Give your dining guests something to talk about with these delicious selections that take little time to prepare.
By Janet Groene, F47166
It’s a juggling act to keep meals pretty and nutritious, yet simple and easy to clean up. At the same time, many RV chefs also are conserving their dollars, water, and propane. The following recipes are easy on the taste buds, the cook, and the budget.
You might like freshly ground pepper in this soup, but don’t add salt. The cheese and bouillon are both quite salty.
1 medium onion, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
3 cups water, divided
1 10-ounce package mixed vegetables
2 chicken, beef, or vegetable bouillon cubes
1 13-ounce can evaporated milk
1 8-ounce package processed cheese (such as Velveeta), diced;
or 1 8-ounce package shredded cheddar cheese
Stir-fry the onion and celery in the hot butter or oil to soften. Add 1 cup water and the mixed vegetables. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir in 2 cups water and the bouillon cubes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the evaporated milk and cheese over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the cheese melts and the soup is heated through. Do not boil. This recipe makes four servings.
Add punch to the simplest meats and vegetables by adding a dollop of flavorful pesto. Make several batches using different greens, because each vegetable or herb provides a distinct taste. Spinach is mild, watercress and parsley are piquant, and cilantro is pungent.
2 large bunches parsley, watercress, or cilantro,
or 1 10-ounce box chopped spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon curry powder, cumin, oregano, or dried basil (only one)
Working in batches if necessary, puree everything in a food processor to make a fine paste. Spread the paste into ice cube trays; freeze solid; and package. Toss a cube or two into hot pasta, vegetables, or meat to add some zip to the meal.
Serving idea: Coat pieces of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Place one large, skin-on, bone-in chicken breast half on each sheet, skin side down. Place a pesto cube in the cavity. Bring up the corners of the foil to form a handle. Grill, skin side down, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken tests done. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.
The Most Dangerous Recipe In The World: Chocolate Mug Cake
Why is it so dangerous? Because you’re never more than five minutes away from eating warm, chocolate fudge cake. For each serving you’ll need a large, microwaveable coffee mug.
Note that this recipe does not require baking powder.
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 small or medium egg
3 tablespoons milk or water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
A few drops vanilla
Mix the dry ingredients in the mug and use a fork to stir in the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla until everything is evenly moistened. Microwave on high for three minutes. The cake will rise and then shrink back down. Let the cake stand to cool a little, then eat it out of the mug. Add ice cream or whipped topping if you wish.
Make the filling ahead of time if you like. Keep it cold until you assemble these crusty treats.
1 pound ground beef (or turkey, chicken, pork)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 tablespoons flour
1 8-ounce carton sour cream
1 heaping tablespoon dried parsley
2 prepared pie crusts
Fry out the ground meat in hot oil, gradually adding the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as you go. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sour cream, egg, and parsley. When the onions are tender and the meat is thoroughly cooked, drain and cool the meat mixture, then stir in the sour cream mixture. Lay out one crust and mark it lightly into six wedges. In the center of each wedge place one-sixth of the meat filling, leaving generous edges so the seams will seal. Top with the second crust; cut into wedges with a sharp knife or pizza wheel; and press the edges with a fork to seal well. Bake the wedges at 375 degrees until the crust is golden brown. This recipe makes six pasties. The leftovers are good cold or warm.
This quickie is delicious for breakfast or dessert and can be baked in a regular oven or toaster oven. If you’re trying to cut down on sugar, make it with a brown sugar substitute and sugar-free butterscotch sauce.
1 tube of 10 biscuits
10 dried apricots
10 whole almonds
Butterscotch ice cream sauce
While the oven preheats to 375 degrees, flatten the biscuits with your hands to make 4-inch-oblong pieces of dough and fold an apricot and an almond into each. Top with 1/2-teaspoon of brown sugar. Press around the edges to seal. Arrange each of the biscuits on a sprayed baking sheet and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Put puddles of butterscotch on saucers and top with warm Apri-Scots. This recipe makes 10 desserts.
During a one-week cruise aboard the dazzling new Ruby Princess, I signed up for a shore excursion that included a cooking school at Playa Mia on the island of Cozumel. More Mayan than Spanish, Cozumel has its own cuisine and its own tortillas. The dough is made from masa harina (tortilla dough flour made from corn) and water, then patted to a thickness of about ¼-inch, which is much thicker than the thin corn tortillas sold in American supermarkets.
Yes, a huarache is a type of Mexican shoe, but these “little shoes” make a main dish meal or an appetizer. I learned that it’s important to fry out the sausage separately, not with the potatoes, or the potatoes will be too greasy.
Use cold, leftover potato or canned potatoes. If you can’t find queso Chiapas cheese, use Cheddar.
8 ounces chorizo sausage, cut in bits and fried out
½ cup diced potatoes
4 soft corn tortillas, warmed
1 to 2 cups shredded lettuce
2 tufts grated queso Chiapas (approximately 2 ounces)
Cook the sausage in a skillet and drain the fat. Add the finely diced potatoes and stir-fry. Spread warm tortillas with refried beans, top with the sausage-potato mixture, add shredded lettuce, and sprinkle with grated cheese. Drizzle heavy cream lightly over the tops of the tortillas. Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika if you like. This recipe makes two servings as a main dish and four as an appetizer.
Use smoked bacon and smoked cheese to make a chili that sends out smoke signals that say, “Come and get it!”
4 slices smoked bacon, cut up
2 pounds beef for stew
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 cups water
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 19-ounce can dark red kidney beans
1 19-ounce can light red kidney beans
1 15-ounce can navy beans
Salt to taste
Shredded smoked cheese (smoked cheddar, provolone, mozzarella)
In a roomy pot, fry out the bacon. Pour off the excess fat and continue stirring over high heat while adding the beef, onion, and garlic. When the onion is tender, stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, chili powder, and paprika. Cover and simmer until the beef is tender, which should take approximately 45 minutes. Add the beans with their juices; heat through; season to taste; and ladle into bowls. Top with cheese. This recipe makes eight servings. The chili freezes well, but don’t add the cheese until just before serving.
Fruity Cheese Spread
This economical spread is delicious for lunch, snacks, or dessert. Serve it on crackers or make sandwiches using pumpernickel bread.
2 tablespoons milk
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 8-ounce package shredded Monterey jack cheese
½ cup dried apricots, snipped
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup regular raisins
Using a fork or a food processor, work the milk into the cream cheese, and then add the shredded cheese and fruit. Press the spread into a crock. Serve plain as a sandwich filling or, to make snacks, spread on crackers and garnish with apple slices, toasted almonds, or sunflower nuts.
Golden Rice And Carrots
Grated carrots are found in the produce section, or you can grate them yourself to make this colorful side dish.
3 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup long-grain rice
1/3 cup golden raisins
Bring the water, bouillon, and carrots to a boil; stir in the rice; cover; reduce heat; and cook over very low heat for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Fold in the raisins and serve with a pat of butter.
Pecan-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
6 portobello mushroom caps, 3 to 4 inches in diameter
Butter-flavored cooking spray
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups dry bread cubes or stuffing mix
Water or broth
Clean and dry the mushroom caps, spray with the butter-flavored oil, and set aside. In a medium skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil and cook the pecans to coat. Stir in the bread cubes, gradually adding water or broth until the cubes make a sticky ball. Remove from heat. Press the stuffing mixture into the mushroom caps and bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked through but still firm. This recipe serves two or three as a main dish or six as a side dish.