Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
With last month’s column we began a series on hometown recipes. Here is another batch of regional specialties to try as you travel. Where ingredients are so local that they can’t be found elsewhere, we have tried to provide substitutes, but it’s fun to shop hometown aisles and get the real thing.
Doc’s Secret Remedy
Chili cook-off champion and retired Carson City, Nevada, physician Ed Pierczynski claims this chili will cure mange, lumbago, blind staggers, dry rot, and hangover. He calls for Gebhardt chili powder, but if it isn’t available in your area, use any chili powder.
3 pounds cubed sirloin, London broil, or tri-tip beef
4 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
6 ounces sausage
14-1/2-ounce can beef broth
8-ounce can tomato sauce
6-ounce can spicy Bloody Mary mix
12-ounce can beer
11 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt to taste
Saute the beef in the oil. Fry the sausage until it’s done and drain well. Put the beef, sausage, and one-half can of the beef broth in your favorite chili pot and bring to a slow simmer. Add the tomato sauce, Bloody Mary mix, half the can of beer, 6 tablespoons of the chili powder, the garlic powder, the onion powder, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper sauce. Simmer slowly for approximately 90 minutes or until the meat is tender. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons of chili powder, the cumin, and 1 teaspoon pepper sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes and salt to taste.
Doc doesn’t say what to do with the other half can of beef broth, but I suggest keeping it handy to thin the chili if it is too thick. This recipe will serve six to eight people. Have plenty of crusty bread on hand, a leafy salad, and a cool custard dessert to put out the fire.
Salmon Broccoli Quiche
This recipe comes from the 7 Gables Inn and Suites in Fairbanks, Alaska. Serve it for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
2 cups small, tender, fresh broccoli florets
16-ounce can Alaska salmon (or 2 cups of cooked, leftover salmon)
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/4-cup chopped chives or green onions
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/8-teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a deep-dish pie plate with nonstick spray and line it with the piecrust. Cover the bottom of the crust with the broccoli and salmon and sprinkle with the cheese and chives. Set aside. Beat the eggs, cream, cayenne pepper, and dill to combine thoroughly and pour over the salmon mixture. Bake for 60 minutes or until the crust is golden and the eggs are puffy in the center. This recipe makes six servings.
While you’re in Georgia’s Golden Isles, you can visit historic plantations, the St. Simons Island Lighthouse and Maritime Heritage Center, and the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District. For more information about sight-seeing opportunities in the area, call (800) 933-2627 or visit www.comecoastawhile.com.
Locals tell me this recipe is an all-day project, but worth it. That’s all part of the fun when you’re cooking up a big cauldron of Brunswick Stew in a campground. My shortcut is to use three large cans of chunk chicken instead of the whole chicken and coarse grind (also called chili grind) beef and pork. That eliminates the messy boning and shredding step.
1 pound lean beef
1 pound lean pork
3 pounds chicken or equivalent
Salt and pepper
3 medium onions, chopped
4 15- or 16-ounce cans tomatoes
5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
14-ounce bottle ketchup
1 cup chili sauce
1/2-teaspoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 15- or 16-ounce cans small lima or butter beans
15-ounce can small English peas
2 16-ounce cans cream-style corn
3 small Irish potatoes, diced
10-ounce box frozen okra (optional)
Place the meat in a large, heavy pot and season with salt and pepper. Add the onions and cover with water. Cook until the meat falls from the bones. Remove the pot from the burner; remove the meat from the pot, retaining the liquid; allow the meat to cool; and tear it into shreds. Put the meat back into the pot. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, chili sauce, dry mustard, and butter. Cook for an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the vinegar, lima or butter beans, peas, corn, potatoes, and okra. Cook slowly until it’s thick and ladle into soup bowls. In the Low Country, this stew might be accompanied by seafood, but it’s a hearty meal when served with nothing more than buttered cornbread.
Lathrop House Fruit Compote Extraordinaire
This no-cook recipe comes from Diana Mara Henry at the Lathrop House in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Take any dried fruit (plums, apricots, cranberries, apples, etc.), and put them in a pot. She recommends going for a variety of colors, textures, and sizes. Toss in a few cloves or a cinnamon stick; add just enough water to cover; and set aside for 12 hours. Diana says the compote doesn’t need additional sweetening. Serve with milk, plain yogurt, or ice cream.
You may recall the “Thinkin’ About Lincoln” article in the January 2007 issue of Family Motor Coaching (page 114). It mentioned this Springfield, Illinois, hometown open-face sandwich that locals call a Horseshoe. The idea originated in 1928 at the Red Lion Inn with a made-from-scratch cheese sauce that contained beer, flour, dry mustard, egg yolks, and grated English Cheddar cheese. Use a classic cheese rarebit recipe, or use Cheez Whiz, cheese sauce from a mix, or melted Velveeta.
To make a Horseshoe, according to Sharon Johnson, Springfield information officer, take a slice of bread, toasted or plain. Pile on your choice of cooked meat, such as fried chicken, ham, hamburger, sausage, fried fish, or bacon. For non-meat eaters, try a veggie burger or veggie sausage. Pour melted cheese sauce over the meat. Then sprinkle liberally with French fries. Springfield residents sometimes garnish the Horseshoe with chopped tomatoes or ketchup.
Here’s my method. Bake frozen French fries according to package directions. Butter the bread on the bottom and arrange it on a baking sheet. Add the meat, smother it with cheese rarebit, and top with the fries, then return to the hot oven to heat everything through. This is a great recipe for parties, because you can keep the assembly line going indefinitely.
Chocolate Dutch Oven Stew
This hometown recipe comes courtesy of Charlie Gipe, executive chef for the Hershey Entertainment Complex in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It is just the ticket for campfire cooking in a Dutch oven or atop the stove. His recipe doesn’t specify how much stock to use, so I add a 15-ounce can of beef broth. If you like the stew soupier, add more stock, broth, or bouillon.
3 tablespoons butter
2 pounds stew meat, cut in 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, diced
1/2-cup carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup potatoes, diced
beef stock or 15-ounce can beef broth
2 8-ounce cans tomatoes in sauce
2 8-ounce cans diced tomatoes in sauce
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven. Toss the meat with flour, salt, and pepper, and brown in the hot butter for approximately 15 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until the onions are tender. Add the stock (or broth) and tomatoes; reduce heat; cover; and simmer for one hour. Then add the cocoa and cook for another 30 minutes or until the beef is tender. Ladle the stew into shallow soup plates and serve with torn chunks of peasant bread.
The toasty taste of hazelnuts has long been popular in German recipes. This shortcut recipe from Frankenmuth, Michigan, a town that was settled by Bavarian folk, uses Nutella spread to create a delicious dessert.
2 3.4-ounce boxes instant vanilla pudding
3 cups cold milk
8-ounce carton whipped topping
Nutella hazelnut spread
Squeezable chocolate frosting (optional)
Chopped hazelnuts (optional)
Spread enough graham crackers with Nutella to cover the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan, arranged spread-side up. Whisk together the pudding, milk, and topping. Put half of the pudding mixture over the crackers; make another layer of Nutella-spread graham crackers; top with the remainder of the pudding mixture; then add another layer of Nutella-spread crackers, this time spread-side down. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight; or cover with chocolate frosting, then chill. Garnish with chopped hazelnuts if you wish.
Books for cooks
You’ll want to use your slow cooker every day once you’re inspired by JoAnn Rachor’s new book, Fast Cooking in a Slow Cooker Every Day of the Year ($14.95, Family Health Publications). The recipes are vegetarian, although you could cook from the book for days before anyone realized these fabulous dishes are meat-free. Spiral-bound so it lies flat, this is one of the best slow-cooker cookbooks I’ve seen. It gives two versions of each recipe, one for smaller cookers and another for cookers that hold up to seven quarts. It’s packed with sly tricks for using a slow cooker and, best of all, the author tells you what to add and when to add it, so everything cooks perfectly in one pot. Included are recipes for main dishes, desserts, soups, and even yeast bread.
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, by calling (800) 262-4729, or by visiting www.raggedmountainpress.com. It also is available in French, titled Cuisiner a bord de votre Vehicule Recreatif.