Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
Whether you’re cooking for two or 12, you’ll find a recipe here that’s easy to prepare and is sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Low Country Shrimp Boil
The nice thing about this recipe is that it easily can be portioned to serve a dozen people, making it ideal for campground potlucks. For even cooking, choose potatoes that are all approximately the same size. Determine how many shrimp you need by the size of your gathering. When using super-size shrimp, plan on four per person; large shrimp, four to six per person; and medium-size shrimp, eight to 10 per person. Then serve the shrimp by count so everyone gets an even portion.
1 gallon plus one quart water
1/4-cup seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
12 medium-size red potatoes, scrubbed
2 pounds fully cooked sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into 12 chunks
6 large ears sweet corn, cut in half
48 super-size shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 quart ketchup
1/2-cup prepared horseradish
In a large pot, bring the water and seasoning to a hard boil and add the potatoes. Continue boiling until the potatoes are almost tender. Gradually add the sausage and corn to the boiling water. When the potatoes are tender and the corn has boiled to your preferred level of doneness, add the shrimp for 3 to 4 minutes or until they are firm and pink. Turn off the heat. Using tongs, place a potato, a piece of corn, a piece of sausage, and a share of shrimp on each plate. Stir the horseradish into the ketchup and pass it. Complete the meal with coleslaw, garlic bread, and dessert.
Saucy Sausage Shells
This is my adaptation of a recipe from the booklet “Farm Table To Family Table” from the National Pork Board that’s mentioned in the Freebies section later in this column. It makes 24 big shells that can be frozen in batches that are just the right size to take along on future trips.
24 jumbo pasta shells
2 pounds bulk pork sausage, fried and drained
2 4-ounce cans mushroom stems and pieces, drained
2 26-ounce jars spaghetti sauce
16-ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook the shells according to package directions and drain; rinse with cold water; and drain again. Mix the sausage with the mushrooms, one cup of the spaghetti sauce, and half the cheese. Stuff the shells with the mixture. To serve them immediately, arrange the shells in sprayed baking dishes, bring the remaining spaghetti sauce to a boil, and pour it over the shells. Top with the remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. If you intend to freeze the shells for future use, arrange them in oven-safe freezer containers and top with the remaining spaghetti sauce and cheese. At mealtime, thaw and bake the shells or microwave them until they are heated through. Salad and garlic bread complete the meal.
Variation: this recipe is equally good with breakfast-type bulk sausage or Italian sausages removed from their casings and fried. Break up the meat as it cooks.
Zesty Lemon Tuna Cakes
Tuna packed in foil pouches is lighter to carry than cans. Now it’s available in flavors. Make these tasty, crusty cakes in minutes. I’ve adapted this recipe slightly from the online version found at StarKist’s Web site, www.starkist.com.
1 pouch lemon pepper tuna
1/4-cup chopped vegetables (onion, sweet pepper, celery)
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1/4-cup bread crumbs
1/2-teaspoon olive oil for frying
Combine the ingredients with a fork and mix well. Shape into four small or two large patties and fry in hot oil until golden and crusty. This recipe makes two servings.
This one-pot meal is colorful and spicy. Add as much kick as you like by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper you use.
12- to 16-ounce pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red sweet pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow sweet pepper, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
15- or 16-ounce can whole-kernel corn, with juice
1 can chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
Salt, pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
In a roomy kettle, stir-fry the pork in the vegetable oil until it’s nicely browned, gradually adding the vegetables. Reduce heat; add the chicken broth; cover; and simmer on low for approximately 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Season the stew to taste and ladle into soup plates. This recipe serves six. Complete the dinner with dark rye rolls and sweet butter or honey butter, and Waldorf salad. Break out individually wrapped Moon Pie marshmallow sandwiches for dessert.
If you’re cooking for two and want to save the rest of the stew for later, portion it into servings before adding the cream, and freeze it. When reheating, add 1/3-cup heavy cream per two servings just before you’re ready to put it on the table.
Pastel de Lujo
This layered rice casserole is my adaptation from the cookbook A Yucatan Kitchen (described later in this column). It’s a twist on picadillo, the juicy and sweet ground meat mixture that is served over rice. It’s not hard to make from scratch, especially if you cook ground beef mixtures at home ahead of time for RV trips, and it’s a good way to turn leftover rice and picadillo into a new meal the second time around. For the creamed corn, I used one large can (15 or 16 ounces) and one small can (8 ounces) rather than measuring out 3 cups.
3 cups cream-style corn
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups cooked rice (2 cups raw)
1 tablespoon oil
2 large cloves garlic
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
Small onion, finely chopped
Medium bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons raisins
1/4-teaspoon each allspice, cloves
Salt, pepper to taste
Whisk together the corn, eggs, melted butter, and salt and blend with the rice. Set aside. Prepare the picadillo meat mixture by heating the oil in a skillet and cooking the garlic, meat, and onion, then adding the pepper and tomatoes. (I prepare large quantities of this mixture at home and freeze it in batches. It’s the basis for almost every ground meat recipe.) Once the meat mixture is cooked, add the capers, raisins, and spices. Adjust seasonings as needed. Put half the corn and rice mixture in a buttered 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole. Add the meat and top with the remaining rice mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. This recipe serves eight. A green salad, crusty rolls, and a tangy dessert complete the meal.
Ham Chowder One-Dish
Since the meat is already cooked and the vegetables finely diced, this hearty soup can be prepared very quickly.
8 ounces fully cooked deli ham, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large baking potato, scrubbed and finely diced
1 medium yellow squash, finely diced
Half a red or green sweet pepper, finely diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 rib celery, finely chopped
15- or 16-ounce can chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 scallions, finely sliced
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a roomy saucepan, sizzle the ham in hot oil, gradually stirring in the vegetables. Reduce heat; add chicken broth; cover; and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. In a small bowl, stir enough water into the cornstarch to make a paste and add to the hot chowder until it thickens. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with scallions and a few shakes of Parmesan cheese. This recipe makes four servings. Complete the menu with hot corn sticks, a side salad of marinated mushrooms, and gingerbread shortcake for dessert.
Receive a colorful recipe booklet, “Farm Table to Family Table,” free from the National Pork Board by sending a self-addressed mailing label to P.O. Box 9114, Des Moines, IA 50306. Recipes were contributed by farm families who raise pork. The booklet can also be ordered at www.otherwhitemeat.com or viewed online. From the “Offers” menu at the top of the home page, click on “Brochure Offers.”
Cut down on dishwashing chores by eating all or part of the dishes. Serve chicken salad in a cantaloupe half, tuna salad in a green pepper half, or stuff cherry tomatoes with egg salad and pop them into your mouth. Another way to have your container and eat it, too, is to buy one of the new waffle cone makers from Chef’sChoice (800-342-3255; www.edgecraft.com). Make sweet cones to hold desserts and savory cones to hold salads. For example, cheddar-flavored waffle cones are great when filled with tossed salad, and toasty, sage-flavored cones can be filled with chunky chicken salad. Fill a vanilla-flavored cone with fresh strawberries for a low-calorie dessert. The batter is homemade, so you can fine-tune the included recipes for less sugar, more healthful oils, and so on. If you like, make the cones ahead of time at home; stack them; and take them with you in the coach.
It’s worth a special trip to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, to take the hour-long Sushi 101 course offered the first Wednesday of every month at the Blue Pacific Sushi, Grill & Bay in the King of Prussia Plaza, which has plenty of parking for large motorhomes. Classes cost $50 and reservations are a must. Call (610) 337-3078 for more information. Reservations also are accepted for dining at the restaurant, which is open for lunch and dinner serving soups, salads, wok specialties, noodle and rice dishes, grilled items, and Pacific classics such as shrimp tempura or Peking duck.
The Sagamore, a historic hotel along Lake George in New York’s Adirondack Mountains (approximately three hours north of Albany), offers hands-on culinary experiences in its “Chef for the Day” program. Participants will work side-by-side with chefs from the Trillium, a AAA “Four Diamond” restaurant, to prepare that evening’s dinner specials or desserts. The cost is $75 per person. The program is offered Tuesday through Saturday, from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m. Reservations are necessary, because only four “chefs” can be accepted per session. You do not have to be a guest of the hotel to participate in the program. Call (800) 358-3585 or visit www.thesagamore.com for more information. Several campgrounds are located nearby, but most are open only seasonally.