Campfire Cooking
Credit: Pklimenko | Dreamstime.com

Best camp meal at the end of the trip wins a flask of Baileys. That’s what my regular camp-group has done for years.

The prize is well deserved. Preparing a good meal on the first night out is far easier than on the last. By then, you’ve run out of fresh ingredients—but your body is craving something tasty and nutritious. You’re down to dehydrated veggies, mouldy cheese and a clove of garlic or small onion if you’re lucky.

Here are a few recipes that won me the Irish liquor.

Shrimp Creole

Ingredients

1 can shrimp

1 cup pre-cooked white rice

½ cup black beans

1 cup dried tomatoes

½ cup dehydrated celery

2 cloves of garlic

1 small onion

½ tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes

½ tsp. gumbo file powder

½ tsp. pepper

½ cup white wine

½ of a tomato juice drink-box (the ones you use in the kids lunches)

2 cups water

1 tbs. olive oil

Directions

Pre-soak the beans in a container for an entire day (a spare Nalgene waterbottle works well). Then, combine the black beans and tomatoes in wine and tomato juice. Lightly grease a frying pan with oil and cook celery garlic, onion, pepper and file powder over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the tomato juice mixture. Cook and stir until it thickens (10 to 15 minutes). Add shrimp and cook for another three to five minutes. Cook rice in two cups of boiling water and add sauce.

Mexican-style Couscous

Ingredients

1 cup couscous

1 cube vegetable bouillon

2 tbs. dried vegetables

2 tbs. dried red and green peppers

2 tbs. dried corn

1/4 cup mixture of black beans and red organic beans

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. parsley

Big dash of garlic

1 can of dehydrated tomato paste

2½ cups water

Directions

Pre-soak the beans in a container for an entire day (again, a spare Nalgene bottle works well). Then, to prepare the dish, first reconstitute the tomato paste in a half-cup of boiling water, with the dried vegetables, dried peppers and dried corn. Set the sauce aside and boil the beans in one-cup of water for 20 minutes. Then, place the cooked beans in with the couscous—mixed with the vegetable bouillon, onion powder, parsley and garlic—and let boil in one cup of water for one to two minutes. Finally, add the tomato sauce and serve.

Mock Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

1 cup pre-cooked rice

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup mixed dehydrated vegetables (peas, carrots, onion, green pepper)

1/4 cup dehydrated mushrooms

Pinch of parsley

Pinch of garlic powder

½  cup of bulgar

1 cup potato flakes

1 beef bouillon cube

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. tomato or spaghetti sauce powder

Directions

Combine the pre-cooked rice, vegetables, mushrooms, parsley, garlic powder, beef bouillon cube and tomato/spaghetti powder into two cups boiling water and let simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and mix in bread crumbs. Let stand for five minutes. Then, place the bulgar into two cups boiling water and let simmer for five minutes. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and combine with the rice and bread crumbs. Finally, slowly add water to the potato flakes, until fluffy, and place on top.

Bannock Pizza                                            

Ingredients

Bannock (flatbread)

1 can of dehydrated tomato paste (paste to be dehydrated at home or use dried spaghetti sauce)

2 tbs. green and red pepper

1 fresh red onion

1 dried salami (or other dried meat)

Grated cheese (any kind)

1 tbs. olive oil

Directions

Cook up traditional bannock (flatbread). Coat a pan with olive oil. Prepare toppings on pizza. Place pizza in pan and cover for five to seven minutes on a cook stove (longer over the fire). Cut up into pieces and share while the next pizza is being prepared and cooked. Toppings can be changed to suit personalities; just remember to keep it light and stick to food not easily spoiled.

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