My favourite camping preoccupation is cooking. Well, more specifically, eating. Once my tent is up and my gear is organized, not an hour goes by that I don’t spend mentally preparing for my next meal. Because of my predication for open flame cooking, there are always ashes on my plate – and a smile on my face. So without further ado, I present to you my top five easy recipes for cooking right on your campfire – no stove required!
5. Baked Potato. Seriously, carbs are the best way to keep warm on a cold evening, and nothing makes a more satisfying bomb of carbs than a coal-roasted potato. Before you leave home, round up those Russets or Yukon Golds or whatever you have growing in your region. Rub ‘em down in butter or oil, poke a couple holes in each one. When you are starting to get hungry, wrap them in foil and throw them into your campfire coals. Keep roasting for an hour or so out of direct flames. Use tongs or a stick to remove, and – voila! – your day just got a lot more delicious.
4. Citrus Blasters. Okay, I’ll admit it, I made this one up. Step one: peel and section a couple of oranges or grapefruits. Sprinkle them with sugar or bits of chocolate, if you have any. Wrap them up in a tidy foil packet and place them (gently!) on the built-in iron grate over your campfire ring. Get the fruit packet warm and sizzling, then open it (careful!) and devour your little treat with reckless abandon.
3. All Beef Smokeys. I am not a huge meat eater but this is one campfire staple I never go without. Bring your favourite topping (sauerkraut, anyone?) and you’re golden. Er … Golden-brown.
2. S’mores. This is a must for campfires, especially in the summer when you have access to water to clean that disgusting sticky mess off yourself afterwards. How did you get burnt marshmallows in your hair, again? Oh, who cares. Yum.
1. Skillet Nachos. Start with a cast-iron skillet; I have found that a 10” diameter skillet, filled to the brim, handily feeds four hungry campers. Empty a can of refried beans (or make your own) and spread them evenly in the skillet. Empty a jar of salsa on top, and add a layer of California black olives and a layer of pickled jalapeno slices. Top with a thick layer of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover the skillet tightly with foil and transport flat. This is a car camper’s meal; no backpackers allowed! Get your fire going and place the skillet – foil cover intact – onto the grill above the flames. Keep an eye on it; the cheese bubbles when the dish is heated throughout. Now remove the pan, being extremely careful of the hot iron. Make sure you have a safe and level place to put the skillet down (a damp stump is perfect, a plastic cooler top is not). Pop open a large bag of corn chips and dig in. Dear sweet heaven. Enjoy.
Got a great campfire recipe? Share it in the comments!