Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F4716
Gardens all over North America pour out their bounty during the fall. These recipes were freshly picked to be tasty, easy on the cook, and filled with garden goodness.
Confetti Apple Salad
Splashing the cut apples with lemon juice will keep them from turning brown. Stir often as you add apples to the bowl.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 green or golden apples, diced
4 red apples, diced
1/3-cup golden raisins
1/3-cup dried cranberries
1/2-cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts
2 ribs celery, diced
1/2-cup sour cream or yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
Put the lemon juice in a mixing bowl and add the apples as you cut them, turning them over in the juice to coat. Fold in the raisins, cranberries, nuts, and celery. In a separate bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, and sugar and fold into the apple mixture. Serve on lettuce cups as a luncheon main dish or a dinner side dish. This recipe makes six to eight servings.
Pickles taste fresher when you make them in the freezer. It’s a snap because you don’t have to sterilize and process the jars. When you find cucumbers on sale along the roadside, buy a batch and then whip up these pickles in the galley on the go. This recipe is from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook, which is described later in this column.
4 cups cucumbers, very thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/4 cups white vinegar
1/2-teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4-teaspoon celery seeds
1/4-teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8-teaspoon dry mustard
Combine the cucumbers, onion, and salt in a colander. Let the mixture stand at least two hours. The cucumbers will give off excess moisture, so allow them to drain well. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the turmeric, celery seeds, black pepper, and mustard. Let the vinegar mixture cool to room temperature. Pack the cucumbers into freezer containers, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace. Pour in the vinegar mixture; mix (the cucumbers will not be completely covered); and freeze. Defrost the pickles in the refrigerator for at least eight hours before serving.
This recipe makes a delicious side dish with meat from the grill, or put out plates of these cheesy squares for a cocktail snack. They’re even rich enough to serve as a vegetarian main dish. If you have a food processor or salad shooter, grate the cheese and vegetables all at once. If not, it’s easy to grate the zucchini by hand and use packaged grated cheese.
1-1/2 pounds zucchini, grated
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour (or 1-1/2 cups flour, 2 teaspooons baking powder, and a pinch of salt)
1/2-cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped herb (your choice of basil, parsley, thyme, or lemon zest)
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
1 small onion, grated
Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and set aside in a strainer to drain for 30 to 40 minutes. Using paper towels, squeeze out the excess moisture. If the zucchini is too wet, the puffs will be ruined. Grease an 8-inch square pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the flour in a medium-size bowl. In another bowl whisk together the vegetable oil and eggs. Add the zucchini, herb, cheese, and onion to the flour, tossing to mix well and moisten evenly. Then add the egg mixture; mix well; pour into the baking dish; and bake for 35 minutes or until the top is toasty. Let stand on a cooling rack for five minutes and cut into 12 squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Peanut Butter Caramel Apples
From The Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook (described later in this column) comes the perfect recipe for apple harvest season. According to author Lee Zalben, these treats will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Mr. Zalben uses Granny Smith apples, but any firm, tart variety will do.
6 large apples
6 Popsicle sticks
50 individually wrapped caramels (approximately 1 bag)
1/2-cup smooth peanut butter
1/4-cup sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons water
2 cups roasted, salted peanuts, chopped
Wash the apples well and dry thoroughly. Gently twist the stems until they break off. Firmly insert a Popsicle stick into the bottom of each apple until it’s at least three-fourths of the way into the apple. Line a platter or cookie sheet with waxed paper. In a saucepan place the unwrapped caramels, peanut butter, condensed milk, and water. Heat on low, stirring constantly, just until the mixture starts to bubble. Use a spoon to coat each apple with the caramel. Be careful when doing this, because the caramel is hot. Roll the apples in the chopped nuts, pressing into the coating. Set the apples on the waxed paper and refrigerate them for up to two hours to set the caramel.
Bruschetta With Cranberry Relish
This recipe is from a new cookbook, Get-Togethers With Gooseberry Patch (see description later in this column). Have the cranberry relish on hand and whip up these tasty snacks for cocktail hour or a light lunch.
1 baguette, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2-cup chopped pecans
1/2-cup crumbled blue cheese
16-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce
6-ounce package sweetened, dried cranberries
1/2-cup sugar or to taste
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine the relish ingredients and set aside. Brush the baguette slices lightly with olive oil and toast lightly on one side under the broiler. Turn the slices over; spread the cranberry relish on them; sprinkle with the combined zests, pecans, and blue cheese. Place under the broiler and heat just until the cheese begins to melt. This recipe makes 18 to 20 servings.
Michele Watterworth, F326564, makes this stiff dough using her heavy-duty KitchenAid mixer. However, since this recipe calls for oil and not hard fat, it also can be mixed with a hand mixer up to the point where the last cup of flour is added. Then use a wooden spoon to work in the rest of the flour. “Potluckers will love it!” Michele enthused. “It’s one of our favorites and it hasn’t failed yet.” This recipe contains much less sugar than most cookie recipes, and, to make it even more healthful, you can use canola oil, sugar-free jam, and organic nuts.
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
Approximately 5 cups flour
1 small jar (10 to 12 ounces) jam
Chopped pecans or walnuts
Beat together the oil, vanilla, sugar, and eggs until very well mixed. Add the salt and baking powder to the first cup of flour and stir it into the egg mixture. Add the remaining flour one cupful at a time (by hand if necessary) until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers. Turn out the dough on a floured surface and divide in half. Roll or flatten half the dough into a circle about the size of a dinner plate. Spread with half the jam and sprinkle with raisins, nuts, and cinnamon. Roll up the dough and place it, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet. Repeat using the remaining dough and a second baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the log from the oven and allow it to cool. Cut it in half lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch slices.
Autumn Broccoli Casserole
By baking the stuffing and vegetables together you create a tasty, all-in-one side dish. To turn this into a vegetarian main dish, add an extra egg and sprinkle the top with grated cheese during the last 10 minutes of baking.
1 bunch broccoli, trimmed, cut up, and lightly steamed
1 small onion, finely diced
15-ounce can cream-style corn
1 egg, beaten
Salt, pepper to taste (optional)
1 cup herb-style stuffing mix
1/2-stick butter, melted
In a bowl mix the broccoli, onion, corn, and egg and place into a sprayed casserole dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper if you wish. (The canned corn, butter, and stuffing mix also contain salt.) In the same bowl that was used to mix the broccoli, lightly toss the stuffing mix with the melted butter. Scatter the stuffing over the casserole, pressing lightly. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. This recipe serves six as a side dish.
Worried about nonstick coatings?
Based on recent research, I’m sticking with my time-saving Teflon cookware. Scary stories have been circulating about using Teflon cookware, but many of them are based on the deaths of pet birds. Nonstick coatings were blamed. However, birds are sensitive to all smoke and other air impurities. They should never be subjected to cooking fumes from any types of cookware.
Books for cooks
Farmer’s markets and roadside stands are some of travel’s greatest pleasures, especially for the motorhomer. The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook ($24.95, Storey Books) is a new, hardcover book and the only guide you’ll ever need to prepare vegetables, from acorn squash to zucchini. Author Andrea Chesman tells you how to choose, use, and keep vegetables and provides a wealth of ideas for preparing them. I doubled her recipe and had two pints of bread-and-butter pickles in my freezer the same afternoon we bought the cucumbers from the farmer. The best part of having this book is that you’ll find yourself eating more vegetables.
With a jar of peanut butter in reserve, you’re set for almost any meal or snack on the go. Make a peppery sauce for sate, stir peanut butter into hot cereal for a heartier breakfast, slather some on a slice of bread or a cracker to make a stick-to-the-ribs snack, or make cookies. Now a new book, The Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook ($16.95, Quirk Books), which is scheduled to be available this month, gives peanut butter addicts new cause to celebrate. Recipes range from breakfast through dinner and dessert. The best part is a section on custom peanut butters made by mixing ingredients (raisins, cinnamon, chocolate chips, etc.) into plain peanut butter to make gourmet snacks. Everyone (except those with peanut allergies) needs this book.
If you’re already a devotee of Gooseberry Patch catalogs and products, this book needs no introduction. Get-Togethers with Gooseberry Patch ($24.95, Gooseberry Patch) seems to have been written just for RVers who love the warm camaraderie of campground gatherings. It’s packed with mouthwatering photos, luscious recipes, and gentle inspirations. It’s a cookbook to curl up with and read and will be cherished for years. The book is sold online, in bookstores, and directly from the company by calling (740) 369-1554 or by visiting its Web site, www.gooseberrypatch.com.
A Perfect Pear, a company in California’s Napa Valley, has an exciting line of pear products that can add a gourmet touch to your menus on the go. Turn ordinary pancakes into a celebration breakfast with Cinnamon Pear Maple Syrup. Transform an ordinary pork chop with Ginger Pear Marinade. Serve a fresh pear for dinner, topped with Chocolate or White Chocolate Pear Cabernet Sauce. All the dressings, marinades, chutneys, and jellies have a shelf life of 18 months. See a list of the offerings at www.aperfectpear.net or call (800) 553-5753 for a color brochure. Be sure to ask for the case price list