Posts Tagged ‘basil’

Best Camping Food Ever

July 2nd, 2010 by Justin | Comments Off | Filed in Meals

This is my favorite camping food … ever!  I’m not talking about s’mores, and hot dogs don’t even rank.  I learned this one way back when I was a Boy Scout, and it’s the foil bag roast.  After all, just because our sleeping arrangements may  be spartan (some of us anyway), doesn’t mean we have to eat that way too.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs steak, cut of your choice, cubed
  • 2 potatoes, cubed small
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 bushel cilantro, shredded
  • 1 bushel green onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic (hell ya…or less if you’re like that), diced finely
  • Worcestershire, A1, BBQ, and Tabasco sauce
  • Basil, salt and pepper, to taste

Preperation

The magic is to prepare this before you leave for your trip. Combine all ingredients in large bowl.  You’ll need enough of the sauces to coast all of the other ingredients.


Pour all of this into a large freezer bag and throw it in the ice chest.  This will keep for a couple of days, but of course, the longer you let it sit, the better.  I usually cook it on the second night, served with rolls and shredded cheese.

To cook, portion out the mixture onto long sheets of doubled-over foil.  Wrap up each portion snug, and place it around the fire at the edge of the coals or on the grill if your fire pit is so equipped.  You’ll need some tongs or expert giant chop stick skills.

Cooking time will vary depending on the heat of your fire and how close you have the packets to the heat.  I find that it normally takes about 20 to 25 minutes.  Of course you could cook this at home too, but where’s the fun in that?  Probably around 350 degrees, that’s where.

Anyone have any camping favorites that they want to share?  I’m curious to know what other people like to make when they’re in the great outdoors.

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Chicken ala Ackbar

July 1st, 2009 by Justin | Comments Off | Filed in Meals

So here’s a chicken dish that’s been turning out well with some consistency in both preparation and review.

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breasts, butterflied (or enough for 4 people)
  • 2 Tomatoes (cubed)
  • 2 Onions (cubed)
  • 2 cups (or 4 servings) jasmine rice (prepared as directed on package)
  • Fontina, shredded
  • Olive oil
  • Red vinegar
  • 2 lemons, or 5 tbsp. juice
  • Dry white wine (optional)
  • Green Tabasco (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Basil
  • Fresh ground pepper (buy a mill, dammit)
  • Garlic powder
  • Cilantro, whole or chopped (as a garnish)

Ready? Go!

Prepare the rice as directed on the package. The time here will depend on the type of rice and the method in which you prepare it. Lacking a rice cooker, I choose to cook on the stove top which, taking about 20 minutes, is a perfect time for this dish as the whole thing should take about that long. While the rice is cooking, begin cooking the vegetables and chicken as follows.

In a small frying pan, begin caramelizing the onions in 2 tbsp. olive oil and of red vinegar each over medium heat, breaking up the onions into smaller pieces while cooking.  Add basil and a pepper to taste.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, turning the onions occasionally so as not to burn. Reduce heat to low and add the tomatoes, stirring carefully to distribute the tomatoes without smashing them. Cover and let sit on a low heat until the rest of the dish is ready.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan large enough to hold all of the chicken without overlapping, again start with 2 tbsp. olive oil and red vinegar over medium heat. Once the red vinegar begins to bubble, add the chicken to the pan.  After about 5 minutes, add lemon juice, a dash of white wine (optional), garlic powder (enough to lightly coat the chicken), and a dash of Tabasco (optional).  Cover and reduce heat to low.

Allow the chicken to cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes, turn, and recover.  Since we will be cooking the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, be sure to use a low heat so as not to over-cook and dry the chicken out.   When the chicken is almost ready, uncover, raise the heat to hi, and turn the chicken again. Allow the chicken to cook briefly just long enough to slightly sear the presentation side (1 to 2 minutes).

A dish best served funky…

Serve the chicken, presentation side up on a bed of rice and top with the onions and tomatoes (don’t forget the juice!).  Garnish with shredded Fontina and whole or chopped cilantro.  For the Tabasco inclined, a little of the green stuff goes well with or without the cilantro.   Some corn tortillas would also be nice.

Serves 4.

The whole meal only takes about 25-30 minutes with preparation.   The Fontina, a softer and mild cheese, can, of course, be substituted with something else to your liking. I suggest that you keep it soft and mild.  However, if you want to go hard, try some Parmesan.  But if I catch you using that Kraft trash, I will break into your house and tear your wife in half!

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Garlic-Basil Pesto

April 19th, 2009 by Justin | Comments Off | Filed in Rubs, Sauces

I’ve had a mortar and pestle sitting around for quite a few months now but haven’t really used it much.  So today, after a long couple weeks of work and not doing much cooking of my own, I decided to experiment while cooking dinner for Sherelle and I.

I came up with two offerings, both sauces: a garlic power house and a surprisingly sweet complement to chicken.  This is the first of two mortal and pestle sauces.

Ingredients

  • Package of fresh basil, minced
  • One clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon

Combine all in a mortar and pestle with approximately one tablespoon each of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a squeeze of lemon.  Work mixture until a paste is formed.

Can be applied directly to prepared chicken, fish, vegetables, pastas, etc, or used as wet rub for grilled fish and chicken.  You can also make this in bulk and use to bolster red and other sauces.

I’m a huge fan of garlic, but just to warn you, this combination creates a very strong garlic flavor that I know not everyone is keen to, so use your discretion when cooking for the garlic shy or someone you plan on kissing anytime soon.  All that said, anyone can enjoy its full flavor when applied thinly.

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