Archive for March, 2014

Campfire Cooking: How to Make Hot Dog Creole

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Oh, how I love hotdogs but some of you may feel that they are limited in their use.  I am sure you have roasted them over the fire and boiled them in water.  I bet you have never made a main dish with the humble hot dog.  The dish below is easy and if you do not like hotdogs do not fret.  You can substitute link sausage for the hot dogs. 

Hot Dog Creole

Ingredients and supplies

Large, cast iron skillet

Large spoon

Chopping board

Sharp knife

Measuring spoons

Vegetable oil

Onion

2 large bell peppers

1 (16 oz) package of hot dogs or sausage

1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

hotdogcreole

Steps

  1. Chop the onion and green pepper.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large, cast iron skillet.  Heat until the oil gets hot.
  3. Place the onion and green pepper in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Cut hot dogs or sausage into bite-sized pieces and place in skillet.
  5. Cook until the meat is browned.
  6. Stir in tomatoes and seasonings.  Cook until the dish is completely heated through. 

While this dish is great on its own, there are a few additions that you can add to make more like a true Creole.  The first thing is to serve it up on a big spoonful of rice, which is very easy to fix over a campfire.   Second, you can add a variety of vegetables to the dish.  This includes celery, okra, and even corn.  Make sure that the ingredients are chopped nicely. To do this you need to use a wooden chopping board.You can check out how to keep food safe with wooden chopping boards and learn a lot about chopping boards.If you do not want to carry a bunch of cans, consider using frozen vegetables for this dish.  Third, while commercially processed meat, such as hot dogs and/or sausage is listed as the meat, do not over look using game meats for this dish.   Finally, do not forget the Creole seasoning, which can be found in grocery stores.  While this is not listed in the ingredients because some people find it too spicy, adding it to this dish will really make you feel that you are camping out in the French quarter. 

While I am sure you will not have any leftovers, if you do save them.  The hot dog Creole can easily be turned into an omelet the next morning.  To do this, simply cook your omelet as usual, add the heated up Creole as the filling, top with cheese and fold over.  Now you have a quick and nutritious breakfast.

Campfire Cooking: How to Roast Beets on a Camp Fire

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Many people view campfire cooking as simply wieners and beans but it can be so much more.  While Farmers’ Markets have become very popular, countless campers avoid this source of food and just settle for canned chow as the staple for their camp cuisine.  But did you know that fresh produce is easy to fix over a campfire.  Well, if you are having an oh moment, do not worry.  The process is easy and best off it is delicious.

Roasted Campfire Beets

Ingredients/supplies

Foil

Fresh beets

Oil or butter

Hot coals

Knife

Cutting board

Heat resistant gloves

Rack, optional

roastingbeets

Steps

  1. Prepare your fire so that you have a nice bed of coals.
  2. Cut off the long root part of the beet and the greens.  If the greens are not wilted, set them aside for a salad later.
  3. Place the beet with the skin on, if would like, on a sheet of foil and drizzle with oil.  While some may want to peel their beets, the process of roasting will loosen up the skin just like a baked potato.  In doing so, there really is no reason to peel the beet.
  4. Roll the foil up and secure the ends by twisting.
  5. Place in the hot coals or on a rack that has been placed above the fire. 
  6. Turn the beets every 15 minutes.  After 30 minutes, place gloves on hand and squeeze each beet.  If there is a give, the beet is done.  If not, place back into the fire. 

Once the beets are done, allow the foil to cool a bit and then open up.  Cut down the beet and gently remove the skin if you left it on.   While this is delicious, what about those greens that you took off for later use.  Well, they make a great salad to go with the roasted beets.  To create this salad, place oil in a skillet that is over a campfire or camp stove.  Once the oil gets hot, add chopped garlic and onion to taste.  Sauté for a minute or two and then add the greens that have been torn into two to three inch pieces. Stir continuously until the greens are wilted.  Once wilted place on a plate and top with sliced camp fire roasted beets.  Top with salt and pepper to taste along with red wine vinegar.

Now, the next time you go on a camping trip and consider just packing canned food consider shopping the Farmers’ Market for something fresh for the campfire.   It will not disappoint you.

Campfire Recipe: 3 Ways to Cook Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Well, you may feel that preparing an eloquent dessert is out of the question when one is camping.   But I can tell you that is not true.  A delightful pineapple upside down cake can be easily made by the campfire and depending on what equipment you have can even be made in its own serving bowl. 

Below are 3 ways to cook pineapple upside down cake.  Each one is progressively more complicated and in doing so requires more equipment and supplies.  If you are planning a trip and would like to have pineapple upside down cake as part of your menu, consider printing off and using leftovers to create this dessert.  While this may seem a little odd, you will understand this concept once you read the recipes.

Easiest Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

Pineapple chucks, canned or fresh

Leftover cake, sponge cake dessert cups, cake donuts or donut holes, chopped into chunks

Butter

Brown sugar

Tin foil

Non-stick spray

Optional ingredients include whipped cream, ice cream, cinnamon and/or nutmeg

pineappleupsidedowncake

Steps

  1. Tear off a sheet of tin foil for each camper and spray down with non-stick spray.
  2. Place a handful of pineapple on the foil.
  3. Top with cake, dessert cup or donut chunks.
  4. Add a dollop of butter and brown sugar to the pineapple and cake layer.
  5. Roll foil up and place on campfire rack for 15 minutes.
  6. Two minutes before the cake is done, open the packet to allow it to brown a little.
  7. Remove from fire and add optional topping if you desire.

The Second Easiest Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

Cake donut

1 can pineapple rings

½ cup of brown sugar

Butter

Non-stick spray

Pan

Foil

Rack

Steps

  1. Cover rack with foil and cover with non-stick spray.
  2. Place butter in a pan and melt.
  3. Cut the donut in half and place one half on the foil.
  4. Top with one ring of pineapple.
  5. Pack brown sugar in a spoon and lay on top of the pineapple.
  6. Top with melted butter.
  7. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
  8. Place rack on fire and cook for 5 minutes.  *Make sure to monitor the cake to prevent it from burning.

Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

4 tablespoons of butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 can of pineapple rings

1 small jar of maraschino cherries

1 box of yellow or chocolate cake mix

1 cup of pineapple juice

1/3 cup of water

3 eggs

1/3 cup of oil

Steps

  1. Light charcoal.
  2. Melt butter in Dutch oven.
  3. Mix in brown sugar.
  4. Place pineapples rings in the bottom of Dutch oven and fill the center of each ring with a maraschino cherry.
  5. Combine the cake mix, pineapple juice, water, eggs, and oil. 
  6. Once batter is mixed, gently pour over pineapple making sure not to dislodge the pineapple rings.
  7. Place 10 to 12 briquettes on the ground or on a charcoal table.  On top of these briquettes place the Dutch oven with lid attached.  Next, place 14 to 16 briquettes on top of the lid.  Cook for 45 minutes.
  8. After the cooking time has passed, remove the Dutch oven from the coals and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Next, lift the lid with a gloved hand and line with wax paper.  Then, place the lid back on and turn the Dutch oven upside down to allow the cake to dislodge from the pan.  Once that has happened, remove the Dutch oven from the lid and at this point your cake should be on the wax paper. 

*If you do not want to do step 9, simply scoop out directly from the Dutch oven.