When you plan a summer outdoor adventure, you expect to “rough it” a little – or a lot if you are a hardcore hiker and camper – but that doesn’t mean living off freeze-dried meals or scads of nutrition bars. Camping is a fun way to stretch your culinary skills into the woods and surprise your fellow campers with seriously satisfying meals. Whether you’re pitching a tent near a creek for a fishing weekend or making basecamp a secluded forest cabin for a long week of hiking or hunting, these gourmet camping recipes will keep you well-fed during your stay in the great outdoors.
Gourmet camping recipes
Just because you’re in the woods sitting on a tree stump doesn’t mean you can’t have an impressive appetizer while the main meal is sizzling up. After a prosperous day of fishing, put your fresh catch on the fire and make trout crostini.
- 4 wide slices French bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 3 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1-1/2 cups flaked cooked trout, skin and bones removed
- 4 ounces crumbled feta
- Toast bread on a grate over the campfire.
- In a bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, tomatoes, basil and trout, tossing lightly to combine.
- Top toasted bread with trout mixture and sprinkle with feta. Eat immediately or place in aluminum foil packets and warm over the fire.
Duck and Wild Blackberry Salad
Dandelion greens grow wild and are not likely to have been treated with pesticides in wooded areas. They are not only edible, they are a nutritious and convenient addition to this salad. Wild blackberries are also available in the summer months – just be sure to watch the sticky brambles. Duck, whether wild or storebought, makes a groumet campout a more authentic experience than chicken or beef.
- 4 cups dandelion greens
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 3 cups cooked diced duck meat
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 cups fresh wild blackberries
- Balsamic vinaigrette
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and serve.
Herbed Campfire Bread Twists
Makes 8 twists
Bread twists are a fun campfire treat. You can bake bread in a Dutch oven or wrap crescent roll dough around sticks and “bake” them over a fire. For a breakfast or dessert twist, dip rolls in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- 1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- Mixed herbs, finely chopped
Wrap crescent roll dough around sticks and toast over the fire. Remove and dip them in butter and sprinkle with herbs.
Venison is another camp cooking favorite. Venison stew is filling fare after a hard day of hiking, fishing or hiking. It is especially delish when the temperature drops as the sun goes down.
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound venison, cubed
- 2 cans kidney beans, drained
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 (28-ounce) can roasted diced tomatoes
- 16 ounces vegetable broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup flour
- In a Dutch oven over coals or a camp stove, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and crumble. Set aside. In the bacon fat, cook onion, celery, carrot, and jalapeno, stirring often, until softened. Remove vegetables and set aside.
- Add venison to drippings and cook, stirring often, until browned. Add bacon and vegetables back to pot, stirring to combine. Add kidney beans, Italian seasoning, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Set Dutch oven to the side of coals or turn down the stove top heat, cover pot, and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in flour. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.