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Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors Paperback – May 1, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin Donovan is a food and travel writer as well as an experienced camper. Her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Fitness, and the San Jose Mercury News.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Part I: Recipe for a Delicious, Gourmet Camping Trip
     Gear Up: Everything You Need
     Play It Safe: Storing, Transporting, and Preparing Food Safely
     Get Ready to Cook
     Focus on Flavor: Stocking Your Pantry
     Menu Planning
Part II: The Recipes
     Table of Condiments: Salad Dressings, Sauces, Marinades,and More
          Spice Rubs
          Balsamic Syrup
          Coconut Curry Sauce
          Easy Red Wine Reduction Sauce
          Hoisin Glaze
          Honey Mustard Sauce
          Spicy Peanut Sauce
          Yogurt Mint Sauce
          Easy Tomato Sauce
          Olive Relish
          Compound Butters
     Start the Day Right: Breakfast
          Real Homemade Pancakes
          Bananas Foster French Toast
          Skillet Scones
          Pan-Fried Bread with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Maple Syrup
          Sausage and Polenta Scramble
          Veggie Polenta Scramble
          Mediterranean Breakfast Wrap
          Lox and Cream Cheese Breakfast to Go
     Midday Meals: Sandwiches, Salads, and Such
          Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches
          Tuna and Olive Salad Sandwiches
          Prosciutto, Goat Cheese, and Fig Sandwiches
          California Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
          Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwich with Shallot, Tomato, and Thyme
          Hot and Spicy California Grilled Cheese
          Aram Sandwiches
          Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese
          Black Bean Salad
          Creole Slaw
          Cucumber Salad
          Endive and Apple Salad with Blue Cheese
          Lemony Couscous Salad
          Middle Eastern Salad
          Olive, Orange, and Couscous Salad
          Thai Cabbage Salad
          White Bean and Roasted Garlic Salad with Grilled Zucchini
          Grilled Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese
     Midafternoon Munchies: Snacks and Appetizers
          Simply Perfect Guacamole
          Smoked Salmon Crostini
          Pear and Prosciutto Bruschetta with Balsamic Syrup
          Savory Cheese S’mores
          Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Figs
          Roasted Garlic
          Parmesan Baked Apples
          Indonesian Peanut Dip
          Baba Ghanoush (Middle Eastern Eggplant Spread)
     Diner’s On: Entrees
          San Francisco Cioppino
          Lemon Garlic Shrimp
          Coconut Shrimp
          Spicy Creole Shrimp
          Grilled Prawns with Hoisin Glaze
          Shrimp and Noodles in Peanut Sauce
          Halibut with Fennel and Olives
          Fish Cooked with Curried Couscous
          Orange-Herb Salmon
          Grilled Salmon with Balsamic Fig Sauce
          Bourbon-Glazed Chicken
          Chicken and Dumplings
          Chicken Skewers with Spicy Peanut Sauce
          Grilled Whole Chicken with Garlic-Herb Butter
          Indian-Style Curry Yogurt Chicken
          Mojo Chicken
          Soy-Glazed Chicken Breasts
          Spicy Orange Chicken
          Barbecued Peking Duck Wraps
          Cajun Spice–Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
          Maple Mustard Pork Chops
          Beer-Brined Pork and Onion Skewers
          Grilled Steak with Five-Spice Rub
          Grilled Flank Steak with Olive Relish
          Grilled Flank Steak with Yogurt Mint Sauce
          Grilled Steak Tacos
          Hoisin-Glazed Beef Kebabs
          Mustard and Rosemary Lamb Chops
          Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
          Grilled Flatbread Pizzas
          Tofu Steaks with Red Wine– Mushroom Sauce
          Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Grilled Tofu
          White Bean Stew
          White Beans with Lemon and Mint
          Orzo with Wild Mushrooms and Peas
          Grilled Tofu with Coconut Curry Sauce
          Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Tomato and Corn Salsa
     On the Side: Cooked Vegetables, Grains, and Other Sides
          Garlic and Herb Mushrooms
          Ginger-Steamed Snow Peas
          Grilled Asparagus
          Grilled Zucchini
          Grilled Cauliflower with Coconut Curry Sauce
          Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Syrup
          Roasted Beets with Citrus Dressing
          White Beans with Chanterelle Mushrooms
          Maple-Glazed Yams
          Foil-Baked Yams with Spicy Chili Butter
          Olive Oil Roasted Potatoes
          Potato and Fennel Packets
          Cheesy Biscuits
          Coconut Couscous
          Creamy Polenta
     Don’t Forget the Sweet Stuff: Desserts
          Baked Chocolate Bananas
          Magic Layer Pie
          Maple-Caramel Baked Apples

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594740852
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594740855
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,212,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Many years ago I went on my first camping trip with my husband. We entered beautiful Big Sur with everything we thought we needed; a tent, sleeping bag, camp stove and some propane. I forgot to bring food. I didn't even have a can opener. If only "Campfire Cuisine" had been available back then. The first two chapters cover all the gear and cooking supplies you need to bring and how to plan meals for the trip.

I love to cook. I love camping. This book really brings the two together. The usual camp cookbook recipe ingredients like bisquick, frozen tater-tots and canned mushrooms are completly absent. The author instead relies upon planning, at-home preparation, and careful packing to take the place of processed convenience products.

"Campfire Cuisine" is filled with delicious recipes most of which use a camp stove or grill. (Unfortunately there are no recipes for dutch oven cooking.) The recipes are fun without being really fussy. The "Fish cooked with curried couscous" (page128) is wonderful without being weird. Even my kids liked it! The whole thing cooks in tin foil on the grill. No clean up! The "grilled flatbread pizza" (page156) calls for lavash bread instead of pizza dough. Of course the next day that same lavash can be used for one of the many varieties of "Aram sandwiches" (page 88). There honestly isn't a recipe in here that I wouldn't try. But I do like trendy food and I like to try new things. If you like more basic food then this book might not be for you.

As for the book's design, I can see where someone who has poor eyesight would have a problem reading the book. It's printed in olive green and orange on white. I think the author wanted the book to be small enough to pack for a camping trip, so the type is really small.
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Format: Paperback
This book received high marks from me before I even opened it--it has a compact format and a sturdy paperback cover, perfect for packing in your camping gear without excess weight or bulk. By compact, I am referring only to the cover dimensions; this is a thick recipe-packed book that is well worth the cover price.

Campfire Cuisine prefaces the recipes with essential opening chapters on the basic cooking equipment needed (plus some optional upgrades), how to choose a campstove, basic storage and packing rules, fire-starting tips and rules, and menu planning. A novice will glean all they need to know about outdoor cooking in these chapters, but even the most experienced camper/outdoor griller is bound to pick up a few extra tips and tricks.

The bulk of the book consists of recipes for condiments, marinades, snacks, breakfasts, light meals, dinner entrees, desserts, and side dishes. Most have streamlined ingredients and directions on how to do as much prep work as possible before embarking on the camping trip. I was struck by how this book can be interpreted at any level. I'm a fairly basic campfire chef who likes to keep her friends happy without too much legwork, and I have picked out dozens of simple but delicious recipes from this collection. If you are a super-chef who wants to entertain and dazzle at the campfire, you can ride this book full-hilt and create awe-inspiring spreads at the campstove.

Don't limit this book just to camping trips! You can dazzle your friends in your backyard with all of these ideas, and in fact, that's how I envision myself using it most.
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Format: Paperback
My wife received this book as a gift from my mother after I recommended it to her. The recipes are much more elaborate that what we were looking for. They contain numerous ingredients, many of which are not our common staples. This alone make this book unsuitable for our style of camping. The directions do encourage at home preparation, but this, again, was not what we were looking for. We want to be able to use fewer ingredients, prepare on site, and still make delicious, appetizing meals in the great out doors! We'll keep looking.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
San Francisco, July 3, 11:45 p.m.: Warm with summertime spirit and several pints of ale, I spontaneously invited several people over to my apartment for a Fourth of July BBQ.

July 4, 10:45 a.m.: I awoke, panicked and queasy, remembering what I had done. In just three hours and 15 minutes, guests were supposed to be arriving for a party that I had not even begun to plan!

Luckily, I owned a new copy of Robin Donovan's "Campfire Cuisine." I hurried to the supermarket and bought the ingredients for Savory Cheese S'Mores, Chipotle Turkey Burgers, Creole Slaw, Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad and a bag of briquettes. In literally less time than I spent in line at the store, I had prepared a delicious and impressive meal. I just lit the bag of charcoal, threw the food on the grill, turned on Johnny Cash "American V," and I had a fantastic urban holiday meal to share with my friends....simple, creative, delicious and sophisticated. Yeah, I'm sure that Robin Donovans's recipes are equally if not more delicious when cooked in the great outdoors. But why lose your parking space when you can adapt these wonderful recipes to cook at home?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book for the first time this past weekend. Everything was delicious and very easy to make : San Francisco Cioppino, Cheesy Biscuits one night, and pancakes made with the multipurpose baking mix the next morning. I am dying to try more recipes when we go again in three weeks.

The book is sturdy and very easy to pack. I do have a problem reading the page numbers though. They are light orange and hard for us seniors to see. Also, I had trouble finding Cioppino in the index. I looked under "C" but it was under "S" for "San Francisco" Cioppino. I think it should be under both the "C" section, and the "S" section for those of us who cannot remember the "San Francisco" part. Same thing with the baking mix. I had to look under "M" for Multipurpose Baking Mix, instead of just "B" for baking mix.

I like the fact that there are many vegetarian recipes. Although I do eat meat, I really like the fact that you can make delicious (sounding) vegy things very easily at the campsite. This wonderful book will always go with me when my husband and I head to the beautiful outdoors.
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