We have just purchased our first RV. It is a small motorhome, and the kitchen only has 2 burners, and combo microwave/convection oven. The microwave comes with no directions, and I have never used a microwave to "cook" in. Reheat stuff, of course, melt stuff, naturally, popcorn and so forth. We expect to take short 2-3 day trips. If any of you have some cooking experience in this sort environment, I would LOVE some feedback. i.e. - what things are critical to stock the kitchen with? Good recipes that function in a very small limited space, or if you could only bring one cookbook on board which would it be - for inspriation, etc. We will have our outdoor grill with us. Any thoughts would be great!
"Mastering Microwave Cookery" and Barbara Kafka's "Microwave Gourmet" will take you a long way! You'd be surprised how many good things you can make in a microwave. I've made things ranging from jambalaya to Hungarian goulash with sauerkraut. You can make an excellent risotto using the microwave, without having to stir constantly!
Since the oven is also convection, you can bake and roast in it. Timing is different in a convection oven, so look for some convection oven cookbooks, too.
Seconding the recommendation for Kafka's Microwave Gourmet, I suggest a small kitchen scale so you can rationally zap the food according to its weight. Nasty microwave results often come from not matching weight to time in the microwave. Kafka's recipes with work brilliantly with a wee scale and an accurate sundial (okay, maybe a clock with a second hand is better).
I lived full time in an RV for several years.
One thing thing to think about is the use of fuel. If you are off grid and cooking with propane you become mindful of the amount you use. I found a pressure cooker saved fuel and time while letting me still have those cooked for hours type dishes. Lorna Sass has several really good books out on pressure cooking.
Small spaces can get really hot, steamy and smelly when cooking. I found the portable propane burners sold in Asian grocery stores to be incrediably handy. The flame held outdoors better than any camping stove I ever had. The temperature adjusts well and the entire thing takes up very little space. Set it up outside to fry fish, boil pasta water, whatever! This was also handy to use when taking a meal break while driving since the primary gas lines were turned off.
Keep lots of plastic dish pans handy. You really don't want to drain pasta or potato water into your holding tanks - the starch builds up. Much better to drain into a dishpan, let it cool down and then water the surrounding plants!
Thanks for the tips, meatn3! After almost a year, we have enjoyed 23 trips in our little RV. Most were weekends, some weeklong trips. I am enjoying the challenge of cooking "onboard", but certainly had not thought about some of these issues (clogging up the tanks), and I will heed your advice. Because we are not full-time, I am able to make many meals ahead and re-heat on the road. We also grill quite a bit, weather permitting. The outcome is that I am finding more recipes that are microwave friendly (Kafka's book is very helpful), or freeze well and reheat. Planning ahead is a big key, and I find that EYB has really helped me with that!
I welcome any and all ideas for cooking on the road, and/or make ahead recipes. Again, thanks.