Friday, January 29, 2010

Camp cooking with a difference

Friday, January 29, 2010
So I've been often asked what kind of meals our scouts can and do cook.
Well - many and there are dozens of good websites giving zillions of recipes for ideas. I shan't pretend to be the best camp cook - nor have all the wisdom, however I shall endeavor to write some of our best experiences up, for camp cooking with a difference. May they taste as good for you as they did for us . . . Bon appetite!!
(having said all of that - a huge junk of it is HOW you sell the very idea of outdoor / camp cooking to the youth. -- See there is the "Russian roadkill stew" (thanks to 'the geezers cookbook' ---> ) which is basically a Beef Strogonoff - but with a bit of imagination and 'hard sell' you can either totally freak out the youth - or . . . .) See - I prepped my meal - telling stories about this dead animal I found - and skinned and hung it in the garage - for weeks - but made a Beef Strogonoff - that was very tasty - urm - yumm - urm - more on that later. . .

Meanwhile here is a very nice seafood chowder ala NZ
'Hoki Chowder'

6 tablespoons avocado oil
1 medium sized onion - peeled and finely chopped
1 stick of celery - peeled and diced
1 carrot, cleaned and cut into matchstick sized pieces
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
125 g flour
3 cups of chicken stock - ideally home made (I almost always do)
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of cream
30 Tuatua, shelled (ok - here I cheat - they are a North Island deli only - so I use a nice firm fresh fish - usually Hoki - but hey feel free to use any mild flavored shell fish)
1 medium sized fresh snapper - (again a NZ fish - try some fresh salmon - diced)
2 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
some cracked pepper for seasoning

Heat the avocado oil in a large pot and add the onion. Cook, stirring often until softened, then add the celery and carrot. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then add the salt, curry powder and flour, stirring constantly.
This will go lumpy and firm - so be careful not to burn on the bottom of the pan.
Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring all the while, then the milk. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. The chowder base should be light and creamy - add a little more milk if necessary.
A few minutes before serving stir in the cream, the tuatua and the salmon, heat just enough to cook through, and serve garnished with the dill and black pepper.

If you can manage - toast up some brown bread and thinly spread with some garlic butter and sprinkle some herbs on the bread.

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