Cooking on the Road: Tenth Edition

This is my last edition of cooking on the road! 😮 My tenth edition features a lot of farro, though it was not planned that way.  I am cooking all of the time, but not all dishes look so pretty and come together so well.  Regardless, I hope these recipes have inspired you to try some new recipes, new foods, and new resources.  Keep experimenting and having fun. 😋

Kale farro salad with carrots and avocado

This salad makes a light meal or side dish and incorporates so many of my favorite foods.  The herbaceous dressing is a knock out, though I cut it in half for this dish and it was still plenty.  I could not find green garlic, so just one large garlic clove chopped and put in the food processor worked just fine.  I used about half a clam shell of tarragon, stripped off the stems, and about 1 cup of parsley, also stripped from its stems.  For the olive oil and vinegar, I cut the portions way down, using just a few tablespoons of sherry vinegar, about 1/4 cup of olive oil, and only 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Blend it together and decide for yourself if it needs more of one ingredient or another.  As luck would have it, my tweaks worked out perfectly for our tastebuds.

For the kale, I opted to slice it up into smaller strips to make it easier to eat.  When cooking the farro, the recipe doesn’t specify, but I used 2 cups of water and 2 pinches of salt.  It took about 25 minutes to cook, and I didn’t need to drain any liquid off when I was done.  Instead, I dumped it right into the bowl with the kale and carrots, which slightly wilted the greens, and added the dressing, mixing it all together.  

To plate, I added half a perfectly ripe California avocado to each and sprinkled some toasted walnuts on top.  The recipe doesn’t call for walnuts, but I had them on hand, and they add a bit more crunch to the dish.  This was a wonderful salad bursting with flavor, packed with nutrients, and it satisfied our hunger. 😋

Mussels in coconut curry broth

When we arrived at the Acadia Seashore campground, the two that manage everything are Pete and Sue, who are really nice people. 😍 Pete mentioned to us that during low tide, you can go out and pull mussels from underneath the seaweed and boil them up.  Free mussels?!?  Matt decided he had to try this, so he got to work one afternoon picking nearly 3 dozen, cleaning them up and then saying “I figured you would find a way to use these.” 😂

I put them on ice in the refrigerator and rustled up this broth recipe, which reminded me of the broth we enjoyed at The Trappe Door in Greenville, SC.   All we had to pick up were a bottle of white wine, a can of coconut milk and a small loaf of crusty bread to sop up that delicious broth. 😋 Matt knocked the mussels against each other to ensure we didn’t get any hollow sounding ones full of sand and tossed those.  The broth was quick and easy to pull together, and soon we had 30 mussels steaming and boiling away.

We only ended up with 1 mussel that didn’t open, the rest were nice and tender, and the broth was so delicious, with both creamy and tangy notes coming through.  If you get your hands on a bunch of fresh mussels, give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it.

Farro with chorizo, feta and dill

One of our favorite whole grains is farro.  It reminds me of barley with it’s subtly chewy texture, but with a nuttier taste, and it’s incredibly versatile.  I had some dill left over from another dish, and love using this fresh herb when I can.  Couple these with the spicy pop of flavor from chorizo and some tangy feta, and you have yourself a really tasty farro dish.  

Be sure to cook your farro al dente as you will finish cooking it off once it’s combined with the chorizo, shallots, and broth.  I have had a difficult time finding single ribs of celery on the road…most grocery stores make you buy an entire celery plant. We do not have room to store this, and much of it ends up going to waste.  No bueno. 👎 Yes, I have cut up and froze celery in the past, but it gets freezer burned and nasty (especially our crappy freezer).  Instead, I have some celery seed on hand for the flavor element, and added about 1/4 teaspoon to this meal.  

Cooking the farro can take time, whether you cook it on the stovetop or in an instant pot.  Otherwise, this recipe comes together quickly and has a simple ingredient list.  We loved how it turned out and think you will too. 😍

Corn, tomato and salmon salad

This summer dish took a bit of prep work, but it got two thumbs up from Matt. 👍👍 And of course, I had to do things a little differently than the recipe suggested, grilling corn and salmon instead of boiling and poaching. 😉 I read an article on what type of grilling method created the best corn on the cob, and adopted it for this recipe, adding butter, salt, pepper, and za’atar spice to the corn underneath the husks before putting the corn on the grill.  I similarly spiced the salmon, replacing butter with olive oil.  

For the dressing, I reduced the olive oil to 3 tablespoons, the za’atar to just 1 teaspoon, and 1/4 teaspoon for the salt since I had already generously salted and added za’atar to the corn and salmon.  I also added a dash of red wine vinegar to round out the flavors.  Finally, instead of fresh red onion, I replaced it with pickled onion, which added a brightness to the salad’s flavor profile.  I cut the corn from the cob, broke the salmon apart into large chunks and added both ingredients to the tomatoes, onion and dressing. The char on the fish brought some umami to the table and we loved the balance of sweet, sour, and varying textures. 😋

Dill-crusted pork tenderloin with farro, pea, and tomato salad

If you sense a theme yet, I swear it was an accident.  The fact that three of the five recipes have farro as the base is simply because we enjoy this versatile grain. 👍 The only change I made to this farro recipe was using dried dill weed instead of fresh dill so I didn’t have to buy another clam shell of dill and have half of it go to waste.  

This time I cooked the farro in the instant pot for 15 minutes with a 3:1 ratio of water to grains, and drained off excess water.  Whether you use 2 or 3 cups of water depends on whether you intend to drain off any excess liquid afterward or want to retain any flavors cooked into the farro.  We got our pork from a local butcher called Revival Butchery, and will definitely go back.  The pork turned out nice and tender, and the herbaceous, dilly flavor was complemented by the blistered tomatoes, tangy feta, and zesty dressing on the farro.  

Once we get settled, I want to share more cooking and baking projects, but since I will no longer be cooking on the road, I’ll have to come up with a new edition. 😉 I hope you have enjoyed my adventures in cooking and that it has encouraged you to think beyond camp cooking when you travel across the country.  Happy trails and bon appetit! 😘 

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