Road Food

A very big part of the All Aluminum Tour is going to be the traveling. I plan to see a lot of car-related events along the way, check out a few of the other sights too (“Grand Canyon–OK, seen it, let’s go”). Diane has big plans for a cookbook and she’s working hard on the recipes for it. We’re going to be in the heart of the midwest (“would you like some cheese sauce on your cheese?”), and neither of us wants to gain weight on this voyage. So we’re going to be cooking a lot, and saving the restaurant stops for great places.

Part of the challenge is finding them. How do you roll into a little town and find the cafe that has a great country cook instead of someone that’s grilling up frozen hash browns from Costco in a pool of cheap oil. We’re going to figure that out. I suspect that asking a real estate agent would be a pretty good bet. I know kids that work in gas stations don’t know jack about food.

One way is to ask the people who read this blog. To that end we’re going to create a detailed itinerary and travel route so people can suggest particular towns to stop in and special places to see or enjoy a meal. I’m trying to figure out how to do a point-by-point map using the Google Map API, but it doesn’t seem easy. I’ll probably have to do something lower tech.

Anyway, the idea is to get suggestions of detours we can take and side trips that would be worthwhile. Understand please that I’ll drive a couple hundred miles out of the way for a great experience. Once we get this hammered out we’ll publish where we plan to be, and since I’ll be updating the blog every day, we’ll tell you where we are.

Maybe we can get together for lunch.

Here’s two of Diane’s Road Food recipes:

Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Serves 6

Don�t be intimidated by the number of ingredients for the marinade. I use this as a loose guide for things that might be in my pantry or fridge.

Marinade
1 cup thawed, frozen orange juice concentrate
� cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dark rum
3 tablespoons dark molasses
6 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sambal (Indonesian garlic-chile paste)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 (2 lb.) pork tenderloin

1. To prepare the marinade, in a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Place the tenderloin in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the top. Cover and marinate for 2 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

2. Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

3. Remove the pork tenderloin, and discard the marinade. Let the tenderloin rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, if possible. Place the tenderloin on the grill, and turn as needed until you reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees (for medium rare). Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Prep time: 15 minutes active + 2-4 hours for marinating
Cook time: 10-20 minutes

Twila�s Curry Spinach Salad
Serves 6-8

The sweet-tangy dressing makes this simple spinach salad a popular bring-along to any party. The recipe easily doubles or triples for large groups. Just toss the salad in small batches and dump it in a big bowl.

Dressing
� cup white wine vinegar
� cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped chutney
� teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 � teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Salad
8 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
� cup light seedless raisins
� cup cashews
2 tablespoons green onion (green part only, diced)
1 � cups Granny Smith apple (unpeeled, diced into medium pieces)

Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Add the chopped apple, mixing well to keep the apple from browning.
Place the spinach, raisins, cashews, green onions, and apples in a large salad bowl. Toss well with the dressing.

Prep time: 15 minutes active

Do-ahead-tips: You can prepare the salad up to 4 hours ahead. Make the dressing and mix in the chopped apples, coating well to keep the apples from browning. Place the apple, dressing mixture in a glass jar or other non-reactive container, and refrigerate until 1 hour before using. Bring to room temperature before tossing with the other ingredients.

Variations:
Try adding fresh ginger to the dressing. Experiment with other apple types.

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1 thought on “Road Food”

  1. My mouth is watering from your receipts! Please hurry home to the Pacific Northwest to feed Eric and myself.

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