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A Wild and Fancy Feast

Chef's Corner

July 2015

Written by
Katie Vincent

Chef's Corner

After a full day spent frolicking in the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest, you nab the perfect camping site near an alpine lake with views of the Cascades. At this point you have it all; why kill the mood with lackluster beef stroganoff from a foil pouch? Fridge or not, there’s no reason why fresh, satisfying flavors can’t follow you to the crags and foothills of Mount Rainier and beyond.

Of course, not everyone’s ideal camping trip includes a massive backpack or days without a shower. Yet even with a trusty vehicle a mere arm’s length from your tent, the possibilities for creative concoctions are enough to finally move beyond the eternally overdone hot dog on a stick. Here are a few gourmet dishes that will impress your friends this summer no matter how outdoorsy you are.

Multiday Treks

Tom Kha Gai Chicken and Rice
Serves: 1–2

• 1 package “A Taste of Thai” Coconut Ginger Soup base
• 7 ounces (or so) dehydrated or canned, precooked chicken
• 1 chicken bouillon cube
• 3 tablespoons coconut cream powder
• 2 cups jasmine rice (precooked and dehydrated)
• Dried or fresh cilantro (optional)

pretrip: Cook rice and dehydrate. Package the coconut cream powder and bouillon cube together. Keep the soup base, chicken and rice separate.

at camp: Rehydrate rice. Boil two cups of water. Remove from heat and add coconut cream powder, bouillon cube and soup base. Return to stove, add chicken and bring to a boil for two minutes with occasional stirring. Serve rice into bowls and pour soup on top. Garnish with cilantro as desired.
Adapted from recipe by RollingStone,

Serves: 2–3

• 2 ⅓ cups water
• 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
• 2 tablespoons Kahlúa
• 3.4-ounce packet white chocolate instant pudding
• 6 tablespoons powdered milk
• 16–24 ladyfingers
• 1 dark chocolate bar

pretrip: Pack all ingredients separately.

at camp: Make pudding in a small bowl according to package directions, using the powdered milk and two cups of water. Boil the last one-third cup of water, and stir in espresso and Kahlúa. Place four to six ladyfingers in the bottom of a pot or bowl, drizzle with espresso mixture and spread pudding over the top. Place four to six more ladyfingers on top, and repeat with espresso mixture and pudding to create a second layer. Shave thin strips of chocolate on top with a pocketknife.
Adapted from Mother Nature Network

One Night Out

Curried Salmon Sandwiches
Serves: 2

• 1 package vacuum-sealed salmon
• 2 packets of mayonnaise (shelf-stable)
• ¼ cup dried cherries
• ¼ cup diced apple
• ¼ cup diced celery
• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• 4 slices whole-grain sandwich bread

Pretrip: Chop up apples and celery. Package ingredients separately.

On the trail: In a bowl, mix salmon, two mayonnaise packets and curry powder. Stir. Spread onto bread, and press the fruit and veggies into the sauce. Close sandwich with second slice of bread.
Adapted from recipe by Erika Klimecky,

Chocolate Fondue
Serves: 1–6

• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate 
• ⅔ cup cream
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• Various foods to dip (fruit, marshmallows, cookies, 
pretzels, etc.)

Pretrip: Bottle cream in a well-insulated thermos.

On the trail: Break up chocolate and place in a bowl. Boil water and pour just enough over chocolate to cover it. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then drain water. Pour in cream and vanilla, stir well and dip away.
Adapted from Mother Nature Network

Car Camping

Grilled Banana Splits
Serves: 1

• 1 banana
• ⅛ cup chocolate chips
• ⅛ cup small marshmallows
• Other toppings (graham crackers, berries, sprinkles, cookies, toffee, etc.)

Pretrip: Wrap banana in foil and package toppings together or separately.

On the trail: Start campfire. Cut banana lengthwise and stuff with toppings. Rewrap banana in foil and place on hot coals. Cook for five minutes. Carefully remove from fire, unwrap and dig in.
Adapted from a recipe by Andrea Williamson Gregg, Mother Nature Network

Backcountry Breakfast Biscuits
Serves: 3

• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons dried berries
• ⅓ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• ⅔ cup water
• Condiments (jam, butter, honey, etc.)

Pretrip: Mix dry ingredients together in a bag.

On the trail: Find a stick about three-quarter inch in diameter and remove the bark from three inches of one end. Gradually add water to bag of dry ingredients and mix into stiff dough. Form the dough around the barkless limb end to make a biscuit about three inches long and one inch thick. Toast the dough over the campfire until golden brown. Remove the biscuit and fill the cavity with condiment of choice.
Adapted from Mother Nature Network

Fontina Cheese Dip on Flatbread
Serves: 3–6

• Cast-iron skillet and an oven mitt
• 3–4 shallots, sliced
• Olive oil
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1½ cups fontina cheese, cubed
• Lemon zest (optional)
• Rosemary (optional)
• Flatbread
• Aluminum foil

Pretrip: Slice shallots and cheese. Package ingredients separately.

On the trail: Light fire. Let burn until embers are quite warm. Wrap flatbread in foil and tuck alongside fire ring to warm it up. Place cast-iron skillet on grill surface above fire or directly on coals, whichever seems safe. Sauté shallots in olive oil. Add halved tomatoes and cook until soft. Add cheese and stir until just barely melted. Remove skillet and flatbread from fire. Unwrap flatbread, slather on the melted cheese and enjoy.
Adapted from recipe by Ashley Rodriguez,


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