What can I cook outside – on Barbecue or campfire – that’s easy and requires little equipment?
When playing with fire, at home or on the go, chef Itamar Srulovich recommends staying “in the realm of packaged food.” And the easiest solution is whole candy corn. “It’s the ultimate summer food, and I can’t get enough of it,” says the co-founder of Honey & Co. Be sure to get corn with the husk on, mind you: “Grill them right on the grill and the kernels will steam inside — it’s like its own little cooking vessel.” Once the corn is cooked and cool enough to handle, remove the husks and place them back on top of the barbie “to add a little smokiness,” then brush with chili butter and Honey: “It’s so good.”
Shrimp also pair well with packaged foods: “Leave the shells on,” says Srulovich, “not only because they add a lot of flavor, but also protect.” [the meat] from the heat.” Essentially, the shrimp are sautéed in their own juice. “Make them with some olive oil and lemon dressing, or marinate them in tons of crushed garlic and sea salt,” he suggests. “Just the smell of garlic and shrimp on top.” Grill…I’m drooling.”
Few alfresco dining experiences are complete without a skewer or two. If you’re using lamb, chef and former MasterChef finalist Sandy Tang suggests mixing up your cuts: “The thigh and breast meat have a lot of fat that oozes over the hot grill and gives a really crispy texture.” Marinate the diced meats over Night with onions, cumin, salt, pepper, and egg, which “helps tenderize it and ensure it stays juicy over the fire.” The next day, thread onto skewers alternating with chopped onions and throw on the grill.
Eggs are the building block of most decent breakfasts, and that doesn’t need to change when you’re in the great outdoors. Start the day with a hearty but light “inside-out” omelet like Danny Jack and Hailee Kukura, authors of Van Life Cookbook, do; They serve it in wedges with salad or rice. “Make an omelette as you normally would, adding cooked veggies, but don’t fold them up at the end.” Jack and Kukura melt butter or olive oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat, pour in the egg mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 seconds long. “Reduce the heat to medium-low, spread the egg in the pan and gently cook for two to three minutes.” Once the omelet is browned on the bottom and cooked through, slide onto a plate, add ricotta, mascarpone or Spread plain yogurt on top and top with chopped spring onions, cherry tomatoes and blanched vegetables (e.g. green beans, peas, broad beans). “Garnish with chopped herbs, season, then drizzle with olive oil.”
Potatoes are another great balm for a night on a sleeping mat. “Everyone loves to bake potatoes in the embers of a fire – especially children,” writes Gil Meller in his book Outside. He sizzles sliced leeks and onions in melted butter, then adds the hollowed-out cores of baked potatoes. Mix in more butter, whole wheat mustard, and cheddar, then stack back into the potato skins. Finally, sprinkle it with cheese because let’s face it, cheese means happy campers.
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