Ah, the month of May! As a teacher, it signifies the
"beginning of the end" and a much-needed long weekend before the
final push to school finishing in June. A long weekend
screams "Road Trip" and I've put together a menu
of items to take you on a journey around the world, no matter how
short your journey is. When you're taking a road trip, it's
essential to have snacks that the driver can access and I can't
think of anything better than deep fried garlic chick peas. A
tasty, Middle Eastern-inspired snack, these can be prepared well in
advance and are a nice source of protein for those undertaking a
Deep-fried garlic chick peas (which I first tasted at
Pimenton, by Lola Csullog-Fernandez)
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
2 garlic cloves, minced
Oil, enough to cover the chick peas half-way up the sides of a
Make sure the chickpeas are very well dried or the oil will
splatter everywhere when you add them to the frying pan. Heat oil
over medium-high heat in frying pan and when it's smoking add the
chickpeas. Continue to shake the pan every now and then so the
chickpeas fry evenly. The chickpeas are ready when they start to
turn a golden brown and look crunchy. At this point, add the
garlic. Do this at the very end so that the garlic doesn't burn or
become bitter. Turn the heat to low and continue to shake the
pan for a couple of minutes. Remove the chickpeas from the pan
and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with some
coarse sea salt and pepper and serve warm. These will keep in an
airtight container for a few days so they are perfect for a road
How about swinging by Mexico on your road trip? Well two
typically Mexican dishes are perfect to pack in your cooler -
gazpacho and guacamole. Since gazpacho is served
cool, it's the perfect spring soup for your road trip and guacamole
just requires a little preparation the night before and some
assembly on the day to make for an exotic pause in any road
Quick "to go" guacamole
2 small avocadoes, halved and pitted
12 small cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons fresh lime zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 shallot minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
yellow tortilla chips, to serve
blue tortilla chips, to serve??
Place the tomatoes, zest, cilantro, shallot and garlic in a
"to go" container. Pack the avocados, whole.
Halve and pit the avocados when you are ready to serve.
Coarsely mash avocado with a fork.
Mix all ingredients into the mashed avocado.
Serve with tortilla chips.
A dish from a little further away - Laap from Laos - works well as
a road trip dish too. Again, all of the components can be
prepared in advance, and as it's served cold, it is perfect for a
more substantial coarse in your portable picnic.
Chicken Laap (adapted from Gourmet, September
4 tablespoons raw glutinous rice
1 pound ground chicken
2 teaspoons vegetable oil?
1/4 cup minced scallion?
1/4 cup fresh mint?3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh
juice and zest of two limes?
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce?
1 to 2 small (1-inch) fresh Asian chiles, minced
Accompaniments: lettuce leaves (I find romaine works well as it
doesn't fall apart), sticky rice, fresh mint, Thai basil and
cilantro leaves; coarsely chopped tomato and seedless cucumber,
Cook rice in a small heavy pan over medium heat, stirring
constantly, until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes (the rice
will start to smoke). Grind the toasted rice a coarse powder
in an electric (coffee/spice) grinder.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a wok or heavy
skillet over high heat, then stir-fry chicken until cooked through,
about 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken from heat and stir in 2
tablespoons of the rice powder, (you will have some leftover, set
aside in an airtight container and you can use it when you make
this again!) Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
Serve chicken on a platter and serve with sticky rice and the
herbs, tomato, and cucumber. Roll the rice, chicken and other
ingredients in the romaine leaves.
One of my favourite things to do is recreate dishes I have enjoyed
on my travels and this next dish is not only a great dish to bring
on a field trip but also one which brings back fond memories of a
meal at Zazu Farm and Restaurant in Santa Rosa, California.
Corn and Zucchini Fritters - adapted from Sippity Sup's
Corn and Zucchini Fritter stacks
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons butter, melted
sea salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 medium zucchini, grated
2 cups corn kernels (2- 4 ears depending on their size)
vegetable oil, for frying
salsa for dipping
Whisk ?our, baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon
pepper in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine butter, eggs, and buttermilk. Add
dry ingredients to flour mix and stir until barely combined. Fold
in the zucchini and corn.
Add vegetable oil to bring the skillet level to about 3/4-1
inch. Work in batches, dropping 1/4 cup of batter into the hot
oil, ?attening them with a spatula to desired thickness.
Cook turning once, until golden brown about 3-4 minutes per side.
Drain on a paper towel and season with salt while still hot.
Serve with dressing/ salsa of your choice.
These are delicious served warm but they are also excellent cold,
served with some simple salsa for dipping.
Ready for dessert yet? I can't think of a better road
trip-friendly dessert than your favourite chocolate chip
cookies, except maybe my mum's Anzac
1 cup oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup coconut
4 oz butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 tspn baking soda
1 tablespoon boiling water
Combine oats, flour, coconut and sugar.
Melt butter and syrup. Mix soda with boiling water and stir into
the butter, then stir into the dry ingredients. spoon onto trays
and bake at (320F) 150-160c for 15-20 minutes
All of these dishes have been personally tested by me and
believe me, they travel well. I hope you'll enjoy some of
these on one of your upcoming roadtrips. Bon appétit and bon
Mardi Michels is a full-time French teacher and part-time
food blogger based in Toronto. Her blog,eat.live.travel.write
focuses on culinary adventures both near and far because she
travels as often as she can!
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Posted: Wed, May 04 2011
Hey there fellow foodies,
I can't wait to discuss all things food with all of you!