Travelling Food

Occasionally I need to travel for work and I always feel bad leaving my family to completely fend for themselves. Seriously they won’t starve, my husband can cook and I have taught both of my boys. My concern is that we are a really busy family; this means we all have jobs around the house so that everything gets done smoothly, and dinners are my job. My husband even assures me that I don’t have to worry. This time it’s a little more difficult, normally my in-laws will feed them at least once, typically on Sunday and also provide them with a set of leftovers. This year they are traveling too, so they are on their own. I think they will be set…

Tonight (yesterday by the time I land and this posts) they are having pizza and salad with enough extra ordered to fill lunchboxes with cold pizza all week.

Last week when I made my son’s 17th Birthday Dinner, I made extra (not intentionally, I was following the general rule of 1 pound of meat per person if “bone-in”, although my family would simply tell you that I always cook enough for 4 more people to join us). Rather than use it as any sort of leftover, I decided to freeze the extra, all that my men will need to do is make some rice and a quick veggie and that will be one meal.
Another meal will come from last night’s dinner, Grilled Chicken, Prosciutto, and Swiss Wraps, which I discovered once upon a time looking for things to do with leftover roasted chicken. Aside from my time spent on the chicken (this time I used a whole organic rotisserie chicken), the recipe takes about 15 minutes total including cooking time. A whole chicken is a double recipe, and my normal practice. I don’t often measure any of the ingredients as a touch more or less of any won’t impact the final result. The only exception is the chicken, if you have way too much it will be dry, this is easily corrected, just add more of everything else too.

I also left them with Black, White, and Red Bean Chili, it got a bit cooler this week and chili is a favorite. It’s a tomato-based chili, and uses primarily crushed tomatoes, with just a small amount of tomato paste to add sweetness. I used to really hate it when recipes would call for 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. I would have to freeze the rest of the 4 oz. can or find another recipe that also used a little bit or make sure I made a pasta sauce… I just hated to waste the rest. About 6 months ago I let my hate go when I found this product: 

Tomato paste in a tube! Keeps in the fridge, measures well, and no can opener needed. I have seen and used a few different brands, this is just the one that I have right now.

I’ll be in Spain this week, so not cooking, but I will try to post the meals that are unique. One of the nice things about traveling for work is indeed the food. This is my introduction to ingredients and foods that I haven’t tried before. I still follow the rule my mother taught me when I was young, essentially “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, but in our house this also meant when you visit someone, eat what you are served. I extrapolae this when I travel, and try to eat local cuisine.

Grilled Chicken, Prosciutto, & Swiss Wraps

Poultry, Quick Meals, Sandwiches, Tested and Approved!
cook 10 min ∙ makes 4 servings ∙ difficulty Easy ∙ source Pampered Chef

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • ½ Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 1-1½ pounds chicken, seasoned, coarsely shredded
  • ¼ pound prosciutto, or ½ pound ham, cut in thin slices
  • 6-8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 4 lawash bread, whole-wheat, large (or tortillas or other flatbread)

DIRECTIONS

Combine mayonnaise, garlic, dijon, and capers in medium bowl; mix well. Add chicken to bowl; stir to coat.

To assemble wraps, divide the prosciutto evenly between the four wraps, layering as necessary and leaving a 1″ edge. Top each with ¼ of the chicken mixture and ¼ of the cheese. Fold in sides of tortilla and roll up tightly, burrito style.

Preheat grill pan with grill press (or panini press, Foreman grill) to medium heat. Place wraps in pan; top with press and cook 5 minutes per side or until grill marks appear. Remove wraps from pan; cut in half on a bias and serve immediately.

NOTES

Warming the tortillas will make them easier to roll up. To warm tortillas, place them between paper towels and microwave on HIGH 30–45 seconds or until warm.

Any leftover chicken will work – the taste will change depending on the spices used when cooking it.

Black, White And Red Bean Chili With Sausage

Entrées, Soups Stews etc., Tested and Approved!
cook 30 minutes ∙ makes 6-8 servings ∙ difficulty Easy ∙ source Bon Appétit | March 1993

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1¼ pounds Italian sausages, hot or sweet
  • 1 large onion, cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into ½” pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into ½” pieces
  • 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded, chopped (for extra heat, don’t see them)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 42 ounces crushed tomatoes, in puree
  • 15 ounces kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 15 ounces cannellini beans, drained, rinsed (white kidney beans)
  • 15 ounces black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sour cream
  • cilantro, fresh, chopped

DIRECTIONS

Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausages and brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to plate. Add chopped onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add chopped bell peppers and chilies and sauté 1 minute. Add chili powder and cumin and stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes and beans. Simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Cut sausage into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to chili and simmer until cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in vinegar. Season chili to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 day ahead. Cool and refrigerate. Before serving, rewarm over medium heat.)

Spoon chili into bowls. Top with sour cream and cilantro and serve.

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