Prepare Ahead Campfire Meals
See how I prepare for my meals for a campout here
Have you ever turned up at your campsite late in the afternoon, used all your energy putting up the tent (perhaps in the drizzly rain) and finally sat down for 5 minutes before cries of “What’s for dinner?!” ring through the air?
Have you then had to prepare an entire meal from scratch to feed the hungry tummies in the camp, wishing there was an easier way?
Worry no more...
I have created these easy make ahead meals for camping, saving you the stress of whipping up a culinary delight on the camp stove.
homemade & homegrown
Spinach and Nettle Pici Pasta
Wild Garlic Pesto
Campfire Orange Peel Cinnamon Buns
Nettles have a verdant, spinach-like flavour, and you can almost taste the iron and minerals bursting out from the leaves. Best of all, these plants litter Britain's verges and hedgerows in early springtime, are easy to identify and free to pick.
The only barrier to enjoyment is that foragers must ensure that the leaves haven't been sprayed. This might mean cultivating your own patch in a garden, or doing some research on the upkeep of local hedgerows and woodlands.
100g Nettle tops
2 eggs A good pinch of salt 600g type 00 flour Drizzle rapeseed oil Large knob of butter Parmesan cheese Salt and pepper
STEP 1 Wash your spinach and nettle tops and drain well, shaking out as much water as possible. Remove the stalks and keep the leaves.
STEP 2 Finely chop the nettles and spinach, eggs, salt and rapeseed oil. You can blitz in a food processor if available.
STEP 3 Add the flour and work the mixture by hand (or in food processor and pulse) until completely combined and starting to form dough
STEP 4 Lightly flour your work surface and turn the pici dough out, knead lightly for a couple of minutes until smooth.
STEP 5 Cover the dough with a cloth to stop it from drying out whilst you roll out your pici pasta. STEP 6 Take small marble sized pieces of dough and roll them between your hands to form a rough sausage shape. Place this on to the table and using light pressure continue to roll into a long string. Once rolled lay your pici pasta onto a lightly floured tray so that they don’t stick.
STEP 7 Continue until you have used up all the dough. Sprinkle with flour and place in a zip lock bag and remove the air from the bag. Place in the fridge until you are ready to leave for your campout!
STEP 8 Light your fire. Bring a large skillet or pan of salted water to the boil and gently place in your pici pasta. Drain the cooked pasta and toss with Wild Garlic Pesto (see recipe below), add slices of chorizo or cooked sausages if tempted! STEP 9 Sprinkle in the parmesan and toss to combine, you may need to add a touch of pasta water at this point to loosen things up a bit.
When wild garlic is in season, using it to make pesto is the best way to showcase the delicate flavour of this springtime favourite. Tossed with pasta, spread on bruschetta or mixed into salads its just delicious. You can also freeze it into ice cubes and save it for adventures later in the year.
30g wild garlic
100g nuts, such as pine, almonds, hazelnuts
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
50g hard cheese, such as Parmesan, pecorino, Cheddar
½ a lemon
Pick and wash the leaves from the garlic, reserving the flowers for later.
Place in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt…
…and bash to a coarse paste.
Add the nuts to the pestle and mortar…
…and bash again.
Muddle in the extra virgin olive oil.
And pound until smooth.
Finely grate and stir in the cheese…
…and squeeze in the juice of the lemon.
Continue pounding until smooth, then season to perfection with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, before scooping into a jar and sealing tight ready for later!
500g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
300g full fat milk (luke warm)
80g caster sugar
10g fresh yeast
10g sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Whisk together the warm milk and yeast until the yeast has dissolved. Add the egg to the milk mixture and whisk in, set aside.
Combine the flour, cinnamon and softened butter together in a bowl with your fingers. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture. Work together on a floured surface to form a dough. Return your dough to your clean mixing bowl, cover with cling film and rest for at least one hour.
Take the risen dough and transfer it onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a rectangle about 50cm x 40cm. Spread butter, sugar and cinnamon evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough lengthways. Cut into even pieces.
Carefully run your knife around the top of an orange and remove the filling (save the juice for breakfast). Once the filling is removed, place a cinnamon bun inside the orange peel and wrap in tin foil ready to cook in the fire later.
Alternatively, line a baking tray (suitable for campfire use) with baking paper. Carefully transfer the cinnamon buns to the prepared baking tray, gently press them down, cover with tin foil and pack for camp!
To bake, prepare your fire. Add the Orange peel cinnamon bun, still covered in tin foil, into the embers of the fire. Leave for half an hour, turning every five minutes or so. If baking you Cinnamon Buns in a metal tray, place the tray over the fire, just to the side of the area of direct heat to avoid burning the base of the buns. Leave for half an hour, rotating the tray accordingly to cook evenly.
Carefully remove you Cinnamon Buns from the flames and drizzle over a generous scoop of honey. Get the coffee brewing then tip your fellow campers out of their bunks - BREAKFAST IS READY..
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