Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Food Week 2010, Menu Planning & Cooking, Uncategorized
SIMPLE and TASTY CAMP COOKING – Beef Stew and Aerosol Can Pancakes
I don’t remember exactly when or why we adopted the system we currently follow, but when we are out in the RV the kitchen is mine.
I do all the meal planning, shopping and food preparation. Nancy gets to sit back and, hopefully, enjoy my role as chief cook and bottle washer – well, chief cook and occasional bottle washer. Nancy does usually step in and wash up the dishes.
If you have been following my blogs for the past year, you know that I am a tool and gadget guy. My self-proclaimed goal is to own at least one of every tool made before my life ends. The kitchen in the RV is no exception to this manic ambition. It is well equipped with dicers, slicers and mixers of every style and size. Mr. Ronco would be proud of me.
I always try to come up with something for our campsite meals that is both delicious and simple. It is often something that we never cook at home. Perhaps this is because food prepared camp-side always tastes much better than it does at home. Campsite food is also considered calorie free – so I rarely worry about fats or sugar in the ingredients.
I do a lot of outdoor cooking and, whenever possible, prefer to use the campfire as my source of heat. With a bed of glowing hot coals it is possible to bake, boil, fry or roast most any vegetable or meat imaginable. This should come as no surprise – our ancestors prepared many delicious meals over campfires or an open hearth long before microwaves and toaster ovens were invented.
One of my favorite vessels for cooking over a campfire is a cast iron six quart Camp Dutch Oven. It needs to be the original style with a flat lid and little feet on the bottom. When designed in this manner it is possible to place hot coals on the top of the lid as well as underneath for a true roasting effect. If desired, the lid can be used independently as a griddle for frying eggs or pancakes.
The Dutch Oven is preheated over the coals with enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom. As soon as the oil is sizzling hot, the chuck roast is dropped into the oven and seared on both sides.
Three packages of beef stew seasoning are premixed with two cans of vegetable broth or low sodium beef broth. The premixing is important to be sure all the seasoning mix is dissolved.
Pour the liquid into the Dutch oven and add water as needed to cover the chuck roast. Add a large package of peeled mini carrots, a large sliced sweet onion and several cut up Yukon Gold Potatoes . Finish with enough water to cover all of the ingredients.
Put the lid on the Dutch oven, move some of the coals to the top of the lid, and let it bubble for about 90 minutes. Some of the liquid will boil out around the lid – don’t worry as this is expected.
While the stew is cooking, whip up a few boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix and fold into a greased cast iron skillet with a lid. Place the skillet over some hot coals and allow the mix to bake for about 20 – 30 minutes until it is golden brown on top. The bottom may be overdone – this is OK, just slice the dark part off with a knife and enjoy!
A great find this summer is a product sold under the name of Batter Blaster. It is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that” products. Picture this – organic pancake and waffle batter in an aerosol can like whipped cream. When you want pancakes, there is no dry batter, eggs to crack or milk to pour. No mess, no bowls to clean up and no wasted batter. You simply heat your griddle, apply a little oil, invert the can, and squirt out a dollop of batter. In just a matter of seconds, you can have a stack of delicious pancakes with no mess, fuss or waste. When you visit their web site, be sure to watch the video. We buy Batter Blaster at both Kroger and Wal-Mart.
Happy camping trails to everyone!
Randy and Nancy