Archive for the ‘Meals’ Category

Best Camping Food Ever

July 2nd, 2010 by Justin | Comments Off on Best Camping Food Ever | Filed in Meals

This is my favorite camping food … ever!  I’m not talking about s’mores, and hot dogs don’t even rank.  I learned this one way back when I was a Boy Scout, and it’s the foil bag roast.  After all, just because our sleeping arrangements may  be spartan (some of us anyway), doesn’t mean we have to eat that way too.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs steak, cut of your choice, cubed
  • 2 potatoes, cubed small
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 bushel cilantro, shredded
  • 1 bushel green onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic (hell ya…or less if you’re like that), diced finely
  • Worcestershire, A1, BBQ, and Tabasco sauce
  • Basil, salt and pepper, to taste

Preperation

The magic is to prepare this before you leave for your trip. Combine all ingredients in large bowl.  You’ll need enough of the sauces to coast all of the other ingredients.


Pour all of this into a large freezer bag and throw it in the ice chest.  This will keep for a couple of days, but of course, the longer you let it sit, the better.  I usually cook it on the second night, served with rolls and shredded cheese.

To cook, portion out the mixture onto long sheets of doubled-over foil.  Wrap up each portion snug, and place it around the fire at the edge of the coals or on the grill if your fire pit is so equipped.  You’ll need some tongs or expert giant chop stick skills.

Cooking time will vary depending on the heat of your fire and how close you have the packets to the heat.  I find that it normally takes about 20 to 25 minutes.  Of course you could cook this at home too, but where’s the fun in that?  Probably around 350 degrees, that’s where.

Anyone have any camping favorites that they want to share?  I’m curious to know what other people like to make when they’re in the great outdoors.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Turkey Tetrazzini – Holiday Left Overs Part 1

December 7th, 2009 by Justin | Comments Off on Turkey Tetrazzini – Holiday Left Overs Part 1 | Filed in Italian, Meals

Turkey only comes once a year for me.  So, when it does come, it’s a big deal—a very big deal.   Scavenging pounds of left over turkey from various families is my own little holiday tradition.  After all the left over mash and stuffing has run out and turkey sandwiches have run their course, I still had a lot of turkey on my hands.  I poked around a bit to find a good recipe to make good use of my Thanksgiving leftovers.  I found Turkey Tetrazzini and added my own variations.  Everyone was very pleased and I hope you will be too.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini

Ingredients

  • 6 oz porcini or crimini (Italian brown) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 leek, quartered and diced
  • 3 large carrots or 5 small carrots sliced
  • 3.5 oz sun dried tomatoes (1 package), diced
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, bit size
  • 1 pkg spaghetti, linguini, penne or ziti
  • 1 wedge Parmesan (9-10 oz.), shredded (oh yes, the whole damn thing)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp almonds, sliced (optional)

For the sauce:

  • 2.5 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt & pepper (each)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Preparation

Over medium-high heat, saute onions in olive oil until just tender.  Stir in sun dried tomatoes, onion, leeks, carrots, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp. more oil to keep things loose. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook pasta as directed by the package, but stop at slightly less than al dente as it will continue to cook when baking.  Drain thoroughly

For the sauce, whisk together corn starch, milk, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and garlic in a sauce pan over high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Gradually whisk in 1 cup shredded Parmesan until melted.

Incorporate turkey, vegetables, sauce and pasta in a large mixing bowl.  Transfer to a glass or metal baking pan.  Top with almonds (optional) more cheese (not optional!) and bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

This is the first in a series on holiday left overs.  Up next is another use for glorious turkey: the turkey pot pie.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dirty Tacos

July 6th, 2009 by Justin | Comments Off on Dirty Tacos | Filed in Meals

So here’s a quick and dirty taco recipe that I just threw together as a lunch for myself one day (and I love tacos)

Tacos, first off, are not necessarily a main course. They are traditionally, and still are, served as appetizers or snacks; however, just as some might go nuts with buffalo wings, they can easily stand on their own.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium, sweet (yellow) onion
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp. Red vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Dragon sauce

In a small frying pan, saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat for roughly 5 minutes until just tender. Add 1 tbsp garlic powder and cook for about 2 more minutes.  Transfer to a covered bowl to keep warm.

While the onions are cooking, butterfly and dice the chicken breast into bite size pieces.

In the same pan (do not clean or drain it), fry the chicken over medium/medium high heat with the red vinegar, Tabasco, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dragon sauce, and 1 tbsp garlic powder. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Combine the onions with the chicken and continue to cook until the chicken is firm, roughly 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand to allow the sauce to thicken a bit. You should end up with a dark brown (hence the “dirty”) mix of goodness.

Meanwhile, in another pan, fry corn tortillas in corn oil to your liking.  I prefer them best just slightly crunchy. Fill the tortillas with chicken, onions, and drizzle sauce from the pan over each.  Of course you can add a little cheese, diced tomatoes,  and cilantro to bring it all together.

Makes about 8 tacos.

A taco of a different color

In the end, except for looking the part, these don’t really taste much like tacos in the traditional sense.  But they are tasty little buggers and passed the “friends test.”  I originally made this about 2 years ago and had thankfully written down the recipe.  We brought it out again for an impromptu dinner get-together last night along with a new fresh chile citrus salsa creation.

A note about the Dragon sauce:  This isn’t really a commonly stocked item by most grocers where I live, and honestly, I have no idea how it got in my cabinet. It smells and tastes similar to soy sauce (which you can use as a substitute), but it’s thicker, less salty, and a tad richer with a hint of spice.  It seems to be pretty popular though, and a quick Google search will give you plenty of sources.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chicken ala Ackbar

July 1st, 2009 by Justin | Comments Off on Chicken ala Ackbar | Filed in Meals

So here’s a chicken dish that’s been turning out well with some consistency in both preparation and review.

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breasts, butterflied (or enough for 4 people)
  • 2 Tomatoes (cubed)
  • 2 Onions (cubed)
  • 2 cups (or 4 servings) jasmine rice (prepared as directed on package)
  • Fontina, shredded
  • Olive oil
  • Red vinegar
  • 2 lemons, or 5 tbsp. juice
  • Dry white wine (optional)
  • Green Tabasco (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Basil
  • Fresh ground pepper (buy a mill, dammit)
  • Garlic powder
  • Cilantro, whole or chopped (as a garnish)

Ready? Go!

Prepare the rice as directed on the package. The time here will depend on the type of rice and the method in which you prepare it. Lacking a rice cooker, I choose to cook on the stove top which, taking about 20 minutes, is a perfect time for this dish as the whole thing should take about that long. While the rice is cooking, begin cooking the vegetables and chicken as follows.

In a small frying pan, begin caramelizing the onions in 2 tbsp. olive oil and of red vinegar each over medium heat, breaking up the onions into smaller pieces while cooking.  Add basil and a pepper to taste.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, turning the onions occasionally so as not to burn. Reduce heat to low and add the tomatoes, stirring carefully to distribute the tomatoes without smashing them. Cover and let sit on a low heat until the rest of the dish is ready.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan large enough to hold all of the chicken without overlapping, again start with 2 tbsp. olive oil and red vinegar over medium heat. Once the red vinegar begins to bubble, add the chicken to the pan.  After about 5 minutes, add lemon juice, a dash of white wine (optional), garlic powder (enough to lightly coat the chicken), and a dash of Tabasco (optional).  Cover and reduce heat to low.

Allow the chicken to cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes, turn, and recover.  Since we will be cooking the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, be sure to use a low heat so as not to over-cook and dry the chicken out.   When the chicken is almost ready, uncover, raise the heat to hi, and turn the chicken again. Allow the chicken to cook briefly just long enough to slightly sear the presentation side (1 to 2 minutes).

A dish best served funky…

Serve the chicken, presentation side up on a bed of rice and top with the onions and tomatoes (don’t forget the juice!).  Garnish with shredded Fontina and whole or chopped cilantro.  For the Tabasco inclined, a little of the green stuff goes well with or without the cilantro.   Some corn tortillas would also be nice.

Serves 4.

The whole meal only takes about 25-30 minutes with preparation.   The Fontina, a softer and mild cheese, can, of course, be substituted with something else to your liking. I suggest that you keep it soft and mild.  However, if you want to go hard, try some Parmesan.  But if I catch you using that Kraft trash, I will break into your house and tear your wife in half!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,