Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
Give some of these interesting recipes a try when you’re looking to serve something different.
If you’ve become bored with making the same meals week after week, try adding one or more of these recipes to your menu.
Piquant Chicken Salad
Use leftover or canned chicken to make this whole-meal salad. The rice part is easy, too. Use a packet of cooked rice, 3 cups of leftover rice, or prepare 3 cups of instant rice.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
8-ounce carton pineapple yogurt
1 tablespoon curry powder (more or less to taste)
2 10-ounce cans chunk chicken, drained
3 cups cooked rice
Crushed pineapple, well-drained (optional)
Celery, finely diced (optional)
Whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, and curry powder. Break up the chicken and fold it into the mayonnaise mixture with the rice and any optional ingredients. Serve at once or chill.
Meatloaf is best mixed manually, so keep disposable plastic gloves on hand to make the job less messy. Meatloaf also can be mixed in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Seal it shut, and then keep kneading until everything is combined.
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 pounds lean ground turkey
2 eggs, beaten
Small can evaporated milk
Grease the bottom and sides of your slow cooker. Combine the dry ingredients, and then add everything but the ketchup. Mix thoroughly and form into a round or rectangular loaf that fits in the bottom of your cooker. Drizzle with ketchup and cook on low for six hours. Serve hot with cranberry sauce. Chill the leftovers and serve them thinly sliced in sandwiches.
Mediterranean Farro Salad
This recipe is from Food Made Fast: Salads ($17.95, Oxmoor House/Williams-Sonoma). Farro is a grain found in Italian grocery stores. As a substitute, the author recommends using a cup of bulgur prepared according to package directions. I find that this salad is also good made with barley, rice, or orzo. The farro, says the author, can be prepared a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.
1 cup farro
Juice from 2 lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
8 radishes, thinly sliced
Half of an English hothouse cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh mint, loosely packed and finely chopped
6 ounces baby spinach
5 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Combine the farro and 2 cups of water in a saucepan; bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for approximately 30 minutes or until the kernels are plump and tender. Remove from heat; uncover; and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, salt, and a pinch of pepper to make the vinaigrette. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Toss the radishes, cucumber, mint, and farro with the vinaigrette, and then gently toss in the spinach and feta cheese. This recipe makes four servings.
Avocado Rice Salad
This is another main-dish salad that is easily made ahead of time to bring out for a quick roadside lunch.
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups cooked rice
4 ounces salami, cut in slivers
4 ounces deli ham, cut in slivers
1 small green pepper, cut in slivers
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 carrot, peeled and cut in slivers
1 large, ripe avocado, diced (approximately 2 cups)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup creamy dressing such as green goddess
Mix the curry powder with the rice and then fold in the meats, green pepper, coconut, and carrot. Place the diced avocado into a small container and toss with the lemon juice to coat well. Add the avocado and dressing to the rice mixture, tossing lightly until everything is well mixed. Serve at once or chill. The recipe makes four servings.
Caramelized Halibut With Bok Choy
If you’re trying to get more fish into your diet, try this luscious recipe. The sauce can be made up to five days ahead. This recipe is from the new Food Made Fast: Asian ($17.95, Oxmoor House/Williams-Sonoma) cookbook. Instructions from the book are lengthy, but less complicated than they look.
1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn or peanut oil
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 fillets halibut or cod, 1 1/2 pounds each
1/2 pound bok choy, quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
To make the sauce, stir together 3 tablespoons warm water, the Asian fish sauce, and the soy sauce. In a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water to dissolve. Increase the heat to high and stir. Stop stirring once the sugar has dissolved and swirl the pan until the syrup turns light amber, which should take from three to five minutes. Remove the syrup from the burner and stir in the fish sauce mixture, which will bubble and spatter. Stir until the bubbling subsides. In a large frying pan, heat the corn or peanut oil on high and saute the ginger, garlic, and shallots until tender. Season the vegetables with the freshly ground pepper, then stir in the sauce. Reduce the heat to low; add the fish; cover; and braise for seven minutes. Carefully turn the fillets, nestling the bok choy quarters around them. Cover and braise until the fish is opaque throughout. Garnish with cilantro and serve with steamed rice.
This recipe from Fix-It and Forget-It 5-Ingredient Favorites ($15.95, Good Books) is one of the most clever slow-cooker ideas in a decade. It has very little kick, which will come as good news to those who don’t like spicy foods. Those who do will want to pass the hot sauce.
2 pounds frozen meatballs
28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 cup yellow cornmeal
14- to 16-ounce can cream-style corn
1 cup chopped stuffed green olives
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
Microwave the frozen meatballs for four minutes on power level 3 to thaw. Arrange the meatballs in an even layer in a slow cooker. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the meatballs. Cook for one hour on high, then turn to low and cook for another four to six hours. The casserole is finished when it reaches what the writer calls a “loaf” consistency. The result is a meaty layer under a moist, flavorful corn layer laced with tomatoes.
Wonder Bread Trail Mix Sandwich
For many folks, Wonder Bread is synonymous with childhood cravings. Now The Wonder Bread Cookbook ($12.95, Ten Speed Press) is a romp back through the wonder years. This stick-to-the-ribs sandwich is ideal for breakfast or for a morning hike.
4 slices Wonder Bread, toasted
6 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
2 ripe bananas, sliced
2 tablespoons raisins
2 teaspoons chopped cashews
2 teaspoons honey
Spread two slices of toast with peanut butter and set aside. On the other two pieces of toast put the sliced bananas, raisins, and cashews. Drizzle with the honey and top with the peanut-butter-spread toast. This recipe makes two sandwiches.
Tomato Casserole For A Crowd
This dish can be made and ready to bake in minutes, using ingredients that you carry in your pantry. It’s ideal for an impromptu campground cookout. Bring it out of your oven to serve as a side dish with meat from the grill. It can be made ahead of time to bake just before serving.
6 cups herb-seasoned croutons
2 28-ounce cans stewed tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 stick butter, melted
Coat a 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole with nonstick cooking spray and evenly layer three cups of croutons in the bottom. Carefully spoon the tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the sugar. Arrange the remaining croutons on top and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Optional: sprinkle a layer of cheese over the casserole for the last five minutes of baking time. Experiment with different cheeses: cheddar for a conventional touch, goat cheese for tang, blue cheese for a change, or pepper cheese for spicy zip.
Death By Chocolate Fudge Cake
This cake is dense, moist, and fudge-like. It can be turned out of the pan and sliced, but it also can be served with a spoon. Whip it up four hours before serving, and then forget it while your slow cooker transforms it to gooey goodness. If you don’t have a six-cup steamer insert for your slow cooker, use an oven-proof bowl or pan and wrap it completely in foil, then use a fork to create a few small holes in the top. If you don’t have a steamer rack, create one with four forks placed tines down to form a square.
1 cup milk
4 slices white bread
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar (all white or part brown)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grease the steamer or other container. Tear the bread in pieces and soak it in the milk. Mix the dry ingredients well, and then mix all the wet ingredients with the milk and bread, beating until the eggs are well combined. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and place the batter in the container or steamer. Put on the steamer lid or wrap the substitute container in foil with a few holes pricked in it. Put two cups of hot water into the cooker; place the steamer on the rack; cover the cooker; and cook on high for three to four hours. Serve warm with chocolate sauce, hot fudge sauce, vanilla ice cream, and/or whipped cream. Refrigerate the leftover cake, which is delicious served cold.
Books for cooks. Williams-Sonoma has a new cookbook series for all of us who want great food in less time and with less fuss. So far the Food Made Fast series has books focusing on Baking, Pasta, Slow Cooker, Weeknight, Soup, Asian, Grilling, Salad, and Seafood. Priced at $17.95 each, these portable, sturdy, hardcover volumes include photos to inspire your presentation of each dish. Look for new Food Made Fast books that will cover Appetizers, Desserts, Main Dishes, and Vegetarian. Thanks to this series cooks no longer have to settle for “fast” food. If you like slow food with a speedy twist, start your collection. Books in the series can be found at Williams-Sonoma stores or from the company’s Web site, www.williams-sonoma.com. They also are available in bookstores and through online booksellers.
The Wonder Bread Cookbook ($12.95, Ten Speed Press) is filled with smart and luscious recipes for dishes you never dreamed of making with Wonder Bread. Nostalgic and fun, it’s illustrated with old-fashioned ads and logos from the 1930s, “˜40s and “˜50s. It’s a slender book, light to carry, and hardbound for years of use.
Sisters Megan and Jill Carle wrote College Cooking ($19.95, Ten Speed Press) for young appetites and small student apartments. That makes the book a find for motorhome cooks who want speedy, trendy meals made in small spaces. The book’s color illustrations provide ideas for garnish and presentation. A step beyond dorm room cooking (the girls have a real kitchen, not just a microwave oven and hot plate), the book suggests mouthwatering recipes for affordable main dishes, canapés for parties, salads, and stir-frys.
Both books can be purchased from Ten Speed Press by calling (800) 841-2665 or at www.tenspeedpress.com. They also are available from online booksellers and in bookstores.