Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
Atlantis Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
This makes an elegant appetizer but it’s also a satisfying supper meal when you serve several shrimp with salad, bread, and a side dish such as corn souffle. The recipe is from Atlantis, the gourmet restaurant in the Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. It’s easier to use a shot glass for the 2-ounce measurements than to make the conversion into tablespoons, so add a shot glass to your list of kitchen gadgets to keep in the motorhome, even if you don’t drink liquor. A shot glass can also come in handy for liquid medicines or cleaning concentrates that are measured by the ounce. Use jumbo shrimp for this recipe, those that come 15 to the pound. Each serving consists of three shrimp, each wrapped in its own slice of bacon.
2 ounces bourbon
2 ounces Dijon-style prepared mustard
2 ounces honey
4 ounces barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
45 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
45 slices bacon
Whisk together the bourbon, mustard, honey, and barbecue sauce to make a glaze. Add the shrimp and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and wrap each in a slice of bacon. Grill until the shrimp are pink and the bacon is browned, taking care not to burn them. The shrimp can be made ahead of time and refrigerated; when ready to serve, reheat them for approximately 3 minutes in an oven set at 400 degrees. The entire recipe, which serves 15, doesn’t have to be made at once. Make up the glaze and keep it refrigerated, using 2 ounces for every nine shrimp.
Note: Marinades that come in contact with raw meat or fish should be discarded or, if they are to be used as a dip or sauce, brought to a full boil before being served.
Atlantis Miso Glazed Salmon
The Japanese ingredients used in this recipe can be found in most large supermarkets. There is nothing like the taste of wild Alaskan salmon. If you make the miso glaze ahead of time, keep it refrigerated.
8 ounces white miso paste
1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 ounces sake (Japanese wine)
2 ounces mirin (rice wine)
4 salmon filets, approximately 7 ounces each
1 teaspoon peanut oil
Whisk together the miso, brown sugar, sake, and mirin in a small pan and simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Marinate the salmon in this glaze for at least 12 hours. Remove the salmon from the glaze, pat dry, and sear in hot peanut oil until it’s cooked to taste. Atlantis presents the salmon on a bed of blanched baby bok choy, white rice, and a complex miso lemongrass broth to add juiciness. I substituted a small amount of hot chicken broth, which I placed in a shallow soup plate before arranging the fish, rice, and bok choy.
Here’s a one-dish meal that smacks of a much more complicated Spanish classic. The rice “cooks” in the serving bowl, so there’s no need to dirty an extra pan.
1/2-cup instant rice, uncooked
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2 tablespoons oil
12-ounce package bay scallops, thawed and drained
12-ounce package frozen shelled, deveined shrimp, thawed and drained
8 ounces spicy, fully cooked sausage, finely diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2-cup garlic vinaigrette salad dressing
Place the rice in a bowl. In a small pan, bring the broth to a boil and pour it over the rice. Cover with a lid or folded towel and let the rice steep at least 5 minutes. Saute the onion and garlic in hot oil, gradually stirring in the scallops and shrimp. When the onion and garlic are limp and the seafood cooked through, mix with the rice and add the sausage, peas, tomatoes, and dressing. Serve cold or at room temperature.
An old favorite, these bite-size appetizers can be made ahead at home and frozen by the dozen. Carry bags of them in your motorhome’s freezer to bake as needed. They’re always a hit when served for happy hour, or as part of a platter of hot and cold finger foods for a quick lunch on the go. Choose pork or turkey sausage, hot or mild as you prefer.
4 pounds sausage
6 cups biscuit mix
1 medium onion
2 large stalks celery
2-pound package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Put the sausage in a big mixing bowl or a clean dishpan, and let it warm a little so it’s easier to handle. Finely chop the onion and celery by hand or in a food processor. Mix everything together well and form the mixture into walnut-size balls. Place the sausage balls on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer until they glaze over. Then bag them in batches and keep them frozen. To bake, place the thawed balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and heat in an oven set to 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Black Bean Salad
It’s hard to keep fresh lettuce on hand for lengthy boondocking, so here is a salad made from ingredients on your shelf. Just add whatever fresh vegetables you can manage, for color and crunch. I keep bags of chopped cilantro and parsley in the freezer. These herbs add a fresh look and taste to many dishes, especially those made from canned foods. Fresh bunches keep for up to two weeks if they are washed, thoroughly dried, and stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a clean dish towel. Snip off as much leaf as you need and discard the stems as you go.
16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
10-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup chopped, raw vegetables (carrot, celery, green or red pepper)
1 small red onion, diced
1 teaspoon cilantro
1 teaspoon parsley
1/4-cup olive oil
4 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt, pepper to taste
Lightly toss the beans, corn, raw vegetables, onion, cilantro, and parsley together in a bowl. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, and lime juice and toss lightly with the bean mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve in sauce dishes as a salad. Or, serve in a dip bowl surrounded by big tortilla chips to use as scoops.
Bush’s Best Three Bean Chili
This recipe, developed by the people at Bush’s beans, makes one big batch of chili for your next campground cookout. It’s especially colorful, because it calls for three kinds of beans. Play around with the measurements to develop your own chili with a signature topping. The Bush’s recipe calls for a dollop of sour cream, but you also might try topping it with a smattering of sliced scallions, a tuft of French’s Taste Toppers canned fried onions, a trio of tortilla chips, or a mound of diced plum tomatoes. This recipe makes approximately 10 pints of chili.
2 pounds lean ground beef
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 cans, 16 ounces each, dark red kidney beans
2 cans, 16 ounces each, pinto beans
2 cans, 16 ounces each, black beans
14-1/2-ounce can tomatoes
6-ounce can tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2-teaspoon ground cumin
Brown the ground beef in a large pot, adding the chili powder as it cooks. Add the onion and green pepper and cook 2 minutes more. Drain off any excess grease and stir in the remaining ingredients; cover; and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. It’s then ready to serve.
Bush’s surveyed 1,000 Americans about their chili preferences and one in five admitted to using a secret ingredient. Hot sauce topped this list, followed by sugar or brown sugar, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili peppers, and beer. Mine is a teeny taste of cloves. What’s yours?
A Mexican classic, three-milk cake (pastel de tres leches) is quick to whip up in the galley when you use a cake mix and canned milk. Bake the cake in a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan.
1 box yellow cake mix, baked according to package directions
2 cans, 14 ounces each, sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 cup half-and-half or refrigerated coffee cream
1/2-cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon butter rum flavoring
Whipped cream (optional)
Fresh fruit (optional garnish)
Bake the cake, allow it to cool for a few minutes, and then prick it all over with an ice pick or skewer. Set the cake aside. Mix together the condensed milk, half-and-half or cream, and well-stirred coconut milk; add the butter rum flavoring; and pour the mixture evenly and slowly over the cake, saving some of the mixture to use as a sauce later. Cover the cake and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, so all the milk is absorbed. Refrigerate the leftover milk mixture. When ready to serve, cut the cake into squares and top each with some of the milk sauce. Garnish with whipped cream and fresh fruit if you like.
North to Alaska!
During our most recent trip, my husband, Gordon, and I flew to Anchorage and rented an RV to drive to Seattle. This was a new adventure for me to provision an unfamiliar galley in unfamiliar markets. Here are some things I learned while traveling almost 4,000 miles, which included portions of the Alaska Highway, the Yellowhead Highway (Trans-Canada Highway 16), and other roads in Alaska, the Yukon Territory, British Columbia, and Alberta.
- Anchorage and all other major cities along this route offer extensive, varied, and sophisticated provisioning opportunities. Prices for most items were less than expected. Because people come from miles around for supplies, Anchorage boasts more superstores than any other American city of its size.
- Even on the loneliest legs of the Alaska Highway (old-timers still call it the Alcan), it’s still possible to find basic staples such as bread, milk, and some canned goods. Fresh fruit was best in larger communities. Many towns had excellent local bakeries and health food stores; often, we found locally homemade baked goods in convenience stores at gas stops.
- On the first day in the RV, I hard-boiled a dozen eggs and cooked a pound of bacon in the microwave. Both came in handy during the trip when we were rushing to make a schedule or at times when we were dry camping with no generator to run the microwave.
- The rental RV’s refrigerator ran only on shore power or on propane, which must be turned off at the tank before boarding ferries. To help keep our food from spoiling during a 15-hour ferry ride, I filled empty milk jugs with water a few days ahead of time and froze them. They sustained the temperature in the refrigerator for the duration. Outdoor temperatures were in the high 60s, so more ice might be needed in warmer weather.
- When driving to and from Alaska, don’t rush through Canada. The scenery is awesome, historic sites and other sight-seeing opportunities are abundant, and the American dollar goes a long way. The exchange rate at the time of our trip was approximately 65 cents U.S. to $1 Canadian.
Books for cooks
Three new books from publisher Robert Rose can help the motor coach cook. The first, 300 Best Comfort Food Recipes ($19.95) by Johanna Burkhard, is 384 pages of culinary cuddling. Not all the foods included may be your idea of familiar comfort foods, but you’ll find enough recipes in this book to make you feel at home away from home for years to come.
The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes ($22.95) by Judith Finlayson also is in the comfort food realm. If you’re as much of a slow cooker devotee as I am, you’ll find exciting new ways to use the crock pot. Even if you choose not to carry one on board your motorhome, you’ll enjoy recipes that cook carefree at home before a trip. Many other recipes can be slow-cooked in a tightly-sealed casserole in an oven set at 225 or 250 degrees.
Also from Robert Rose is The Classico Pasta Sauce Cookbook ($19.95), which was developed by Classico, a premium pasta sauce maker, to use its bottled sauces in a tempting variety of appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes. Pasta sauces are the ultimate convenience food and and can serve as an emergency ration for cooks on the go. This book, with its mouthwatering recipes, will inspire with many new ways to use pasta sauces. Find Robert Rose books in bookstores, through online booksellers, or by calling (800) 387-5085.
Goodness Gracious ($22.95, Andrews McMeel Publishing), written by Roxie Kelly, is more than a recipe book. It’s a collectible work of art with hand-written, illustrated recipes by Shelly Reeves Smith that are beautiful enough to frame. The recipes are simple comfort foods, and the “grace notes” scattered among them are sweet thoughts on life and living. Carry a copy on board for when you’re homesick, give copies to people you love, and look to its pages for down-home recipes. It can be found in bookstores or through online booksellers.
New Wave Asian ($24.95, Whitecap Books) is a guide to cooking the foods of Southeast Asia, with dozens of recipes, plus photos that show finished dishes in mouthwatering detail. Sumatran-born chef and writer Sri Owen is best known in Britain, where she gives cooking classes. Her recipes are exotic, time-consuming, and call for uncommon ingredients, so this book is recommended only for devotees of Thai, Indonesian, and other Asian cuisines. If cooking is your hobby on the go and you have always wanted to learn the methods of real Asian cooking, let this book guide you through step-by-step. The book is available in bookstores, through online booksellers, or by calling (800) 452-3032.