Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
What dishes are truly local in this great land of ours? Part of the fun of travel is to search for down-home, regional recipes and the homegrown items to prepare them. Starting this month we celebrate recipes from North America’s hometowns.
This recipe, from Richard and Betty Miller, F333547, is a zesty, Texas-style salsa. This recipe makes approximately two cups of salsa to go with meat from the grill. It’s terrific with sizzling T-bone steaks cooked medium-rare.
1 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2-cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 small fresh jalapeno peppers, without seeds, chopped
4-ounce can green chilies, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon powdered cumin
1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons canned tomato sauce
Cut the tomatoes in half; squeeze and discard the juice from each half; and chop into small pieces. Cook the cilantro, onions, garlic, and jalapeno peppers in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture is chunky. Pour into a glass container; cover; and refrigerate for an hour before serving. This is an important step that allows the flavors to blend and reduces the natural hot taste of the peppers.
Mr. Miller suggests experimenting with the recipe by adding more jalapeno peppers for a hotter salsa, more tomatoes, or blending longer if you prefer a smoother sauce. The Millers serve their Texas-style salsa on eggs, Mexican foods, home fries, and chili. They also blend it with melted cheese to pour on tortilla chips.
From the Columbus, Georgia, Convention & Visitors Bureau comes this version of the Southern “poor man’s caviar” that is so popular at campground get-togethers. This recipe makes approximately two quarts of dip, so bring plenty of tortilla chips, too.
2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained
15-ounce can whole-kernel corn, drained
10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 cups chopped red bell peppers
1/2-cup chopped fresh jalapeno peppers
1/2-cup chopped onions
8-ounce bottle Italian dressing
4-ounce jar chopped pimentos, drained
Combine everything in a large bowl and refrigerate overnight. Serve with chips. For more information about Columbus, home of the Coca-Cola Science Space Museum and the Port Columbus Civil War Naval Museum, go to www.visitcolumbusga.com or call (800) 999-1613.
Florida Grapefruit Pie
From Polk County, Florida, home to the Fantasy of Flight attraction, comes this easy icebox pie. It’s provided by Lang Sun Country Groves in Lake Alfred. When you section the grapefruit, save the juice to add to the water measure.
2 large or 3 medium red grapefruit, sectioned
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups water
3-ounce box of strawberry gelatin
Peel the grapefruits, then pull them into sections. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a pan, stir in the cold water, and cook over medium heat until the liquid is thick and clear. Add the gelatin and stir until it dissolves. Fold in the grapefruit and pour into a baked pastry or graham cracker pie shell and refrigerate for several hours or until the filling is firm. Serve with whipped topping.
Muffaletta sandwiches have been a Louisiana favorite for generations. From Shreveport’s Fertitta’s Deli, which has been in the same family since 1927, comes this recipe for Papa’s own “muffy.”
8-inch round loaf Italian bread, cut in half horizontally
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/2-cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2-cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2-cup shredded provolone cheese
2 to 3 ounces sliced ham
2 to 3 ounces sliced bologna
2 to 3 ounces sliced turkey (optional)
1 1/2 ounces Papa Fertitta’s Olive Mix
Spread the top half of the bread with mustard. Combine the cheeses and place on the bottom half of the bread. Arrange the sliced meat on both halves and place the bread on a baking sheet. Bake the sandwich halves at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the cheeses have melted. Spread Papa Fertitta’s Olive Mix on the bottom half; cover with the top half; cut into quarters; and serve immediately.
The olive mix can be purchased at Fertitta’s Deli, 1124 Fairfield Ave., Shreveport, Louisiana; by calling (866) 293-5032; or online at www.papafertitta.com. For more information about things to do and see in the Shreveport-Bossier area, including galleries, museums, and riverboat casinos, call (888) 458-4748 or visit www.shreveport-bossier.org.
This cookie recipe is from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking (see below), a book that can be purchased at bookstores or through online booksellers, but which also is available at the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Store in Norwich, Vermont. These cookies are wonderful keepers in case you want to bake them at home for an upcoming trip. Spelt flour is available from King Arthur and at health food stores. For more information about the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Store, phone (802) 649-3361, or visit www.kingarthurflour.com.
1/2-stick unsalted butter
3/4-cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2-teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4-teaspoon ground allspice
1 large egg
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup whole spelt flour
2/3-cup white rye or medium rye flour (not pumpernickel)
Cream the butter, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices. Beat in the egg and molasses, scraping the bowl. The mixture will look curdled, but don’t let it concern you. Add the spelt flour and rye flour, beating until the mixture is smooth. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared pans. The cookies should bake for 14 to 16 minutes, depending on how chewy you want them. After seven minutes, reverse the pans “” bottom shelf to top shelf. Let the cookies cool on the pans for five minutes, and then transfer them to a rack to finish cooling.
Casa De Pico’s Guacamole
4 Haas avocados (pebbly-textured, almost black variety)
1 small lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon salt
1/2-teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds. Scoop the pulp into a bowl and mash it. Mix in the other ingredients and chill or serve at room temperature. Casa de Pico, which got its start in San Diego’s Old Town many years ago, is located at 5550 Grossmont Center Drive in La Mesa, California.
Bear’s Mill Brown Bread
Still grinding grain after 157 years, Bear’s Mill in Greenville, Ohio, is a tourist attraction as well as a place to stock up on flours milled the old-fashioned way. This fiber-rich bread will remind you of Boston Brown Bread, but it’s baked, not steamed. It’s delicious with cream cheese and keeps well on the go. Bake a big batch to freeze for future travels.
3 cups miller’s bran
2 cups raisins
1/4-cup dark molasses
4 cups buttermilk
4 cups Bear’s Mill whole wheat cake flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
Mix the bran, sugar, raisins, molasses, and buttermilk, then add the flour and baking soda, stirring until everything is evenly moistened. Don’t overbeat. Fill baking pans or greased tin cans two-thirds of the way with the batter and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. The baking time will depend on the size of the loaves, but the bread should be firm and springy to the touch. Allow it to cool in the pans for a few minutes, but turn the loaves out while they are still warm. Cool; wrap in plastic; and let the bread equalize several hours or overnight for easier slicing. This recipe makes two large loaves or a number of small loaves. For more information about the mill and other sight-seeing in Darke County, Ohio, call (800) 504-2995 or visit www.visitdarkecounty.org.
Red Chili Enchiladas Santa Fe
From the Convention & Visitors Bureau in Santa Fe, New Mexico, comes this recipe for a dish that uses the powdered red chili found in local supermarkets (other brands of chili powder may be used as well). This recipe makes four servings.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves minced garlic (or to taste)
2 tablespoons flour
1/8-teaspoon cumin (optional)
1/2-cup powdered red chili
3 to 4 cups chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
8 corn tortillas
2 cups grated Colby or cheddar cheese
2 cups diced onion
4 eggs (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the garlic for 30 seconds until it’s fragrant. Quickly stir in the flour, cumin (if desired), and red chili. Mix thoroughly, taking care not to burn the mixture, which will be dry. Slowly add the chicken broth or water, stirring constantly. Add the salt; bring to a boil; and add more broth or water to thin if needed. Simmer for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spoon some of the sauce onto four oven proof plates. Dip each tortilla in sauce just to moisten and put it on a plate. Cover the tortilla with cheese and onions. Dip another tortilla in sauce and stack on top of the first tortilla. Cover with cheese and onions. Repeat to make four plates containing two tortillas each. Place the plates in the oven for 15 minutes. Top each with a fried egg and more chili sauce. Serve with lettuce and fresh chopped tomatoes on the side.
The egg is a very local touch, said Steve Lewis of the Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau (www.santafe.org), and it’s the perfect flavor combination.
Books for cooks
King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking ($35, Countryman Press) isn’t a lightweight book for carrying in the coach, but it is a kitchen essential for serious bakers. If you do a lot of baking in advance or travel with someone who needs specialty whole-grain baked goods, this book is a lifesaver. Want to find more uses for whole grains, including non-wheat flours? This superb book covers everything from breads to biscotti, cakes to quiche, and dozens of different flours. Instructions are clear enough for beginners, but this book will be useful for anyone who enjoys fine baked goods, caringly prepared using the best ingredients.
Have you seen the “51 Fast & Fun” series from Collectors Press? These small books are perfectly sized for the traveling galley, and the shortcut recipes are smart and delicious. 51 Fast & Fun Packaged Dough Recipes has dozens of great ideas that begin with one of the many prepared doughs found in the supermarket. 51 Fast & Fun Slow Cooker Recipes, in the same compact format, contains luscious recipes for carefree dishes that you can leave in the slow cooker for six to eight hours.