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Camp and RV
Recipe of the Week
One Pan Pasta
No need to boil a big kettle of water first. This creamy pasta main dish goes together over the campfire or one burner.
12- to 16-ounce package grilled chicken bites (not breaded)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Small fresh lemon, sliced thin and seeded
1 quart carton low-sodium chicken broth
12-ounce package medium pasta such as penne or medium shells
Half of an 8-ounce brick of cream cheese, diced
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 can peas and carrots, drained (optional)
Salt, pepper to taste
In a large skillet or saucepan, sizzle chicken bites in hot oil, gradually stirring in lemon. When chicken and lemon begin to brown, remove and discard lemon slices. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and cook until it’s tender. Reduce heat and stir in tarragon and cheeses until they form a creamy sauce. Fold in vegetables to heat through. . Season to taste. Serves 4 to 6.
Camp Cook Tips
* Replace baking powder every six months. It gradually loses its oomph.
* Best barbecue tool set yet includes grate cleaner and heat-shielded tool from Grill Daddy, known for its ergonomic designs.
* Food safety is crucial in camping, so read labels for processed meats such as ham and sausages. Some are fully cooked; some require thorough cooking.
* Need a gluten-free crumb topping? Cut a stick of butter into 1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt and ½ cup white or brown sugar. When it’s crumbly, sprinkle over a casserole filled with fruit and bake.
* Make cold pasta salad on a stick. Thread skewers with cherry tomatoes, olives, cheese chunks, etc. PLUS pieces of large pasta, such as ziti, cooked al dente and rinsed. Drizzle with Italian dressing.
* Try mashed peas as a colorful side dish. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons butter in a pan or skillet. Bring to a boil with 3 cups thawed peas. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mash coarsely with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper and spread on a plate to top with a cooked burger, fillet of fish or grilled pork chop.
* You can’t have too many flashlights in camping including one that stays in the galley or grub box.
* Fish that flake easily aren’t easy to turn over on the grill, so use a well-oiled grill basket. Fish that hold together better on the grill include swordfish, dorado, tuna and halibut.
See this week’s homemade snack recipe at CreateAGorp.blogspot.
Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Beety Beefy Appetizers
I find that finger foods are always popular at potlucks and campground Happy Hour. Here’s a mystery mix that will keep guests guessing what’s in it while they come back for seconds.
Small jar dried chipped beef
Small can beets, well drained
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (or more to taste)
Thick style bottled ranch dressing such as Marie’s
On a cutting board or in a food processor, chop beef and beets. Stir in horseradish and enough dressing to make a thick, creamy mixture. Serve in dollops on crackers, little toasts or slabs of sliced raw vegetables such as cucumber or zucchini. Makes 20 to 30 appetizers.
Don't know how much of what foods to take on an extended camping trip? Newest Janet Groene book is Survival Food Handbook, a guide to shopping the supermarket for shelf foods to stock your camper or home pantry.
Indian Summer Gravy
Corn has long been a staple in the Americas, where Native Americans in the Southwest make this sauce to serve with tortillas or boiled potatoes. It’s good over almost any starch including pancakes, sweet potatoes, toaster waffles, bread stuffing, ad inf. The corn can be fresh kernels, frozen or well drained canned corn.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, butter or bacon fat
3 cups corn kernels
3 cups diced summer squash, yellow and/or green
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup water
Salt, pepper to taste
Heat oil or fat and stir-fry corn and squash until they are coated with fat. Cover the pan, reduce heat and cook until squash is tender. Turn up heat to brown vegetables. Stir flour into cold water and pour into the pan, stirring over medium-high heat until a thick sauce forms. If sauce is too thick, thin with a little water. Season to taste. Makes about a quart of gravy.