We do many things wrong when we go camping. We forget to stake our tents down. We get bitten by seven thousand mosquitos. We forget our hoodies. But one thing we never, ever do wrong is camp cooking. Here are a couple of new and old favorite camp recipes.
Brooke found this one online somewhere and adapted it for the campfire (because obviously, we cook over an open fire. Charcoal or, god forbid, propane grills or stoves are not for us. This is mostly because we don’t want to lug more gear.). You need:
- Eggs (2 or 3 per person in your party, depending on hunger)
- Bacon (1 strip per person, cut in half, or none, if you don’t eat such things)
- Salt, pepper, chives, cheese for toppings
- Cupcake tin
Oil the cupcake tins (especially if you’re not using bacon). Put two half-strips of bacon cross-wise in the bottom of each tin. Crack one egg into each tin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the tin over the fire and cook until the eggs are to your liking of done-ness. Sprinkle cheese and chives over the top. You can sandwich these little babies between bread or English muffins (toasted over the fire, of course) or just eat them plain.
Cold-brewed Coffee (New York Times recipe)
This was a revelation on this trip, after suffering through the disgustingness of instant coffee and wrestling with the difficulty of a camping French press. Erin brought along a jar of it on this trip and even those of us who usually take sugar in our coffee didn’t mind the fact that we’d forgotten it. Cold-press coffee lacks a lot of the bitterness of regular brewed coffee and is strong enough that you can dilute it to your level of potency with milk or water. Next time, we’re bringing twice as much and leaving the French press at home.
Spicy Chicken and Veggie Kebabs
Kebabs are the natural camping food. You chop everything up before you leave and shove it in a marinade in the cooler. Then you just throw it on the grill and dinner is ready in no time, easy peasy. I haven’t made this one in a while, but it’s always a winner, and it’s also healthier than a lot of other camping go-tos, like hot dogs or burgers.
- Chicken breast
- Any fresh veggies that look good at the market–I usually go with peppers, onions, zucchini, and yellow squash, but I’m told there are actually people on this planet who enjoy mushrooms, and I suppose those are acceptable too. Eggplant would also be nice.
- Olive oil and lemon juice (in about a 1:3 ratio, like you’d do to make vinaigrette)
- Garlic (plenty)
- Cumin (more than plenty)
- Salt (plenty, again)
- Pepper (less than plenty)
- Cayenne or other hot chili powder (As much as you prefer. I’m going to try this with the harissa I brought back from Morocco, and I think “a dash” will be the right amount.)
Cut up the chicken and veggies. Mix up the rest of the ingredients into a marinade. Give the kebabs a bath while you’re driving to your destination. Make sure the cooler is icy so you don’t poison anyone. Bring along some extra oil and tin foil, in case the grill at your site looks gunky (although this isn’t preferred, because it blocks the grill lines and smokey flavor). Then cook like you always cook kebabs: grill, turn, grill, turn. Check your chicken carefully–a campfire won’t be as hot as you’re used to, and the heat will be very uneven. For this reason, you might want to do chicken and veggies on separate skewers, so you can pull them at the right times and temperatures.
I guess this is an old Girl Scout recipe, but I was never a Girl Scout, so I only learned about it last year. It’s a nice alternative to s’mores, although there’s nothing so wrong with s’mores that they need an alternative.
- Mini marshmallows
- Chocolate chips (could also use peanut butter or butterscotch chips)
- Tin foil
Cut a slit in each banana length-wise, but not all the way through each end. You know, so it makes a boat–a boat that is going to carry the precious cargo of chocolate chips and marshmallows. Wrap the whole bundle up tight in tin foil and put directly over the fire. Let cook for a couple of minutes until the chocolate chips and marshmallows have had a chance to melt and the banana gets warm and soft. Open and eat with a fork. Feel good about yourself for eating fruit like a healthy person. Repeat.