Friday, March 09, 2018

Skillet Skills for the Camping Cook

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Camping and RV 
Recipe of the Week

Pork Chop Skillet
4 lean, meaty pork chops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt, pepper
2 large potatoes, scrubbed and cup up
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut up
Large onion, sliced or diced
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 can condensed bean soup 
1 cup  water
2 tablespoons molasses or dark corn syrup

Brown pork chops in hot oil, adding salt and pepper. Remove chops and layer vegetables in the pan drippings, addling a little salt and pepper as you go. Brown vegetables. 
In a bowl mix water, soup and molasses or syrup. Put chops atop vegetables and spoon bean mixture on top. Cover and cook over low-medium heat 35-45 minutes or until vegetables and chops are tender. Serves 4. 

Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week
Mamacita’s Mac ‘n Cheese
     Is it your turn to bring a side dish to go with the fish fry or meat from the grill. This one has a kick to it. For added heat, use Mexican style Velveeta.

16-ounce box of pasta 
I0-ounce can Rotel tomatoes (hot, mild or medium)
8 ounces process cheese such as Velveeta
Hefty handful of grated sharp Cheddar cheese
12-ounce can evaporated milk
Minced cilantro (optional)

Cook pasta and drain off most of the water, leaving pasta in the pot. Fold in cheeses. Cover and let stand a few minutes while cheese melts. Fold in tomatoes and evaporated milk. Cover and heat well over very low flame, stirring occasionally.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serves 10. 

Do you have your copy of Cooking Aboard Your RV, 2nd Edition? It’s filled with shortcut recipes for every meal of the campground day.  

Tips for the Camp Cook

* Tomatoes not up to par? It’s a common complaint at this time of year, when our homegrown tomatoes are still months away. Here’s how to revive store-bought 'maters. Mix a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar with 1/4 cup maple syrup. (Use pancake syrup if you must). Slice tomatoes. Dip both sides briefly in this mixture. Let excess drip off. Arrange on a plate and let steep at room temperature 15 to 30 minutes. 

* When I brown meat in a skillet and remove it before adding the next ingredients, I put them on the lid of the skillet. When I put the lid back on the skillet to complete the meal, any pan juices drip back into the skillet

* Make Rice-a-Roni according to package directions. Fold in a small, well drained can of crushed pineapple and spoon over fried pork chops.

* Turn canned soup into a gourmet presentation. Put a small pat of butter and a pinch or oregano in the soup bowl and ladle on the hot soup. Melted butter and herbs will float to the top.

* If you have an oven, an easy way to cook bacon is to cover a baking pan with parchment paper and arrange bacon slices on it. Bake until crispy. 

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Foil Recipe of the Week
Cook it in foil. Eat from the foil. 
Polenta Pie
1 tube of plain polenta
Olive oil
2 cans chili 
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup corn kernels
Half of an 8-ounce package of shredded cheese such as Monterey jack or cheddar

Slice polenta in 8 to 12 pieces. Lay out squares of foil and smear  olive oil in the center. Place two or three slices polenta on the oil.
In a bowl combine chili, cocoa, corn and cheese. Bring up sides of the foil to form a bowl. Spoon chili mixture over polenta. Join corners of the foil and twist to seal foil and provide a handle.
Place over a medium grill, in the oven or on a griddle and cook until polenta is browned on the bottom, chili is heated through and cheese melts. Open foil carefully because steam with be hot. Serves 4.
Cook’s note: If cooking on a grate or griddle, you might float a length of foil over these “kisses” to keep heat in. 

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