Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Camping Cuisine #4: Failed Fishing Excursions and Steak Night

When you travel to another state and intend to fish, you ought to buy a fishing license and learn the regulations.  I did.  I bought a 5-day pass (read the entire rule book) and some new lures,  even though I knew my best lure would be the magic one because
  1. It was made in Hood River, Oregon
  2. It was named "Krocodile"
  3. It was previously embedded in the dog's paw.
However, Taste Tester lost this lure on our 2nd day of fishing from both the shore and the kayak (named Mango).  I never got nibbles until we were tipped off to add corn niblets to our hook, and even then I kept getting hung up on the rocks below surface.  When I did, I used Mango to help me get behind the rock and save the lure.
Me and Mango

However, TT felt it was a better technique to just pull.  Real hard.  The line broke and Krocodile was lost.  So was my $31 fishing license money and any chance at landing a trout.  So he showed his guilty remorse by cooking me a steak and sweet potato whilst I crafted a new lure from a beer can.

Steak medium rare, roasted hatches and bleu cheese on top, baked sweet potato with sour cream and chipotles in adobo sauce

So with such an amazing meal, I forgave him his trespasses against my lures.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Diary of Camping Cuisine #3: Pizza on the Grill

View from dam to other side

View from our campsite.  Looked like the ocean!

So this wasn't so much of a success as a learning experience.  Now that I've finally mastered my dough, I made enough for 4 pizzas and froze them after the 2nd rise to go with us.  Little did I know that even at very chilly temperatures, yeast will keep on truckin'.  I opened up the dough (previously rounded orbs) to find a sticky, bubbly mess exploding out of the bag I had stored them in.

  Brilliant Scott had advised us to grill them lightly first, then top them, then grill again, which I did.  However, I think the lack of a pizza stone caused the burning of the pizza bottoms.  Next time, I think I will bring a stone to put on the coals themselves, or maybe you could be super-crunchy-granola types and get by with some natural stone.

We did a pesto base and toppings of a variation of onions, tomatoes, and pepperoni, plus mozzarella and arregiano cheeses on one and goat cheese and mozz on another.  Still good, but the burnt crust risked a chipped tooth.
Witness the charred remains

If I had my druthers, I would have added smoked lake trout, but because Taste Tester discouraged me from fishing on our first night, I never caught any fish.

Next chapter: failed fishing excursions...

Diary of Camping Cuisine: Family Cooking (cheating) in the Best Kitchen Evah

(Rigatoni used because Taste Tester hates penne. Penne. Who hates penne?)

Sam(...and the awesome stove)
Now I admit this is not truly camp cooking, but it was before the official campout began and an exceptionally fun meal to make with the amazing New Mexico relatives in their belongs-in-a-magazine kitchen.  Giant kitchen range, great island to work at, dogs underfoot (as I've said before, it's a type of seasoning to have dogs in the kitchen), and lots and lots of iiiitty bitty chairs. 

We made this recipe (designed for a 2-person meal, though I overshot the target and made enough for about 10):
Chipotle Mushroom Penne
  • 1 seared (and then chopped) ribeye steaks--leftover steaks are great for this
  • 1 to 1.5 cups cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 chopped chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cups penne cooked al dente
Saute garlic and onions in oil, stop them from burning by adding the cream.  You may want to water it down or use half n half instead, some heavy creams are thicker than molasses.  Add mushrooms to simmer and soak up the cream and add the chipotle, but go easy on it if you're a pansy about spice.

The sauce should simmer a little and get a nice orangey shade when it's time to add the pre-cooked pasta and beef. (Chicken tastes good in this also.)  Simmer another minute so the pasta is finished, then plate.

Fresh garden peppers roasted for an app!
Caesar salad on the side

Hannah :)
They also served a breakfast to die for: smoked salmon from Seattle on schmeared bagels with onions and lemon.  That was wonderful, and it got me in the mood to fish.  Little did I know that Taste Tester would jinx my luck at fishing the next day...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Diary of the Camping Cuisine: 1st post: Ceviche Superwoman

Well after a week of lavish camping in beautiful New Mexico state parks, we are exhausted and a bit fatter from all the great eating.  I'll post all the best meals over the next few days with recipes and photos, all at once would just be TOO EXCITING.
To begin, our first night on Heron Lake and the gorgeous sunset.  The fish were jumping everywhere and Taste Tester discouraged me from fishing, therefore I never caught anything our whole trip.

For this evening, I roasted green NuMex chiles and made a green salsa with tomatillos, onions, garlic, and lime.

Then I made a ceviche with crappy Walmart tilapia and crappier Walmart shrimp.  It was actually uncrappily fantastic, limey and fresh and cold and creamy.  I know creamy doesn't sound like a descriptor for ceviche, but after a nice sit in the lime juice, the juice thickens and coats the fish like a sauce.

Walmart Tilapia and Shrimp Ceviche
3 filets of tilapia, diced
handful of shelled shrimp, sliced lengthwise in half
2 chopped jalepenos
1/2 diced white onion
juice of 2 limes and 1 lemon
handful chopped cilantro
Diced avocado
Better photo:

A nice dish for camping because it's really just a chop and mix dish, but I do let it refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour with some stirring to fully coat the lime and lemon acid on each piece of fish so they cook evenly.  In hot weather, nothing is more satisfying, every time we try a new ceviche I want to open a cevicheria in a food trailer.  I'd move it to wherever is having the hottest weather.  Like a ceviche superwoman.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Prep Week for Camping Week

We're going to New Mexico if we can survive this week, and it'll be an all-camping vacation.  I'm planning to attempt some non-traditional camping cooking, so far I've set these goals:
  • Campfire pizza (fresh frozen dough brought from home)
  • French toast
  • Paella (or something closely resembling it)
 Pictures will be shared.
*...this last one will depend on the supply, rather than my cooking abilities.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Updates

It's still growing like crazy.  Something like 55 babies and they are getting kinda crowded!  I've been cooking but forgetting to photo and post.  If something interesting happens, I'll share.