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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkEntertainment | Restaurants & Dining | September 2008 

Irreverent Chef: Manifold Destiny Cuisine
email this pageprint this pageemail usLiana Turner - PVNN

Wrap in at least three layers of foil. If using Mexican foil you will probably need 10 layers. You don't want any leaking that will create a stinky burning mess on your engine.
Yes, you can cook on your car engine. This is something many people have heard of, but few have actually tried. I don't know why it isn't more popular. I can tell you from personal experience that it really does work.

I once cooked a lovely beef stew between Seattle and Vantage in Washington State. It is efficient in so many ways, and is an economical way to have a tasty and healthy meal on the road. It is such a silly (but smart) way to cook that the "fun factor" is way up there. Just perfect for those long distance potlucks too!

For a full meal deal, you might consider throwing a cooler in the car. Not only will you have cool drinks for your trip, but you can also toss in a nice salad to go with your meal. I also store cups, bowl and cutlery in the cooler. This keeps them in one sensible spot and protects them from rolling around the floorboards and picking up chip crumbs and being stomped by kid feet, etc...

Oooh, that reminds me of something... The zip line tour people used to utilize their drink coolers as footstools to help the people climb into the back of their trucks. I would witness that everyday in the marina, and I would cringe every time. I think if I hadn't become a chef, I might have been a microbiologist, and a little microbiology can be a scary thing. I could almost SEE the bacteria crawling off those tourists' shoes and onto the coolers, then to the hands of the tour guides, who would then hand the nice people their water bottles and sandwiches. Eeeeuuuwwww. I'm happy to report that they are now using some nice wooden boxes. Now I can sleep at night.

If you want to try cooking on your motor, it might take a little experimenting to find the right area of the engine to use, but most cars will only have one choice of a useable surface. Avoid wires, tubes and hoses, and adjust the height of your food package to the space between the engine and the hood, so that the hood holds the package gently in place, but doesn't smash it.

Road Trip Beef Stew

Mix together in a "bowl" made of heavy-duty aluminum foil:

1 lb Sirloin cut into cubes
1/3 cup good red wine (good so you can drink the rest of the bottle)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic (or a few whole peeled cloves)
1/2 large onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 large potato, cut into chunks
1 Sprig of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

This can be prepared at home as much as a day in advance. The marinating will do it good.

Wrap in at least three layers of foil. If using Mexican foil you will probably need 10 layers. You don't want any leaking that will create a stinky burning mess on your engine.

Place on the engine and drive about 70 miles. Turn over and drive for another 70 miles. These distances are approximate. Cooking times and mileage will vary from car to car.

Happy traveling!

The Irreverent Chef, a.k.a. Liana Turner, is the chef and owner of Paradise Bakery and Catering. Serving the "Best Cinnamon Rolls in Vallarta," along with delicious sandwiches, salads, main dishes and yummy sweet treats every day but Sunday, and providing all styles of catering services, from pre-prepared meals to-go for informal gatherings to full service elegance for dinners, cocktail parties, wedding receptions and special events, Paradise Bakery & Catering is located at Sierra Aconcagua 299, Prolongacion Brasil, Colonia Lazaro Cardenas, Puerto Vallarta. For more information, call (322) 222-5133 or visit

Click HERE for more articles by The Irreverent Chef

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