Campfire Recipe: Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad with Cheese

April 20th, 2019

My husband and I have a culinary agreement when we go camping and that is that we will have at least one salad a day. While this changes somewhat when we are camping out in the backcountry, there is no deviation when it comes to camping at a campground. This is especially true in the summer when fresh vegetables are plentiful, both on the road and in my own backyard.

The other reason I like this dish is the fact that it is simple to get kids involved in the preparation, which makes them want to eat it. If they are too young to cut the vegetables, they can easily be involved in preparing the dressing for the salad. I really like it to pair with organic cottage cheese and it is delicious.

Keep in mind though, if this dressing is not something your taste buds enjoy, by all means create your own and enjoy. Just keep in mind fire safety, never leave your “stove” unattended while there are still hot coals under it, the time somebody did this their tent caught on fire and they needed to call fire damage restoration services for their help.

Campfire Recipe:  Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad with Cheese

Ingredients

Spray or liquid oil

4 Tablespoons olive oil

1 pound of red and/orange bell peppers

1 red onion

1 pound eggplant

½ zucchini

3 cloves of garlic

¾ teaspoon of ground cumin

¾ teaspoon of smoked paprika

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

3 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 romaine lettuce head

4 ounces of soft cheese like goat

roasted.summer.vegetable.salad

Steps

  1. Start a fire to prepare the coals for cooking.
  2. Oil the inside of a 10 inch Dutch oven.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the Dutch oven.
  4. Prepare the vegetables first by washing and then slicing. Peppers will need to be seeded and then cut into 1 inch pieces. Slice the red onion and cut the eggplant into 1 inch pieces. Place these vegetable into the prepared Dutch oven.
  5. Cut the zucchini into 1 inch pieces. Add to Dutch oven.
  6. Mince garlic and add to Dutch oven. Top the ingredients in the Dutch oven with cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir and top with lid.
  7. Move the filled Dutch oven to a heat resistant location.
  8. Arrange 10 prepared coals in a circle and top with Dutch oven.
  9. Cover the lid with 24 prepared coals and cook for 35 minutes.
  10. Once the time has passed, gently remove the lid and check the doneness of vegetables.
  11. Drizzle the roasted vegetables with 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
  12. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining olive oil and vinegar.
  13. To this bowl, add the leaves of the romaine and stir to coat.
  14. Divide this lettuce mixture between 4 plates.
  15. Top the lettuce leaves with roasted vegetables.

Divide and crumble the soft cheese between the 4 plates. Serve.

Camp Fire Recipe: Dutch Oven Baked Lemon-Garlic Artichokes

April 10th, 2019

Growing up, I was introduced to artichokes through a can. I knew where they came from in real-life but never really had them in their natural state because my mother did not know how to fix them and my dad was truly not that thrilled with their neither appearance nor taste. So my artichoke journey continued either packed in water or oil, nothing else until I moved out on my own. Nothing beats a meal cooked over the campfire, but you'll need the right cookware. Techie Camper has reviewed the best dutch ovens for camping, perfect for making everything from breakfast skillets to searing steaks over a hot fire in the woods.

My husband had worked in many different types of restaurants and one he worked at was a “true” Italian establishment. The owner had invited us over for dinner and behold what was on the table but fresh artichokes. No cans, oil or water packed, simply Mother Nature grown, harvested, and prepared with the freshest ingredients. I was in artichoke heaven and felt I had won the culinary lottery.

After dinner, I inquired how he fixed them. Well, a man of few words would rather show than tell you so off to the kitchen to fix another round of artichokes, which I was not complaining about. While that has been many years ago, I never forgot and took his technique and made it my own with a few alterations, It's surprising how people often overlook these lightweight hiking backpack supplies that can be extremely useful when trekking for miles. Below is my camp fire version of this delectable dish, which by the way has my mouth watering. Oh, I cannot wait until artichoke season.

Camp Fire Recipe:  Dutch Oven Baked Lemon-Garlic Artichokes

Ingredients

Liquid or spray oil

3 to 4 fresh artichokes with stems attached

3 to 4 lemons

6 to 8 cloves of garlic

Bottle of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Aluminum foil

dutch.oven.artichokes

Steps

  1. Prepare the coals by first building a fire.
  2. Prepare the 10 inch Dutch oven by coating the inside with liquid or spray oil. Please note:  this Dutch oven size is for average sized artichokes.
  3. Depending on the number of artichokes, pull out large squares of foil for each artichoke double. Example, if you have three artichokes you will need six squares of foil. Set aside.
  4. Cut ½ inch off the top of each artichoke and slice in half down the length of the vegetable.
  5. Remove the purple leaves in the middle along with hairy fibers.
  6. Peel garlic cloves and slice lemons in half.
  7. Taking one square of foil, place one half of an artichoke on foil and squeeze a half a lemon on the outside and inside of the artichoke. Place one clove of garlic in the center of the artichoke.
  8. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Wrap foil around prepared artichoke half, place in Dutch oven and repeat.
  10. Add the lid and move the filled Dutch oven to a heat resistant surface.
  11. Arrange 10 prepared coals on this surface and top with the 10 inch Dutch oven.
  12. Completely cover the lid with prepared coals.

Cook for 50 minutes. At that time, check for doneness. If tender, serve. If you still feel a bit of resistance, cook for another 10 minutes. Enjoy.

Campfire Recipe: Peasant Stew

March 25th, 2019

Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest and this is true many times when it comes to camp fire cooking. Yes, there are times that I want something fancier that will make the event or outing feel more special but there are other times I just want a delicious meal that does not have a lot of whistles and bangs to it. This is especially true when I do not want to be tied down to the chore of a lot of clean up after the meal. This simple Peasant Stew fits the bill. It is hardy, healthy, and full of delicious flavor. It does not take hours to fix and the ingredients are easy to find. In the scheme of life who could ask for more but a simple recipe to go with a simple life. 

Campfire Recipe:  Peasant Stew

Ingredients

Spray or liquid oil

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion

4 cloves of garlic

Salt and pepper

2 Tablespoons of tomato paste

2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

2 cans 14 ½ ounces of diced tomatoes

2 cans 14 ½ ounces of chickpeas

1 pound of Broccoli Rabe or strong flavored green

Parmesan cheese, optional

peasant.stew

Steps

  1. Build the fire to prepare the coals.
  2. Begin the prep work by finely chopping the onion and mincing the garlic.
  3. Place a grilling rack above the fire. Prepare a 12 inch Dutch oven by spraying or wiping with liquid oil. Add the olive oil to the inside and place on grilling rack.
  4. Add prepared onion and garlic to the Dutch oven. Stir until onion is clear.
  5. Add tomato paste and vinegar and continue to cook until the mixture is slightly darkened. Please note not burnt.
  6. Pour tomatoes into Dutch oven.
  7. Drain and rinse chickpeas and put in Dutch oven.
  8. Prepare the broccoli rabe by first cleaning it by simply running water over it or placing it into a colander. Once cleaned and still damp, cut crosswise 1 inch thick. If you are using strong flavored greens, repeat this same process. 
  9. Add broccoli rabe or greens along with 2 cups of water. Top the Dutch oven with its lid.
  10. Remove the grilling rack and place 12 inch Dutch oven directly onto the coals. Top the lid with 22 coals.
  11. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the broccoli rabe or greens are tender.

To serve, offer additional balsamic vinegar along with freshly ground parmesan cheese.