Cooking on the Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
Pull out these recipes when a hungry crowd gathers under your awning.
When you’re in a cooking mood, prepare one or more of these group recipes. Then serve these super-size dishes to a large gathering or freeze them in smaller batches to suit your needs.
Fried Rice For A Crowd
When you freeze the basic fried rice in smaller batches, you’ve written yourself a blank check for future feasts. Thaw the rice mixture; heat; and add one chopped, scrambled egg per serving. Sprinkle with fresh scallions, cilantro, or parsley, if possible. I cook this without salt and add soy sauce to taste. Any combination of ground meats will do, but pork adds a more traditional flavor. This recipe makes 12 servings.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground pork or turkey
1 pound lean sausage
1 pound ground beef
2 bunches celery, trimmed and diced
4 large onions, diced
6 cups water
6 cups instant rice
2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 bunches scallions, thinly sliced including light green (optional)
In a large kettle, heat the oil and stir-fry the meats, breaking up and stirring constantly until no pink remains. Stir in the celery and onions to coat. Add water; bring to a boil; cover; reduce heat; and simmer for five minutes or until the celery and onions are tender. Bring the mixture back to a full boil; stir in the rice; cover; turn off the heat; and let stand for five to seven minutes until the rice softens. (Instant brown rice takes 10 to 15 minutes.) Coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray; melt the butter; and crack the 12 eggs into the skillet. Run a spatula through them to break the yolks; cover; and cook over low heat until a solid pancake of cooked egg forms. Turn the eggs out on a cutting board and chop, then stir them into the hot rice mixture. Spoon the fried rice onto serving plates, sprinkle with scallions, and pass the soy sauce.
Butter Bean Banquet
Make this chili with ground turkey, pork, beef, soy-based meat substitute, or any combination. It’s the big, meaty butter beans that make this dish different and, oh, so good.
2 pounds lean ground meat
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced (optional)
1 large carrot, diced (optional)
1 tablespoon chili powder
10 3/4-ounce can condensed beef broth
2 15- to 16-ounce cans butter beans
28-ounce can baked beans
15- to 16-ounce can light red kidney beans
12-ounce bottle salsa (hot, medium, or mild)
2 cans (approximately 4 ounces each) diced green chiles, drained
In a large pot over high heat, brown the ground meat in the oil, gradually stirring in the garlic, vegetables, and chili powder. When the meat is no longer pink, reduce the heat and add the beef broth. Cover and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the undrained beans, salsa, and drained green chiles. Heat through. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with your choice of optional toppings. This recipe makes 10 servings. Complete the meal with salad and hot, buttered corn sticks.
If you’ll be dividing this chili into portions for freezing, don’t add the toppings. When you’re ready to prepare, thaw and heat the dish. Add the toppings just before serving.
If you freeze this in small batches, you can make each meal different by serving it over a different base (couscous, rice, pasta). Dried beef is salty, so don’t add salt to this dish. This recipe makes 12 servings.
2 pounds mushrooms, sliced or cut into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, diced
½ stick butter
2 5-ounce jars dried beef, cut up
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 pint (2 cups) sour cream
½ teaspoon pepper (optional)
Base, such as rice, toast, Chinese noodles, etc.
Snipped fresh herbs (optional)
Cook the mushrooms and onion in the butter, gradually stirring in the dried beef. Cover; reduce heat; and cook over low heat until the onion is tender. Whisk together the soup and sour cream and heat gently with the mushroom mixture. Serve over your favorite base. Shower with snipped parsley or chives or sprinkle lightly with paprika.
Celery Au Gratin
When you’re tired of the same vegetable side dishes, make this unusual casserole. Vary the flavor by using different cheeses each time. Caraway cheese is offbeat and good in this recipe, which serves 10 to 12 as a side dish.
2 bunches celery, trimmed and cut up
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
8-ounce package grated cheese
1 stick butter
2 cups bread crumbs
Cook the celery in a small amount of water until it’s tender, then drain. Stir in the soup until it’s well-mixed, then fold in the cheese. Put in a buttered casserole, top with bread crumbs, and dot with butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the topping is golden and crusty. If you save smaller batches, freeze the celery mixture in oven-safe containers. Top each with bread crumbs and dots of butter and you can put them right in the oven after thawing. Baking time will vary depending on the temperature of the dish when you put it in. Take care not to burn the crumb topping.
Sausage Snack Bites
Form the sausage “dough” into rolls, then slice off as many “bites” as you want. The rolls can be frozen for up to four weeks. Buy your favorite hot or mild sausage, but get a good brand that’s lean and finely ground.
6 cups biscuit mix
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
16-ounce package grated Cheddar cheese
2 pounds bulk sausage
Put the biscuit mix in a two-gallon freezer bag with the mustard and pepper and shake around to mix. Add the cheese and shake some more. Add the sausage a little at a time and knead the bag until the sausage is well mixed in. Using your hands, press the mixture into very firm sausage rolls, approximately 2 inches in diameter and as long as you like. Wrap each roll separately in plastic wrap. Once the rolls are wrapped, you can press and form them even more firmly, because the rolls will slice better if well-packed. Chill overnight. Just before serving, slice and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden around the edges.
The baking step puts a nice finish on ordinary lentil stew and also allows the cook to relax before dinner while the dish bakes.
3 cups lentils
2 pounds lean sausage
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried marjoram, savory, or sage
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Wash and pick over the lentils and cover with water. Allow the lentils to soak for several hours or overnight. In a roomy kettle, fry the sausage, onion, carrot, and garlic, breaking up the sausage until it’s in small bits. Drain the lentils, saving the water. Add a total of six cups of the soaking water (add fresh water if needed) to the kettle, along with the lentils. Add the seasonings. Bring to a boil; cover; reduce heat; and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and pour into buttered casserole dish(es). Bake at 400 degrees, uncovered, for 30 minutes. This recipe makes 12 servings.
Portions can be stored in the freezer up to two months. When you’re ready to eat, thaw and bake.
Tutti-Fruiti Turkey Pasta Salad
The completed salad isn’t suitable for freezing, but you can freeze a mixture of the pasta, meat, and fruit. Thaw, then toss with bottled citrus dressing, and sprinkle with nuts just before serving. Drain the fruit well; the juices can be used in fruit punch.
16-ounce package corkscrew pasta
8-ounce package penne pasta
2 pounds deli smoked turkey, diced
2 cans diced mangoes, drained
20-ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 can gooseberries or seedless white grapes, drained
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup golden raisins
6-ounce can orange juice concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup vinegar (preferably white wine vinegar)
8-ounce container kiwi-banana-flavored yogurt
1 7- to 8-ounce jar macadamia nuts
Cook the pasta al dente; drain well; and fold in the meat and fruit. Whisk the dressing ingredients together until smooth. Fold the dressing into the pasta and serve on beds of shredded lettuce. Scatter with macadamia nuts. This recipe makes 12 servings.
If you’re serving this as a vegetarian main dish, add more nuts. This recipe makes 10 to 12 side-dish servings.
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large heads cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup broken cashews
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the oil in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan and tip to coat the pan’s bottom and sides. Add the cauliflower and stir to coat all pieces with oil. Sprinkle generously with soy sauce and bake for 10 minutes. Stir again; sprinkle with nuts; and bake an additional five to 10 minutes until the cauliflower is crisp-tender. Pass the soy sauce. If you freeze this, it can be reheated in the microwave oven, but the nuts will be crisper if it’s baked.
Giant Vegetarian Goulash
Fresh vegetables don’t improve from the freeze-thaw-reheat process, but this soupy stew is still good even if you don’t eat it all at once. When vegetables are abundant, make a big kettle of this juicy dish and freeze what you can’t eat now. It serves 12 as a vegetarian main dish.
4 medium onions, peeled
4 large stalks bok choy, including green leaves
2 pounds zucchini
1 stick butter
2 green bell peppers, cut in strips
2 medium red sweet peppers, cut in strips
4 large stalks celery, sliced
6 large tomatoes, seeded and cut up
12-ounce can Green Giant-brand Mexicorn (niblets with red and green peppers)
16-ounce package grated cheddar cheese
Garlic cheese croutons
Grated Parmesan cheese
Cut the peeled onions in half, top to bottom, and then slice into “half moons.” Slice the stalks of bok choy and cut the leaves into bite-size pieces. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then in 1/2-inch slices. Melt the butter in a large kettle and stir in the vegetables in the order given. Cover; reduce heat; and cook until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each serving with a generous tuft of cheddar cheese. Once the cheese melts, add croutons and pass the Parmesan cheese.
To freeze: Allow the soup to cool and then stir in the grated cheese. When you’re ready to prepare the soup again, allow it to thaw, then cook it in the microwave oven until it’s heated through and the cheese has melted.