On Monday we left Oklahoma City en route to New Mexico. Since we had our longest travel day ahead, we agreed it was time to turn the Subaru into a kitchen and cook dinner under the hood! Yes, that’s right — we cooked our dinner on the car’s engine. I’m sure some of you are in disbelief and many of you are wondering how we did it — and why.
Scott bought a book called “Manifold Destiny.” This book features recipes and step-by-step instructions for cooking under the hood. We picked a recipe that called for little prep time and named it Subaru Stew. In Amarillo we stopped at a grocery store and stocked up on steak, potatoes, onions and carrots. Meat and potatoes — can you tell we’re from the Midwest?
The laptop table I bought for working in the car became our cutting board. We diced up potatoes, onions and carrots and threw them in foil with some S&P and garlic powder. The steak was already sliced, but we would later find out should have been sliced thinner. We got a few odd looks as we wrapped up our first “home” cooked meal and placed it under the hood.
According to the book, our dinner would take 150 miles to cook. Did you catch that… recipes are measured in miles not minutes! Basically you slap a piece of meat under the hood, hit the gas, and enjoy your gourmet feast later on down the road. Or so we thought…
We zipped through New Mexico in the dark. I kept thinking the faster I drove, the quicker the food would cook. Around 10pm we pulled into the campground. As we rolled in, we were greeted by a rattlesnake in the road. Welcome to the Southwest!
It was time to inspect our feast. Scott carefully unwrapped the many layers as the smell of seasoned meat and vegetables filled the campsite. The onions were fully cooked, but the potatoes and carrots could have used 30 more miles. The steak, on the other hand, was pink as the watermelon we bought as an appetizer. Scott, being the carnivore he is, dug right in. Don’t get me wrong, I love a hearty meal, but this meat was too pink for me. Instead I munched on a pop-tart and some leftover caramel corn from Hot Springs. I did enjoy a few veggies to make it a balanced meal.
All in all, it wasn’t a complete fail. It was a fun experiment and next time we’ll know what to expect.
Note from the chef: The book recommends cooking your food on a hot part of the engine, clear of any belts or switches that might not appreciate being dripped on. I tested a few spots and found the snuggest nook beside the AC compressor. Turns out Subaru failed to consider the culinary needs of its drivers. Despite driving twice the recommended mileage, the aluminum head engine was not able to produce enough heat to fully cook the steak. A couple bratwursts… now that might work.