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Going car camping. What are the EASIEST meals over a campfire?

I'm a pescatarian with a dairy allergy (I know) and am going camping with my boyfriend and a group of his friends. I'd like to prep some foods in advance (grain salads, etc) and bring them in the cooler. And protein is always important!

asked by Kim Menaster about 3 years ago
8 answers 3045 views
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Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Do you have access to a vacuum sealer (food saver) type thing? You could even do this in a good zip lock. Take some fish, and herb butter and put in the bag---get all the air out of it. Freeze it..Put it in the cooler and 'boil in bag' with water on the camp fire. You could prep up some other bags of veggies with seasoning and boil them at the same time. Don't forget seasonings! some herb packets you make at home wrapped in foil, and few fresh lemons or limes. A camp store will little squeeze bottles with a fold down nozzle..Get two and fill one with oil, and another with vinegar--the fold down nozzle is better as some of the other types leak.
They'll also have little salt cellars for salt---or get the McCormick 'grinders' things for salt and pepper.
Also make some "Gorp" (tail mix) stuff for snacks and energy boost.
A tabouli type salad with the quinoa travels very well in tupperware.
As do hummus and other mid-east thing.
(Bring a dozen baklava from a local baker; you'll be a god)

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HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Last time I went camping, we packed our seafood gumbo that I had made and frozen. You can probably make a seafood stew that can be reheated over the camp fire. Or some jambalaya. We did not have an actual campfire for reheating our food, but we brought along our portable butane cooktop like this one,
The frozen meals did double duty by not just feeding us, but keeping the vegetables (& other foods) cold in our cooler.

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added about 3 years ago

I usually take vegetable skewers on my car camping trips; I've prepped them in advance and at the campsite. A combination of summer vegetables (squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, peppers, onions), mushrooms, and sturdy bread cubes tossed in olive oil and spices (garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes) usually does the trick for us. Frozen pre-cooked shrimp might work well, too. Having ingredients that don't need to be fully cooked to be safe to eat is a plus for cooking on a campfire.

If the fire's hot enough and you have a cast iron skillet you can bring, campfire adapted huevos rancheros is another good option. Heat cooked black beans in a skillet with some seasonings, fry a few eggs in the same skillet. Serve with tortillas warmed over the fire, some cheese, and salsa (fresh or canned).

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Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added about 3 years ago

I made a delicious vegetarian chili last year when we went camping that I served over crushed tortilla chips. Also, I agree with Sam regarding taking hummus. I find it an excellent vegetarian dish for camping. I brought a large baguette from the grocery and it was fantastic. Try this recipe for marinated garden vegetables that I've linked below. It is delicious with hummus. Happy camping! https://food52.com/recipes...

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added about 3 years ago

Campfire potatoes lyonnaise:

Scale this recipe per person. Each of these ingredients will be mixed up into individual aluminum foil packets.

1.5 potatoes of your choice per person. I like a waxy potato for this.
1T butter (olive oil for your allergy)
2T chicken stock
1t thyme, chopped fine
2t minced garlic
2T chopped sweet onion
2t Dijon mustard

Toss ingredients on a piece of aluminum foil, about 12x12 ( make a square of whatever size you have). Fold up the foil so that the potatoes are in the center in more or less of a ball and there's a bit of a chimney at the top.

Put on the grate over the campfire while your ribeyes grill. Should take about 20 minutes, so they may need to go on prior to your meat.

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Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added about 3 years ago

Include someone who likes to fish as oneof the people on the trip. Bring cornmeal, salt, and pepper plus some fat for frying. Let your fisher-person friend catch a few fish--preferably trout--clean them, dip in cornmeal and seasonings, fry and eat.

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added about 3 years ago

Similar to the "boil in a bag" idea below, I like to do what I call "girlscout packets" (I've also seen them called hobo packets, but I first had them at girlscout camp a million years ago): veggies, meat (or fish or no meat) in a double-triple wrapped foil packet with a little bit of olive oil (all prepped and wrapped beforehand). Throw it on the fire! I also like to spaghetti for car camping. Make the sauce before your trip, then boil water in a big pot over the fire, add pasta, drain water, add sauce. So easy! And everything tastes better over a campfire!

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added about 3 years ago

Our desserts around the campfire (when/if we get tired of s'mores) was gingerbread baked in a cast iron dutch oven, Before it's fully set, throw (yes, throw) some big dollops of applesauce into the batter. Throwing helps get the applesauce firmly ensconced in the gingerbread batter. Meanwhile, put whipping cream, a bit of powdered sugar and some vanilla in a 1-quart Mason jar (or other large jar with secure lid). Shake vigorously. This part is a group project, just be careful you don't make butter in the process (but that wouldn't be a bad thing, would it?).

My father used to make biscuits in hollowed out onions wrapped in a couple of layers of foil. We'd throw them on the edge of the fire, turning them frequently and when they were done, we'd have tender, oniony bread to accompany the main dish. Both recipes come from a great series of books called "Roughing it Easy" by Dian Thomas.

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