Posts Tagged ‘side dish’

Fun Food Fridays: Roasted Broccoli

I know, I know, this isn’t exactly outdoor cooking. But seriously, it’s JANUARY. How many of us are camp-cooking outside in January?

Roasted Broccoli

I ate mine with a barbequed sausage and barbequed mushrooms. Nom, nom, nom.

This recipe is super-simple. In fact, the hardest part of it is remembering how to spell broccoli! (I always think it should have a silent ‘h’ in it…)


  • 1-2 large bunches of broccoli
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4-6 garlic cloves

Pre-heat your oven to 425.

Here’s the trick: make sure your broccoli is super-super dry. I have issues with not washing produce so I ran mine under some water and then shook it, patted it dry, and let it sit for fifteen minutes to air dry. If you’re okay with not washing, go for it.

Raw broccoli


Cut the broccoli into large florets. (As large as you can manage!) Then toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. You want it coated with oil but not drippy.

Put the broccoli on a cookie sheet with the garlic. I peeled mine but again, that’s up to you. To keep my kitchen as mess-free as possible, I line my cookie sheet with foil and then just drizzle the broccoli right on the pan. A sprinkle of salt & pepper and I’m good to go.

Bake for 25 minutes. The broccoli will be tender before then but not crispy so leave it as long as you can!

cooked broccoli

and after!

Fun Food Friday: Barbeque Plums

If you follow me on Facebook at all, you’ll have seen my mentions all summer long about how I think barbequed plums should be a food group. I read about putting stone fruit (like plums or peaches) on a barbeque in a magazine. But when I went to find the recipe (or the how-to) I couldn’t remember where I’d found the information.

So, I just figured it out with trial and error!


  • 2-3 Stone-fruit like plums (or peaches) per person

Cut in half plums
Cut the plum in half and remove the pit. Make sure you’ve removed and stickers! If you wash it first (I don’t bother) make sure that it is fully dried.

Pre-heat your propane or gas grill and use a wire brush to knock off any dirt, grit or other crusty items.

Plums on BBQ

Once the grill is hot, place the plum fruit side down. Now, this is really important: the fruit should sizzle when you put it on the grill. If not, the grill isn’t hot enough and you should remove the plum half and wait for the grill to get hotter.

Here’s the other important thing I found through trial and error: Don’t fuss with the plums! Just leave it there. Close the lid. Walk away. Leave it alone! I go for at LEAST two minutes, but maybe a bit longer depending on the size of the fruit.

After a couple of minutes, carefully flip the plum over to the skin side. I use tongs since my plums always fall off my spatula. (Can you tell I’ve been making this for lunch all summer?)
Cooked Plum

Again, leave that plum alone. The skin will start to slide off — that’s fine. Once the plum is hot all the way through and the skin begins to get crispy or burnt, you’re all done. Again, from experience, I turn off the grill so I can get my plate REALLY close to the plums; at this point they tend to nearly fall apart when you grab them with the tongs.

I serve this with a beef kielbasa sausage (fully-cooked so I’m just heating it on the grill). I start the sausage and plums at the same time but the plums take longer to cook so I put THEM on my grill hotspot and the sausage somewhere cooler.

A note about peaches:

Canned peaches DO NOT WORK. (I’ve tried) And if it’s between plums and peaches: take the plums. The peaches have a fuzzy skin not a waxy skin like a plum and the fuzz burns and the skin blackens and it’s just not as good.

Now STAWBERRIES on the other hand… Strawberries aren’t bad!

Fun Food Fridays: Mexican Grilled Corn

Ears of Corn in Husks

I found what looked like a really neat recipe in one of ESP Boss’ magazines a few weeks ago and just HAD to try it out on last weekend’s camping trip. Of course, I modified the recipe to use “real” ingredients. I just figure that if you’re only using a little bit, why do you REALLY need to subject yourself to the grossness of low-fat mayo and nonfat yogurt?!


  • 2 TBS mayonnaise
  • 2 TBS plain yogurt (We went all-out and had yummy Greek yogurt!)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 4 ears of corn

Combine mayonnaise, yogurt and chili powder in a bowl. We made this before we left for camping so the flavors had about 36 hours to blend. I think it made a big difference so I recommend doing that!

Grilling Corn

Grill the corn over the campfire. Here’s how: Fun Food Fridays: Barbeque Corn on the Cob (But forgo stuffing butter into the corn husks during cooking!)

Once cooked, smear liberally with the sauce and sprinkle with lime juice. Yummy!

Finished corn

Don't mind my teeth marks -- I couldn't help myself & had to try it!

The original recipe called for shredding Cotija or Parmesan cheese as a topping but I’m not a fan of either so I left it off. Trust me, there was plenty of flavor!

When I collected the ears of corn from the fire, 2 were done and two were only done on one side. I took off all the charred husks, wrapped them loosely in foil, and plunked them back on the grill. By the time we’d eaten our steaks and first ear, the next ears were ready!


Readers Weigh In:

  • Low-fat, nonfat — gross or what?!
    Do you soak your corn before cooking it over open flame?
    Tin foil: yes or no?

Faked Baked Potatoes

This week’s Fun Food Friday post isn’t a recipe but a cooking tip. Enjoy!



Once a month, all the single ladies on my street get together for a party. If it’s one thing all us gals have in common (besides loving to eat, socialize, and drink cocktails) is that we all love the outdoors.

Since our April get-together, Janice and Patty took their brand-new tent trailer out for its inaugural journey. They did everything right: left in plenty of time so they weren’t setting up in the dark, brought a variety of meals so they had options, and kept their good sense of humor.

But, of course, there was always the unexpected outdoor cooking event!

In this case, it was too windy to have a campfire to bake their potatoes. And there’s no oven in their tent trailer!

So, Patty, being the brilliant woman that she is decided that she make “Faked Baked Potatoes.” She scrubbed the potatoes like normal, and then popped them in a pot of boiling water.

I know what you’re thinking: that’s just BOILED potatoes. Bare with me on this one:

Patty left the skins on the potatoes and boiled them until they were tender all the way through. Then, she removed them from the water and wrapped them tightly in a dishtowel.

The dishtowel absorbed the excess water from cooking and left the potatoes the exact consistency of a baked potato!

Slather with butter, sour cream, salt and pepper and enjoy!


Baked Potato

Fun Food Fridays: Hush Puppies

For me, hush puppies are either a must-have or a can’t-stand and there is NO in between. This recipe is quick and simple with no frills. Let me know what you think!


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • 1 quart oil for frying

In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, and onion. Blend in flour and cornmeal.

Heat 2 inches of oil to 365 degrees F. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls in hot oil, and fry until golden brown. Cook in small batches to maintain oil temperature. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve hot with Beer Battered Catfish.

Fun Food Fridays: Harvest Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the staples in my outdoor adventure pantry. I figure with enough potatoes and eggs, I’ll never starve! This is one of my favorite ways to cook potatoes in camp.

Harvest Potatoes


  • 2-3 large russet potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion (Vidalia is delicious)
  • 3 T. Crisco (this amount will need to be adjusted to your liking)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Wash and peel potatoes. Slice into 1/2″ thick coins or chunks. Thinly slice the onion and peppers. Combine and cook with Crisco in large skillet. Use medium heat (on your propane camp stove) for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe also works well with leftover baked potatoes substituted for the raw potatoes. Just cook everything until the potatoes are warmed through and the peppers and onions are tender.

Fun Food Fridays: Sombrero Spread

I’m always on the lookout for easy, yummy recipes to share with you. I look for things that are simple to make away from a full kitchen, but not boring or bland. I found this take on a Mexican bean dip and just had to share it with you! It’s described as a dip (so a snack) but feel free to make up extra and serve as a main meal.


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup ‘Ketchup With A Kick’
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 8-oz can (1 cup) red kidney beans with liquid
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped olives (green or black)

Brown the meat and 1/4 cup onion in a skillet. Stir in ‘Ketchup With A Kick’, chili powder, and salt. Mash in beans. Heat through.

Spread on tortilla chips, corn chips or a tortilla. Garnish with the cheese, olives, and 1/4 cup onion. Serve hot.

What is ‘Ketchup With A Kick’? It’s a phrase (and ingredient) that ESP Boss created. Its ketchup mixed with Tabasco sauce. So, take the 1/4 cup ketchup and stir in the Tabasco, to taste.

Not sure how to camp cook with 1 1/2 tsp chili powder? Check out the tip How To Camp Cook With Unusual Ingredients.

This recipe is also available in the eGuide ‘Camp Cooking From the Newsletter’  Get the guide!

Fun Food Fridays: Calabacitas

Calabacitas literally means “little gourds” and is a traditional recipe. This recipe has been in my family for generations. It’s the perfect late-summer, early-fall side dish since it uses up something that we’re all inundated with right now: zucchini!


  • 3-4 medium zucchini
  • 1 can Mexicorn
  • 1 can green chili
  • 1 small onion

Chop the onion into small pieces. (I grew this onion and it was VERY hot. I only used half!)

Wash the zucchini well first since you cook it with the skin on!

Dice the zucchini into 1/2 inch chunks. The real key is just to make sure all the pieces are about the same size.

Less oil is better; you want to taste the flavors NOT grease!

In a non-stick skillet, heat a bit of cooking oil. Less oil is better! I used canola oil.

When the oil is hot, fry the onion and zucchini. You want the onion just turning brown and the zucchini getting tender.

I always end up with more corn than zucchini so I ended up adding more zucchini as it was cooking.

Add the entire can of Mexicorn. I drained about half the juice. Add green chili to taste. Lower heat and cook until the zucchini is tender and the corn juice has cooked away.

Serve with sausage “dots”. (It’s a Kielbasa sausage, cut into circles and fried.) If you want to take this to the next level, cook the calabacitas IN the sausage grease!

Fun Food Fridays: Barbeque Corn on the Cob

When Nicole & I were camping last weekend, we bought 5 ears of corn at the grocery store in Williams. Nicole wanted to try barbequing them! Neither one of us had ever made grilled corn on the cob but we were up to the challenge.


  • Ears of corn, in husks
  • Butter, salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Tin foil (optional)

Begin by peeling back the husks to remove the silk. The trick to this seemed to be to gently peel it away from the corn so the husk doesn’t rip completely off the ear. Tugging firmly on the silk (in line with the ear of corn) seemed to be the best way to remove the silk.

The more of the silk you can remove, the better.

Remove any parts of the corn that are bruised, damaged, or eaten by worms!

Then, we mashed butter along the corn before pulling the husks back into place. (I’m not sure if that HAS to be done, but we did it!) Don’t expect the husks to completely cover the kernels; it’ll be okay.

We cooked the corn directly on the grill over the fire. We probably SHOULD have started the fire earlier so there were less flames and more coals (also less smoke!) but it did work. I kept pushing the burning logs more under the grill so the heat would be more or less even, but every time I did, the flames would leap up and catch the corn husks on fire. But the corn has a high moisture content so it didn’t burn.

Don't be alarmed if the corn catches on fire! It'll still taste fine.

Cook about 20 minutes. You’ll want to use metal tongs to flip the corn over half-way through cooking. We also rotated them on the grill at that time too so all ears were evenly over the hottest part of the fire.

The corn turned out tender and juicy! The smoke (and ignited husks) gave the corn a great smoky flavor. If you don’t LIKE the taste of smoke (Nicole doesn’t!) then wrap the corn loosely in tin foil before cooking.

Wrap the foil loosely so the corn can steam; pull the foil too tight and the corn will scorch.

Like any time you’re eating corn on the cob, expect to get dirty! Have plenty of paper towels on hand. Handling the ears also turned my hands (and shirt) black since they were well charred on the outermost layer.

Serve with lots of butter, salt & pepper! And napkins!

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