Food & Drink: Cooking in the Great Outdoors

There’s an old adage that food tastes better when eaten outdoors and we couldn’t agree more. A picnic in the park, a barbecue on the beach, or dinner sat outside a tent, food tastes better in the fresh air. In fact we will happily picnic the year round, substituting the picnic rug with the car boot should the weather prove a challenge.

Of course as well as eating outdoors, many of us, ourselves included, love to cook outdoors. We don’t limit ourselves either. As keen campers we know the benefits of being able to pull together a decent meal with little in the way of equipment. Afterall there is only so much sausage and beans anyone can eat in a 3 week camping trip! It’s amazing what you can produce on a two-ring camping stove when you put your mind to it. 

Cajun Chicken

We spend weeks every Summer travelling in our tents. Any camper will tell you that one pan dishes are king! Whether cooking over a campfire or a gas camping stove, we hero the one pan skillet dish. Having bought a large paella pan years back, this goes on every camping trip, ideal for one pan dishes. Our Cajun Spiced Chicken & Vegetables is one such dish, a complete meal in a pan and less washing up afterwards. The Hedgecombers take a similar approach in two of their dishes Sausage & Cider Campfire Skillet and also Spicy Nduja Meatballs. Both these dishes are full of flavour and are easy to throw together when kitchen kit is limited. Munchies & Munchkins post also makes use of the stove top cook with their Cheesy Stovetop Potatoes & Herby Frittata recipes.

Tandorri Prawns - Outside

Most people who have a pizza oven will use them primarily for pizza, fair enough that’s their purpose. However, we decided to try something a bit different with our Tandoori Prawns & Flatbreads. A Summer cookout which doubled as some fun experimenting on what would work in a wood-fired pizza oven. If you’ve never cooked flatbreads, these are really simple to prepare and bubbled up beautifully over the wood fire.

Pizza Oven Outside

Needless to say no discussion about cooking outdoors would be complete without the mention of the barbecue. We both love cooking on a barbecue, Lesley a fan of traditional charcoal and Michelle on her trusted gas barbecue. Either works for us, it’s more about the joy of having family and friends around to cook for.

Chicken Kebabs

A favourite recipe of ours is Lemon & Paprika Chicken Kebabs. A really simple meal to prepare and cook, created for my fussy daughter who would only eat these when we were having a barbecue, however something we all enjoy. Also with her take on the kebab is Everyday Healthy Recipes Moroccan Spiced Yoghurt Chicken Kebabs.

Whether cooked on a stove or on the barbecue we like Recipes from a Pantry’s easy guide to marinating chicken 7 Chicken Marinades, all gluten free and a reminder of how simple it is to transform a dish with very little.

Barbecue is not just for the meat eaters among us as The Petitecook demonstrates How to make Japanese Grilled Oysters, juicy, smoky with a nice spice kick. For our Vegetarian and Vegan readers, The Veg Space share their recipe for BBQ Black Bean & Jalapeno Burgers, a Vegan recipe full of flavour.

How about BBQ Apricots with Goats Cheese from Tinned Tomatoes, beautiful on their own but equally good served alongside a burger or sausages. Finally lets not forget dessert with Family Friends Food’s Barbecued Pineapple with Coconut Rum

So whatever your plans are this Summer we hope this has given you some fresh ideas. Happy Cookout!

 

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About Lesley Garden

Lesley (foodie; cook; spice loving; gardener; city breaker) born and
brought up in the North East of Scotland and has settled there with her
family. With a background in Organisational & Business Development, she
has worked across the globe including: China; India; and Singapore,
fuelling her love of cooking and all things spicy. Lesley seeks out good
food wherever she goes and is rarely seen without her notebook. With a
palette many envy, she is able to pick out the key elements of most dishes which she then likes to recreate at home. Lesley’s guilty secret is her addiction to cookbooks, although she does claim to “read them like
novels!”

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