Camp Kitchen: Pocket Pouch Meals
It’s in the pouch! Have you seen those packets of chicken, tuna, salmon and other fully cooked foods that need no refrigeration yet weigh far less than cans? Here are ways to turn these packable pouches into carefree, delicious, outback casseroles & pocket pouch meals.
3 stalks celery, diced
Small onion, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pouches, 4 ounces each, skinless, boneless chicken breast, broken up
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk or water
8-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup coarsely broken cashews, almonds or walnuts
8-ounce carton sour cream
Canned or packaged Chinese noodles
In a roomy skillet, stir-fry the celery and onion in hot oil until they begin to soften. Stir in the chicken, soup, milk and mushrooms until bubbly. Fold in the nuts, bring to a boil, turn off the fire and stir in the sour cream. Serve over or under crisp noodles. Serves six to eight persons.
1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
4- or 5-ounce pouch tuna
1 teaspoon dried onion bits
1/2 teaspoon dried dillweed
1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
Separate the dough into triangles. In a small bowl mash the tuna and mix in the onion, dillweed and enough mayo to moisten. Place a mound of tuna on dough (do not over-fill), top with another triangle of dough, and seal edges by pressing with a fork. Bake at 375 degrees until dough is golden and crusty. Serves three people. Variation: fold 1/2-cup grated cheese into the tuna mixture.
Salmon on a Shingle
4 small (6-inch) flour tortillas
6-ounce pouch skinless, boneless wild salmon
Shredded Monterey jack cheese with chiles
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoons instant-blend flour (e.g. Wondra)
1 cup milk
Spray a large, nonstick skillet and scramble the eggs until set. Set aside on a cutting board or paper towels. Wipe out the skillet and put in two tortillas. Sprinkle with a little shredded cheese. Top with salmon, a little more cheese, and the other tortilla. Cover and heat over low flame until brown on one side. Flip, cover, brown other side, and remove tortillas to serving plates. Cover to keep warm. In the same skillet, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Stirring constantly over medium flame, stir in the milk until mixture thickens. Chop the eggs and stir into the gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over tortillas and serve at once. Serves two.
Fish Steak Skillet
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cans sliced potatoes, drained
Large onion, peeled and sliced
4 pouches, 4 ounces each, albacore tuna steak
Large tomato, trimmed and cut in four slices
Cooked, crumbled real bacon bits from a can or jar
In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil and fry the potatoes and onions until golden brown. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange tuna steaks on top and place a tomato slice on each. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and bacon bits. Cover and cook over low flame until everything is heated through. Serves four persons.
The 411 on Pouches
* Never use a pouch that has swollen, leaked or been punctured.
* For added protection, seal pouches in zip-top freezer bags. This is also a way to organize meals. For example, you might bag a pouch of Spanish rice and a pouch of chicken with other ingredients for the same meal.
* Observe use-by dates.
* Read labels to make sure you’re buying cooked food, ready to serve. Some packets contain raw rice or other ingredients that require cooking.
* Seasoned or sauced poultry and fish in pouches has more of a “canned” taste than if you start with unseasoned pouches and add fresh seasonings in camp.
* Make up stuffing according to package directions and assemble individual foil packets using breast of chicken from pouches, stuffing, and your choice of vegetables. Heat on the grill and eat out of the foil.
* Unlike canned meat and fish, pouches contain almost no juice. In recipes that call for canned chicken or fish, you may need extra liquid.
* Open a pouch of chicken and a pouch of fully cooked rice and alternate layers to make stuffed peppers. Bake until peppers are crisp-tender.
* Spread a pouch of cooked rice in a large, sprayed, nonstick skillet. Arrange two tuna steaks on top. Gently pour a can of diced tomatoes with peppers and onions over the tuna and sprinkle with 1/4 cup each sliced ripe olives and sliced stuffed olives. Cover and heat over low-medium flame to heat through. Serves two. Pass the hot sauce.
* Add a pouch of chicken breast to a can of cream of chicken soup thinned with 1/3 cup milk and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Stir until heated through and serve over toaster waffles, mashed potatoes or instant grits.
* Add a raw egg and 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs to shredded fish or chicken from a pouch, form into patties and fry in hot oil until crusty.
* Place four tuna steaks, four ounces each, on four large pieces of buttered foil. Season. Top each with 1/4 cup instant rice. Bring up the four corners of the foil and pour 1/3 cup cream into each. Twist corners to seal and form a handle. Place on the grill, tuna side down, over low-medium heat. Cook 15 minutes then test one packet to see if rice is done.
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