Food to Make under the Stars and over the Fire
RECIPES AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY KARISTA BENNETT
When you plan for a weekend in the great outdoors, the perfect menu is paramount. With fewer resources for meal prep, cooking, and cleanup, you must be creative. I’ve done the legwork for you by putting together these tasty campfire recipes that can be cooked over hot campfire coals or on a camp stove. Prep some ingredients ahead of time, and pack the essential accessories: oven mitts, tongs, aluminum foil, a cast-iron skillet, and a coffee pot. From breakfast to dinner and everything in between, campfire cooking helps makes for a deliciously memorable vacation under the stars.
SKILLET BRATS WITH SAUTÉED ONIONS AND PEPPERS
This is a recipe that you can prep ahead to save time. I like to slice all my onions and peppers at home and then store them in an airtight container so they are ready to go when mealtime rolls around.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 bratwurst
- 4 buns or rolls (optional)
- Mustard (optional)
- Sauerkraut (optional)
- Parsley, for garnish (optional)
Place the skillet over the hot campfire coals or the grill and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers. Sprinkle them with the salt and pepper and then stir for a few minutes letting them soften and caramelize. Once the peppers and onions are cooked crisp tender or slightly caramelized, transfer them to a plate.
Serve the brats, onions, and peppers on buns with mustard, sauerkraut, or parsley if desired.Add the brats to the pan and let them cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are cooked through. If it’s a cold evening, you can tent the skillet with foil to cook the brats a little faster. Once they’re cooked through, add the onions and peppers back to the pan to warm them up.
TERIYAKI GRILLED CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE SKEWERS
This recipe comes together easily as much of it is prepped at home. When you’re ready to cook, all you need to do is marinate the chicken and skewer the chicken and veggies prior to grilling. I like to use an assortment of produce to complement the chicken, but if you want to keep it simple, you can just use onion, bell pepper, and pineapple.
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ¾ to 1 pound chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 red, green, or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 zucchini sliced or chopped into 1-inch pieces
- ½ red onion chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup cubed pineapple
- Pinch salt
- Dash pepper
- Sliced green onions, for garnish
- 8 flat metal skewers
Make the marinade at home up to 3 days in advance.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, and fresh ginger. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
Whisk together the pineapple juice and cornstarch. Add this mixture to the marinade and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Take the marinade off the heat and stir in the sesame seeds. Let the marinade cool before using.
Build the pieces of chicken, tomato, bell pepper, zucchini, red onion, and pineapple on the skewers, leaving a little space around the chicken pieces so they cook evenly. Sprinkle the skewers with a little salt and pepper.
Place the skewers on a grate over the hot campfire coals or a campfire grill over medium-high heat. Cook for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally so they cook evenly. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the skewers from the grill and serve with the remaining marinade.
Diana Taylor Realty