Camp Made Easy
These premade dinners act as ice blocks in the cooler and provide hearty, one-pot meals.
Photograph: David L. Reamer
When you’re ready to venture beyond your backyard with your taste buds, chef Zane Holmquist has tips for gourmet getaways. “I love to cook on a campfire, but I keep it simple so it doesn’t feel like work.”
Holmquist always prepares two meals ahead of time—usually a wild game chili and a stew, and freezes them in Ziploc bags. These premade dinners act as ice blocks in the cooler; they thaw slowly for second and third nights on the road; and when added to pasta or rice, they provide hearty, one-pot meals. Also, cleanup is a cinch, so he can spend more time mountain biking than cooking. If you’re lucky enough to catch trout, wrap it in foil with lemon and butter and place on the grill or directly on coals. Fire-roasted sweet potatoes and corn on the cob make great side dishes. Coat sweet potatoes with olive oil. Soak corn in the husk for 15–20 minutes in water. Wrap individual items in foil and place in coals. (Cook times vary depending on the heat of the fire.)
For breakfast, try a frittata. “I cut up veggies and put them in a Ziploc bag before leaving home,” says Holmquist. “At the campsite, I sauté them in a nonstick pan, add scrambled eggs and cheese, then cover it for a few minutes before serving.”