Before we left on our recent trip to Alaska, I compiled a collection of recipes that I thought might work for car camping. They had to be simple – based on ingredients we could find at most any grocery store –and require a minimum of pots and pans. One skillet would be ideal.
At the same time, I wanted fresh flavors and appealing textures. Canned goods and pantry items soon lose their charm when you’re traveling for six weeks.
Our favorite quick and easy meal turned out to be an updated version of Joe’s Special, the venerable San Francisco dish made with spinach, eggs, onions and ground meat. Think of it as a deconstructed fritatta. It takes a bit of chopping but it comes together fairly quickly and tastes terrific.
I’ve substituted ground turkey for the original hamburger and thrown in sliced mushrooms for meaty flavor. What makes this dish so easy and fresh tasting is the baby spinach now available washed and bagged at all but the smallest supermarkets. Bagged spinach holds up nicely in an ice chest for several days.
Throw in some good Parmesan, chopped pimentos and dried oregano and you have a very tasty one-dish meal. Just be sure not to cook the spinach and eggs too long. The dish should be moist and each ingredient identifiable when it’s served.
We liked this dish so much, it’s going into our emergency dinner repertoire for those nights when we’re just too bushed to attempt anything more ambitious. A food processor would cut the work to almost nothing.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 medium mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces ground turkey
Freshly ground black pepper
6-ounce bag baby spinach, coarsely chopped
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1 2-ounce jar chopped pimentos
Heat oil in a heavy 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes more. Sprinkle with oregano. Crumble ground turkey into pan. Cook, stirring often, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add black pepper to taste and the spinach. Cook and stir until spinach wilts.
Add beaten eggs and stir everything together. Add Parmesan cheese and pimento, and continue stirring, until eggs are cooked through.
Serve at once.