How to cook while camping


Camping food for some means burgers, hot dogs, and chili.  I am not some people.  As soon as the hubs and I started planning our West Coast I started planning the menus for the nights we would be camping.  I picked dishes that would be easy to make while still highlighting local and seasonal items.

Now just to clarify we were car camping so we were not terribly concerned about weight or amount of stuff, as our truck was rather large.  I was lucky enough to be able to borrow real Calphalon pans from my brother-in-law for the trip, and if you have room I strongly encourage using your everyday items.  They kept the heat from our camping stove much more even leading to food being cooked more evenly.

Here is the round up of what I cooked, let me know if you use any of these recipes!

Night 1- Curried couscous and fish packets with steamed green beans

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The key to this recipe is foil, don’t get the cheap stuff, go with the high quality for grill foil.  Now I swapped Israeli couscous for standard couscous, for two people I mixed 1c of chicken stock with 1t curry powder and 1/2t cayenne.  The chicken stock came out of a packet which I mixed with water, the spices I measured into individual tiny Ziplock bags to make it easier.  Once the chicken stock and spices were mixed I added the couscous, which was then spooned into foil packets.  I used talapia which I salted and laid over the couscous and then sealed the foil packets.  Now I laid the packets directly over the flame of the stove, DON”T DO THAT, lay them in a pan, I burned the hell out of the couscous.  The green beans I just steamed in a pot, once cooked I tossed them with olive oil and salt.


Night 2- Marinated steak with a zucchini and white bean salad

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Now this meal was an experiment in Mr. Potato Head cooking, you don’t have something you need swap something else in, and in the end it was delicious!  The meat was bought when I saw a sigh in one of the town right along the Oregon-California border advertising fresh, local meat.  It came from about 20 miles away and was raised and butchered by the guy behind the counter in the general store.  I marinated it in red wine (enough to cover the meat once its in the bag), 3 cloves of sliced garlic, and 1 sliced shallot.  I started prepping dinner a few hours before we were going to eat, which meant I could continually flip the bag.  I cooked the steak in a pan with very little liquid, and then when the steak was done I removed it from the pan to allow it to rest while I cooked down the rest of the marinade for a sauce.  The side dish was made up of 4 grilled zucchini, which I cut with a cross hatch then drizzled with olive oil and salt.  While cooking the zucchini I warmed up the 1 can of white beans in a small pot and then added the zucchini once it was cooked.  I forgot to grab lemons at the market so for the acid in the dish I marinated 1 sliced shallot in enough bit of Vinho Verde to cover the shallots two times over for a quick vinaigrette.


Night 3- Rossa Mac and Cheese

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I may be slightly insane for deciding to make homemade mac and cheese while camping, but there you go.  I picked up cheese, proscuitto, and tomatoes to mix with egg noodles (which would cook faster then wheat based noodles), asparagus, and creme. Now my go-to base for mac and cheese is equal parts white wine and cream (about 1/2 cup for this recipe), with the juice of half a lemon, then let that boil until it has reduced by half, for this dinner I then added 1/4 lbs cheese (which I had cubed) and once the cheese was melted I added the sliced tomatoes, which gave the sauce a nice pink hue.  Once the sauce was done I poured it over the noodles (about 5oz was what fit in the pot we had) and 5 spears of asparagus (which I chopped into bite size pieces and tossed in with the pasta with about 2 minutes left to cook) and topped it with the proscuitto which I had crisped up in the frying pan.  While it was a rather unconventional camping meal it was delicious and shockingly easy to make with my limited supplies.


Sorry this is so washed out, I was pretty excited to eat and forgot to check the light meter (whoops!)



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