Monday, October 5, 2009

Campin' Fare

Charlotte asked me (or Daddio) to expound a little on our camping food... how we come up with it and that sort of thing. First let me say it has evolved over the years! We started off easy... hot dogs, steaks, baked potatoes, and s'mores!

I think the first question you need to answer before your next camping trip is where are you going and is there a burn ban (which happens frequently here in Tx, so do your research). We prefer actual campfire cooking, but all that we do can be done with charcoal if need be.

Next up are tools! Tools are just as important as the food you want cooked. First you need a set of heavy duty grill tools (spatula, tongs, fork), and a set of grilling gloves (here's the set I got for Daddio that he really likes!). If you like your arms and hands... these gloves will protect them! Then there is the actual cookware. We have a nice grill to set of the fire (for those sites that don't have a permanent fire ring with attached grill). I couldn't find one like we have... but ours is a heavy cast iron product that half of the top is a grill grate and the other is a flat surface that is great for eggs and bacon and the sort (frying). And last but definitely not least - DUTCH OVENS! We actually have two. A traditional one like in the picture, and a deep dish skillet with a lid that is great for frying things in. The lid has about an inch to and inch and half lip so your bacon grease doesn't drip into the fire, and you don't lose an egg on an uneven surface (using the lid is like having a third pan!!!). Oh, and another must have tool for dutch ovens... the Lid Lifter! It makes life a lot easier and safer :-).

When it comes to our menus... we have a few staples we always make: steaks, s'mores, breakfast burritos and dutch oven peach cobbler. Steaks and s'mores are easy, that's a no brainer. The cobbler, I think this came in the cookbook that came with our first dutch oven. It's a super simple recipe... two small cans of peaches in syrup (or one HUGE can), one box of spice cake mix, one stick of butter. First pour in the cans of peaches (syrup and all), without mixing spread the dry cake mix on top, then cut the butter up into tbsps and lay on top. Place lid on top, and put in the fire pit. Usually takes about 15-20 minutes (depending on how the wood coals are doing). The breakfast burritos are pretty straight forward. Daddio fries the bacon and eggs in the lid of the large skillet, place on tortillas, and top with cheese and salsa... mmmmmm TASTY!

Over the years we've done all sorts of meals in the dutch oven. This time we made up a new one all on our own :-). We cut up potatoes and stick of butter (add salt and pepper to your liking), placed on grill over fire. Daddio grilled a link of sausage for a while, then cut up into sections and threw that into the oven... once the potatoes were nice and soft we added cheese to the top! It made a great side dish for our steaks, and a full meal for the boys! Had we thought of it before hand, I would have tossed in some onion and probably garlic (but alas I didn't bring those items).

Last year we tried a few casserole dishes from Cee Dubs Dutch Oven Show. His show is funny, and all of his food (that we've tried) is very tasty! He cooks with charcoal briquettes instead of fire... so our timing and heat are really much more approximate than his. And we recently stumbled across Primal Grilling! This show is amazing and we've already put into practice some of his techniques!

Just the thought of camping excites my taste buds. Everything tastes different... better when it has been cooked over fire! And really once you have a few simple (well made) tools, the possiblities for meals are endless!

1 comment:

nicole said...

Husband cooks a Mountain Man breakfast when we camp, something he found online. Potatoes, eggs, bacon, sausage if you want, onions, cheese, all cooked in the dutch oven and then served with salsa. Makes me hungry just thinking about it.