Be prepared to hit the highway with these change-of-the-season recipes.
Cooking On The Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
If your motorhome has been quiet through the winter, here’s a list of recipes to get you back out on the road when you see the first robin. Cook outdoors in nice weather and, on blustery days, light the oven and fill the coach with the aroma of casseroles, cakes, and roasts. Invite the neighbors in for cards or Monopoly, a pot of hot tea, and a plate of cookies or a slab of this delectable pie.
Chilly Buttercrunch Pie
Make one or two of these festive pies any time; double wrap them; and store in the freezer. When you need an emergency dessert that looks as though you fussed all day, bring out a pie and bask in the oohs and aahs. If you can’t find butter brickle chips (sold in the same aisle as the chocolate chips), chop up a couple of Heath candy bars.
1 pint lemon sherbet
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 graham cracker crust
Butterscotch ice cream topping
1/2 cup butter brickle chips
Let the frozen desserts soften enough to be spooned easily from the containers. Using two spoons or an ice cream scoop, alternate the two in the piecrust, drizzling with butterscotch topping at the halfway mark. Pack down and smooth with the back of a big spoon. Drizzle with butterscotch topping and sprinkle with the brickle chips. Cover with waxed paper; wrap in foil or freezer paper; and place in the freezer. Serve as is or top with whipped topping, whipped cream, and/or more butterscotch drizzle.
Herbed Tomato Soup
Buy a sprig of fresh basil for this soup, which can be made with a chicken, beef, or vegetable base. Freeze or refrigerate the leftovers.
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 15-ounce can chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sugar
Approximately 18 to 20 fresh basil leaves, rolled and thinly sliced chiffon-style
1 8-ounce carton whipping cream
1 stick butter
In a large saucepan bring the tomatoes and broth to a boil. Reduce heat; cover; and simmer for 10 minutes while the flavors blend. Over low heat, stir in the sugar and basil. Stir in the cream and butter and continue cooking just until the butter melts. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with cheese bread and Waldorf salad.
Creamy Garlic Bread
Make a complete outdoor meal out of grilled meat, grilled bread, and a salad.
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon freeze-dried chives
1 loaf unsliced French or Italian bread
Let the cream cheese warm to room temperature and mix in the garlic powder and chives. Set aside. Cut the bread in half lengthwise and brush with olive oil. Grill, cut side down, until the bread is toasty, then spread the hot bread with the cream cheese mixture.
Big steak-size portobello mushrooms make the perfect side dish or a vegetarian main dish. The stuffing used in this recipe can be made up to three days ahead of time. Nuts add a burst of flavor and crunch to the stuffing. Try pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts.
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
½ stick butter
1 6-ounce package stuffing mix
1/3 cup chopped nuts
6 to 10 large portobello mushroom caps
Stir-fry the onion and celery in the butter until they soften, then add as much water as is called for on the stuffing box. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the stuffing mix and nuts with a little more water if needed. Remove the gills from the mushrooms. Brush the mushrooms with olive oil and grill them cavity side down until lightly browned. Turn the mushrooms over; pack the cavities with stuffing; and float a sheet of foil over them while grilling, cap side down, until they are tender and the stuffing is heated through.
Citrus-Spiked Grilled Chicken
By using orange marmalade, you concentrate the citrus flavor to the max. This sauce burns easily, however, so don’t apply it until the chicken is cooked through.
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
12 serving-size pieces chicken
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 10-ounce jar orange marmalade
11/2 cups tomato-based barbecue sauce
Whisk together the paprika, thyme, orange zest, 1/3-cup oil, and lemon juice. Pour into a resealable plastic bag with the chicken and marinate for several hours in the refrigerator, turning several times. In a roomy saucepan, cook the onion in 1 tablespoon of hot canola oil until soft, and then stir in the marmalade and barbecue sauce to melt and mix. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and discard the marinade. Grill the chicken until it’s done, then brush with the hot marmalade-barbecue sauce while grilling on both sides for another five minutes. Spoon the remaining sauce over the cooked chicken.
Crab Newburg For Two
If you buy a 1-pound brick of imitation crabmeat, divide it in half and save the unused portion to make seafood salad for lunch the next day. Just add chopped celery, enough mayonnaise to bind it, and any other salad ingredients such as pasta, halved grape tomatoes, sweet onion, and/or diced green pepper. For tonight’s hot dish you need:
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup milk or cream
8 ounces (1 cup) imitation or real crabmeat
Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a small pan, whisk together the soup, sherry, and milk over low heat until smooth. Stir in the crabmeat. Heat thoroughly (do not boil); add pepper to taste; and spoon over rice, crusty biscuits, or freshly baked puff pastry shells.
Chewy Date Cake
This quick, toothsome dessert is divine with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. If you must cook without wheat, use wheat-free bread crumbs.
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup dry, unseasoned bread crumbs
2 cups pitted dates, cut up
1 cup walnuts, chopped
In a bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy, gradually adding the sugar and baking powder until the mixture is light and lemon-colored. Fold in the bread crumbs, dates, and walnuts; spread in a pie plate or square pan; and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes or until set. Cool and cut into nine to 10 portions.
When you bake stuffing in cupcake pans, they are preportioned, and each one has its own crust. You need one 12-hole or two six-hole cupcake tins, preferably nonstick.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 large loaf sandwich bread, diced
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ can water
Coat the cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Put the diced bread in a plastic bag with the poultry seasoning and shake to mix well. Set aside. In a large pan, cook the onion and celery in the butter until tender, and then stir in the bread and half the undiluted can of soup. Tightly form the bread into 12 balls and place into the cupcake pan. Whisk together the other half can of soup with the water, and spoon a little of the liquid over each cup of stuffing. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees; uncover; and bake an additional 10 minutes until the tops are brown and crusty.
Put this easy mixture in the refrigerator overnight and you have a salad course to go with tomorrow’s meal.
2-pound-bag carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium sweet onion
1 medium green bell pepper
1 can condensed cream of tomato soup
½ cup sugar
½ cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
Cook the carrots until they are crisp-tender. Drain and cool. Cut the onion north pole to south pole, and then slice the halves into thin crescents. Cut the green pepper in the same manner. Whisk together the soup, sugar, vinegar, and mustard and combine with the vegetables in a bag or bowl. Refrigerate overnight. Stir and serve cold, using a draining spoon.
1 32-ounce package shredded potatoes, thawed
½ stick butter
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
Put the potatoes in a well-buttered 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika and dot with the butter. Whisk together the soup, milk, and sour cream, and spread over the potatoes with the back of a spoon. Do not stir. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator one hour before baking, then cook at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until creamy and nicely browned.
Cheesy Stuffed Bread
Make this impressive loaf to go with meat from the grill and a leafy salad.
1 large onion, diced
1 green sweet pepper, diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dried parsley, chives, or thyme
16-ounce loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
1 6-ounce package shredded cheese
Beaten egg or melted butter for glaze
Stir-fry the onion and pepper in hot oil, gradually adding the tomatoes and herbs. Let the vegetables cool while you roll out the bread dough in a rectangle, approximately 10 inches by 14 inches in size. Using a draining spoon, place the vegetables in a line down the center of the dough and cover with cheese. Cut the dough edges in strips and fold them alternately across the filling. Seal by moistening with a little water. Let the bread rise for about 30 minutes. Brush with butter or beaten egg if you wish, then bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Book For Cooks
One of the most beautiful cookbooks of the season is Vegan Fusion World Cuisine: Extraordinary Recipes & Timeless Wisdom from the Celebrated Blossoming Lotus Restaurants ($19.95, Beaufort Books). It’s also a find for cooks who are looking for guidance and inspiration. People with allergies to dairy and eggs also will be inspired by the luscious recipes included in the book, such as tofu cheesecake. Many recipes also make use of non-wheat flour, so it’s of interest to people with celiac disease. The photography and layout are superb, making this an armchair read, a coffee table book, and the best guide yet to the vegan kitchen. The book can be found at bookstores, through online booksellers, or by visiting www.beaufortbooks.com.