Camping Recipe Suggestion
so this works for "car" camping, not back-packing.... unless you have a snow bank or similar handy to keep things cold.
this works best if you want to eat well on a shorter 3-4 day trip... instead of longer hauls when things start to thaw and get too warm.
and well, I'm not sure this qualifies as "different", but when we go camping, we always like steak or meat of some kind... sometimes served as a slab or kebabs. both of which cook well on campfire, but can be done on propane stove too.
what I like to do is make up differnt meats with diff marinades, put each in ziploc and freeze. helps keep everything in your cooler cold and makes me feel better about food safety, etc. (though if I bring chicken, I like to use it the first night). also, I like to bring my chopped veg (for kebabs) separately (without marinade.. bring extra in separate bag, otherwise veg get slimy)... then you can assemble and cook at will. there is just something nice about having mostly-fresh veg when camping. plus you can take the leftovers, add some cheese & bread and have a decent lunch/sandwich. I'd also mention, if you want a meat free option... you can get some fresh mozzarella (freeze pretty well), bread and say some pesto sauce (which doesn't quite freeze as well)... and make some roasted veg sandwiches.. or a dd a little proscuitto or other cured meat... mmm...
I am also a big fan of doing this with pancakes... i.e. mix all dry ingredients in large ziploc (big enough to hold dry and wet ingredients). mix eggs & milk separately and freeze. then you can thaw and add to dry ingredients & shake/mix in bag. way better than a mix that only requires water. I've also pre-made omelettes before (well, more like a scramble) and frozen, just be sure to add the cheese separately.
I also like to bring chili (make ahead and freeze) or any other one-pot, one bowl dishes, like a chicken/corn chowder or whatever floats your boat... on caveat... avoid spaghetti or any kind of pasta because boiling water at high altitudes on a camp stove is a pain and a half.
We go RVing up the coast to Northern Cal every summer and we do the same as withalonge, and freeze our marinade & chicken or steak and just thaw & grill it when we get to the campsites for easy fajitas. Then we buy fresh fish & seafood where we are, and kebab them, or use a new mesh grill pan (can't wait - leaving Sunday!)
We camp in a wilderness spot accessible by bikes (my husband makes 2 trips with a trailer behind his bike) so we have the best of both car camping and backpacking. There are lots of great recipes out there, in fact CHOW had a feature on camping a while ago.
One of our favorites is Back Country Paella…
Before you leave cut 3 lb chicken thighs into bite sized pieces and place in gallon size Ziploc bag. Mix 1T smokey Spanish paprika, 2t dried oregano and kosher salt and pepper to taste. Add spice mix and rub (through the bag) over the chicken. Freeze at least overnight.
Precook 2 chorizo sausages (I use brats) and cut in ¼ to ½ in slices. Toss in their own Ziploc bag and freeze as well.
At the campsite heat ¼ C extra-virgin olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the chorizo until deeply browned, remove and reserve. Add chicken brown on all sides and remove to same bowl as sausage.
In the same pan, sauté a diced onion until translucent, and then add 4 cloves chopped garlic (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add a 15 oz can crushed tomatoes and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. Fold in 2 Boxes of “Rice-A-Roni savory Whole Grains – Spanish Flavor” and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in 3 cups of water and add seasoning packets from Rice-A-Roni and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the contents around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, and a pinch of saffron (opt). Cover with a lid and let mixture simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for about 15 additional minutes. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn up the heat for 40 seconds to one minute until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom, then it's perfect. Special note: The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat.
Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with ½ to 1 C rehydrated dried peas (optional) and lemon wedges.
Another easy idea is quesadillas with canned black beans, canned chicken and pre shredded cheddar cheese. Wrap them individually in foil “zip pack style (bring edges together in middle and fold down and fold sides in to seal) then toss them right on the coals of the camp fire. Serve with salsa and sour cream.
Good luck and have fun!
The paella idea is great and since this dish started out as a campfire dish, it is completely appropriate. The paella pan is a great camping frypan as well, lightweight and versatile. There is a Utube video of a Spanish cook making paella over a little stick fire. The elaboration of this dish that it has undergone is no reason not bring it back to its outdoor roots.
Last camping trip, I made a sausage, saurkraut, and potato dinner. I boiled new potatoes with garlic on the Coleman, fried the sausages in a cast iron skillet on the fire. After the potatoes were boiled I browned them in the sausage drippings, then added the saurkraut to warm. A little mustard on the side, it was quite a crowd pleaser.
Interestingly, I just saw this recipe on Chowhound for Boozy Campfire Cheese. It's a wheel of brie w/ pear eau de vie or brandy wrapped up in foil and heated over the fire. then you open the foil & dip hunks of baguette into the gooey cheese - mmmmm! Here's the link: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10935
Also, do you have a mountain pie maker(otherwise known as a pie iron)? Whenever we go camping, we always make mountain pies. It's a two-sided cast-iron skillet the size of a slice of bread. It has two long handles attached. You typically but a slab of butter in each side, two slices of bread and then whatever fillings fit your fancy. Shut the irons and then cook it in the camp fire. Breakfast sammies, pizziolas, etc. Here's a link to an interesting site of mtn pie recipes: http://www.chuckwagondiner.com/pieiro....
A wonderful dessert/snack which I used to make during summer camp hikes in Vermont is maple syrup bacon. You fry bacon in a heavy pan in the usual way. When it is about half cooked, drain the fat and pour in some ounces of maple syrup. Stir and keep cooking over a medium fire: the bacon will crisp up and the syrup caramelize, and you will have a great treat which, theoretically, you can let cool on a paper towel and then serve - if it lasts that long !