Camp Cookery

Camp Cookery - Fish Tacos

  • 3 tilapia fillets
  • 1 cup of pre-cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • Crema Mexicana
  • Queso Fresca
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • Tortillas
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 can of black beans

Camping on the beach calls for seafood! Last time we cooked a meal on the Gulf Coast we made a big ol' seafood stew, this time we chose something with a little less ingredients. We opted for those cheap frozen tilapia fillets and frozen shrimp. One, because I already had some in my freezer. Two, if you throw some in a cooler in the morning with ice by time you're ready to cook dinner they'll be thawed out (unless of course you have one of those fancy Yeti coolers that actually keeps things cold). 

Get your fire going about forty five minutes before you want to start cooking as you'll want some hot coals ready when it comes time to cook the fish. As thats burning you can chop your onions, put the beans in a pot and cut the pepper.

Once you have some good coals place a grill grate over them and grease up your pan, allow it to heat up for a few minutes. Then put the tilapia, shrimp, onions and spices in the pan. We also put the black beans and pepper on the fire at this point.

As the fish begins to cook you can break it into smaller pieces, this will help with the cooking time, and the end product is going to be flaky anyways. Continue to stir the fish and black beans as it heats up. 

The fish is done when it becomes an opaque white and can easily be shredded just by pulling at it, about ten minutes for us, but times could vary a bit based on the strength of your fire and how close you place the pan to it. Place the fish in a tortilla and top with black beans, cheese, crema and avocado!

Lessons learned: Something I should have already known, but if you are cooking on the beach make sure to always cover your pots and pans. Nobody considers sand a seasoning. 

camp cookery - buffalo chicken grilled cheese

  1. canned chicken
  2. blue cheese (wedge or crumbles)
  3. pepperjack cheese (sliced)
  4. hot sauce
  5. green onions
  6. bread
  7. butter

this is a pretty simple recipe but will fill you right up. it's also one that can be hiked into camp rather than some of the meals i've done in the past which require big pots or pans and a hefty stove or fire. 

all you need for this one is a few ingredients, a small cooler bag, a pan and a small camp stove.

to start chop your green onions and mix them in with the canned chicken and hot sauce.

i opted for a whole loaf of bread so i could cut the slices a little thicker. once cut butter the side of the bread that'll be on the pan.

with the bread in the pan stack up the cheese and top with a dollop of the buffalo chicken. put the other piece of bread on that and then fire up the stove.

to help the cheese melt put a cover on the pan. check the grilled cheese after a minute or so, when the bottom side is golden brown flip the sandwich and put the cover back on.

that's really all there is to this one. super simple, but tasty, and more filling than a normal grilled cheese.

lessons learned: i could have saved some space in my pack by slicing the bread beforehand and only carrying in what i needed to make this recipe.

camp cookery - cioppino

  1. shrimp - 1 pound 
  2. clams - 1 pound 
  3. mussels - 1 1/2 pounds  
  4. cod - 1 pound 
  5. tilapia - 1 pound 
  6. onion
  7. garlic cloves - 4
  8. tomato - 2
  9. tomato puree - 32oz
  10. lobster stock - 16oz
  11. white wine - 2 cups
  12. chili powder, oregano, parsley to taste
  13. loaf of bread for dipping

another simple one pot meal for the beach, with all the wind blowing around this is still the easiest way for me to cook without ending up crunching on a mouthful of sand along with my dinner.

we started by putting a healthy coat of olive oil in the bottom of the cast iron dutch oven. while the oil was heating up we chopped the tomatoes and onion. 

when the oil heats up throw the onion, garlic and tomatoes in and let them saute for five minutes. after the onions start to brown add in the tomato puree, white wine and lobster stock. 

cover the dutch oven and let everything simmer for ten minutes. take this time to cut up your fish into cubes or strips. 

after the wine and tomato puree have had a chance to simmer for a bit add your fish in the mix, cover, and let cook for five minutes.

next up throw in the shrimp, clams, mussels, and spices. let cook for another seven to nine minutes. 

that's it! put it in a bowl and be sure to discard any mussels and clams that didn't open during the cooking process.

camp cookery - whiskey braised pork

  1. pork loin
  2. root beer
  3. whiskey (thanks to tincup for this)
  4. liquid smoke
  5. salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper
  6. onion
  7. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  8. bbq sauce
  9. pickles
  10. coleslaw
  11. buns

i actually did some prep work at home for this recipe, the night before i combined a twenty ounce bottle of root beer, a shot or two of whiskey, some liquid smoke and the salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper mix in a container with the pork. i let that sit in the fridge overnight and threw it in the cooler when it was time to head out. 

at the campsite i started by chopping the onion, half went in the dutch oven, half was saved for the finished product. along with the onion; twenty more ounces of root beer, a few more shots of whiskey, the pork and the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce went into the dutch oven. 

admittedly this was supposed to be pulled pork, it did not turn into anything resembling that in the least bit. i thought by buying thinner cuts of meat i could pull off a meal that usually needs ten hours to cook in one or two. 

with the charcoal going i placed the dutch oven directly on the coals and put a few briquettes on top for some extra heat. now i've never cooked with charcoal, ever, i just put the cast iron oven on and walked away for twenty minutes. i'm not quite sure what i was thinking, but upon lifting the cover i saw that the liquid was boiling. after a few minutes of self loathing, cursing, and murmuring to myself, "jeremy you're an idiot of course fire is hot, you just ruined dinner for everyone.", i decided to just pull the oven out.  

i cut a slice of the meat, pulled pork; definitely not, still good; yup.

taking the meat, onions and peppers out of the dutch oven we all just began cutting away. what i ended up with was closer to chopped pork, which i'm not even sure is a real thing.

but nonetheless, we piled our sandwiches high with the pork, onions, pickles, coleslaw and bbq sauce. 

lessons learned: slow and low forever. trying to rush a recipe never ends well, thankful that i decided to check on it after twenty minutes rather than the full hour. whiskey braised rubber sandwiches would not have been a hit.

Camp Cookery - Pesto Fettuccine

  • fettuccine
  • parmesan cheese
  • garlic
  • fresh basil
  • pine nuts
  • olive oil
  • tomatoes
  • chicken

this is one of the more involved recipes i've undertaken as it has a lot of different things going into the end dish. it was definitely a huge help to have a couple of people there to help with the cutting, chopping, fire building, and cooking.

the first step should have been to get the fire started, but sometimes beer makes you do things out of order. 

we made the pesto by hand and started by chopping a whole bunch of basil and garlic as finely as we could. 

next up grind down the pine nuts with a pestle. once those are done add in the chopped basil and garlic. slowly add in olive oil while grinding away.

keep grinding.

realized we needed more basil. continue to add olive oil until the pest is the consistency that you'd like. when the pest is where you'd like it stir in the chopped parmesan.

the chicken was simple in this recipe, just salt and pepper and then into a pan and onto the fire.

tomatoes directly onto the fire.

when the water in the cast iron dutch oven was finally to a boil we put the fettuccine into a strainer and then into the dutch oven. rather than trying to strain the pasta after it was cooked this allowed us to just pull it right out.

finishing touches: cut the chicken into cubes (throw the extra to your dog because she's been watching you cook intently for the last hour), cut the tomatoes in half, add it all to a bowl with the fettuccine and pesto.  

lessons learned: as always, start your fire EARLY. we ran out of daylight while waiting to get our water to a boil for the fettuccine.

Camp cookery - pizza

  • crescent roll dough
  • fresh mozzarella
  • fresh basil
  • pepperoni
  • tomato
  • sauce
  • crisco (for pan)

another pretty easy one with a small ingredient list, but after an eight hour drive and then eleven miles of hiking i knew i'd want something filling, and who can say no to pizza.

start by cutting the pepperoni, basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. this one cooks fast so you'll want all of the ingredients ready to go.

spray the bottom of your pan with a non stick spray and spread the crescent roll dough. toppings next, but c'mon it's a pizza you knew that.

once you have everything laid out put a cover on your pan and fire up your stove. that great thing about using the crescent dough is that it will cook in the same time it will take for your cheese to melt, for me about seven minutes.

lessons learned: make sure the crescent roll dough is spread pretty thin. i left mine a little thicker and the bottom was beginning to burn before the dough was cooked all the way through.

Camp Cookery- Tacos

  • ground turkey
  • 1 goya seasoning packet
  • tortillas
  • cheese
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 green bell pepper
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, green onions

having to carry all of your gear; tent, sleeping bag, camera gear, etc. in a kayak leaves limited room for food. for this meal i wanted to cook something that used ingredients that could all fit into my small cooler. in addition to that it needed to be something that could be cooked on my small camp stove and not a campfire or a bigger two burner stove.

not really much to this one. chop your veggies, light the stove, cook the meat, put it all on a tortilla.

Camp Cookery - Thanksgiving Feast

thanksgiving dinner

4 lbs. boneless turkey breast
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 stick of butter
garlic powder
bay leaves
dead rooster co. black gold rub
1 acorn squash
4 sweet potatoes 
honey, cinnamon, olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (for sweet potatoes & acorn squash)
boxed mushroom bisque
white mushrooms

other items 

cast iron dutch oven
meat thermometer
aluminum foil
aluminum pie tin

camp cookery camping cooking texas thanksgiving turkey america yall

as always, you'll want to start you fire are early as possible. the coals are key to this meal and are needed for the dutch oven along with the foil packets for the sweet potatoes and acorn squash. 

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i have traditionally cooked a turkey breast in a slow cooker for past thanksgivings, i wanted to try my hand at recreating the same thing while out in the woods and followed what i normally would have done at home; the only difference being the cooking time.

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using a thawed turkey breast start by poking holes throughout, i try to jam as much garlic and onion into the actual turkey as i can, the long cooking time allows the flavors to permeate the meat. the netting that these come in are actually perfect for the next step so i always leave that on during the cooking process. take the rosemary sprigs and onion slivers and weave them through the netting, this will allow them to stay right on the meat during the cook.

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the folks over at dead rooster co. (click to check them out) were nice enough to send me some of their black gold coffee based rub, i generously coated the turkey with it and then topped it off with a couple of spoonfuls of minced garlic.

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now that the turkey prep is done take an aluminum pie tin, flip it upside down, cut a bunch of slits in it and place it in the bottom of the dutch oven. pour in the chicken broth add some more onions and the half a stick of butter and place the turkey on top of the pie tin. a four pound breast raised above the coals on a cooking rack took approximately three hours, so we had plenty of time to explore caddo lake before starting the sides. every half hour or so we would spin the dutch oven just to even out the heat. 

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of course you'll need some snacks while ya cook! cheese plate with candied pecans.

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turns out four sweet potatoes is a ton when all cubed up. along with the sliced acorn squash we decided to try out a couple different flavors for these.

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a few with just olive oil and pepper, one with butter and onions, one with olive oil and cayenne and a sweet one with butter, honey and cinnamon. we used three layers of aluminum foil and just made sure packets were folded tight before throwing them directly in the coal. there was no real science behind these, just make sure you have some sort of oil or butter in each one so they don't get dried out during the cooking process. we left these on the fire for about an hour until they felt tender.

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for other sides we just had a box of stove stop stuffing with added onions and some mushroom bisque to which we added more of our own mushrooms. straight forward, simple, just cooked these on the coleman stove.

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i started checking the temperature of the meat every half hour or so after the first hour. you'll want to pull this off the fire when it reaches an internal temp. of 160 degrees. it will continue to cook as you let it rest (fifteen minutes).

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thats it! a lot of ingredients but with a few people helping we pulled everything off without a hitch.

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a huge thank you to my friends folklorica and fortuna monsoon for all their help and for making this thanksgiving an amazing experience. 

Camp Cookery - Jambalaya


1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pounds sliced sausage

1 pound shrimp

1/2 onion diced

1 cup diced bell pepper

1 cup diced celery

1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning

1 cup rice

14.5 once can diced tomato

1/4 teaspoon diced thyme

2 cups chicken broth

bay leaves

first things first, i totally disregarded the portioning i had planned on using. this is one pot meal cooked in a cast iron dutch oven, it is very forgiving, and when cooking for a big group; the more food the better.

start your fire well before you plan on cooking, you'll need a solid bed of hot coals to get this dish cooked. it'll take a while for the fire to get to this point so i used that time to start chopping the veggies and slicing the sausage. when the coals are ready place the dutch oven on a stable portion and pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom. 

once the oil is good and hot throw in your sliced sausage and let that cook for two minutes or so. next up, toss in celery, onion, bell pepper and cajun seasoning.

cook until the vegetables become tender. then goes the rice, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and chicken broth.

the only issue i ran into was at this point was needing to constantly add more chicken broth while the dish cooked. whether it was because i payed no attention to the amount of ingredients i threw in or because the fire was hotter than it should have been, i'm not sure. either way, constant stirring and tasting will let you know if more liquid is needed or not. at this point everything is cooked so i was just waiting on the rice. 

when the rice seems just about done (ten minutes for me) throw in the shrimp, cover and let cook for an additional two minutes. that's it, pull that sucker off the fire, remove the bay leaves and serve!

lessons learned: wash the oven immediately, with the libations flowing i neglected to clean it right after cooking. i spent a fun hour the next evening scraping caked on jambalaya off the bottom of the cast iron.

*sure is nice being on the other side of the camera sometimes. big thanks to lauren simpson for the bulk of these shots(click for portfolio)*