So I just got back from a week of camping in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Tent living, campfire building, and camp food. Yep, I said it... camp food. But I am not just referring to hot dogs and s'mores. I am referring to really easy and yummy "gourmet" camp food. Food that is just as easy to make as pasta and mac and cheese, but is more filling and delicious.
Expand your camp food horizon! Shop at the local markets. Buy groceries rather than convenience foods and elevate your next camping experience!
For starters, here is a little tip....
In our camping kit, I always carry the following "pantry" staples-- a small bottle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, small zip lock bags or containers of herbs (usually one with dried chili flakes and one with mixed italian or provencal herbs), and small containers of dijon mustard, ketchup, and barbecue sauce. These come in handy for all your cooking needs, from kicking up jarred pasta sauces and seasoning goods from the local market to making salad dressings. I also carry some tin foil, butcher's string, and of course, a good knife.
All this stuff on hand means that you expand your campfire cooking experience!
So, join me as I walk you through a variety of delectable, easy to make camping food that will give you energy through the day, and motivate you to give gourmet campfire cooking another try.
Campfire Toasted Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Toast Bread (White or WW)
Butter or Margarine
Smoked Ham, sliced
Old Cheddar (or any hard, meltable cheese you find at the local market)
Salt and Pepper
For this recipe, the ingredients are minimal and I didn't put quantities since it's pretty obvious that you would use however much you need to make a sandwich.
The ham we purchased was a chunk of smoked ham which we sliced ourselves, but you can also have it presliced at a local deli counter if you prefer.
You could do this recipe in a frying pan over a camping stove or in a frying pan over the fire, but if you find you don't have a frying pan, or you want to try something different, try it this way....
Find a large stick/tree branch in the woods with a v-shaped branch. It should not be too dry, as you don't want it to burn in the fire. Cover it with tin foil to create a strong, flat surface. This will be your "pan" (see photos above).
Now, no matter what method you are using (camping stove, frying pan, or tree branch), you will follow this same method.
First, build your sandwiches by buttering both sides of each piece of bread. I know this sounds like a lot of butter, but don't skimp. It will ensure the bread toasts nicely AND it will taste delicious!
On one slice of butter bread, add a layer of cheese, a layer of ham, then another layer of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with the 2nd slice of bread. As a reminder, the sandwich should be buttered inside and outside.
Heat your tree branch constructed frying pan (or your actual frying pan) over the campfire (or camp stove). Add about 1 teaspoon of butter and let it melt over the surface slowly. Do not place the frying pan directly on the flame, but just beside so as not to burn the butter. Place one side of the sandwich onto the cooking surface and let it toast. Again, it is very important to be patient and not place the "frying pan" directly in the flame of the fire. This will ensure that the bread gets toasted and the cheese gets melted, without burning.
After a few minutes, check that the first side of the sandwich is golden brown and toasted. When it is, carefully flip the sandwich over and toast the other side. When both sides are toasted, remove from the fire and enjoy!