Well, it doesn’t look like I’ll be creating some more elaborate things from books, so I’ll just add an entry here and there if I made something quick and easy or something for a particular occasion or ingredient.
Last weekend we went camping in a large group of 7 kids and 6 adults, 3 families. We do this once a year and one family is responsible for one dinner. This has to be something that can easily be made on a campground and that most (if not all) the kids will eat. This year I decided to make flank steak with seeded sourdough baguette and fresh salad. In a way, you could call this an open or deconstructed steak sandwich I guess.
Our turn was Saturday evening, and as we got there on Fri already I kept my meat frozen and let it defrost in the cooler, cooling my other food items at the same time. I marinated the two flank steaks for an hour or two in baggies. My marinade was made of Worcestershire Sauce, fresh ground pepper, some unground lemon pepper (a “built in” grinder for this had broken), I think a bit of olive oil. I sliced some green onions as garnish.
Unfortunately the firewood we got at the camp site was soft pine wood, completely wrong for cooking, but I had somewhat expected that and brought a bag of charcoal. Not exactly campfire cooking, but certainly better than sooty meat with pine flavor Once the coals were nice and hot I cleaned the grates and oiled them, then the meat went on over med/high heat. I plugged my meat thermometer into the thicker piece, figured once that reaches some 130 or so degree the other one will be a bit more done, so people can select more or less rare pieces. Once the meat was done and resting I warmed the baguettes over the fire and prepared the salad.
I had brought a head of Nappa Cabbage, a very quick fresh and crunchy salad that keeps very well with little refrigeration (a small cooler with a baggie of ice that I refilled at times). I’ve had other salads turn to slime in coolers. It’s also easy to prepare: hold it over your salad bowl (or a large camp pot in this case) and slice it with a sharp knife. Since the cabbage has a nice and slightly sweet taste, it’s also super easy to dress: some olive oil, some vinegar (I used cider vinegar this time, often make this with seasoned rice vinegar too), s&p and you’re done.
I sliced the rested meat against the grain into thin strips and sprinkled the green onion over it, served with the warm bread, salad, s&p and extra Worcestershire sauce if somebody wanted, and there you have it, quick and easy to prepare camp food that delicious and freshly made.
I love cooking over fire, next time I might bring some oak wood (if I find room in my truck) to cook over, but the coals worked just as fine and made a good fire starter for the camp fire later that night. And I’m soon going to buy a fire pit for our back yard and experiment with open fire and dutch oven cooking.