Good morning roosters and chicklets! Please welcome Cheryl Norman to the kitchen! If you dream of some day traveling across the U.S. in an RV, having Cheryl’s cookbook sure will make meal planning a breeze!
The Traveling Cook
I believe recreating dishes from other regions is the next best thing to travel. Tastes, aromas, and presentation of regional foods can transport diners to another time and place. This conviction drove me to write a cookbook with recipes I created or collected based on dishes from our travels. King Ranch chicken casserole takes us back to Texas. Grilled wild Alaska salmon reminds us of the salmon bake in Fairbanks, Alaska. Lamb with mint sauce reminds us of our diner meals in New Jersey. My Hasty Tasty RV Meals (Yes, all the dishes were prepared in my tiny motor home kitchen) offers readers a culinary tour of North America.
Recreating beloved dishes comes in handy when there’s no available substitute. For example, there is no Skyline Chili or Gold Star Chili where I live (Northeast Florida). In fact, most people around here don’t know what I’m talking about when I say I love Cincinnati-style chili. To enjoy a fix of this regional favorite, I spent two days in the laboratory—er, kitchen—recreating the dish. First efforts were labor-intensive. But in true “Hasty Tasty Meals” fashion, I developed shortcuts. The final version of my recipe is included in the Midwest section of Hasty Tasty RV Meals.
If you, too, are unfamiliar with Cincinnati-style chili, give my recipe a try.
1 pound lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
2 cups water or broth
1 cup frozen diced onion
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. garam masala*
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
2 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti
1 can small red beans, rinsed and drained (Optional for topping)
1 cup diced onion (Optional for topping)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Optional for topping)
Cook ground beef in the water or broth over medium heat in a large (4 quart) saucepan.
When the beef is cooked, add onion and garlic. Stir.
Add the spices, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and tomato sauce. Stir and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove the sauce from heat. Serve over cooked whole wheat spaghetti and add optional toppings if desired.
Five-way chili is topped with cheese, onions, and beans. Four-way is topped with two of the three, etc.
Yield: Serves 4
Store leftover sauce (in an airtight container) in the freezer for up to four months.
*Garam masala is a spice blend. Or make your own as follows:
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
1 ½ teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container
BIO: Cheryl Norman loves to write, cook, and travel in an RV. She hit all three favorites when she wrote her new cookbook, HASTY TASTY RV MEALS. Her latest novel is RUNNING OUT OF TIME, a time travel romance soon to be released from Turquoise Morning Press. All her books are available from Amazon and other online bookstores. For more about Cheryl, visit http://cherylnorman.com and http://hastytastymeals.com.
Do you have any memorable meals from your travels? If so, what’s your favorite?