There’s nothing quite like cooking outdoors over a campfire with the family and food you’ve foraged during the day.But you don’t have to venture too far for kids to learn about food and where it comes from. For those of us living in towns and cities, homegrown herbs and a campfire in the garden is just as exciting. ‘The Essential Camping Cookbook – or how to cook an egg in an orange – and other Scout recipes’ has lots of fun campfire food ideas that anyone can try out, no matter their age. We’ve picked out just two that we think you’ll love.
What could be simpler than a good fish well cooked? This recipe is a novel way of getting the subtle flavour of tea infused into fresh mackerel.
4 medium mackerel, weighing about 300–400 g (10–13 oz) each
8 teabags (English breakfast preferably)
A small handful of rice (any variety)
25 g (1 oz/a large sprinkling) caster sugar
A knob of butter or margarine
Salt and pepper
How to cook:
- Prepare the fish by removing the innards and cleaning the inside thoroughly. (Or ask your fish monger.) Make 3–4 diagonal slits into the skin of each fish using a sharp knife, making sure not to go too deep into the flesh.
- Lay out a double layer of foil and sprinkle the contents of two opened teabags, some of the rice and caster sugar in the centre. Cover this with a single sheet of foil.
- Place one mackerel on top of the single sheet of foil, spread a knob of butter or margarine onto the skin of the fish, season well and wrap the foil loosely round to create a parcel. Make sure there is space for the smoke to circulate within the foil parcel. Make three more parcels in the same way using the remaining mackerels and ingredients.
- Place the foil parcels directly on the glowing campfire embers and leave to smoke for about 10 minutes. The flesh of the fish should flake away from the skin with ease when it is cooked.
LULR Tip: Try putting fresh, homegrown herbs like rosemary, sage or lavender straight into the campfire embers or barbecue to create wonderfully aromatic smoke.
Grilled halloumi with pea, broad bean and mint salad
Whatever the time of year, this salad is refreshingly bright, colourful and seriously tasty. And you might have all the ingredients for it in your kitchen garden. Halloumi is a great cheese for grilling as it holds its form and doesn’t really melt when it’s cooked.
400 g (13 oz) halloumi cheese, sliced about 1 cm (½ inch) thick
A drizzle of olive oil
150 g (5 oz) fresh peas (or frozen if fresh are unavailable)
150 g (5 oz) fresh broad beans (or frozen)
A big handful of seasonal salad leaves, such as rocket, gem or endive
25 g (1 oz/about ½ a bunch) fresh mint, roughly chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
How to cook:
- Prepare your campfire, barbecue or grill. Coat the halloumi slices with a small amount of olive oil and season with ground black pepper.
- If you are using fresh peas and broad beans, take them out of their pods, and then blanch them in boiling water for 3–4 minutes.
- Place the halloumi straight onto a grill above the campfire or barbecue, and cook for about five minutes, turning halfway. Remove from the grill and leave to cool slightly.
- Mix the lettuce leaves with the mint. You can either cut the cheese into cubes or leave as slices. In a big serving bowl place the minted salad leaves, top with the halloumi and then drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.