Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Camping Food

It occurred to me you guys might've wondered what we ate while we were camping. So I thought I'd post it today.


Seared scallops in a butter/white wine/lemon/caper sauce; grilled lemon halves were served on the side
Shallot and Chanterelle risotto (similar to this, but with white wine as well, way more shallots and only chanterelles)


Bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast
Sandwiches for lunch (I was making a huge lunch for 50 other people, recipe posted below)
Steaks, potatoes simmered with onion and rosemary in butter, Sarah's grilled onion soup (the onion soup I will be making again soon; it was so simple and amazingly delicious, so I'll post the recipe at that time)


Bacon and Matzot Brei (I'll post my recipe for this at some point too, if someone will remind me) for lunch (we woke up late)
Hebrew National hotdogs with lemon onions (recipe follows) for dinner


Pasta and meat sauce for lunch
Seared beef salad with lemon vinaigrette for dinner (recipe follows)

Recipes, with no pictures (camping is not always optimal for photo ops):

Lemon Onions

1 large red onion, sliced into half moons
pinch salt
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
juice of three lemons

Heat fat in a pan over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until the juice of the lemons is gone and the onions and almost creamy. Serves 4 as an accompaniment to another food.

Seared Beef Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 1/2 pound beef tenderloin
1/4 cup each: olive oil, lemon juice
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon salt

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed then cut in half
pinch salt
1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup sugar snap peas
1 tomato, sliced into half moons
1-2 bags mixed salad greens

Slice the tenderloin into 3/8" slices. Put in a zip top bag with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pomegranate molasses, then marinate 15-30 minutes. Put asparagus in another bag with salt and olive oil. Mix well, then grill over medium heat. Remove from grill and set aside. Sear both sides over medium high heat on a grill (you can do this in a pan, but I got a spiffy new travel propane grill that I cooked them on). On plates, load up greens, tomato and peas, then equally distribute meat and asparagus. Top with dressing. Serves 6.

Lemon Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon dried marjoram
2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 lemons
1/2 - 1 cup good quality olive oil

Cut lemons in half. Grill until the cut side is lightly caramelised. Combine juice from these lemons, marjoram, mustard, salt and pepper in a shaker bottle. Shake well. Add olive oil.

Note: This recipe makes way more dressing than you need for the salad, though I used it as an additional condiment for the large meal I made.

Grilled Vegetable Pita Wraps (okay, seriously? This is an insane amount of food. Really)

10 globe eggplants, peeled, sliced in half, then sliced crosswise
10-15 each: zucchini, yellow squash, sliced in half, then length-wise into planks
15 onions, sliced into rings
15 bell peppers: green, red, yellow (5 each), sliced
10 potatoes, sliced thinly
10-15 tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoon each, per bag: marjoram, basil, sumac, aleppo pepper
1/2 cup each, per bag: lemon juice and olive oil

4 cups julienned cucumbers
4 cups lettuce

After all the veggies of the first group are cut up, put them in gallon zip top bags (I put only one kind of veggie per bag). Add seasonings, lemon and oil to each bag. Zip up bags and massage to evenly distribute seasonings. Grill (yes, this takes freaking forever; I was at it for 5 hours). Serve with pita and the following condiments on the side: tzatziki, hummus, harissa, lemon vinaigrette, tahini, julienned cucumbers and lettuce. Serves about 50.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hot Pasta Salad

Okay, I lied. This isn't really a pasta salad. I just couldn't think of another name. It seems I kind of spaced bringing two bags of salad, some radishes, a pound of feta (!!!!) and a few other things to our camping trip. Oops. Sadly, I also forgot some asparagus which died in the fridge while we were gone. That part really bummed me out, as I looked forward to eating it. Life goes on though. We ate so well on our camping trip that it reminded me how much I miss eating home cooked food. As evidenced by the definitive lack of posts, I haven't been cooking a ton. Tonight though, I'm dealing with a house full of camping gear strewn about and don't want to spend tons of time on a meal. Plus, we ate meat literally twice per day for four days straight, so I really needed a bit of a break from it (though in fairness, who gets tired of bacon?). Which means we're having yet another pasta. Are you tired of these? Shockingly, I'm actually not. I thawed some frozen beans in the microwave, and the rest is history. Hope you enjoy!

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
pinch salt
1 cup sliced onions (I've been slicing and freezing mine)
1 cup sliced radishes
1 package field greens
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup key lime pickle, rinsed and chopped (this is made just like preserved lemons, but with key limes; they don't look as pretty as lemons, so you know)
8 ounces fettuccini, cooked according to package directions
2 cups cooked pinto beans
4 thick slices of feta

In a large saucepan over very low heat, melt butter into oil, then add onion, radish and salt and sweat until onions are lightly browned. Add lettuce, nutmeg, pickle and lemon juice and cook until the greens are wilted. Toss with pasta and beans then heat through. Garnish with cheese. Serves 4.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Red Beans with Ham

Sorry to have been away so long, once again. Finals, finals. And now preparations for our annual camping trip (we leave Wednesday and return Tuesday). It's been a zoo around here, really. We've been eating a lot of junk because of all of this, but tonight I just wanted something simple and homemade. I had some beans I'd made in the freezer, and a bit of ham fat as well, so I thawed them and threw this together. Hope you enjoy!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, cut into half moons
pinch salt
2 cups kidney beans
2 cups water
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cayenne or Cajun spice mixture
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 - 3/4 cup ham fat and/or skin (salt pork or bacon will work as well)

Heat oil. Add onion and salt, and fry lightly. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour. Serves 2.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Couscous with Eggplant and Pepitas

I just want to say that I do not make my couscous properly. I make it the super-fast American way. Mostly I make couscous on days when I am really in a hurry, though this one took slightly more time than the usual. Hope you enjoy!

1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 cup diced, peeled eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt

handful sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 preserved lemon, diced
1 tablespoon capers
1 3/4 cup chicken broth (or vegetable)
1 1/3 cup couscous

large handful pepitas

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the salt, onions and celery and fry until the onions start to brown. Add eggplant and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, preserved lemon, capers and chicken broth, then bring to a boil. Add couscous and stir well. Cover and remove from the heat; let sit for 7 minutes. Fluff and stir in pepitas. Serves 2-4.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Bean and Cheese Tacos

More simple food today. I made another huge vat of meat sauce, and now I'm just waiting until after my test tomorrow to can it all. With all the time that stuff takes to cook, I wanted to just have something simple for dinner, with a flavour profile that's not hugely complex. I had cooked some beans ahead (chick peas, pintos and kidneys) and froze all but 2 cups of the pinto beans. I'd like to eat those a little more often. Anyway, rambling aside, a nice batch of refried beans sounded really good, and even better in tacos. Hope you enjoy!


1 cup rice
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
pinch salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine rice, salt and broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Cook 10 minutes, then turn off heat and let rest, covered, 15 more minutes. Fluff rice and mix in lemon juice.


2 cups pinto beans
approximately 1/2 cup cooking liquid or water
1/4 teaspoon each: ground cumin, black pepper, seasoned salt, regular salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic*
2 tablespoons lard/shmaltz/oil/fat of choice
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Melt and heat fat. Add beans, garlic, lemon and spices. Smash the beans up, adding water or cooking liquid as you do so (they don't really smash right if you don't add some liquid; kind of the same as with mashed potatoes). I add enough water to make them kind of runny, then cook them over low heat for 15-30 minutes, or until thick again, stirring periodically.

Remaining Ingredients:

4 tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
hot sauce


Spoon 1/4 of the bean mixture onto a tortilla. Top with a large spoonful of rice. Top with cheese and optionally, hot sauce. Makes 4 tacos.

*Sorry about the late addition of this ingredient to the recipe. I spaced writing it in there, and while I kept thinking I'd left something out when I wrote it down, it wasn't until now that I realised what the missing item was.