Having A Campfire This Summer? Here are Six Great Ways to Make Potatoes

There’s something about a campfire that makes everything taste better. Maybe it’s the fact that fire-cooked foods have a little more taste, or maybe it’s that by building the fire and cooking the food ourselves, we have more appreciation for the work that goes into the meal.

Or maybe—if we’ve been off hiking for hours and just settling down to make camp—our bodies have expended enough energy over the course of the day that any food we take in tastes extra delicious.

No matter what the reason is, campfire food is pretty darn good. So if you’re heading out camping this summer—or even starting a bonfire in your backyard—here are some great potato recipes to try out, from the book Cook Wild by Susanne Fischer-Ruzzi.

Fire.jpg
Campfire image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

EMBER POTATOES

Put the potatoes with their skins on into the embers, or even better into the hot ashes of a fire. Turn occasionally. When they are done, the potatoes will be black on the outside, but soft and flavorful on the inside. Slice open the potatoes lengthwise and serve with sour cream, olive oil, salt or quark with wild herbs. They can be spooned out of the skin. Floury potatoes are the best here.

POTATO SKEWERS

Cut pre-cooked potatoes into quarters and stick them on to skewers. Baste with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and paprika or cumin, or mix these with olive oil and baste the potatoes with the mixture. Roast above the embers until golden brown and crispy. The skewers are best served with a dip made with melted Gorgonzola (melted in a small pan above the embers with a little milk or cream).

SWEET POTATOES IN THE EMBERS

Sweet potatoes are ideal for cooking in embers. The delicately sweet aroma of their orange-colored flesh combines really well with that of the fire. Like other potatoes, they are placed in the hot ashes and occasionally turned. You can also wrap them in aluminum foil or clay.

SWEET POTATOES WITH GINGER BUTTER

Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into wedges and cook in a Dutch oven or clay oven. Slightly melt the butter in a pot on the fire. Whisk and add all the other ingredients. Pour the ginger butter on to the hot potatoes.

Ginger Butter

3/4 cup butter
2 tsp fresh, finely chopped ginger
1 tsp, fresh, finely chopped mint leaves
juice of a 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

SWEET POTATOES WITH CAMEMBERT

Slowly cook the sweet potatoes with their skins on in the hot ashes, turning them constantly. Shortly before they are done, take them out, cut them open lengthwise, put some Camembert inside and put them back in the embers for a short time or finish baking in a Dutch oven. Then spoon out the inside of the potato with the Camembert.

SWEET POTATOES IN A DUTCH OVEN

Serves 4
5 1/2 cups of sweet potatoes
6-7 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup water2 tsp butter

Peel the potatoes and slice or cut into wedges. Put in a Dutch Oven with the sugar and water. Clear the embers in the center of the fire and put the Dutch oven in there. Put some embers on the lid of the Dutch oven. Cook the potatoes for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. As soon as the potatoes are soft, keep cooking them without the lid on until all the water has evaporated. Put the butter on them and let it melt. Serve hot. This goes very well with fried or grilled poultry.

CookWild

Psst! You can get this book for 35% off in honor of Independence Day if you use the code STARS14 on QBookshop.com! Offer good until July 13, 2014.

Everything tastes better in the open air, around a fire. Cook Wild has 100 recipes to inspire you to venture outdoors and eat wild all year round. From the simple dishes that sustained our ancestors to feasts fit for modern foodies, the book draws from a rich repertoire of traditional cooking methods and recipes that have been passed down to this day.

Whether it’s Lebanese flatbread, hot smoked trout, chicken wrapped in clay, or waffles, chocolate bananas and Transylvanian tree cakes, all are simple and don’t need special tools. The author has years of experience of cooking outdoors and the recipes, arranged by season, are easy to follow for both beginners and more seasoned campfire chefs.

With clear instructions on selecting wood and making a fire, a range of ovens and cooking methods and even suggestions for wild ingredients to forage, this is a book for anyone who wants to enjoy the thrill of cooking outdoors, with woodsmoke, companionship and fresh air to sharpen the appetite.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi is a traditional healer, herbal expert and outdoor specialist. She is a lecturer at ARVEN in Sulzberg, Germany, her school for medicinal plants, aromatherapy and wilderness wisdom, and she has also been imparting her knowledge in seminars, workshops and lectures for over 30 years. She is passionate about cooking on an open fire and has honed her skills on the countless wilderness seminars she has headed.