Camping season revs up when the temperature warms. In a recent survey by Kampgrounds of America, Inc., the main reasons people say they go camping are to reconnect with nature, spend time with family and friends and reduce stress and relax.
The roughly 40 million people who go camping in the United States each year also may have food on their minds. Campfire cooking — which involves cooking over an open fire and eating outdoors — makes camping that much more enjoyable for many people.
Campfire cooking is about simplicity of ingredients and ease of cooking. Chances are campers do not want to lug too many cooking instruments to the campsite, so ingredients that are portable and can cook quickly over an open fire are attractive. Cast iron skillets, grills and Dutch ovens often are the gear of choice. Here are some delicious campfire meals to try on your next camping trip.
Mix your favorite ground meat (beef, chicken or pork) with kidney beans and cubed bacon (leftover from breakfast works well). Add barbecue sauce or diced tomatoes, depending on your preference. Allow to simmer in a Dutch oven on low for 45 minutes to an hour. Season to taste. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, place refrigerated biscuits over the top of the casserole, cover and cook until the biscuits are done.
Cut foil sheets about 12 inches long. Add 5 to 6 shrimp, one quarter of an ear of corn, a few slices of smoked andouille sausage, a lemon slice, and seasonings to taste. Fold the foil packets carefully to seal in the ingredients. Place the packets on a grill over the campfire and allow to cook for around 10 to 15 minutes.
Place a little cornmeal and oil on the bottom of a cast iron skillet. Spread refrigerated pizza dough out on the skillet. Cover with pizza sauce, cheese and favorite toppings and cook over the fire until the cheese boils and the crust browns.
Line a Dutch oven with aluminum foil. Mix together a yellow cake mix, 11⁄4 cups water and 1⁄2 cup canola oil and pour over two cans of a favorite pie filling flavor in the pot. Prepare the campfire for low heat. Put the Dutch oven in the ashes and cover with remaining ash or charcoal briquettes. Cook until bubbly, around 30 to 40 minutes.
Campfire cooking is delicious, and few things can beat eating tasty foods under an open sky.