The Storm Gourmet by Daphne Nikolopoulos (Pineapple Press, Inc., 2005) contains recipes that the author suggests when you are cooking under abnormal conditions in the wake of a hurricane.
Here are two of her recipes, presented with my commentary and suggestions for substitutions that may become necessary if you can’t find the ingredients she recommends.
Heart of Palm Salad
My daughter liked this Nikolopoulos recipe. We were able to find all of the ingredients, or substitutes that work. For example, we planned to use canned string beans before we found some wax beans.
1 cup canned heart of palm
1 cup canned wax beans
1 cup cubed avocado (Florida avocados are plentiful and easy to find.)
1/4 cup sun-dried julienned cut tomatoes
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian Parsley (We used cilantro, which we prefer.)
Fresh cracked pepper
For the dressing
4 tablespoons guava nectar (Refrigerate after opening.)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil (Bottles are clearly labeled “refrigerate after opening”.)
Combine heart of palm, avocado, beans, sun-dried tomatos, and pine nuts in a medium bowl and toss together. In a screw-top jar, combine dressing ingredients and shake well. Pour over salad mixture and toss salad. Garnish with fresh parsley and top with cracked fresh black pepper. Serves 4.
We found several versions of guava nectar. Most contain more sugar and water than juice. Every guava product I saw contained pear juice. The best version was a juice rather than a nectar: Ceres 100 percent fruit juice blend. It’s packaged in a 33.8 fluid ounce (one litre) container with no added sugar. What you don’t drink must be refrigerated.
The sun-dried tomatoes I buy from Glaser Organic Farms at the Coconut Grove Farmers Market become hard with age. We reconstituted some, and then chopped and added them to the salad, saving the juice for other uses. It has a strong tomato flavor.
Asian Chicken Pasta Toss
6 ounces instant pasta (Substitute regular cooked pasta if you can’t find the instant kind.)
7 ounces (one can) premium chicken breast, drained. (Hormel Foods produces a quality chicken product, available with white and dark meat, under the Valley Fresh label. We used a 10-ounce can.)
½ can canned straw mushrooms (Something we had to purchase. This item may be hard to find. We used the whole can.Refrigerate after opening.)
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
¼ cup soy sauce (We used San-J Tamari Soy Sauce with reduced sodium. Refrigerate after opening.)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil (Refrigerate after opening.)
Cracked fresh pepper
Nikolopoulos’s confusing instructions suggest that the pasta should be covered in water and reconstituted until al dente, approximately 15 minutes.
Place chicken, ginger, mushrooms, and cilantro in a large pasta bowl.
In a small bowl or cup, combine soy sauce and sesame oil, lemon and lime juice, and sesame seeds. Stir with a wire whisk until well blended.
Pour over the chicken mixture and toss well. Top with cracked fresh black pepper to taste. Add pasta and toss again.
We searched and asked two managers at Milam’s Market about instant pasta. Neither had heard of it, so we followed our own insight and experience and boiled regular pasta as we would on our outdoor cooking gear.
We made and used the whole package, not wanting to waste any, so we used more pasta than the recipe calls for. It still worked fine. Also, we had to feed three people, so we increased the recipe amounts a bit.
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