Road trips are fun and full of unforeseen adventure. We take one big RV road trip a year, last fall we drove from Aspen, CO to Florida and back to Southern California. Our goal that trip was to discover some of America’s tastiest places to eat, everything from food trucks to fine dining. We will give you a glimpse of these in future articles, for now we want to tell you about our campfire dinners.
Before leaving for our trip, we stocked the camper or as we like to call it the bus, although our license plate says “CASA”. Our basics included great wines, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper, butter, hand-cut steaks and organic chicken breasts, vacuum sealed and ready to go.
Each evening, we rolled into our camping spot and hooked up the RV, which through Pepper’s guidance I have become quite good at and popped open a great bottle of wine. Once we had a nice pour and a few sips we went to work creating our camp fire dinner. I just love our cute little Coleman grill it looks like a fashionable metal suitcase but it sure does give a nice sear. It has a decent size grill area and a side burner. I feel like a Barbie when I pull it out and set it up. Even the mini-propane tank is adorable.
Four of our favorite camp fire sides are slow roasted tomatoes, smashed grilled potatoes, caramelized onions and an arugula salad.
Steaks & Chicken: Our steak and chicken preparation was simple, rub the steak with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano and serve with grilled lemons. The oregano and lemon give the steak and chicken an amazing flavor and twist.
Caramelized Onions: We started our onions first, as they take the longest. Peel, core and slice them first in half and then into thin strips, so they will cook faster. Use any kind of onions you want or a combo. Heat some olive oil, and butter in a pan on the grill burner until it shimmers, add the onions and cook 10 minutes, add some salt and continue cooking until golden brown.
Smashed-Grilled Potatoes: Inside the camper, we parboiled the potatoes, then tossed them with olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs de Provence and lemon zest and gently pressed them, to create a flat surface and placed them on our grill.
Slow Roasted Tomatoes: Create a heavy-duty foil pouch, fill it with assorted cherry tomatoes, finely chopped garlic a sprinkle or salt & sugar, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Seal the pouch, toss to coat and place on the grill, gently shaking frequently to avoid burning. Ours are shown in a separate pan which also works. It is a matter of space.