Now, just wait – I know you’ll likely ignore this book. ‘Campfire Cuisine’ – you probably think that’s a book for rugged sorts: thick socks, hiking boots, woolly hats with solar cells, and that’s not you. But how about ‘Gourmet Recipes’? Well, that’s bound to be yoghurt, free-range vegetables and knitted meat substitute, isn’t it?
Well, No. Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors is a chunky volume for those who don’t want to survive on dehydrated ready meals when off on an adventure. It’s equally appropriate for those who are back-yard trekkers, cooking by the light of a domestic barbecue or a gas burner.
This book offers recipes for rather smart food that can be produced with the most primitive cooking equipment. No need to buy a cheffy sous-vide, just a single burner stove will get you started. There is advice on buying the most practical stove and a list of useful utensils to take along. Plenty of information here about keeping foods fresh and avoiding food poisoning. It’s not a handbook for the forager and you are not expected to hunt, shoot or fish for your supper.
There are imaginative recipes here. Savoury cheese s’mores are an adult version of the original sweet s’mores made with digestive biscuits, chocolate and marshmallows sandwiched together. This savoury version uses firm cheese and pesto on wholewheat crackers. One softens the cheese over the fire or coals and then spreads over the tapenade-coated biscuits. The book does have sweet s’mores but here they are called S’moradillas and they take advantage of flour tortillas instead of biscuits.
Cajun spice-rubbed pork tenderloin is a sophisticated yet simple dish for home or away. The key to success is the marinade as the cooking time is short – only 20 minutes or so. Jumbalaya takes longer but the wait will reward the camper with a hearty one-pot meal. It’s a vibrant dish with spicy sausage, and shrimps for sweetness.
Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors is a handy book of easy eclectic recipes for the alfresco fireplace or barbecue. They are a well-balanced bunch that will delight any lover of good food.
Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors
Author: Robin Donovan
Publisher: Quirk Books
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018