Creative Campfire Cooking II

Studio 5 Contributor Sue Neal shares more amazing campfire creations.

This time, I am sharing three simple dinner ideas and a dessert-to-die-for!

The first two meals I came up with are cooked in corn husks. One of the first things I thought of when challenged to come up with more ideas was tamales.

I think I’ve only had a tamale once in my life and have never cooked them, largely due to the 10 hour process I’ve been hearing about. Nothing can taste that good, can it? Actually, my version was so good I ate the whole thing before I could even take a picture of it.

When you’re camping, it’s all about the shortcuts. I used a cornmeal muffin mix, bottled Bar-b-que sauce and a cooked-pork from Costco that I could just pull apart.

Corn Husk Tamale Pie

• 2 cups corn bread muffin mix (I used Marie Callender’s)

• 1 C. Water

• 1 can diced green chilis

• ½ cup corn off the cob (or frozen corn)

• 2 C. shredded pork

• ½ C. BBQ Sauce

• 1 tsp. or more of Mexican Seasoning

Directions: Carefully peel off corn husks, trying to keep them as large as possible. Make sure they are free from dirt and bugs. Soak them in cold water until ready to use.

Mix the corn muffin mix with water, green chilies and corn. Mixture will be thick. Open a large corn husk and spread the dough along the thickest part of the husk. Mix shredded pork with sauce and seasoning and spoon on top and in the middle of the dough.

Place another husk on top of the filling and tie closed, loosely, with a thin piece of corn husk or a piece of kitchen string that has been soaked in water. Place directly on hot coals and cook for approx. 10 minutes. Peek inside, the dough should be almost cooked through; if not, put the husk back on top and cook longer.

Once the dough is fairly solid, remove the husk top and tent a piece of foil over the tamale and cook for an additional 5 minutes until the top has a bit of a golden crust.

You can eat this directly from the husk with a spoon. A dollop of sour cream never hurts, but really, this was tasty as is. Use ziplock bags for the muffin mix dough and pork for super easy clean up.

Corn Husk Lemon Fish

Corn husks retain a surprising amount of moisture and are perfect for steaming fish, whether you’ve just caught it or have brought some fillets from home. I simply rubbed the fish fillet in olive oil and seasoning (I used a dill mix), placed in a large corn husk, layered the top with thinly sliced lemons and wrapped it all up.

I used quite a few corn husks, alternating the direction and then securing with several thin strips of corn husks that I tied together. Again, you could use soaked kitchen string instead. Just make sure the fish is securely tucked in to the husks, or you will lose precious juices.

Place wrapped fish directly on coals and place a few on top. Cook approx. 20 min.

I love pretty much anything wrapped in a tortilla, but these may have just topped my list.

Tender marinated flank steak and char grilled corn tortilla make for a tasty and hearty campfire meal.

I first tried to heat the tortillas in some corn husks, but there was too much moisture in the husks and they turned to mush. I wasn’t sure how the tortillas would fare directly on the coals but in the end was really happy with the outcome; warm and toasty with little bits of char.

Flank steak is an affordable tender piece of meat that when sliced thinly goes a long way. I started by marinating the sliced steak in a bottled Mexican style marinade, but you could certainly make your favorite marinate recipe. I also marinated the onions and peppers.

The trick to cooking on a stick is consistent size and even spacing. Don’t crowd your pieces, or they won’t cook evenly. Make sure your meat is well secured with nothing hanging loose, as those pieces will burn.

Find a couple of rocks about the same size and nestle in the firepit before you even start the fire. Make sure they are even in height and wide enough so the tips of the skewers rest about 1″ on either side. Build the fire in between the rocks (I used garden bricks I had hanging around).

Soak your bamboo skewers (I like the ones I found at Kohls (Bobby Flay) as they were a little sturdier and longer) in water for 10 minutes. Thread the meat on the skewers loosely. Skewer the onions and peppers. Next time I would do one skewer of each per person because I like more veggies. One skewer of each would make two generously filled Tortillas.

Place skewer over rocks, quite close to the coals (approx 1″). The only challenge to this meal was turning the skewers. Have some golf ball sized rocks on hand to hold skewers in place after you turn them.

Cook for approx. 5 minutes on each side, depending on how hot your coals are. While these are cooking, place corn tortilla directly on coals, watching closely and turning them often with tongs. Place aside until the skewers are done.

Keep some sour cream, salsa and guacamole in ziplock bags. Simply cut the tip off when you’re ready to assemble the fajitas. If there is some left in the bags, just place them in another ziplock bag for easy clean-up.


{Peanut butter, banana and marshmallows}

Ok, I know what you’re thinking… probably the same thing I thought when I heard of cooking a banana… “that can’t be good”.

Well, it’s amazing how good something can get when you add peanut butter, chocolate and marshmallows!

This was. Seriously. Delicious! You have to try it and then let me know what you think!

• Bananas, slightly under-ripe

• Chocolate glazed cake donuts

• Creamy peanut butter

• Mini Marshmallows

• Optional: Reeces Pieces or anything else you can think of.

Slice the top of the banana on both seams from tip to tip and carve out a ditch. You could use a spoon to scoop more out, but make sure to leave enough banana on the sides to eat.

Cut a Donut in quarters and then cut each quarter in half lengthwise. Take two of the rounded parts and tuck into the banana. Eat the other part .

Slather the top of the donuts with peanut butter and then mound marshmallows on top. The Peanut butter will help keep the marshmallows in place.

Carefully lay the banana in HOT coals. Tent with foil, making sure none of the foil is touching the marshmallows; cook for approx. 5 minutes or until the marshmallows are toasty.

It’s very important to cook these on hot coals. The first time I did this it was hot, cooked quickly and the banana was sturdy enough I could pull it out of the coals with tongs. The second time, the coals weren’t hot enough and it took so long to toast the marchmallows that the banana got very cooked and was hard to move. It was, however, still delicious, but I burned the roof of my mouth!

If you do add something extra to this treat (like Reeces Pieces), place a few in the banana before the donut.


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