There are several methods for cooking over a campfire, from placing food on a long stick to fancy camp stoves or grills. It’s important to keep in mind that the flames should not be bright orange and yellow – what you are aiming for is a bed of hot coals with very low flames.
Perhaps you are going camping for the first time and the reference you have in mind is a bunch of cowboys eating cooked pork and beans out of a can, or scouts roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire. There’s nothing wrong with either of those scenarios, but for those looking for something a little more sophisticated or organic, here are three camping recipes good from sunrise to sunset that are sure to please even the most gourmet palate.
Creamy Grits with Kale and Sunflower Seeds
This healthy recipe serves two and only takes 10 minutes total to prepare and cook. The ingredients are very portable so it’s a nice option for backpackers.
- 1 cup quick cooking grits
- 4 cups water
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes (yields 2 cups broth)
- 2 tbsp raw cashew butter
- A few handfuls of kale chips
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium pot, bring water and bouillon to a boil. Slowly stir in the grits and cook for about five minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the cashew butter, stirring vigorously until it’s completely mixed in with the grits.
- Top with kale chips and sunflower seeds.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Grilled Pasta Packets
The pasta can be cooked ahead of time (at home), rinsed in cold water, and tightly packed in a resealable plastic bag. According to several sources, it is a hit with adults and children alike. This recipe yields six servings, but can easily be cut down.
- 1 pound whole grain spaghetti noodles, cooked for about six minutes, or slightly less if you prefer it Al Dente
- 6 whole Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 whole lemon, cut into six wedges
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Preheat grill to medium heat or you can use a smoldering campfire with a grate.
- Cut one dozen 8×12 pieces of aluminum foil. Layer foil so that you have two pieces per packet.
- In a bowl, toss together pasta, chopped tomato, basil, salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil.
- Place one serving of pasta mixture (about 1 1/4 cups) into the center of each packet. Squeeze lemon wedge over pasta before adding the lemon to the packet.
- Spoon a few teaspoons of goat cheese into packet.
- Bring long edges of foil together and roll it up to secure it. Roll edges of packet to form a closed space, but don’t squeeze all the air out.
- Reduce grill heat to low, then place packets on grill or on low campfire.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes, shaking packets halfway through cooking.
- Remove from grill or fire and serve immediately.
Baked Trout Dijon
This is a terrific recipe to make with fresh trout that you have caught on a camping trip. If you’re not into fishing and the work it takes to clean them, you can bring frozen fish fillets from home, but that’s not as much fun.
- Lake trout, cleaned and deboned
- Dijon mustard
- Squeeze margarine
- Rosemary, parsley, and/or dill to taste
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- In a cup or bowl, make a sauce of about half Dijon mustard and half squeeze margarine. Mix well, then slather liberally over each side of the trout fillets.
- Sprinkle spices over the trout on all sides and then wrap in foil packets.
- Place fish directly on hot coals or over fire for about 10 minutes per side, depending on how much trout is in each packet.
- If you wish, squeeze lemon on trout before eating.