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- Jul 14, 2016
Early on in life, I learned that if one is going to explore the great outdoors, one must bring along a cast iron skillet. Not only does the skillet sizzle & season your food with the best flavors, it can handle the heat of the campfire. I find it to be a reliable, resourceful, easy-to-clean grilling tool that can make dozens & dozens of incredible, smoky meals.
On our most recent trip, we were able to grill the freshwater catch-of-the-day, which happened to be a large, meaty walleye. After cleaning the fish, the prep is quite simple: salt, pepper, and/or any Penzey’s seasoning with a few splashes of lemon grape seed oil. The oil is critical as it adds a rich fresh flavor to the food and helps keep the cast iron skillet well-seasoned.
An easy, awesome side for your grilled fish is a campfire salad! This isn’t just a way to keep the calorie count down – this is a work of art – and you are going to want to have your salad prepared this way over and over again.
To create your campfire salad, sauté some mushrooms in Garlic Basil Butter from Nordic Creamery. Also, make sure to put the Tosa Farmer’s Market on your checklist pre-trip so you can visit Mushroom Mike – his assorted mushrooms are the best. Regular bella mushrooms work great, too.
After you’ve got your mushrooms sautéed, toss in leafy kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula, etc., and grill it as a bunch over the fire. This will add some irresistable smokiness. Use basic seasoning like salt, pepper, the olive oil of your choice, and then plate.
Another fun recipe for your cast iron skillet (or pudgy pie maker) is a Caprese Grilled Cheese. Butter-up some Italian bread and load it with mozarella, tomato, and basil. Once crusted to perfection, top it off with balsamic vinegar and add another layer of fresh herbs, tomatoes, and parm cheese. This has an unbeatable gooey crunch.
If you’ve got a late night snack craving, try using a stove top popcorn popper to make some of super tasty popcorn from the Elegant Farmer or get a little creative by adding chocolate butter toffee or dark chocolate with sea salt from Indulgence Chocolatiers to your S’more – it is insanely delicious.
Every summer, Mrs. Tall Guy and I do our best to get away to camp, cook, and spend time in nature (even if it’s only to our back yard) – and I encourage you to do the same. Count the stars. Grill over the campfire. Take the road less traveled. Trust me, it makes all the difference.