Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
These recipes were chosen to be easy on the cook, tasty for the crew, and highway-friendly for the family that loves motorhome travel.
Seafood Corn Chowder
Canned seafood is a lifesaver in the galley, because a little goes a long way. Surprise guests show up for supper? Reach into the pantry for a few cans to make this hearty chowder, which can be served with hot, crusty biscuits. Unlike chowders that start with frying bacon or salt pork, this one takes less time to prepare and has less fat.
16-ounce can salmon or 2 8-ounce cans chopped clams
1 large onion, diced
2 large potatoes, scrubbed and diced
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 13-ounce cans evaporated milk
15- or 16-ounce can cream-style corn
Salt, pepper to taste
Real bacon bits (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Drain the salmon, saving the juice for part of the water measurement. Remove the skin and larger bones. Or, if using clams, just drain the juice and use it as part of the water measurement. Put the seafood in a soup pot with the onion, potatoes, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; cover; and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender. Remove the bay leaf. Stir the soup over low heat as you add the milk and corn until everything is heated through. Do not boil. Season the chowder with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and top with a sprinkle of bacon bits, a dollop of sour cream, or both.
In Grandmother’s time, rhubarb was considered a spring tonic. Rediscover the tangy taste of this pretty pink dish. Frozen rhubarb can be found in grocery stores.
2 cups flour
1-1/3-cup sugar, divided
2 sticks butter
1 4-serving package strawberry gelatin dessert
16-ounce bag frozen rhubarb, thawed
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut together the flour, 1/3-cup sugar, and butter and press into a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Whisk together the eggs, the remaining sugar, and the gelatin, flour, and salt. Fold in the rhubarb and spread over the crust. Bake for one hour or until golden and springy. Cut into bars and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar or topped with whipped cream as a dessert; or sauce it with vanilla yogurt for breakfast.
Chicken Pot Pie Italiano
This recipe can be made up to three days ahead. Store it in the refrigerator to bake just before serving. If you prefer, refrigerate the filling and add the piecrust just before baking. Some cooks like to brush the crust with milk or egg wash just before baking.
1 ready-made, rolled piecrust
8 ounces bulk Italian sausage
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, cut up
2 stalks celery, cut up
1 large potato, scrubbed and diced
1 can chicken broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2-cup frozen peas
Let the piecrust come to room temperature. Stir-fry the sausage over high heat, gradually adding the diced chicken breast and vegetables. Reduce the heat and add the chicken broth, reserving 1/2-cup. When the vegetables are tender and the chicken cooked through, stir the cornstarch into the reserved chicken broth, then stir into the skillet over medium-high heat until the gravy thickens. Turn off the heat; stir in the peas; and turn the filling into a deep-dish pie plate. Let cool, then spread the crust over the top. Flute the edges; cut slits in the top for steam to escape; cover with plastic wrap; and refrigerate for up to three days. Bake the dish at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until the crust is golden.
Alternate instructions: Cool and package the filling and refrigerate. Place it in a pie plate and add the crust just before baking.
Potato And Cheese Pie
This is a kids’ favorite that grown-ups will enjoy, too. It’s from the new book Awesome Foods for Active Kids (see “Books for cooks” section).
1 pound potatoes
2 ounces Cheddar or Swiss cheese, shredded
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1 cup milk
1/8-teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Arrange layers of potatoes, cheese, onions, and tomatoes in an 8-inch-by-8-inch baking dish, ending with the cheese. Beat the eggs with the milk, salt, and pepper; pour over the potatoes; cover with foil; and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes to brown the top. This recipe makes four servings. To balance the meal, serve with a green vegetable and baked beans.
Hungarian-Style Stuffed Peppers
This dish can be assembled early in the day and baked later. It makes eight servings, using half a large pepper per person or one small pepper for each.
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 pound lean ground meat
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup raw rice
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
32-ounce can sauerkraut, drained
4 large or 8 medium green peppers
16-ounce can tomato sauce
1 pint sour cream
Mix the onion, meat, garlic, rice, egg, and seasonings in a bowl. Spread half of the sauerkraut in the bottom of a greased casserole dish that’s large enough to hold the peppers. If using large peppers, cut them in half lengthwise and trim and clean. If using small peppers, cut a narrow slice off the top and clean out the seeds. Fill the peppers with the meat mixture and stand them in the sauerkraut, placing the remaining kraut between them. Carefully pour the tomato sauce over the dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate for baking later; or, to prepare immediately, cover with foil and bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees. (Baking will take longer if the dish is chilled first.) Remove the peppers to serving plates; stir the sour cream into the sauerkraut; then spoon it over the peppers. Complete the meal with rye rolls and sweet butter.
This recipe from The Potluck Cookbook (see “Books for cooks” below) uses only one can of salmon to make enough to serve 15 people. Prepare it in a mold, if you like, lining the container first with plastic wrap for easy removal.
1-pound can salmon, well-drained
2 4-ounce packages cream cheese with chives
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
1 teaspoon fresh chives, snipped
Black olives, sliced
Pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced (optional)
1/4-cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Crackers or cocktail bread
Line a 2-cup mold with plastic wrap, allowing three inches of overlap (for easy removal), and set aside. Remove any skin and bones from the salmon. Combine the salmon, cream cheese, onion, lemon juice, horseradish, and chives in a food processor, or mash together with a fork. (If you use a fork, the mixture won’t be as smooth.) Press the pate into a bowl or mold; refrigerate for eight hours or overnight; remove from the mold; and garnish with the olives and parsley. If you’re using a fish-shaped mold, use the sliced black olives for “scales” and a slice of pimento-stuffed olive for the “eye.” Serve with cocktail bread or crackers.
Lindsey Williams’ Neo-Soul Oven-Fried Chicken
This new, low-fat way of making “fried” chicken is from Lindsey Williams’ new book, Neo-Soul (see “Books for cooks” below). It makes six servings 227 calories each.
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups plain yogurt
2 cups Special K cereal, crushed
Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large plastic bag, combine the herbs, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken to the bag, two pieces at a time, and shake well to coat. Place the yogurt in a bowl and the cereal on a plate. Dip the chicken breasts in the yogurt, then dredge in the cereal. Place the chicken on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick coating and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the chicken is browned, crusty, and cooked through. Allow the chicken to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Books for cooks
The Potluck Cookbook: Classic Recipes For Any Occasion ($19.95, Collectors Press), by Dolores Kostelni, is a natural for motorhome travelers who love campground potlucks. This sturdy hardback with a protective jacket will travel with you for years.
Victoria Shearer knows and loves the Florida Keys and it shows in her cookbook, The Florida Keys Cookbook: Recipes and Foodways of Paradise ($16.95, Globe Pequot). A handsome paperback illustrated with vintage black-and-white photos, the book is an inspiration for using seafood and tropical produce found in the Keys. Ms. Shearer recommends restaurants, provides ample tips on choosing ingredients, and dishes out historic references on food.
Neo Soul ($21.95, Avery) is a new cookbook from Lindsey Williams, grandson of Sylvia Woods of the famed Sylvia’s soul food restaurant in Harlem, New York. When his weight reached 400 pounds, Mr. Williams took a look at the types of food he was eating and created new, slim recipes that still please the soul. Some of his recipes in this hardback are familiar soul classics (cornbread, greens, biscuits), but the book is more New York than Alabama. When did fried rice, tofu, and eggplant parmigiana become soul food? Still, down-home cooks who want to slenderize their recipes will love this book.
Author Anita Bean’s Awesome Foods For Active Kids ($16.95, Hunter House) includes recipes, but mostly this paperback is a nutrition guide for parents who want to make sure their children eat well in all situations. Invaluable tips cover the vegetarian child; feeding fussy eaters; foods for school lunches and after school; staying hydrated; eating before and after exercise; and how to prevent eating disorders. Complete nutritional information is given for each recipe, a boon for parents of diabetic youngsters and others who are on strict regimens.
When the traveling cook runs out of a crucial ingredient, David Joachim’s The Food Substitutions Bible ($19.95, Robert Rose) is a lifesaver. In this 600-page paperback you will find information on how to substitute meringue powder for egg whites or how to make your own menudo mix from scratch. The book lists familiar and rare foods from achiote to zugenwurst, explains what they are, and suggests alternatives. Also valuable to traveling cooks are charts that explain pan sizes, volume equivalents (for example, 1 jigger equals 3 tablespoons), and recipe adjustments for high-altitude cooking. This encyclopedic book belongs in every cook’s library at home and on the go.
You don’t have to be Jewish to know that kosher foods taste great and are made with high-quality ingredients. Now certified kosher meals that require no refrigeration can be delivered to your campsite from Kosher.com. Choices include vegetarian stuffed shells, beef burgundy with parsley potatoes, beef stew, buffalo-style chicken wings, and many others. Some meals can be heated in the microwave; others are self-heating, requiring no stove or electricity. With many of the meals you get a main dish, a soup, and a snack. Thanks to precise labeling, you know exactly what each dish contains, a plus not only for observant Jews but for diabetics, calorie counters, people who have allergies, and other health-conscious diners. The company also makes kosher pet food. For more information, call toll free (866) 567-4379 or visit www.kosher.com.