Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Menu Planning & Cooking, Preparation & Readiness
Campsite Gourmet Cooking — Continued:
Food cooked away from home, especially over a campfire, seems to always taste better. I guess it is the atmosphere and the crackling of a fire? Or perhaps it is our genetic makeup that makes us want to return to the primeval days of our cave dwelling ancestors? Or, it could be as my grandma believed, electricity ruins the taste of food – one should at least cook with gas rather than electricity!
Whatever it is that makes camp-cooked food taste better, it is no myth that the flavor of even hot dogs and hamburgers is far superior when in the great outdoors.
Our fifth wheel trailer has just about everything in its kitchen we have at home. Microwave, drip coffee maker, waffle iron, stove, oven and toaster. Yet, I do not like cooking inside the camper when we are away from home. I find it much more “fun” to break out the Baby-Q, gas fry pan or just plain old charcoal to prepare all of our meals. The smell of freshly brewed coffee from an enameled percolator resting over a morning fire and the sizzle of bacon and eggs from a large cast iron skillet are forces to be reckoned with.
Camp cooking can be as basic and simple as you want or totally gourmet. It is really up to you and how much effort you want to put into the preparation of the meal.
One of our favorites is kabobs. These are made up of red, orange and green bell peppers, onions, chicken and/or beef, and maybe some tomatoes, potatoes and squash.
Rather than put all of the ingredients on a single kabob skewer, I put them individually on their own skewer. By doing this, I can be assured that the tomatoes will not be overcooked and the meat and potatoes will be cooked just right. After cooking, everything goes into a single serving bowl and those gathered at the table select what they want.
Bar-B-Q pork is another campsite favorite.
I like to take a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce and mix it equally with cider vinegar – add in a little more garlic and onion powder and a handful of brown sugar. Soak the pork in the sauce overnight in the refrigerator. When dinner time rolls around, pop it on the grill and keep it coated with the sauce. The meat develops a glaze that holds the juices in and it is sooooooo good.
Have you ever eaten fresh trout? I mean, like, minutes from being hooked and pulled out of the stream? Let me tell you, there is not much on the face of this earth that fresh fried or broiled trout with a lemon wedge can beat. It can be breakfast, lunch or dinner – trout goes great with anything. If you are lucky enough to get someone else to clean what you catch, they taste even better.
When we are at the beach, shrimp finds its way to the grill at least twice a week. I generally get large or jumbo shrimp, peel and de-vein them and soak in a solution of vinegar, ocean water (pre-boiled and cooled) with Old Bay seasoning. I like to use a wok type of utensil on the grill and then just throw them in. It only takes a few minutes for them to turn a delicious pink color indicating they are ready for the feast.
Now, if you really want a sea-side feast you should go for surf-and-turf. This includes a whole, live lobster, shrimp, select beef tenderloin and a bottle of sweet red or white wine. Top it all off at the end with a slice of Edwards Georgia Pecan Pie topped with whipped cream and you have a camp side feast that competes with the finest seafood restaurants for about half the price. BTW – this cook and waiter does accept tips.
One more cooking tip and then I will be through torturing you.
This one is called breakfast in a sack and is complements of our Cedar Creek RV Owner’s Club. You start with a plastic zipper type freezer bag – the heavy duty type that can withstand both cold and hot water. Break two eggs in the bag. Now, add peppers, salt, cheese, onion, and pre-cooked bacon, sausage or ham – whatever you would normally want in an omelet. Squeeze the excess air out of the bag and zip it closed. Squish it up real good to mix the egg and ingredients and then toss the entire bag into a pot of boiling water. It only takes a few minutes for the egg to cook. It is just like a pan fried omelet, only not as greasy. There is no pan to clean and you can eat it right out of the bag.
Now, how is that for a quick and simple breakfast that will stick to your ribs?
OK, I’m waiting. Tell us about one of your favorite camp side meals.