Monday, July 2, 2018

 


Recipes from the Road: Three "Must Have" Foodie Tools for Your Next RV Adventure


For me and my RV family, there is no better way to celebrate the joys of camping than preparing a meal over a crackling campfire.  Whether it’s brats and burgers grilled hot and fast, bacon sizzling directly above the flames, or ham and beans simmering for hours, food always taste better at the campsite. 

While the campfire is without doubt  the star of the RV food experience, you can raise your culinary game to a whole new level (and save time) with the addition of some modern kitchen technology.  Here are three of my favorites. 

 

 three tools for rv camping

 

 

  1. The Induction Cooktop.  Immortalized by countless infomercials, this relatively inexpensive (under $50) appliance will quickly become your go-to friend. Benefits include near instant heat with no waiting and precise control over your cooking temperatures. In addition, unlike a conventional hot plate the induction cooktop works equally well in windy conditions. My cooktop is approximately 12 by 14” by 3” tall and weighs about 7 pounds and can easily be moved where needed and stored in a tiny space.

 

  1. InstaPot.   “Why “do I need to another gadget to pack into my limited RV space?”  I was as skeptical myself, but after reading the many positive comments appearing on RV social media I decided to give it a try.   Boy, am I glad I did!  The 3 quart model is what I choose.  It’s sized right when cooking for 3 or 4 people and is easy to store.  Since the InstaPot sautés, slow cooks, steams, pressure cooks and doubles as a rice cooker, this one gadget replaces a number of individual appliances.  I like to park it on the patio, prep my ingredients, sauté right in the pot, and then set it to slow cook.  Head out and enjoy the day knowing that your meal will be ready and waiting for you.

 

  1. Toaster Oven. Whether it is toasting garlic bread, reheating a pan of lasagna, or baking cookies, an oven can come in handy.  But there are times when you don’t want to fire up your galley oven—say when it 94 degrees outdoors and your AC is running non-stop.  Finding a toaster oven that fits your available space and budget should not be a problem. They come in all sizes and I’ve seen prices starting as low as $14. I mounted my oven on a non-slip pad at the rear of the dinette table in space we were not otherwise utilizing.  Like the InstaPot and the induction cooktop, the toaster oven can be used inside or outside your RV. 

 

While each of these appliances can stand on its own for meal preparation, I like to use their unique skills in tandem with the campfire.  For example, one of my favorite recipes is to sauté bacon-wrapped, jalapeno-stuffed chicken thighs in a cast iron pan on the induction cooktop. Cook to an internal temperature of about 120-degrees then finish them off over the campfire.  This imparts wood-smoked bacon crispiness while reducing cooking time by nearly half. 

By combining a touch of modern technology with campfire cooking, you can expand your options for preparing a variety of delicious meals while saving time and energy.   

Bacon-Wrapped Campfire Chicken Poppers

Recipe by Outback owner, Jennifer

Ingredients
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

  • Bacon

  • Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and deveined

  • Provolone or other high temperature melting cheese

  • Kitchen Twine or Toothpicks

 

 

Assembly
  • Place the de-boned and skinless thigh flat on a cutting board or table, laying a slice of uncooked bacon beneath.

  • Onto the thigh place a slice of jalapeno pepper, and a strip of provolone cheese

  • Fold the thigh over onto itself, and tightly wrap the bacon strip around the thigh

  • Using kitchen twine (or toothpicks) tie each bacon-wrapped thigh as securely as possible

  • Season with your choice of spices.  We like to keep it simple, using only black pepper and garlic powder.  Due to the saltiness of the bacon, added salt was not needed for our taste

 

 

Cooking

We like to partially cook in a cast iron skillet before finishing off over the campfire.  Heat the skillet and add the poppers, being sure to leave space between them.  Once the bacon starts to melt, brown each side of the popper until the bacon gets crispy. When the internal temperature reaches around 125-degrees, move the poppers to the campfire cooking grate.  Continue to cook over a medium fire, turning frequently until the internal temperature reaches 165-degrees.  

 

Serve

As a main course, figure on about one or two thighs per person; or you can slice them jelly-roll style to serve as an appetizer. Try Thai red chili sauce, blue cheese dressing, or barbecue sauce as a condiment.  Enjoy!