Happy Tuesday, Beta Testers! This week we're tackling camping food, and I'm not talkin' weenies and sandwiches... so let's jump right in!
For all of these recipes you will need either foil pans or a cast iron dutch oven (10"-12" with legs and lid), heavy-duty aluminum foil, cooking spray, insulated BBQ mitts, BBQ tongs, a charcoal chimney starter, and charcoal briquettes.
A note about the charcoal...
For each of these recipes, I suggest splitting the number of charcoal briquettes needed in half and heating them in the chimney in shifts. Here is a simple how-to for lighting charcoal! Once the first shift is lightly ashy, pour them out flat so that you can place the dutch oven over top. Then start the second set, which you will use on the top of the dutch oven. This method gets the bottom cooking first and keeps stuff from burning. Also remember that these are my estimates, and you may find you need more or less briquettes to cook, hence the frequent checking.
Dutch Oven Pizza
35 minutes total (5-10 to prep, 25-30 cooking)
20 briquettes on bottom, 12-15 on top
- Pre-made pizza dough (I buy it from Trader Joe's, but you could get extra fancy and make some from scratch. I recommend the recipe in Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish)
- Marinera sauce (also from TJ's)
- Shredded mozzerella
- Desired toppings (we chose canadian bacon and pineapple, I suggest cutting any veggies before you leave home to save on chopping time and cleanup)
- Line dutch oven with heavy-duty foil, spray foil with cooking spray
- Turn dough out into (clean) hands and begin to stretch it by holding the dough vertically and allowing gravity to pull it down. Move your hands around the outside of the dough until you have a disc close to the size of your dutch oven.
- Lay the dough into the dutch oven and push it to the edges with your fingers.
- Spread your sauce over the dough leaving a narrow boarder around the edges.
- Top your pizza with whatever you like, including plenty of cheese.
- Following the above instructions about charcoal, start cookin your pizza! I checked it at 10m, 20m, 25m and then it was done at 30minutes, however actual timing may vary-- again with the obsessive checking!
This pizza made a great first-night meal. We were tired from setting up camp and wandering around the campground and visitor area, but not starving. Paired with a cold Fremont Summer Ale and s'mores later around the fire it made for the perfect first night meal with easy cleanup to boot.
Our second evening boasted a much more elaborate meal as we were coming off a long, damp hike and needed some serious food. The menu was Lemon Tilapia with Roasted Veggies and Cornbread, and a mixed berry cobbler for dessert. Paired with a red wine to help warm us back up.
Tilapia with Roast Veggies
40 minutes (5 prep, 35 to cook)
- Tilapia fillets (frozen from TJ's)
- 1 Lemon (2 if you're doing several fillets)
- Butter (about 1tbs per fillet)
- S&P (and any other herbs/spices you fancy)
- Veggies (we went with fingerling potatoes, baby carrots, and (sliced) mushrooms)
- foil roasting pan
- Lay tilapia fillets in roasting pan and top with bits of butter, lemon slices and S&P
- Place veggies around and on top of the fillets
- Cover with heavy duty foil
- Place on grate over a good cooking fire.
- Check every 5-7 minutes (rotating 1/4 turn when you check) until the fish flakes and the veggies are tender. Ours took about 35 minutes because potatoes are stubborn.
Cast Iron Cornbread
35 minutes total (5 prep, 30 cook)
20 briquettes on bottom, 10 on top
- 1 1/4c milk
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 1/2 c medium-grind cornmeal
- 1/2c all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 egg
- Before you leave: mix dry ingredients in a plastic container to minimize work at the campsite
- Line dutch oven with foil and spray with cooking spray
- Melt butter in saucepan over pre-heating briquettes and pour into dutch oven (I dearly wish I had captured this maneuver, because it was brilliantly simple and ingenious)
- White butter is melting, mix dry ingredients with milk and egg until combined and pour into dutch oven after butter
- Follow the charcoal instructions and start the bottom to cooking. Add the briquettes to the top once they are ready. Check every 10 minutes until done (approx 30 minutes).
Mixed Berry Cobbler
30 minutes total (5 to prep, 25 to cook)
18 briquettes on bottom, 10 on top
4 cups fresh mixed berries
1/4c granulated sugar
2 tbs all-purpose flour
1 can Pillsbury Biscuits (you could also pre-make homemade if you are feeling like going the extra mile-- try this one from Joy the Baker, omitting the extra flavor additions if you prefer)
- Pre-mix the berries, sugar and flour in a plastic container for easy cleanup.
- Line dutch oven with foil (you can also prepare a foil pan as with the tilapia, but it is much more difficult to achieve browned biscuits that way--trust me)
- Pour the berry mix into the dutch oven and top with the pre-made biscuits
- Follow the charcoal instructions and start the bottom to cooking. Add the briquettes to the top once they are ready. Check every 5-7 minutes until done (approx 25 minutes).
- I did the cobbler in the foil pan, but I wouldn't recommend it-- it was too hard to get the top to brown (which is how there came to be burned parts and bits of ash in the cobbler...don't be like me) and it would have been just as easy to do the cornbread first, lift it out of the dutch oven and then start the cobbler.
Hope you enjoyed this summer's camp cooking roundup! If you missed the pictures from my camping trip check out next Sunday's post to get the full panorama of Mt Rainier beauty. As always, keep those requests coming and give me a follow on the social medias for even more Betty action. xo--