Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
Invite the campground neighbors over for an evening of conviviality and to enjoy these cool, carefree recipes.
Mardi Gras Slaw
This recipe by Jan Birnbaum of the Catahoula Restaurant & Saloon in Calistoga, California, is easy to make at home with a food processor, or in the galley using a chef’s knife and cutting board. It’s a coarse, colorful slaw that’s tangy and delicious.
1/4-head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4-head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 green zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 red onion, julienned
Toss everything together and chill. I made it the day before we left home and served it ice-cold out of the refrigerator on the second night out. Give it an extra stir before serving, and ladle onto plates with a draining spoon.
I’ve adapted a recipe that was developed by chef Susan Goss of West Town Tavern in Chicago for the Pork Information Bureau. Roast the tenderloin in the cool of the morning or up to two days ahead. It will become the crowning touch atop a whole-meal salad that can be assembled at the last minute. The rub used is so versatile that you can use it on chicken, turkey, and beef, too, so multiply the recipe and store it in a tightly lidded jar. Quantities shown make 1/4-cup. If you use a tablespoon of each ingredient, you’ll have a half-cup. Use the rub at a ratio of 2 tablespoons per pound of meat.
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
16-ounce pork tenderloin
Stir together the spices and rub 2 tablespoons of the mixture onto the tenderloin. Roast the pork at 425 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 155 degrees. Remove the roast from the oven and allow it to cool at least 5 minutes before carving. Or, chill for future use. If you prefer to use bottled salad dressing, try walnut vinaigrette or honey Dijon.
10 ounces fresh spinach, cleaned and coarsely chopped
2 navel oranges, peeled, thinly sliced, and cut into wedges
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4-cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Salt, pepper to taste
Set out four dinner plates and divide the spinach among them. Distribute the orange pieces atop the spinach. In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the onion and walnuts until the onion is tender. Remove from heat. To make the dressing, whisk together the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Mix a tablespoon of dressing into the onion mixture and spoon it over the four portions. Thinly slice the pork tenderloin and arrange it atop the salads, then drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve at once with billowy yeast rolls and a dessert of chilled watermelon wedges splashed with iced gin.
Spicy Chicken Kabobs
This recipe from Grenada, the Spice Isle, uses plantains to put a new twist on the kabob. Plaintains, which are never served raw, look like bananas but are hard and starchy and can be used as an alternative to potatoes or yams. They hold up well on skewers and soak up flavor from the chicken and marinade.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 ripe plantains, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 cup tropical fruit juice or nectar (mango, passion fruit, guava)
Combine the marinade ingredients and seal in a plastic bag with the chicken. Refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. Drain the chicken and boil the marinade for 5 minutes to use as a basting sauce. Thread chunks of the chicken and the plantain on skewers and grill, basting occasionally with the leftover marinade, until the chicken is done. Complete the meal with a big, citrus-dressed salad of crisp greens and orange sections, a medley of grilled vegetables, and lime chiffon pie for dessert.
Stuffed Lettuce Wedges
Crisp, delicious iceberg lettuce stars in this make-ahead salad. It’s from a new book, And Still I Cook ($23, Pelican Publishing) by beloved Creole cook Leah Chase of the Dooky Chase Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. Readers aren’t told her age (she’s 80), but the book reveals that she first started working at the restaurant as a young bride in 1946. And she still puts in 12-hour days! Nobody knows Creole cuisine better. Make this salad in the cool of the morning to serve for lunch or with grilled meat and vegetables at dinnertime.
1 head iceberg lettuce
8 ounces blue cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1/2-cup chopped pecans
Core the lettuce and wash gently, taking care not to separate the leaves. Drain well and cut into 6 wedges. Mix the cheeses and half-and-half until smooth and fold in the pecans. With a small spatula, spread the cheese mixture between the lettuce leaves, keeping the wedges intact. Chill. Serve with additional blue cheese dressing. This recipe makes six servings.
Sante Fe Roast Turkey
This recipe is from America’s Best RV Cookbook ($16.95, Butterfly Books) by Joyce Ryan (see the “Books for cooks” section below for more information). It’s zesty, different, and manageable for the RV oven, because you use a small, boneless bird. While Ryan’s recipe calls for oven cooking, I cooked it in a foil-lined pan in a covered, propane-fired grill set on low, and it tested done in approximately 90 minutes. Don’t be concerned should the roast distort when cooked without the netting.
3-pound boneless turkey
3/4-teaspoon chili powder
3/4-teaspoon ground cumin
3/4-teaspoon ground sage
1/2-teaspoon coarse black pepper
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a shallow baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick coating. Remove the netting from the turkey. Mix the remaining ingredients and rub into the turkey. Place in the pan and roast for 1 hour 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170 degrees and the juices no longer run pink when the turkey is cut. Remove from the oven; cover with a foil tent; and let stand for 15 minutes for easier carving. Serve this with cranberry salsa, succotash, rice, and corn bread.
Joyce Ryan’s Mexican Bean-Potato Salad
This recipe, also from America’s Best RV Cookbook, is a departure from the same old potato salad. Make it early in the day and pull it out of the refrigerator to serve with meat hot off the grill. Make a double batch for potlucks.
3 cups hot, cooked potato cubes (3 to 4 medium potatoes)
15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4-cup black olives, halved
2/3-cup green onions, chopped
1/2-cup onion, chopped (I used Texas Sweet)
2 tablespoons salad dressing or mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2-teaspoon coarse black pepper
Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl, then lightly toss the dressing with the salad and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Microwave-convection recipe of the month
Here is my version of a recipe developed by Smucker’s. It’s an ideal side dish for cookouts, because you can bake it in the oven, basting only once, while the meat cooks outdoors. Choose sweet potatoes that are smooth, long, thin, and the same size.
Spiced Sweet Potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes
1-1/2 cups apricot preserves
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4-teaspoon ground cinnamon
Line a baking pan with nonstick foil and coat with baking spray. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise, then into eight long wedges. In a microware container, heat the preserves and water, stirring every 20 seconds, until well blended. Stir in the lemon juice and spices. Set the oven for 400 degrees. Using a pastry brush, baste the potatoes with half the apricot sauce. Bake for approximatetly 20 minutes, baste with the remaining sauce, and bake for an additional 20 minutes until they are toasty brown, with a crusty exterior and a tender interior.
Janice Coffin’s Tasty Sauce
This recipe was developed by Janice Coffin, F228270. She spreads it over a pre-cooked ham just before heating. It’s also delicious ladled over ham slices hot from the grill or skillet.
1/4-cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup cranberry-apple or cranberry-raspberry juice
1/4-cup dried cranberries, such as Craisins, or 1/2-cup fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon margarine
In a heavy saucepan, stir the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in the juice, cranberries, and spices. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring, for approximately 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Stir in the margarine and serve hot.
Orange Marmalade Ice Cream
Do you add an ice cream maker to your summer travel gear as soon as temperatures climb into the 70s? If so, pick up the new book by Marilyn Linton and Tanya Linton, 125 Best Ice Cream Recipes ($18.95, Robert Rose Inc.). Homemade, hand-cranked ice cream is a ritual with many RVers, a convivial workout as well as a delicious dessert. This luscious recipe from the book can be made with any flavor jam. It’s softer than ice creams that contain eggs.
2 cups (16-ounce jar) orange marmalade
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange extract
2 cups table cream (18 percent)
2 cups milk
In a large bowl, combine the marmalade, vanilla, and orange extract. Stir in the cream and milk. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight and freeze according to the directions that came with your ice cream maker.
Coffee lovers, rejoice!
The Coleman Company has introduced the Camping Coffeemaker, a new drip-style coffeepot that does not require electricity. Simply place it atop any camp stove. If you dislike starting the generator in the still of the morning, here is a real coffeepot that can be used on any burner. Just pour water in the reservoir; put coffee in the container; heat; and water soon flows through the basket, filling the pot with steaming, fragrant brew. Look for it in camping stores and in the camping section at department and sporting goods stores.
Books for cooks
Amazing Soy ($20, William Morrow & Co.) is a complete guide by Dana Jacobi for buying and cooking with foods made from soy products, such as edamame, tempeh, tofu, miso, and much more. The best part is that many recipes are familiar to American tastes, allowing you to introduce your family to this nutritious protein without them knowing that their favorite dish has been made with soy milk, a meat substitute, or a delicious, smoked “cheese” that contains no animal products.
Joyce Ryan’s America’s Best RV Cookbook has a perky, patriotic cover and is packed with luscious recipes, many of them reflecting the author’s Texas connections. I love her Cranberry Salsa. Just mash together a half-cup of whole-berry cranberry sauce and a cup of salsa and serve it with her Sante Fe Turkey recipe. The book, which hits bookstands in July, will be available for $16.95 at bookstores; through online booksellers; or from Butterfly Books, 4210 Misty Glade, San Antonio, TX 78247, (210) 494-0077, e-mail email@example.com.
The Smoothies Bible ($18.95, Robert Rose Inc.) by Pat Crocker is for serious blender users. Many families are addicted to smoothies, especially in the summer, and Crocker keeps the recipes coming until you’re serving them for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and medicinal purposes. One section deals with healing herbs that are added to familiar ingredients, creating delicious mixtures that are said to be good for cramps, gout, and other ills. The book contains more than fruit drinks. Try pureed potions made with roasted eggplant, various seeds, soy milk, nuts, and much more.