A few weeks ago, we received a copy of Campfire Cookery: Adventuresome Recipes and Other Curiosities for the Great Outdoors to review. We were excited by the idea, but had low expectations for the actual book. Most camping recipe books seem to be lacking. For instance, they usually don’t include pictures, and definitely do not usually cater towards the fancier campers like us, with recipes, text, or design. Well, this book is a nice surprise in the fanciest of directions. These ladies made every aspect of the book whimsical and beautiful, making you want to put on your cutest skirt and scarf and go frolic in a field forever.
Campfire Cookery focuses strictly on cooking over a campfire, often with the use of a dutch oven, which tends to be best for only the most glamorous types of camping. Besides recipes, the book also includes a depth of information about outdoor fun presented in a fanciful and playful way. Reading about building your own compass or telling the future from tea leaves is like reading a lovely novel- it has a Wind in the Willows feel. We also loved how the photos were printed with a matte finish in the book. Photos can make or break a recipe, and these photos show off the beauty of the food nicely.
We were able to modify a few recipes to make them more backpacking friendly, but that required a change of ingredients as well, since the recipes often focus on a lot of perishable ingredients including meat and dairy.
Overall, we definitely recommend Campfire Cookery as a fun and interesting addition to an outdoorsman’s library (and definitely for an outdoorswoman’s). Here’s a recipe from the book to whet your appetite. We used these Foil Mushrooms with Hazelnuts and Chives in their Mushroom Mustard Mashed Potaters recipe as well, and both were excellent! The hazelnuts are the surprise ingredient here, adding crunchiness and toastiness and turning this typical non-campy recipe into a gourmet campy one. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about them. I think I’ll make them for dinner tonight.
Foil-Roasted Mushrooms with Hazelnuts & Chives
YieldAbout cup mushrooms
Prep Time10 minutes
Activity GuideCar Camping
- 8 ounces mixed wild mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced (about 4 cups)
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, fire-toasted
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Cutting Board
- Prepare a high-heat fire, and let it burn for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to toast the hazelnuts, place a cast-iron skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the hazelnuts and cook, shaking the pan occaisionally, until the nuts are golden and the skin has begun to crackle and flake. Let them cool completely before chopping.
- Place the mushrooms in the center of a large sheet of foil. Dot the mushrooms with the butter and sprinkle on the chives, salt, and pepper. Fold the edges of the foil securely over the mushrooms, forming a packet, and place the packet on the grill grate. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and turning golden, about 15 minutes. Open the packet and continue roasting until the juices evaporate, up to 10 minutes more.
- Transfer to a bowl and toss in the toasted hazelnuts to serve.