Review of campfire cuisine book by Robin Donovan with samples of camping recipes and meals for open fire cooking
Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors by Robin Donovan has been inspired by her love of camping and features open fire cooking from her international travels, what she terms sizzling meals for starry nights. In addition readers benefit from instructions for how to make them at home so that those who don't want to cook outside can still enjoy her tasty recipes of which there are over 100. For an example see mojo chicken.
As with any expedition or trip the success is in the planning and preparation and Robin devotes time to help the reader in this to ensure they eat well during hikes. This includes a guide to the must have equipment, basic supplies and the best type of fuels.
The Drummer Boy is my latest novel about the ghost of a Gordon Highlander Drummer Boy from the Battle of Waterloo who haunts a modern day army nurse.
Chapters take place in modern day Aberdeen, at the Noose & Monkey bar and restaurant as well as His Majesty’s Theatre and Garthdee. Other scenes take place at Tidworth and during the Napoleonic War.
Read the first three chapters for free on most devices.
The camping meals are not just for open fires and can be made on a camp grill or stove as well as at home in your kitchen cooker. An example can be read on our maple mustard pork chops page.
Weight is important to any seasoned outdoors enthusiast and the publishers have ensured that Campfire Cuisine is pocket sized and light enough to fit into a jacket pocket or rucksack whilst ensuring that it is full of important details.
Health issue are covered in detail such as safe food storage and preparation. This cookbook is more for those with a base camp, rather than hikers who wish to travel with all their equipment. So readers need to have access to a cooler to store food and drink.
Avoiding food poisoning in the wilderness is written about and there are sections about avoiding forest fires.
Robin helpfully suggest how to plan your menu with examples of three day trip meals which include vegetarian options. All take just a few minutes preparation time.
Robin begins the main section with a guide to camping cooking times for vegetables, meat and seafood. She then moves on to marinating for enhanced flavour. We particularly like the Greek marinade and the hoisin glaze for poultry.
Breakfast open fire cooking suggestions include homemade pancakes with flavours of gingerbread or blueberries, whilst another favourite is sausage and polenta scramble.
Lunch during an activity, which can be prepared before-hand or with a portable cooker, includes curried chicken salad sandwiches or grilled goat cheese sandwich with shallot, tomato and thyme.
Examples of snack and appetisers, which can also be used for side dishes, are fire roasted salsa, bacon wrapped grilled figs and parmesan baked apples. We do recommend baking the cheesy biscuits using strong flavoured gruyere or smoked gouda.
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Hearty main meals after a day's activity include South East Asian turkey burgers and comforting and warming chicken and dumplings. Inspired from her home town is the San Francisco Cioppino which is a rich tomato seafood stew.
Other international dishes for campfire cooking are barbecued peking duck wraps, Cajun spice rubbed pork tenderloin and white bean stew.
Vegetable side dishes include garlic and herb mushrooms, grilled asparagus, maple glazed yams and coconut couscous - all proving that camping cooking does not need to be boring.
I don't know of anyone who counts calories when out hiking so recognising this why not try the baked chocolate bananas, maple caramel baked apple or rum baked peaches as a treat. Then retire for a good night's sleep after drinking her Mexican hot cocoa, or enjoy sipping it round the campfire telling or hearing stories.
A wonderful addition to your rucksack or for your kitchen shelve, even the most seasoned camper will learn something from travel and food writer Robin. See her website at robindonovan.com
It was published in 2013 by Quirk.
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