Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
Here are some ideas for meals that are quick, slick, and delicious, with easy cleanup.
Serve this cold soup for lunch on a hot day. It can be thrown together at the last minute, or made ahead of time to let the flavors chill and mingle. I start with pre-cooked, frozen shrimp that already have been deveined and cooked.
16 medium, tail-on shrimp, deveined and cooked
24-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
Small can diced chili peppers
Small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced (approximately 1/2-cup)
Small bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (approximately 1/3-cup)
16-ounce can tomato juice (2 cups)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Half of a green bell pepper, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4-cup minced parsley or cilantro
Nonfat sour cream
Hot pepper sauce
Thaw the shrimp, saving four whole shrimp for garnish. Chop the rest of the shrimp after discarding the tails, mix with all ingredients except the sour cream and the hot sauce, and chill. To serve, spoon the gazpacho into four soup bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream centered with a plump, whole shrimp. Pass the hot sauce. Crusty bread completes the meal.
Grouper With Tropical Fruit Relish
The next time you’re in the St. Petersburg, Florida, area, make reservations for the famous Sunday brunch at the Renaissance Vinoy (727-894-1000). Built in 1925, the hotel is a historic treasure, and motorhome and car parking is plentiful along the waterfront. (The hotel also has valet parking for cars.) After brunch, look over the hotel’s displays of memorabilia from the 1920s and see the garden. Then stroll out to The Pier, which has an aquarium and shops. Or spend the afternoon in art and history museums that are just a short walk from the hotel.
This recipe was created by the Vinoy’s executive chef, John Pivar. Use fresh fruit where possible; substitute canned if necessary. Either way, the blend of tropical fruits makes a tangy finish for the flaky fish.
4 servings grouper, rubbed lightly with olive oil and grilled until flaky
One-fourth of a ripe pineapple, finely chopped (approximately 1-1/2 cups)
Half of a mango, finely chopped
Half of a papaya, finely chopped
Half of a red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Salt, pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients (except fish) and chill until needed. To serve, spoon the relish over the grilled fish. This goes well with microwave-baked sweet potatoes and a wilted spinach salad, with macadamia nut cookies for dessert.
Pineapple Dump Cake
This fat-free cake is moist and pudding-like. It can be served plain; with frosting; or covered with fat-free, sugar-free vanilla yogurt.
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 packet lemon or orange gelatin dessert mix
2 teaspoons baking soda
16-ounce can crushed pineapple, with juice
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, dry gelatin mix, and baking soda until they are well mixed. Add the pineapple and juice and mix until everything is evenly moistened. Coat an 8-inch-by-13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray and pour in the batter; bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is set and lightly browned.
Toasty Oatsy Pie Crust
Next time you make a one-crust pie, try this recipe for nutty good taste and whole-grain nutrition.
1 cup quick-style oats
1/3-cup packed brown sugar
1/3-cup wheat germ or chopped walnuts
1/2-stick butter, melted
Mix the dry ingredients in a lightly sprayed 9-inch pie pan, stir in the melted butter, and press the mixture around the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake the crust at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasty. Cool and fill with pudding, key lime pie filling, or lemon meringue pie filling.
Toasty Oatsy Topping
Here’s a whole-grain treat, easily made in big batches and used in many ways.
2 cups quick-style oats
1/3-cup olive oil or 1 stick butter, melted
1/3-cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/3-cup wheat germ
1/4-teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon Italian herbs (basil-oregano mix)
Mix all ingredients well in a shallow, microwavable dish and cook on high, stirring each minute for five minutes or until the mixture is golden brown. Cool, seal in a plastic bag, and keep in the refrigerator. Sprinkle this versatile topping on steamed vegetables or crisp salads. Toss the topping with hot pasta and diced, fresh Roma tomatoes and pass grated cheese. Sprinkle it on crescent roll dough, then roll and bake. Or flatten refrigerator biscuits, top each with a teaspoon of topping, and then fold, seal, and bake.
Pot Roasted Chicken
This one-pot feast for four people is as easy as pot roast, yet it is low in fat. The amount of water needed will vary according to how much boils away during the simmering step.
1/4-cup olive oil
4 skinless chicken breast halves, boneless or bone-in
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 medium red potatoes, scrubbed
8 carrots, peeled
2 medium onions, in quarters
1 teaspoon crumbled rosemary
Salt, pepper to taste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2-cup frozen peas
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or covered skillet. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour and brown in the hot oil, gradually adding the garlic. Reduce heat and add the potatoes, carrots, and onion. Sprinkle with the rosemary, the salt, and the pepper, and add 1/2-cup water. Reduce the heat; cover; and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Add more water if needed to keep the mixture from boiling dry. Arrange the chicken and vegetables on four serving plates. Add water to the cornstarch to make a paste and stir it into the pan drippings over medium-high heat, until it thickens. Add more water, if necessary, to make the gravy the right consistency. Stir in the peas until they are heated, and spoon over the chicken and vegetables.
Kocoa Scott-Winbush, known as Chef Kocoa when she was on Chicago’s TV station WGN, has published Cooking with Love. More than a recipe book, it’s a tribute to her family and friends. Kocoa knows homestyle soul food, but she’s also a graduate of Washburne Trade School, where she was classically trained as a chef. Her recipes have African-American soul, looks, and good taste. The spiral-bound book is $30 plus $3.50 shipping from Kocoa at P.O. Box 61-7734, Chicago, IL 60661-7734. Visit her Web site at www.kocoaskitchen.com.
Make Kocoa’s recipe for wings the next time you’re elected to bring snacks to an FMCA chapter meeting. They’re easy, enormously popular, and hot enough to make you say “Ouch!” I marinated the wings in two extra-large, resealable freezer bags, which made compact packages for the refrigerator. The wings bake in two batches in the motorhome oven or in one batch in a home oven.
10 pounds chicken wings, separated into 3 pieces and the tips discarded
1/4-cup black pepper
1/4-cup garlic powder
1/4-cup cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
1/2-cup soy sauce
1/4-cup lemon juice
2 cups hot sauce
Water, if needed, to cover the wings with marinade
Place the wing sections in a large container or plastic bag. Combine the remaining ingredients, pour over the chicken, and refrigerate for eight to 12 hours. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and, using a pair of tongs, take the wings out of the marinade and place on baking sheets in a single layer. Discard marinade. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Kocoa serves these wings with fruit salad or yogurt to help put out the fire.
Although it’s published for rushed mothers, a new cookbook is a bonanza for motorhome cooks who prepare and freeze meals ahead of time at home. Frozen Assets: How To Cook For A Day And Eat For A Month ($14.95, Champion Press), by Deborah Taylor-Hough, can be found at bookstores or through www.championpress.com. It’s great to have a freezer filled with homemade foods to grab and go.
This recipe from the book makes 18 servings. Divide and freeze it according to your family size. (I stewed two fryers to provide shredded chicken and broth for this recipe.) It can be frozen in boilable bags; thawed; then reheated in boiling water, leaving no pots to wash. The recipe also can be spooned onto plates and heated in the microwave, or frozen in individual casseroles for future baking or microwaving.
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic or more to taste, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups water
2 cups Quaker brand quick-style barley
2 cans, 16 ounces each, chopped tomatoes, undrained
2 cans, 16 ounces each, tomato sauce
3 cups chicken broth
2 cans, 16 ounces each, whole kernel corn, undrained
2 packets taco seasoning or 2 tablespoons chili powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
In a large Dutch oven, cook the onion and garlic in the oil until tender. Add the remaining ingredients except the chicken. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover; and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cooked chicken and continue simmering over very low heat until the barley is tender. Cool, spoon into freezer bags, label, and freeze. To serve, thaw and reheat. Complete the menu with corn sticks, steamed baby greens (mustard, turnip, dandelion), a side salad, and a creamy, fruited yogurt for dessert.
Macaroni, Cheese, And Corn Casserole
This recipe from Olwen Woodier’s new cookbook, Corn: Roasted, Creamed, Simmered And More, ($12.95, Storey Books) provides a different spin on everyone’s favorite comfort food, macaroni and cheese. Many of the recipes in this book are unnecessarily fussy for the motorhome kitchen, but some shortcuts will be obvious, such as using frozen corn kernels instead of fresh, or store-bought salsa instead of homemade. The book is a must for cookbook collectors.
8-ounce package elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups low-fat milk
11/4 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1/2-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4-teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/2 cups corn
1/4-cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 2-quart casserole lightly with nonstick spray. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour, and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk over low heat until the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and add the Cheddar cheese, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the macaroni and corn and pour into the prepared casserole. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and bake for 25 minutes. This recipe makes four servings as a light main dish or a side dish with grilled sausages. It goes well with asparagus spears, a side dish of warm or cold stewed tomatoes, and individual trifles for dessert.
I keep sherry wine in a shaker bottle (saved from soy sauce) for easy dispensing. Shake it into seafood chowder, lentil soup, over grilled chicken, and on desserts such as this one.
4 generous slices pound cake
Approximately 1/4-cup sherry wine
1 carton frozen strawberries, thawed
8-ounce carton vanilla yogurt
Whipped cream or topping
Sprinkle sherry on pound cake, then top with strawberries, yogurt, and whipped cream.