There are so many amazing things to cook while camping: dutch oven stews, peach cobbler, hobo bundles (which desperately need a new name as “hobo” just does not conjur up an image of something I want to put in my mouth) and, of course, classic s’mores. While all of these options have their place, we opted to keep it simple at Del Valle last weekend: fire roasted veggies, corn on the cob, and pesto al Giovanni, of course.
We had the benefit of a camping stove, which helped enormously for cooking pasta, but for the rest of the meal, our most critical ingredients were foil and fire. With these two basic camping tools, we turned raw ingredients into something so wonderous I have already attempted to recreate this meal in my oven at home.
Plus, no hobos were harmed in the cooking of this dinner. Bonus.
FIRE ROASTED VEGGIES
. Asparagus, 1 lb. (regular, not baby)
. Carrots, 1 lb.
. One head of garlic
. New potatoes, 1 lb.
. One medium red onion
. One corn cob for each diner
. Bottle of EVOO
. Salt, pepper,
. Cayenne, lemon pepper seasoning, or any other savory spice or rub you like
. Giant roll of aluminum foil, knives, cutting board, small marinating brush
1. On a cutting board, thinly slice the new potatoes and red onion; chop the carrots into smaller sticks; trim up the asparagus if necessary; and disassemble and peel the entire head of garlic. If you are one of those people who is touchy about garlic and thinks you can smell it coming out of your pores (you smell great, I promise!) then only use as much as you like. We likey a lotta garlic.
2. Lay a generous piece of foil – larger than you think you need – down on a flat surface. We used a picnic table, but flat rocks will do! You go, gourmet campfire chef, you!
3. Drizzle a bottom layer of EVOO on the foil and spread it out using the marinating brush
4. Layer veggies on the foil. We laid asparagus on the bottom and it crisped up a little too quickly, so I’d lay potatoes down first, then carrots and asparagus in a long row together, onions and garlic cloves nestled atop and between.
5. Drizzle the bed of veggies with more EVOO, coating evening.
6. Top with salt, pepper, and the seasoning of your choice. I used a lemon pepper grinder to coat the entire packet with a fine layer of spice and it turned out to be delicious.
7. Lay a similarly sized sheet of foil over the top and gently fold the edges together. Once the packet is loosely assembled, go back around and tightly crimp the edges. The foil packet is so magical because it acts as a grill and steamer in one, resulting in vegetables that are steamy and crispy, with that smoky flavor that only fire roasting can give.
8. Cook directly over the flames for about 30 minutes, checking regularly. Your veggies should be crisping, but not burning.
9. Once the veggies are cooking, wrap each ear of corn in ample foil, over the husks. Throw them directly into the fire. Once you hear popping, pull them out (carefully!)
10. Pull all the veggies out/off of the fire and enjoy!
Last two photos taken by Duncan Ramsay.