With Memorial Day coming up this weekend and summer just around the corner, camping season is officially upon us. Getting out into the great outdoors is a popular pastime for endless reasons: taking in the beautiful scenery, hiking as exercise, getting your mind off of life’s daily stresses, and basically just becoming one with nature. But for many people, camping loses some of its allure when it comes to food options. Not everyone is down to eat hotdogs multiple days in a row, and that is where The North Face comes in.
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The outdoor outfitter isn’t just great for camping and sporting gear. We recently attended their Summer Kick-Off event in L.A. where we got to check out their newest line of gear and learn some camping tips and tricks from their resident wilderness pros. But best of all, we got to sample some fresh fare from The North Face’s event Chef, Billy McCullough. During his cooking demos, we learned that there is so much more you can cook over a campfire than hotdogs and marshmallows. And Chef Billy’s best tip? Prep your meals at home before you hit the road. Sauces can be pre-mixed, veggies can be pre-cut, and meat can be pre-sliced. Why didn't we think of that? Little did we know, cooking in the wilderness doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious.
If you consider yourself an outdoor enthusiast and your palate is a little more refined than Oscar Mayer, you’ll want to read below for these two simple yet tasty recipes. Heck, we’d even eat these meals in the comfort of our own homes.
CORN-BASIL FRITTERS WITH SCALLION CREAM
2 cups cornbread mix (can buy pre-made from the store)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup basil, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil
Add the cornbread mix and sugar into a bowl and mix. Slowly add the water and keep mixing. Do not over-mix. Add corn and give it one more mix. Add a little bit of oil to a skillet (enough to cover the bottom, about one-fifth of the 1/4 cup of oil). Make sure the oil is very hot, then ladle some of the batter into the oil and cook until crispy on bottom side, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Drain them on paper towels as you finish off the rest of the batter.
Add 2 bunches green onions (only the green part, chopped), 5 cups sour cream, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tablespoon garlic (chopped), salt, and pepper to a blender and puree.
CAMPFIRE CHICKEN & SAUSAGE FOIL PACKS
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cubed
1 pound sausage links, sliced
2 onions peeled and sliced thinly
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
4 potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
3 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced
1 tablespoon each salt & pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice and mix well. Evenly divide the mixture between 4 large sheets of aluminum foil. Spray foil with a bit of pan spray. Top each with another sheet of foil, and roll up the edges tightly. If cooking in fire, wrap each packet again securely with another sheet of foil to double wrap. If cooking on stove top, use only one sheet of foil. Cook in the hot coals of a campfire until the chicken is opaque and the potatoes are tender, around 20 minutes. Or put directly on burners of a stove at medium high heat for 15 minutes.