the plank and put it directly on the fire for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the edges start to smoke. Then turn it over, move it away from the direct heat, and arrange the cheeses on top. Cover the grill and cook until the cheeses are lightly browned around the edges, the tops are bubbling, and the cheese is melted. This takes approximately 12 to 20 minutes. Transfer the cheeses, plank and all, to a heatproof platter and serve with crackers.
Turn a simple bowl of strawberries into a gourmet dessert with this recipe from Mmmmiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes For Home Cooks ($27.50, Henry Holt & Company) by Carol Kotkin, a food writer, instructor, and classically trained chef, and Kathy Martin, food editor of the Miami Herald. If you love the flavors of Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean, or if you want to learn how to cook with tropical ingredients, this 352-page hardcover book is a classic. The following ingredients list calls for orange liqueur, such as the popular Triple Sec, but I used the new Bacardi O, an orange-flavored rum. I carry a zester in my galley. It’s a tiny, lightweight, inexpensive tool that makes it easy to zest an entire lemon, lime, or orange in a minute or two.
2 quarts strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/3-cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
Wash and trim the strawberries, cut in half lengthwise, and arrange in a single layer in a shallow pan. Whisk together the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and orange liqueur. Pour over the strawberries and let them steep, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve alone or with whipped cream or ice cream.
Graham Kerr (the Galloping Gourmet) is a popular television personality, an esteemed cooking teacher, and the author of a new book, Graham Kerr’s Gathering Place Nutrient-Rich Comfort Food ($17.95, Quarry Press). Kerr’s beloved wife of 47 years, Treena, suffered a stroke and also has other ills, including diabetes. In cooking for her well-being, Kerr has developed new cuisine that is fresh and healthful. From him, I learned how little olive oil it takes to brown chicken. He bought a new soap dispenser to use only for olive oil and found that it delivers exactly 1/2-teaspoon per push.
Here is my adaptation of Kerr’s one-dish stew. I used a 10-ounce package of succotash in place of the 2 cups of corn and lima beans; cornstarch instead of arrowroot starch; and dried parsley and basil where he uses 1/4-cup of fresh herbs. Note that this recipe does not call for any salt. I think you’ll agree it is perfect without it.
Approximately 3-1/2 pounds chicken (2 boneless, skinless breasts and 2 hindquarters)
1 teaspoon non-aromatic olive oil, divided
Large sweet onion, diced (2 cups)
3 ribs celery, in 1/4-inch slices (1-1/2 cups)
3 ounces Canadian bacon, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
2 cups canned, crushed tomatoes
1 cup canned or homemade low-sodium chicken broth
1/4-teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon each dried parsley and basil (or 1/4-cup each fresh, finely chopped)
Skin the chicken and cut it into 1-1/2-inch chunks. Heat 1/2-teaspoon of olive oil in a 10-1/2-inch chef’s skillet on medium high. Saute the onion until it starts to look translucent. Add the celery, the Canadian bacon, and the bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Remove to a plate and, without washing the pan, add the other 1/2-teaspoon olive oil and heat. Brown the chicken, starting with the dark meat, then the white. Add the tomatoes, the chicken broth, the cayenne pepper, and the Worcestershire sauce; then, the cooked vegetables. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover; and simmer 35 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Add the lima beans and the corn and cook another 12 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and heat, stirring, to thicken. Add the fresh herbs just before serving; dried herbs should be added earlier. This recipe serves six. Complete the meal with crusty Kaiser rolls and a fresh fruit compote for dessert.
Healthful Kerr breakfast ideas
Muesli is on every European breakfast buffet and is one of the quickest, most nutritious dishes you can grab on a rushed morning. Prepare it the night before you want to make an early start on a weekend trip. Portions appear small, but it is very filling and satisfying. Divide the muesli recipe into four servings at 250 calories each. Muesli is served cold. The Kerrmush recipe, which makes two servings, takes more preparation and is served hot. Make up the Almond And Fruit Mix by the bushel. It’s great as a topping for cereal, yogurt, and ice cream, or as a trail mix.
1/2-cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not steel-cut)
1/4-cup dark raisins or dried cranberries
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed nonfat milk
2 tablespoons Almond And Fruit Mix (recipe below)
Soak the oats and raisins or dried cranberries overnight in water. In the morning, drain and stir in the apple and the lemon juice. Add the condensed milk and stir. Sprinkle with Almond And Fruit Mix and serve. This goes well with a fruity herbal tea.
Graham Kerr’s Almond And Fruit Mix
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4-cup each dried cranberries, dried tart cherries, green pumpkin seeds, and cracked flax seeds
To release the full food value of the flax seeds, give them a brief whirl in the blender or food processor. Then mix everything together and keep in a covered container in a cool place.
1/2-cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups nonfat milk
1/4-cup Almond And Fruit Mix (recipe above)
2 teaspoons brown sugar or sugar substitute
1/4-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Place the oats and milk in a heavy-bottom saucepan, cover, and heat over a very low flame for 20 minutes. Stir, bring to a boil, and spoon into two bowls. Top with the Almond And Fruit Mix, brown sugar, and a light sprinkling of the pumpkin pie spice.
Shrimp And Mango Curry
Mangoes are costly in supermarkets. But if you happen to be traveling in South Florida between May and September when seemingly everyone has mangoes falling off their trees, you can eat your fill for almost nothing. This recipe was developed by Allen Susser, owner-chef at Chef Allen’s, one of Miami’s most famous restaurants. Unlike many curries, which are served on rice with a long list of garnishes, this meal is complete in one pot. If you like less fiery dishes, omit the cayenne.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons Madras curry powder
1/2-teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
2 cups canned coconut milk
2 cups water
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 mature green mango, peeled, cut from the pit, and diced
3 tablespoons scallions, including green parts
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic for approximately 3 minutes or until aromatic. Stir in the ginger, curry powder, cayenne pepper, and 2 teaspoons of the sea salt. Stir in the coconut milk and water. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Add the sweet potato and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Season the shrimp with the black pepper and the other teaspoon of sea salt. Add the shrimp and mango to the pan, return to a simmer, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the shrimp are evenly pink. Sprinkle with the scallions and cilantro. This recipe serves four. Complete the menu with pita bread, cottage cheese and pineapple salad, and mango ice cream for dessert.
Red Stripe Shrimp
This recipe was developed by Cindy Hutson of Ortanique, another of Miami’s standout restaurants. It’s a snap to marinate and grill. Because of its Jamaican jerk character, Cindy uses the national Jamaican beer, Red Stripe, but any beer will do. As a shortcut, I substitute ground ginger for fresh and 1/2-teaspoon ground allspice for the berries. Don’t substitute for the fresh garlic and shallots.
4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 cloves garlic, crushed
4 shallots, sliced
1 bunch thyme
Small knob of ginger, grated
4 allspice berries, bruised
2 tablespoons jerk paste
1 bottle beer
1/4-cup teriyaki sauce
1/4-cup sesame oil
Large tomato, diced
Whisk together everything but the shrimp in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and refrigerate for at least two hours. Remove the shrimp from the bowl and discard the marinade. Grill the shrimp separately and serve as finger food; or thread it on skewers in meal-size portions, grill, and serve on plates. This recipe makes 12 to 15 appetizer portions and four to six dinner servings.