Sorry, its been a while since my last post. Guess I’ve been tied up with taxes, etc.
We have a little pop up camper. We had a big thirty foot trailer but we really felt like it was just too big. Too big for the road, too big to maneuver, too big to gas up, so we bought a little pop up 8×8 feet closed, fast on the road and easy to maneuver, cheap on gas. The down side of the popup is that there is no room to store a lot of stuff. Pots and pans particularly are a problem since you need so many and they are so large. I was looking at a cooking magazine one day and there it was, pasta cooked in a fry pan! Why not an electric fry pan? Like the one we bought to cook in while camping. So I worked up a recipe for spaghetti, in an electric fry pan, in a camp ground. The camp grounds we go to all have power and water so we only use electric devices. That eliminates the pan, propane stove and the propane. Hooray more room for chips!
Chicken, meatballs or other meat if you want it
Peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, chopped canned tomatoes
Your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce if you desire it
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Cup of water
Plug in your electric fry pan on your picnic table and heat it up. Add some olive oil and then the meat product if you wish. Or go vegetarian and just add the vegetables and maybe some zucchini. Take out the meat, reserve it and fry the vegetables, if you haven’t already done so. Remove the vegetables when they are softened a little ( think al dente). Now add the water and a little salt to the pan. Break up the spaghetti into two inch pieces and put them in the pan. Cover and heat the pan so the water boils. Cook for about ten minutes, check for doneness, add more water if necessary, and continue cooking until it is soft or Al Dente if you prefer. Pour off any excess water, add the meat and veggies and a little more olive oil. Heat it all back up for about five minutes. Plate it up and sprinkle some shredded Parmesan cheese on top. Serve this with a nice loaf of Italian bread and a good red wine. It can all be done in one electric fry pan. Who knew!
Filed under Cooking, food
I thought that this week I would write about one of my failures. Me, Jacques, Julia, Anthony, even the bug eating guy, everyone has at one time or another turned out something that was terrible. That’s what it is all about, experimentation and failure leads to success
I’m always thinking about the next book. What it will be about and how I will accomplish it. One of my ideas was to write a book about barbecue cooking. Not one of the usual black grilled steak, pork chops, fish etc. I was thinking more along the lines of using the barbecue as an oven. I can remember when I was a boy scout we had a folding box that you could place over camp coals and bake (burn) things in. I thought that if one could control the temperature and close the lid, you would have an oven. Not with charcoal obviously but with propane. Such an oven would be perfect for tent camping and RVing. We don’t like heating up and smelling up the trailer with the built in oven so we usually cook outside. An external barbecue/oven on the picnic table outside would be perfect.
So I took our propane barbecue which is one of those stainless steel jobs with a flip down cover and drilled a hole in the front. Then I purchased one of those barbecue thermometers for five bucks and screwed it into the hole. Wha la! Temperature control. I thought if I put the propane on low I should get 350 and on high up to maybe 450 or so. My first choice would be blueberry muffins for breakfast at Ft. DeSoto. I bought a package of blueberry jiffy muffin mix ( no use wasting homemade on a trial ) and some cheap aluminum muffin cups.
The next week we went off camping at Ft. DeSoto. The second day in I decided to try the muffins. I fired up the barbecue, set the control to medium and watched as the temperature ran up to 500 in a flash. Then I set the control to low and after some time and a little ventilation it dropped to the required 400 . I put the muffins in the now oven and baked until they had reached a lovely golden brown on top, just like on the package label. When I flipped them out of the cups I discovered that they were brown on top and a lovely charcoal black on the bottoms and sides. Although I had good temperature control on top, the bottoms were still too hot. Needless to say we had muffin tops for breakfast that day.
I haven’t given up. I think if I could cut up a pizza stone to fit the rack. In the barbecue that it might spread the heat better and allow baked goods not to burn on the bottom. Some day I’m going to try it again and who knows maybe after muffins, rolls, cakes, small loaves of bread. The list is endless. Stay tuned for more adventures in cooking and burning!