Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
For many RVers it’s time to head south to follow the sun, while others love the crisp cold and mild flurries of early winter camping. Here are some roadworthy recipes to warm your galley.
Heat this stuffing in ramekins or in edible bowls, such as red or green pepper halves. The stuffing can be made two or three days ahead of time and served as needed. Keep it in the refrigerator and heat in the microwave or in foil on the grill to go with steak, chicken, or burgers.
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Apple juice or water
1 package Stove Top dressing mix for chicken
1 egg (or equivalent in egg substitute), beaten
1 tablespoon water
In a roomy saucepan, saute the apple, onion, and celery in hot oil until they are crisp-tender. Add apple juice or water in the amount called for on the dressing mix package (but do not add butter). Bring to a boil and add the dry stuffing mix. Stir well; cover; and set aside to cool enough to handle. Beat the egg well with the 1 tablespoon of water and stir quickly into the stuffing mix. Add another tablespoon of water if the dressing is too dry.
With your hands, form the stuffing into balls and press into the pepper halves or greased baking dishes to make four large or six medium servings. Bake with a roast or on a covered grill until the stuffing is hot and puffy.
Curry and ginger give this chicken a sassy snap. Throw everything into a plastic bag and refrigerate it, turning occasionally, for up to two days. It works nicely with chicken halves or quarters or with any boneless or bone-in chicken pieces.
4 servings chicken, your choice
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4-cup soy sauce
1/4-cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
Put the chicken in a plastic resealable freezer bag with the garlic. Whisk together the lemon juice, soy sauce, vegetable oil, and seasonings; pour into the bag; and seal. Turn several times to coat the chicken, then keep it refrigerated, turning occasionally. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, discard the bag and marinade, and grill the chicken over hot coals, turning often, until it tests done.
With canned tomatoes and boxed croutons on hand, you easily can whip up this side dish to serve with meat from the grill, frying pan, or oven.
20-ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons real bacon bits
1-1/2 cups seasoned croutons
Grease a baking pan and add the tomatoes, sugar, bacon bits, and 1 cup of the croutons. Mix well. Top with the remaining croutons; drizzle with margarine; and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until the tomatoes are bubbly and the croutons are golden on top. This recipe makes four to six servings.
Note: The top won’t be as crispy, but this dish also can be heated in the microwave until it’s bubbly.
Grilled Radicchio And Scallions With Black Olives
From the cookbook Big Small Plates (see below) comes this exotic but simple side dish to cook on the grill. The trick is to soak the radicchio in ice water first to leech out any bitterness, then to cut the head in parts that have enough core remaining to hold them together. This recipe makes six of what the author calls “small plates.”
2 or 3 heads radicchio
Juice of 1 lime
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/8-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Marinated or salt-cured black olives
3 tablespoons shaved goat cheese or dry-aged Monterey Jack, Parmesan, or pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or basil
Cut the radicchio heads in half, leaving enough core to hold them together, and then cut each half into 3 pieces, again leaving some core on each piece. Soak the radicchio in ice water for 20 to 30 minutes and drain well. Put the radicchio in a flat-bottom container with the trimmed scallions. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to make a marinade. Coat the radicchio and scallions with the marinade and let stand for at least 30 minutes but no more than two hours.
To make the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, salt, and pepper, then whisk in the oil. Set it aside. When you’re ready to grill, put the scallions on first and cook them until they are fork-tender, which should take approximately five minutes. When they’re done, chop finely and mix with the dressing. Grill the radicchio over medium heat, turning often, until it begins to caramelize at the edges. The radicchio should be tender but not falling apart. To serve, place two or three radicchio wedges on each small plate, drizzle with the dressing, and garnish with olives, cheese, and parsley or basil.
If you’re looking for an offbeat stew recipe, try this one. Throw everything into a slow cooker and forget it for the rest of the day. If you prefer Dutch oven cooking, this recipe can be made by surrounding the oven with well-started coals for six to eight hours, or it can be baked in the oven all day at 275 degrees. When slow-cooking at low temperatures, it’s a good idea to check after several hours to see whether more liquid is needed or whether it is cooking too slowly, especially if you’re heating over a campfire and not in a thermostatically controlled cooker. You should, however, add another 30 minutes of cooking time for every time you open the lid.
2 pounds lean stew beef
2 cans condensed tomato soup
1 soup can water
8 meaty chicken wings
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
Half a small cabbage, cut into pieces
2 medium onions, cut in chunks
2 small turnips, peeled and cut in wedges
8 ounces spicy sausage
15- or 16-ounce can garbanzo beans
Put the beef and soup in a slow cooker or Dutch oven. Stir in the water. Cut the tips off the chicken wings, cut the wings in two at the joint, and arrange them around the beef with the vegetables. Cut the sausage into bite-size pieces and sprinkle over the beef. Cook for six hours on high or eight hours on low, then stir in the garbanzos and cook for another 30 minutes.
Serve in shallow soup plates with plenty of garlic bread and a crisp salad. This recipe makes eight servings.
Pork Chops And Pink Grapefruit
This piquant dish can be cooked in a skillet or separated into individual portions and wrapped in foil packets to cook on the grill. If you carry honey or syrup in a squirt bottle, it’s easier to drizzle over the meat. Just guess at the amount.
6 thick, lean pork chops
Vegetable oil or cooking spray
2 pink grapefruits, peeled and cut into sections
Approximately 1 teaspoon honey or pancake syrup per chop
Sprinkle the chops on both sides with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg. Peel the grapefruit and cut it into sections, saving any excess juice. If you’re using a skillet, brown the chops in a little hot oil. Or, place each seasoned chop on a square of heavy-duty foil that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Top each chop with a share of grapefruit sections and then drizzle with honey or syrup and the extra grapefruit juice. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until the meat tests done. Or, bring up the corners of the foil and twist tightly to seal and to form a handle. Place over a preheated grill for 30 minutes. Test one packet for doneness and cook longer if necessary.
To complete the menu, heat a packet of cooked rice and wild rice mix, add steamed sugar peas and a salad, and thaw a cream pie for dessert.
Creamy Celery Salad
This is a truly offbeat salad to make from ingredients kept on the shelf. It’s low in fat, because there is no oil in the dressing. It makes a good side dish with hot or cold meat.
10-3/4-ounce can condensed cream of celery soup (regular or low fat)
2 or 3 small gherkin pickles, chopped
1 tablespoon juice from the pickles
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2-teaspoon dried dill weed
2 cups celery, sliced
1 cup apple, diced
8-ounce can diced beets, well drained
15-ounce can diced potatoes, well drained
In a roomy bowl, whisk together the soup, chopped pickles, pickle juice, vinegar, and dill weed. Fold in the celery, apple, beets, and potatoes. Chill several hours and serve as is or on a bed of lettuce.
Not Grandma’s Kugel
Grandmother might be horrified at how we reduced the sugar and fat in her recipe, but we think she’d approve of the taste. The pineapple provides sufficient golden glow, but you might add a drop or two of yellow food coloring to make it look even more buttery. Granny might have served it for dessert, but it’s also a delicious breakfast dish.
20-ounce can crushed pineapple in pineapple juice (not syrup)
6 egg whites
1-1/2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
1 cup fat-free sour cream
9 packets sugar substitute (or 3 tablespoons sugar)
12-ounce package yolk-free noodles, cooked and drained
Drain the pineapple but save the juice. Whisk together the egg whites, cottage cheese, sour cream, pineapple juice, cinnamon, and sugar substitute until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the pineapple, raisins, and cooked noodles. Put everything in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish coated with nonstick spray and cook at 325 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes (test as for custard). Let the dish stand for five minutes and cut into 12 portions.
Note: To prepare the noodles at home, cook and drain them according to package directions and immediately mix with the crushed pineapple and its juice. The cooked noodles can be refrigerated up to two days. Proceed as above, except that you won’t add pineapple juice in with the egg white mixture.
Campground Potluck Recipe Of The Month
Hot Dog Snacks
Carry three pounds of hot dogs to serve a crowd with this microwave quickie. Don’t forget to bring plenty of toothpicks so guests can spear the hot bites. Supply crackers or chips if you like, but these snacks can stand alone, too.
1 can cherry pie filling
10-ounce jar pineapple jam
10-ounce jar peach or strawberry jam
3 pounds hot dogs, cut into bite size pieces
Put the cherry pie filling in a large microwavable bowl. With the lids off the jars, microwave the jams on medium for 30 to 60 seconds or just enough to soften them sufficiently to allow them to mix easily with the pie filling. Microwave the pie filling and jam combination for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds to make a sauce. Fold in the hot dog pieces to coat well and microwave for another three to four minutes to heat through, turning every minute. Stir again and serve at once, or keep warm until serving time.
Books for cooks
Gourmet cooks on the go will be excited about Cindy Pawlcyn’s handsome, new hardcover book titled Big Small Plates ($35, Ten Speed Press). Ms. Pawlcyn has opened several California restaurants, including Mustards Grill in the Napa Valley, the Buckeye Roadhouse in Marin, and the Fog City Diner in San Francisco. Each of her small plates is an art form, meant to be savored with the eyes as well as the taste buds. This isn’t a book for meat-and-potato types, and the recipes require time and care. But the color photographs, small portions, and unusual combinations will beguile cooks who use the freshest and best ingredients.
I was enthused about a book called ExtraVeganZa: Original Recipes From Phoenix Organic Farm (New Society Publishers, $24.95), a clever play on words promising luscious vegetable recipes made with organic produce. The author is Laura Mathias, a field biologist, organic farmer, and longtime vegan. However, the book’s value to the motorhome cook is limited, because the author calls for so many ingredients that are not found in everyday supermarkets (spelt flour, brown rice syrup, smoked tofu, purple sprouting broccoli shoots). On the other hand, if you’re looking for new and delectable vegan recipes and you love to fuss over from-scratch recipes, this book is for you.
Visit Janet often at CampAndRVCook.blogspot.com. Each week she adds a new recipe and a new Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week, plus tips on simplifying recipes and cutting down on dishwashing. The second edition of her book Cooking Aboard Your RV is available through bookstores or by calling (800) 262-4729. It also is available in French, titled Cuisiner a bord de votre Vehicule Recreatif.