Archive for August, 2014

Campfire Recipe: Dutch Oven Strawberry Cobbler

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

O.k. you caught me.  Yes, dessert is my favorite part of any meal and this is true even when camping.  While I do love s’mores, there is nothing like a good old cobbler.  This is especially true when fruit is in season.  One cautionary tale about fruit in season is if you are planning on foraging while you are camping, check the local regulations.  Many parks do not allow the removal of any material from the area.  This would include the fruit that you may pick along the trail.  While these fruits do look tasty and believe me they are, they are also a food source for wildlife.  In doing so, think twice before harvesting those beautiful blackberries and raspberries, the wildlife may depend on it.   

Dutch Oven Strawberry Cobbler

Ingredients

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon each of cinnamon, and ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, and ginger

1 ½ Tablespoon baking powder

1 cup of chilled butter

2 ¼ cups sugar

4 pounds of fresh strawberries

¼ cup sugar

strawberrycobbler

Steps

  1. Preparing the crust:  mix flour, salt, spices, and baking powder in a bowl.
  2. Cut butter up into small chunks and place in bowl.
  3. Cut butter into dry ingredients with either a food processor or fork.
  4. Once cut, add 2 ¼ cups of sugar and cut into flour mixture.
  5. Place dough inside a plastic bag.  Put in fridge until ready to pack for the trip.
  6. Once at camp, prepare the fire making sure to prepare 80 briquettes.
  7. While the fire is heating up, wash and hull the strawberries.
  8. Place in 12-inch Dutch oven and mix with ¼ cup of sugar.
  9. After the briquettes have turned white, add half of the flour mixture on top of the strawberries.
  10. Set aside 20 white briquettes in the fire ring and place the Dutch oven on these briquettes. 
  11. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and top with another 20 hot briquettes. 
  12. Cook for 20 minutes.
  13. After that time period has passed, remove the lid of the Dutch oven and top with the remaining flour mixture.
  14. Replace the lid and place back on a new ring of fresh briquettes.  Top with hot briquettes.
  15. Cook for 20 minutes more.
  16. Remove briquettes and allow to cool for 20 minutes before eating.  

As delicious as this cobbler is, one may want to top it off with a little milk, non-dairy dessert or ice cream.

Campfire Recipe: Foil Pouch Salmon

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

I love fish.  Any fish possible but there are times that I want something beyond pan fried or sautéed on a camp outing.  Sometimes, believe it or not, I like to get a little dressed up at the campsite.  Besides dressing myself up, I also like to add a table cloth with cloth napkins a course, open a bottle of wine and feel like I am in the story Out of Africa. 

As you may guess, while I am living the life of luxury, the meal must meet the environment.  No beans and weenies for this dressed up girl.  Instead, a simple but elegant fish dish that can be fixed from either the catch of the day that my spouse retrieved from his day fishing in an Alaskan stream or store-bought fish. 

If you are using a “freshly caught” fish, you will need to clean it prior to moving on to the recipe.

Foil Pouch Salmon

1 fish fillet between 3 ½ to four pounds, any firm skinned fish will do

3 tablespoons of butter

¼ cup of brown sugar

¼ cup white wine

¼ cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons mustard, any variety

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Aluminum foil

foilpouchsalmon

Steps

  1. Roll out foil and place fish fillet, skin side down on foil.
  2. Finely chop fresh thyme and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in small skillet.
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients into the melted butter.
  5. Build fire or start grill.
  6. Once the fire or grill is hot, place foil with fish over the heat.
  7. Brush the fish with the melted butter mixture every 5 minutes.
  8. Continue to cook until the center of the fish is firm and opaque.  *Make sure to cut and check the doneness of the fish before serving.

Now that you have a 5-star protein fixed, do not settle for ordinary camp food side dishes.  Need some ideas, consider making rice pilaf, quinoa salad or even a twice baked potato. 

Finally, end the meal with an elegant fireworks show of flavors with a simple dish of fresh strawberries, pineapple, and Angel Food Cake alongside a nice warm dish of dipping chocolate.

While many may view camping as a primitive experience that consist of tents and nature’s bathroom, meals do not have to be basic nor archaic.  They can be plain Jane or 5-star with just a few ingredients, a little time, and care.

Campfire Recipe: Tofu Hobo Packet with Salad

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

What do you do on a campout when you are a vegetarian?  Are you stuck eating twigs and wild greens?  Well, the simple answer is no.  A wonderful vegetarian meal can be had with just a few ingredients and it is so good that even your steadfast carnivores and omnivores will want to try it. 

Tofu Hobo Packet with Salad

Ingredients

20 ounces of firm tofu

1 eggplant

2 Tablespoons ginger

2 Tablespoons garlic

¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce

5 Tablespoons vegetable oil

2 green onions

1 cucumber

1 cup cilantro leaves

1 cup whole dill sprigs

1 jalapeno pepper

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

½ teaspoon salt

Optional, cooked rice

tofuhobopacket

Steps

  1. Cut tofu into 16 chunks.
  2. Place in resealable bag.
  3. Cut eggplant into chunks and place in the same plastic bag.
  4. Chop ginger garlic and green onions.
  5. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce and 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil along with ingredients from step 4.
  6. Pour into plastic bag with tofu and eggplant. 
  7. Place bag in fridge for at least one hour.  Turn twice during this time period.
  8. Heat grill up to 450 degree Fahrenheit.  To test this temperature, place hand about 5 inches from the heat source.  If you can keep it there for 2 to 4 seconds then the temperature is right.
  9. Unroll foil and cut off four medium sized pieces of foil.
  10. Divide the tofu and eggplant between these pieces of foil.
  11. Seal up the packets and place on the heat source.
  12. Turn and grill for 10 minutes.  Prior to removing, make sure to check the eggplant.  It should be soft to the touch.
  13. Chop cucumber, cilantro leaves, dill sprigs, pepper and place in a bowl.
  14. Mix in a separate bowl the fresh lime juice, oil, and salt.  Stir thoroughly and pour over the ingredients in step 13.
  15. Divide the ingredients in step 14 onto four plates.  Top each plate with the contents of one of the foil packets and enjoy.

While this dish is wonderful, you may find that your eggplant is bitter.  If this is the case, I have a suggestion for you.  Prior to placing your eggplant in the plastic bag, place in a colander and sprinkle a little salt on top.  Once that is done, put a heavy plate on top and let it set for about an hour.

After that time has passed, remove the plate and rinse with water.  Why did you do this?  The answer is simple.  The salt and the weight pushed out the bitterness of the eggplant and in doing so making a sweeter tasting dish.