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Camp cooking: Kebobs, lemon-berry pancakes and mole chicken tacos

Jun 4th, 2014 | Category: Cooking

by Tina Hoban

Camping season is upon us, and once again Northwesterners are getting ready to pack their gear and head to the great outdoors. Enjoying our beautiful region can take many different forms, from hiking to remote locations, to tent camping in a campground, or staying in a furnished cabin in the woods. But no matter where you are headed, one thing is certain …you’ll need to eat when you get there. And if you are going to eat, you may as well eat great food.

Camp kebobs. PHOTO BY TINA HOBAN

Camp kebobs. PHOTO BY TINA HOBAN

Cooking away from home does hold some unique challenges, and the key to success is planning ahead. I always start by making a meal plan for my trip. Writing down what we will have for each meal, then making a list of what foods to pack insures that any necessary ingredients won’t be left behind. Making an equipment list is also helpful. After all, there is nothing worse than making pancake batter and realizing you’ve forgotten the griddle to cook them on!

When I am getting ready for a trip, I like to plan meals that can be partially prepared ahead of time, making the on-site cooking a snap (and leaving me more time to relax). A day or two before we leave I will chop, measure and mix. I always make sure that my prepped-ahead ingredients are stored in appropriate leak-proof containers and see to it that they are clearly labeled. Whenever possible, I write any necessary directions right on the container or on a small index card which can be tucked away in a bag.

Now that you have some tips, here are a few great recipes that will help you make a meal that will be as memorable as the rest of the trip.

Tina Hoban is the owner of Scratch Desserts. 

 

Camp Kebobs

Ingredients 

Make Ahead:

Marinade:

1/2 cup ketchup

2 cloves garlic, y minced

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

 

2 1/2 lb. beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2” pieces

2 large red bell peppers

1 large onion

1 zucchini

8 oz. whole button mushrooms

8 oz. cherry tomatoes

Directions

Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Put the steak pieces in a container with a tight fitting lid. Pour the marinade over the top. Keep chilled. Core the pepper and cut into 2” chunks. Peel the onion and cut into 2” wedges.  Cut the zucchini into 1” thick rounds. Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Put all of the vegetables into a large ziplock bag and keep refrigerated.

At Camp:

8 – 12” long skewers

Thread the vegetables and beef onto the skewers in an alternating sequence. Cook the kebabs over a medium hot fire, turning once or twice, until the beef is cooked to your liking.

Serves 4- 6

 

Lemony Pancakes with Berries

Ingredients 

Lemony pancakes with berries. PHOTO BY TINA HOBAN

Lemony pancakes with berries. PHOTO BY TINA HOBAN

Make Ahead:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour or gluten free flour blend

1/2 cup corn flour (masa)

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

 

Measure all of the dry ingredients into a quart size ziplock bag. Seal the top and shake to combine. Label the bag.

 

11/2 cups milk

3 large eggs

1/4 cup canola oil

6 Tablespoons lemon juice (from 3 – 4 large lemons)

2 Tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

 

Whisk together the milk, eggs, oil and lemon juice. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour mixture into a quart jar with a tight fitting lid. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

 

Directions

At Camp:

2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen)

Canola oil

Butter

Put the berries in a small pan and cook over low heat until soft.  Set aside. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Pour the liquid ingredients into a bowl or pot. Add the dry ingredients and stir.

Coat the griddle with a little of the canola oil. Spoon some of the batter on and cook until some bubbles appear on the top of the pancake and the edges start to look dry. Flip the pancake over and cook until the bottom is golden brown. Serve with butter and some of the berry sauce.

 

Mole Chicken Tacos with Pink Pickled Onions

Ingredients

Make Ahead:

Pink Pickled Onions:

1/2 cup water

1 cup white or cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon salt

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 of a small beet

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

Heat the water, vinegar, salt and sugar until very hot. Place the beet and sliced onion in a pint sized jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Pour the liquid over the onion to cover and refrigerate. Pickles keep for several weeks.

 

Mole Chicken:

1 dried ancho chile, stem and seeds removed

4 cloves garlic

1 Tablespoon peanut butter

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 limes

Place the ancho chile in a small bowl, pour 1 cup of boiling water over.  Set aside for 15 minutes to soften.  Place the chile plus its soaking liquid into the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Add the garlic through salt and process the mixture into a smooth sauce.

Put the chicken into a crockpot and squeeze the juice from two limes over the chicken.  Pour the sauce over the top and cook with the lid on for 8 hours on low heat.  Or cook in a covered, ovenproof pan at 325ºF for 2 hours.

Put the cooked chicken into a shallow baking pan in the refrigerator to cool.  Once cool, use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  The chicken can be stored in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid for up to 5 days.

 

At Camp:

15 – 20 corn tortillas

2 avocados

1 bunch fresh cilantro

Warm the chicken up in a large pot over low heat. Slice the avocados and chop the cilantro. To serve, fill a corn tortilla with some of the chicken, the avocado, cilantro and some pink pickled onions.

Serves 6 to 8

 

Published in the June 2014 issue of Grow Northwest 

 

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