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The Fundamentals Of Cooking In A Hostel

by Tony

Chez Olga Haitian Restaurant Eastown Lourdie Lunch January 20, 2012 4
Creative Commons License photo credit: stevendepolo

Instead of showing you a specific recipe this week, let’s talk fundamentals.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when trying to cook a meal on the road:

  • You will almost always have limited kitchen supplies, so check before buying groceries.
  • Keep it simple. No more than 5 ingredients (not counting all of the spices that might be laying around your hostel for the taking) per meal.
  • Stick with basics: Bacon on anything is delicious. Avocado and roasted tomatoes add a ton of dimension to any meal. Pasta is cheap and filling. Omelletes work for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Buy a bottle of hot sauce and carry it with you everywhere. This will save you some extremely bland nights when you only have rice and veggies.
  • When you stumble upon that rare hostel kitchen that is fully loaded… go NUTS! Take advantage of this mini miracle and cook yourself something truly decadent.

In case you’re like me though and panic when faced with a semi-stocked kitchen and no set shopping list at the supermarket, check out some of these quick and delicious meals:

  • Delish.com shares some great treats that pack easily – always key for those long bus rides. While some involve baking, which is not always the most hostel friendly, we all need something to aspire to, right? Check out #6 to see the bacon is good with anything rule… broccoli and bacon salad anyone?
  • The Hostel Chef breaks down one of the simplest recipes for the road, but also one of the easiest to mess up: Pan seared steak. In this iteration, he pares it with some sweet potato fries. This recipe definitely is 5 ingredients or less… and couldn’t look tastier!
  • The ultimate hostel dish is… Paella? Get the heck out of here! Hostelcookers.com be crazy… Living in Miami, I know all about Paella as everyone thought they made the definitive version. But after seeing how these fellas cook it, they just might be right. Only a few ingredients. Super versatile so can be made with almost anything on hand (plus rice). And the key is to let the spices do the work. I’m sold!
  • 5 hostel-perfect recipes and with the final one to be sure to make you the hero of the dorms… Drunken Chicken! How fast are you going to make friends when you are a pouring a six-pack of the local brew into your pot?
  • Another great list of 5 recipes with my new favorite detailed last: The Spanish Tortilla (or omelet)! So easy, so hardy, and with only a few ingredients. You cannot go wrong! My personal ideal Spanish Tortilla is egg, potato, sausage, and spice… mmmmm.

Let me know if you try any of the above and as always… share your own recipes so we can try them out!

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

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