We often think of camping food as fire-cooked jaffles filled with baked beans, BBQ’s, or marshmallows on a stick. There’s not usually a whole lot of fresh ingredients, and it’s more geared towards convenience then cuisine. Not with our crew! We like to eat, and even when we camp, there’s usually a camp kitchen filled with gas stoves and a plethora of kitchen implements. We’re not glampers by any means, but you definitely feel very well fed at the end of a camp!
Being somewhat obsessed with Mexican food, my contribution is often of the soft taco and spicy beans variety. My fellow chilli-lover and friend Edie and I got busy in the camp kitchen chopping chillies and making tortillas, spicy beans, salsa, guacamole and salads while Rebecca roasted potatoes and corn over the campfire. The end result was amazing! Smoky, spicy, and delicious with a tequila, lime and soda!
The basic recipe for the spicy beans changes depending on who I am cooking for, and because it was a large group I tried to make it relatively mild. For the chilli lovers we fried up a pan of chopped chillies that people could add to taste. I used some manuka smoked garlic that I picked up at our local growers market (check out the Smoke and Spice Co.) and it added a deep complex smoky flavour to the dish but you could easily use regular garlic without it affecting the recipe too much.
Campfire Mexican – Spicy Beans
Cooking time approx 15 minutes
4-5 cloves smoked garlic
1 large onion
3 large red capsicums
1 1/2 cups cooked red kidney beans
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
2 heaped tsp ground cumin
3 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp slap ya mama seasoning
Sea salt to taste
Juice of 2 limes
Chopped fresh coriander (serve on the side if you have coriander hating friends! Otherwise stir it through as you add the final lime juice)
In a camp oven or saucepan, fry the garlic and onions in olive oil, stirring regularly until onions are translucent. Add the chopped capsicum and zucchinis, spices, and a good pinch of sea salt and stir regularly for 5-10 minutes, checking to make sure they aren’t becoming overcooked. Add the beans and the juice of one lime and stir through. Check for seasoning and depth of flavour. If you need to, adjust the seasoning and add some extra cumin and paprika. Cook for a further 5 minutes and add the remaining lime juice
We served the beans with freshly made corn tortillas, tortilla chips, salads, salsa, guacamole and the fire-roasted corn and potatoes. Chilli and coriander lovers added those separately. It was delicious, and fuelled a long night of campfire jamming and watching the gorgeous stars appear above the river!
You may also have some leftover beans – I used ours the next morning to make Mexican baked eggs with refried fire potatoes. The perfect morning after feast!