Camping calls to mind the old American Dream. Go west, young man. The way of Horatio Alger and, to a much lesser and more dire extent, The Donner Party. With scarce resources, we head out into the great wild, in search of adventure and living off the land. We cook over open fires we made by using skills from our years as Scouts. Rarely, if ever, are we removed from the humdrum of suburbia or the bustle of the city streets and in commune with nature. But are we heathens? Never.
There’s an episode of Frasier in which the titular character insists his teenaged son and father join him on a camping trip to bond. Naturally, he comes far too prepared. His elitist nature precludes him from truly enjoying the country – at least not without caviar and some fine Italian wine. You don’t have to be Frasier to still enjoy the finer things in life while roughing it.
If you’re going off the grid anytime soon, masked killers permitting, here are just a few gourmet camping food ideas that can be easily prepared out in the wild:
1. Breakfast Burger Biscuits
This delicious, self-explanatory gourmet camping food recipe is especially necessary if you have a long day of hiking ahead. Never will you appreciate the addage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Remember to pack a pan and some olive oil. There’s always some planning involved before you head out. Beyond that, the gourmet camping food possibilities are endless.
If you prepare some bisciuits before leaving from an ready-to-bake mix, pack them along in a cooler with eggs and some ground beef. From there, you just need water to poach the eggs and fry the meat over the fire. If you aren’t nuts about biscuits, you can easily sub these gourmet camping food ideas for English Muffins instead.
2. Double Dutch Pancakes
Bringing along some pre-made pancake batter will be a blessing. This particular recipe is ready-made to eat in the wild, as you can add in berries and fruits found on your trip straight from the branch. It’s still gourmet camping food, but it still makes you feel in touch with the very ground on which you sleep.
Depending on the time of year and part of the country, be sure to inspect the berries for freshness and use them if you feel comfortable. Of course, there are always certain kinds you want to avoid.
3. Smoked Salmon Breakfast Burrito
This really involves using your surroundings to your benefit, and there’s always a possibility it may not work in your favour. If you’re out fishing, you never know what or if you’re going to catch anything.
If you’re willing to risk it and get lucky, you can smoke fresh, unadulterated salmon yourself straight from the river, adding it to a simple burrito recipe. It’s an added bonus whenever you can use your surroundings to your already finely tuned cooking skills.
4. Eggs on Potato Chips
It sounds like a strange combination but this is a really fascinating blend. It’s proof-positive that blue collar potato chips can still find their way into some of the fanciest foods. This recipe comes from the pages of cookbook writer Niloufer Ichaporia King, who has often preached the word about the glory of the egg.
5. Campfire Bacon
No, we’re not suggesting you go out and slaughter your own hog, but certainly bring along a pack of bacon. It’s a simple delicacy, but skewered and cooked over a natural woodfire brings about the atmosphere of a classic delight done how it was intended.
6. Grilled Brussel Sprouts
Next to the bacon, there’s never a better green done over a hot fire than the brussel sprout. Skewer them until cooked, throw on some salt and whole grain mustard and you have a terrific side to any campfire meal.
7. Campfire Mushrooms
If you are embarking on a camping expedition, pack your own mushrooms. We can’t stress that enough. If you aren’t a person well-versed in mushrooms, you never know what you’re picking from the ground, and the effects can range from poisonous to staring at your hand for a half hour. But these easily fried sides can accompany a good cut of steak anytime, anywhere in the world.
8. Potato Boat with Ham, Cheese and Bacon
Now that you’ve mastered the bacon, it’s time to start skewering other fire-cooked food along with it. Cut up a potato, slices of ham and the bacon and let it cook, but keep a watchful eye. A woodfire isn’t like an oven, and turning the boat frequently will ensure nothing gets burned.
9. Vegetarian Tofu and Eggplant Bundles
Vegetarians and vegans can camp too. What’s particularly appealing about this bundle is the different variety of vegetables you can pack into aluminum foil before you throw it on the fire for about 30 minutes. Onions, olives, zuchinni surrounded by sprigs of thyme are a welcome addition.
In short, just because you’re out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean you have to pick up a spear and fight for survival. You can impress friends and even yourself with the possibilities just lying around in the soil.