Campfire Shrimp and Scallops
Wrap up campfire season with something less traditional than a pot of beans and some sunfish in the old cast iron.
This recipe from Brad Trumbo features savory seafood, that can be easily and safely prepared over the campfire. Brad points to the portable options that frozen shrimp and scallops present when packing the cooler with camp foods, and using this recipe offers a quick way to cook using a basic foil pack. The simple ingredients bring out the natural flavors in the seafood, and take your campfire cooking to a whole new level. Brad calls it “a match made in heaven”, and a way for you to marry fine dining with primitive cooking.
Getting started it easy once you have your campfire established. Grab a fork, aluminum foil and if available, a cooking grate for your campfire.
1 pound fresh shrimp
½ pound scallops
½ tablespoon Old Bay™ or Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning™
1 lemon, sliced into quarters
1 tablespoon minced garlic (approximately 3 cloves)
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Make two foil packets by tearing off four 12-inch sheets of aluminum foil, doubling them up, and folding the sides and corners in to make a bowl
Place shrimp in one packet and scallops in the other
Add two tablespoons of butter to each packet
Sprinkle Tony’s or Old Bay onto shrimp and salt on the scallops (if desired, more of each can be added to taste once cooked)
Split the cayenne pepper and garlic between the packets for the perfect kick
Slice the lemon into quarters, give one quarter a squeeze over each packet, and toss the quarters into the packets if you desire a strong lemony flavor
Place packets on the campfire grate on the edge of the flames or nestled into the coals next to the fire, stirring the shrimp and flipping the scallops occasionally.
Cooking time is typically less than 10 minutes before the shrimp are red and the scallops peel into pieces with a fork, but use your best judgement. If you think they need more time, give them time.
Final step – serve on a nearby log or weathered picnic table with your favorite beverage, eating right out of the foil packs to allow dipping the delectable morsels into the salty, buttery broth.
Campfire Shrimp and Scallops
A Trio of Favorites: the slow cooker, bacon and brown ale
I can think of a handful of things that will warm me up quickly after a morning in the frigid woods. This one starts with a slow cooker. Just the thought of a good dose of bacon, a bottle of brown ale or two, mingling with meat and potatoes in a bowl and I’m already warming up. But before you dig into the recipe, let’s get a few things straight. First: not all brown ales work. Second: just because it’s a big ol’ slow cooker doesn’t mean this recipe is a ‘dump’ stew.
The Ale: Essentially, there are 2 kinds of dark ales, the bitter and the mellow. I like both in a glass, depending on my mood, but strongly prefer mellow for soups and stews. Our local brewery provides both, and I often use those, but I’ve also used the more widely available Moose Drool ® by Big Sky Brewing brand.
Dumping vs. browning. While you could just throw everything into the slow cooker, turn it on and walk away, that method would leave a lot of flavor off the table. Take the extra 10-15 minutes to properly brown the meat, both venison and bacon, and anything you slow cook will taste better. During the browning process, consider your batch size. Don’t over-crowd the pan, or your meat will steam in ugly brown bubbles. You want to sweeten and deepen the flavor so when browning meat in a 10-inch skillet with 1-2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat, wait until blood seeps through to the top of the chunk, most of the surface, not just two drops. Then turn it. When the first side is brown enough, the meat doesn’t stick to the pan and turns easily.
¾ pound bacon, chopped
2 pounds venison, in bite-sized chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 bottles brown ale (12 ounces each)
2 cups beef broth
6 tablespoons honey mustard
2 cups chopped potatoes*
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
In a skillet cook the bacon chunks over medium heat until the edges crisp. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Dry the venison chunks with a paper towel before adding to the pan to remove moisture.
Brown the meat in 4-5 batches, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer each batch to the bacon bowl, and add the sliced onions to the pan. Add more drippings if needed. Sauté the onion 6-7 minutes until the edges start to brown and you smell the onion.
Add the brown ale, scraping up the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan, letting it reduce about 1/3 in volume. Stir the bacon and steak chunks into the skillet, then pour it all into the slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir the soup, cover the pot and put the slow cooker setting on high. When the stew starts to simmer, and temp reaches about 190°F (roughly a half hour) turn the temperature to low. Continue to cook 6-8 hours.
Serve with a dollop of honey mustard.
Kung Pao Turkey
Instead of calling for take-out, use the wild turkey you have harvested and make this Asian-inspired dish from Tim’s cookbook. He suggests serving it on a bed of white or brown rice, and notes that the infusion of flavor and spice in the dish pairs well with a German-style sweet white wine, such as a Riesling.
2 lbs. turkey (or pheasant) meat, diced into ½ inch cubes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese or balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese hot chili paste
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Stir-Fry Vegetables (Prepare with the marinated meat)
8-10 dried red chilis (Note: Fresh dried chilis are hotter than old ones)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
½ fresh red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch chunks
½ fresh yellow bell pepper, cut into ½ inch chunks
3 stalks celery, cut into ½ inch chunks
2 medium carrots, diced into ½ inch chunks
4-5 green or spring onions, sliced into 1/4 -inch pieces
½ cup roasted peanuts or cashews, salted or unsalted
1. Whisk all ingredients for the marinade together in a medium sized bowl until blended together. Add turkey meat (or pheasant) and stir until all the meat is covered. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
2. Whisk the stir-fry sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves. Set aside until ready for cooking meat.
3. Heat a large pan with high sides or a wok for stir frying the meat. Heat pan on high heat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil (suggest peanut or canola oil). Drain marinade, then add the marinated turkey (or pheasant) to the pan. Stir the meat often to prevent burning. When meat is mostly cooked, remove from the pan and place in a dish so you can use the pan for the stir-fry vegetables.
4. Return pan to heat and add an additional 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. When hot, add the chilis, celery, carrots, red and yellow peppers. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes or until the vegetables just start to soften. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan. After cooking garlic and ginger with vegetables another minute, return the turkey to the pan and add the stir fry sauce. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken, stirring constantly. Add the peanuts and green onions. Remove from the heat and serve.
Makes 6-8 servings
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
This quick and easy dish is a favorite in our house. The first time I made it, we were in the mood for fish tacos, but had no tortillas, so had to improvise with what we had. Most of the recipes I create are like that. I cook seasonally with what is available in our garden, the woods, or lakes and rivers. In this presentation, I served the fish with roasted potatoes and garnished with fresh radish & baby collard greens from our garden. But you can choose your favorite vegetable as a side dish – or throw them on a tortilla and enjoy some fish tacos
1 pound white-fleshed fish fillets
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup Instant Mashed Potato Flakes
1 teaspoon Old Bay™ seasoning
1 tablespoon each: butter and olive oil
1/4 cup Crema Mexicana
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon each: salt & pepper
Put flour in a shallow dish. Combine potato flakes and Old Bay seasoning in another shallow dish. Combine milk and egg in a third shallow dish.
2. Dredge fish fillets in the flour, then egg/milk, and then potato flakes.
3. Melt butter and olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook for two minutes on each side until golden brown and internal temp is between 135 – 140 degrees.
4. In a small bowl, combine Crema Mexicana, lime juice, salt & pepper. Divide the Lime Crema on your serving plates. Place fish on top.