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Campfire Cooking

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If planning a camping trip, you don’t need to bring the entire kitchen. This is camping, so we are going to keep it simple.

No rack of lamb recipes here. We aren’t bringing a propane grill or a Green Egg or an RV, instead, we will cook over an open flame with wood, and some charcoal.

grill grate

                                                          photo credit: rvsupplyco.com

Take along a grill grate to place food directly on and two cast iron skillets that will also be used on the grill grate. 

When cooking campfire-style, patience is a virtue. Take your time, most likely you are out being one with Mother Nature. There is no time clock other than the chirping birds or the hooting owls. 

Here are some select recipes that will keep you and your stomach satisfied throughout the entire day, and the evening spooky campfire stories.

Let’s start the day with a filling ... 

BREAKFAST 

To get the morning going we start with some scrambled eggs and scrapple. Here are two recipes that can be done simultaneously or cooked separately. For these recipes you will need a camping grill grate; and two cast iron skillets (one for the eggs and the other for the scrapple).

Scrapple and Eggs

                         photo credit: vermontframheart.files.wordpress.com

Scrambled eggs with cheese and onion - (serves 4; 2-3 eggs per person)

A 10 or 12-inch skillet 

Ingredients

10 to 12 large eggs

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion diced; (we use red onion, but your choice)

8 ounces of shredded cheese (we use sharp cheddar)

Chopped cilantro or parsley (optional, for a little ‘green’)

Salt and pepper to taste (as always!!!)

Milk or water (1 ounce)

Instructions

Prepare the fire to medium heat and place the grill rack over the fire

Place the skillet on the grill rack and add the butter until it melts

Add in the diced onion: Stirring at times until it becomes softened

In a bowl, add the eggs, salt, pepper, and an ounce of milk or water.

Whip the eggs thoroughly, to get them nice and fluffy.

Whipping eggs

Add the contents of the bowl to the skillet. Stir easily and continuously as it cooks

Once almost done, add in the cheese and mix in well

Once the cheese is melted sprinkle in the parsley/cilantro and serve. 

 

Scrapple – (Serves 4 or more)

A 10-inch skillet 

Ingredients

12 to 16 ounces of packaged Scrapple

3 to 4 tablespoons butter

Salt and Pepper to taste. (For spicier scrapple use cayenne instead of black pepper)

Instructions

Prepare the fire to medium heat and place the grill rack over the fire

Place the skillet on the grill rack and add the butter until it melts

Slice the scrapple to about ½ inch thickness; Total 4 slices - can be more if desired

Once butter has melted, carefully place the scrapple into the skillet

(Be careful to keep the scrapple in one piece; can place in skillet via the spatula)

Let scrapple cook 4 to 5 minutes before turning over for a crispy outer layer

Cook this side for 4 minutes. 

Remove scrapple to a plate covered with a few paper towels to drain. 

Then serve. 

LUNCH

What would camping be without the staple food…hot dogs and beans. Sure, it is not fancy, but after that hearty breakfast, there is nothing like a quick tasty lunch to fuel yourselves for the afternoon fishing, hiking, rock climbing, waterfall, or swimming adventures.

Hot Dogs in a bun

Hot Dogs, Beans, and Veggies – (Serves 4 or more)

10-inch skillet

Ingredients

Hot dogs – 8 or 10 pack of your favorite brand

Hot dog rolls – enough for each hot dog

Baked Beans; (we prefer Bush’s)

Condiments for Hot Dogs – This is always a personal choice. Here is a starter list. There are probably 1,000 ways to dress up your franks. Cheese, onion, pickle spears, relish, jalapeno pepper, horseradish, and of course, ketchup and mustard.

Optional – For an easy side, chop fresh carrots, celery, red & green pepper with ranch or bleu cheese dressing for dipping

Instructions

Start with getting the fire going and place the grill grate over it when ready. 

Fire should be at a medium to high heat

Place baked beans in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally.

Place the hot dogs directly on the grill grate.

Roll the dogs back and forth until the end of the hot dogs begins to split. (Generally, 5 to 7 minutes for a standard frank, 7 to 10 minutes for a jumbo frank.)

hot dogs on grill

                                                           photo credit: colemannatural.com

Then quickly sear the dogs to get those fantastic grill lines.

Remove the hot dog and place it in the bun. (If you prefer, lightly gill the roll before inserting the frank).

Dress up your hotdog with your favorite condiments, and serve with baked beans on the side.

Finally, if you want some veggies, bring along some chopped carrots, celery, and red or green peppers with some blue cheese or ranch dressing as a refreshing side. (Chop them before you head out camping to save a little time and elbow grease). 

 

DINNER

What a day. You’ve explored the trails nearby, hopefully avoiding the poison ivy, oak, and sumac. Then carefully steered clear of the bears, and/or snakes. Maybe took a dip, in the lake/river/waterfall pool, and spotted a few animals that you haven’t come across in a while. You feel like you could be a star on Survivor!!! Now, time to settle in for a nice dinner. But what to have? 

How about a little surf and turf, with veggies? 

Let’s start with the vegetables and we will progress to the stars of the show in just a bit.

Veggie Skewers

Grilled Vegetables - (Serves 4)

The most important thing with grilled vegetables is to try and cut them into chunks at about the same size for even cooking. Again, to save time out in the wild, may be a good idea to have the veggies cut before heading out). 

Ingredients

1 large red pepper cut into chunks

1 large green pepper cut into chunks

1 large red onion cut into chunks

1 zucchini cut into chunks

1 yellow squash cut into chunks

Marinade ingredients

2 Tablespoons oregano

1 tablespoon pepper

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning.

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Instructions

Start with getting the fire going and place the grill grate over it when ready.

Fire needs to be at high heat.

Soak wooden skewers submerged in water for 15 minutes

In a bowl combine vegetables and the marinade ingredients; mix well

Thread the vegetables onto the skewers 

Place skewers directly onto the grill grate

Cook skewers for 2 to 3 minutes then turn; Repeat until vegetables are cooked.

Serve with any of the dinner recipes below.

 

***Stars of Dinner***

Try any or all of these with the grilled vegetables above: We will start with some ‘surf’ recipes and finish with ‘turf’.

“SURF”

Shrimp in foil

                                           photo credit: countryliving.com

Steamed Shrimp in Foil – (Serves 4)

Ingredients

1 and a half pounds of 16 - 20 count (large) shrimp peeled and deveined. 

4 Tablespoons butter melted

One small onion sliced, then halved

Freshly squeezed lemon, about 2 tablespoons

Old Bay Seasoning – To Taste

Instructions

Start with getting the fire going and place the grill grate over it when ready.

Fire should be at high heat.

In a bowl combine melted butter, shrimp, sliced onion, lemon juice, and be liberal when adding the Old Bay seasoning.

4 pieces of heavy-duty foil are cut into 12-inch pieces sides partially folded up into pouches

Add 4 equal portions of the contents of the bowl between the four foils pouches

Finish folding the four sides of the foils, completely sealing each pouch until closed. 

Place the pouches on the grill, for 10 to 12 minutes

Remove from heat. Check contents to be sure the shrimp is pink. (If all shrimp, are not pink place them back on the grill and steam for 2 more minutes)

Place contents in a bowl and serve with grilled vegetables (see above). 

 

Shrimp Kabobs - (Serves 4)

Shrimp Skewers

Ingredients

2 pounds of large shrimp (16-20 count) peeled and deveined

Option 1 for Shrimp

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

¼ cup Old Bay Seasoning

Option 2 – for Shrimp

2 Tablespoons oregano

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning.

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Instructions

Start with getting the fire going and place the grill grate over it when ready.

Fire needs to be at high heat.

Soak wooden skewers submerged in water for 15 minutes

In a bowl combine shrimp and the ingredients of EITHER (not both), Option 1 or Option 2; Mix Well

Thread the shrimp onto the skewers 

Place skewers directly onto the Grill grate.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes then turn; Repeat until shrimp is fully cooked through and pink.

Serve on a plate with grilled vegetables. (See above)   

Tip: Cook shrimp and veggies mixed on the same skewers. Works just as well and it looks awesome.

“TURF”

We go with another camping classic, the burger.

Burger 2

Classic Beef Burger – (8 burgers – Serves 8, or 7 or 6 or 5 or…)

Ingredients

2 pounds of ground beef (we used 85/15 ground beef, but 80/20 works just as well)

4-5 tablespoons of BBQ sauce

1 teaspoon pepper

One-half cup of chopped/diced mushrooms

Optional: Cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce

Instructions

Start with getting the fire going and place the grill grate over it when ready.

Fire needs to be at high heat.

In a bowl combine the ground beef, BBQ Sauce, pepper, and mushrooms in a bowl, mix gently

Form each patty and create a small divot in the middle to prevent the burgers from puffing up. (2 pounds should make eight, one quarter-pound burgers…yes, I went to college for that math)

Place each burger directly onto the grill.

Cook for 4 to 5 minutes; Then flip the burger and cook again for 4 to 5 minutes. (Time varies on how rare to well done you prefer)

Burger on grill

Optional – (well really not optional, who doesn’t like cheese on a burger) - Top burger with cheese and cook until melted

Remove burger to the bun (plain or toasted on the grill).

Top with an onion slice, tomato, lettuce, and condiments as desired. 

Serve with grilled vegetables (see above)


DESSERT (scary campfire storytime!!!)

S’mores – (Serves…until you run out of ingredients)

The perfect ending to campfire cooking is with an all-time favorite; S’MORES. (My daughter always said, they are called s’more, because you can always have ‘some more’). 

After the fire from dinner has simmered down and the fire’s embers are glowing bright red, it is time for this sweet treat.

marshmallow on a stick

Ingredients

Graham crackers

Marshmallows

Chocolate Candy Bars – (we love to use dark chocolate candy bars)

Instructions

Here are two slightly different sets of methods for preparing your s’mores.

Method 1 

Break a long graham cracker into two halves. Then break the chocolate bar so that it fits on one of the graham cracker halves. Place the chocolate bar piece onto one side of the two graham cracker halves. Set the other half of the graham cracker aside for the moment. 

Place a nice puffy marshmallow on a stick, (you are camping, there have to be a few good marshmallow sticks close by).

Place a marshmallow on the stick and hold it over the fire. Slowly rotate until the marshmallow turns a beautiful golden brown and the inside is just a bit gooey.

Remove the marshmallow from the stick and place it on the chocolate that is sitting on the graham cracker. Then top the marshmallow with the other half of the graham cracker. 

Press down on the crackers and enjoy!!!!

Smore

Method 2

NOTE: This method is designed to provide supreme chocolate melting. 

Break a long graham cracker into two halves. Then break the chocolate bar so that it will fit on one of the graham cracker halves. Set the two graham crackers pieces and the chocolate piece on the side for now.  

Place TWO nice puffy marshmallows on a stick, (assumes you have your marshmallow stick all set to go).

Place both marshmallows on the stick and hold them over the fire. Slowly rotate until the marshmallows turn a beautiful golden brown and are just a bit gooey inside.

Place the one marshmallow on the graham cracker. 

Place the piece of chocolate on the first marshmallow.

Place the second marshmallow on the chocolate bar.

Place the other half of the graham cracker on top. 

Squeeze down a bit, and enjoy.  

Let the scary stories continue as long as the s’mores hold out. 

 

Heading Home

Camping is such a great bonding trip for family and friends.

doused campfire

Please be sure to follow all precautions for lighting, monitoring and thoroughly putting out your campfires. We love our friend Smokey the Bear and all his animal buddies that live in the wilderness. As Smokey says, “Only you can prevent forest fires!”

Safe Travels – oh...and remember the bug spray!!!


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