Campfire choices for the foodie in Autumn
While Guy Fawkes is rarely celebrated in Ireland, campfire nights have become a regular feature at FoodeezzHQ. A campfire conjures up memories of family camping trips and childhood scouting weekends… huddling together around the warm glow, telling stories, watching sparks float off into the magical night.
For some of us, the thought of campfire cooking might turn you off from taking to the wild forever, but rest assured – culinary excellence is within your grasp!
1. START WITH THE BASICS - MARSHMALLOWS!
No matter your age or ability, a basic marshmallow toasted at the end of a stick is a campfire winner! However, we challenge you to up your marshmallow game. The s’more – toasted marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between two biscuits – has gained widespread notoriety in recent years.
- To add a bit of excitement we have tried a few twists on the basic recipe:
– Drizzle some jam on the inside of the biscuit to add a fruity flavor.
– Replace the basic chocolate with some peanut flavoured chocolate for some peanut-buttery delight.
– Use chocolate spread instead of solid chocolate for a gooier taste profile.
2. POPCORN IS AN EASY CROWD-PLEASER
To make popcorn on a campfire, the first step is to fully coat the kernels in oil – to prevent burning, it’s probably a lot more oil than you’d usually use on a stove. A container suitable to be placed in the campfire can be made using heavy duty tinfoil, doming the top to leave enough room for kernels to pop. Place in the campfire embers and allow to pop. You can also purchase a campfire popcorn popper which allows you to set it over the fire while it’s still burning, if you think (like us!) you will get regular use from it.
Like with s’mores, some unusual flavor choices can add some excitement to the campfire occasion. A favourite of ours is honey butter for a sweet and savoury twist! In a small saucepan brown 1/4 cup of unsalted butter. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/4 cup of honey and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drizzle over the bowl of popcorn and stir until the popcorn is well-coated.
3. FOR A MORE CONFIDENT CHEF - TRY SMOKING YOUR MEAT
If you think you’d like to try smoking meat on the fire there are a few things that will help give you a great end result. In no particular order, these include time, cut of meat and fuel choice.
You’re looking at taking the better part of a day, giving it your full attention – but the results are, without doubt, worth the effort! You also need to consider your meat cut carefully. Certain cuts lend themselves much better to long, slow cooking times. A firm favourite around here is pork belly or ribs but shoulder and jowl cuts can work equally well. Finally, you will need both wood and coal to keep the fire going at the right temperature for the time required. We always use hickory chunks or chips of wood combined with high-quality briquettes that have not been treated with lighter fuel.
It might take a few attempts to finish the meat exactly to your tastes, but while you’re practising we also recommend experimenting with rubs and sauces to bring it all together. We love a sweet and sour mix alongside some good bread and gently sweated onions.
4. WHEN IT COMES TO BEVERAGES, THE SKY IS THE LIMIT
When it comes to campfires and drinks, we have simple tastes – there is nothing better than finishing off a day of outdoor adventures than with a good beer!