pasta on the rocks : camp cusine

camp cooking

Nothing tastes like camp food! I am not talking about hot dogs and smores (ack) I am talking about thoughtful meals made in nature with limited everything. You really do have to plan well and season at home if you want the best of your camp culinary experiences.

If you have time make a meal plan up for your stay do so and prep as much as you can and season everything while your at your pantry (to save space on having to bring the whole pantry to you). Some of the things I like to do are:

– Chop and season veggie foils; potatoes and veggies and herbs, with onions and garlic in rich flavored pockets at the ready to toss on some coals and be enjoyed leisurely.

– Pre-Cook rice, pasta or beans, these can easily become a campfire risotto, or  really easy dinner additions. Boiling water on a camp file is kinda sucky lets be honest, and if you use a stove it’s loud and takes time away from adventuring when your monitoring water slowly coming to a simmer.

– Pre-stuff and season big russet potatoes for max flavor baked potatoes; onions cheese butter pepper garlic.

– Make nice marinate veggie salads to eat them on a whim.

When we camp I find our family grazes lots as we often canoe much of the day away, its nice to have a selection of healthy (and indulgent snack foods on hand) cheese and crackers with homemade pickles and hummus  are always top of our snacking list.

It is also really important to seal up all you cooler food well… ugh because cooler water is NOT something you want in your meals. I love my mason jars (and while that option is too heavy for hike in camping) It’s perfect for canoe camping. I stow salads and cheeses, sauces and veggies in jars which keeps the cooler juice out, which lets face it, is an inevitable part of camping. Also if your a meat eater it’s a great idea to find a good sized plastic container to stow all your meat in along with some small cooler packs, you can keep it in the big cooler but this was your meat says cold + meat juice stays out of the rest of the cooler!

camp cusine

We just got back from a few days at the lake and I made a lovely gluten free pasta dinner with a homemade fresh from the garden creamy veggie  sauce on site, sure I could have bought a jar of tomato sauce from the store and kept it really simple, but when your drowning in tomatoes and peppers that seems a sin! So here is my recipe for camp fire creamy veggie pasta:

In a large pot over your camp stove or over hot coals get some oil and butter into the pan and start by browning up:

2 small yellow onions chopped fine

4 cloves of garlic minced

2 sweet peppers chopped fine

Season with spice blend (I usually make a go-to camp spice (salt, garlic, chili flakes, paprika and black pepper) keeps the weight down and works with most everything, *great on corn on the cob

Once golden add in:

About 4 cups of chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes

a splash of what ever your drinking… beer, apple cider, white wine would all do nicely.

Cover and let break down and thicken for about 30 minutes (depending on your heat and surface)

Then using a fork mash up the veggies bits (normally I would hit it with an immersion blender but obviously that didn’t make the trip)

Add in about 1/2 cup of heavy organic cream

and some grated sharp cheese about 2/3 of a cup

Season to taste and serve over cooked pasta.

Now I totally should have taken my own advise on this last trip and pre-cooked my pasta especially because it is a gluten free pasta that really wants to be strained then rinsed before serving… I missed the ball on that one and ended up struggling to rinse pasta in the lake 🙂 I have already learned this lesson once or twice and the times I have precooked the pasta camp cooking was ever dreamier!

I would love to hear your favorite camp cooking tips and favorite foods, leave me a comment with your camp savvy culinary ideas.

pasta on the rocks

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