Honeydew Melon in Coconut Cream

 Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (13- to 14-ounce) can well-stirred unsweetened coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 large honeydew melon (5 pounds), chilled

In camp:

  1. Stir together coconut milk, sugar, and lime juice in a small metal bowl until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Halve melon and discard seeds. Cut melon into wedges and pare away the rind. Cut melon onto bite sized pieces.
  3. Divide melon among 8 serving dishes, then pour coconut milk over top. Serve immediately.

Notes: You can get cans of coconut cream in most grocery stores in their Asian Food section. It is also available in powdered form in Famous Foods at 1595 Kingsway St, Vancouver.

The coconut cream doesn't thicken unless it's chilled but it still tastes good. If you make it at home, sit the bowl in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes to thicken it. When you're out camping, just slurp it.

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Creme Caramel

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg of Dr. Oetkers powdered Crème Caramel
  • whole milk or skim milk powder

In camp:

Follow the directions on the Crème Caramel package. Bring enough whole milk powder (in a ziplock bag) to make up 2 cups of milk. If you are using skim milk powder, just use more milk powder than what the directions on the package call for.

Tip: Whole milk powder is available at Famous Foods 1595 Kingsway Vancouver. Store it in the freezer to prevent the milk fat from rancidifying. Skim milk powder is available at any grocery store.

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Stir Fried Cabbage

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 dried red chili peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small green cabbage
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

At home:

Combine the fish sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small food safe bottle.

In camp:

  1. Core and shred the cabbage; set aside.
  2. Fry the crumbled chili and minced garlic in medium hot oil for a minute or so.
  3. Add the cabbage and stir fry for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the premixed sauce and continue to stir fry until everything is well combined and heated through.

Variation:

Garnish with chopped peanuts.

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Refried Bean Burritos (for 4 people)

Ingredients for the burritos:

  • 1 can of refried beans (or powdered refried beans from Famous Foods)
  • 1 packet of spice mix (1 tsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano)
  • 8 oz. of grated cheese, such as Monterey Jack or White Cheddar
  • 1 or 2 avocados, sliced or smashed up a bit
  • Shredded lettuce or cabbage (lettuce on a short trip, cabbage on a long one)
  • A package of 8 flour or corn tortillas (check the expiry date!!)
  • Light oil such as corn or canola for heating the refried beans

Ingredients for the rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • Salt the water or if you are on the ocean you can use part salt water for cooking

Ingredients for the Fresca Salsa:

  • Diced tomatoes (a packet of small tomatoes such as Campari or grape tomatoes are easy to transport and very flavourful)
  • Diced onion (can be red, white or yellow, you decide how much but at least ½ of a decent sized one)
  • Minced garlic (1 or 2, to taste)
  • 1 minced Jalapeno pepper, seeds and white pith removed
  • Juice from one decent sized lime or two small ones
  • A handful of chopped cilantro

At home:

Prepare the spice mix for the burritos at home. I like to wrap them up in some waxed paper but saran wrap or any kind of paper will do as long as the wrapping is secure. Put them in a ziplock bag with the rice, the garlic cloves and the recipe for the 3 components of the dinner.

In camp:

Start the basmati rice to boil on a low setting on your cook stove.
Rice requires some watching but if you follow this advice you can have very lovely rice every time. Never take off the lid until it’s cooked (I know everybody knows that but this is camping, right?). As soon as it’s sending out a big plume of steam, take it off the stove and wait about a minute and put it back on. Repeat as necessary for 15 minutes. This isn’t a hard thing to do, it just takes a glance every couple of minutes while you’re chopping. No big deal. Leave the stove going while the rice pot is off and put it back on when it’s stopped steaming. After 15 minutes, take it off the burner and wait for 5 minutes and fluff the rice or if you’re too busy chopping, don’t bother. Wait until it’s serving time and fluff it then.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the burritos and the accompaniments: Add some oil to a frying pan, heat the contents of the can of refried beans (or, if you have used dehydrated refried beans, make sure you have rehydrated them in a ziplock as per the instructions on the package). While it’s cooking, you may need to add some water to get it to the consistency that you want.

Meanwhile, prepare the salsa: In a bowl, dice the tomatoes, onion, garlic, Jalapeno and mince the cilantro on top. Cut the lime in half and use a fork as a reamer to get the juice out. Remind yourself that it’s not a perfect world, this isn’t your kitchen and you still have to grate the cheese and if you are fast you can heat up the burritos (no pressure of course).

Grate the cheese using the coarse holes. You may not want to grate the entire block of chesse. I have found it’s difficult to find smaller pieces to buy and on a trip you’ll just eat the leftovers anyway. Just grate as much as you think you need for dinner and rewrap the rest for lunch.

Slice or mash the avocados. Let everyone assemble their own burritos, two per person.

Enjoy!

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Jacima Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 large jicama, julienned
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 red pepper, julienned
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

At home:

Prepare the salad dressing by whisking together the lime juice*, vinegar, honey, olive oil and cayenne and season with salt and pepper to taste.

*To serve this later on an extended trip, don't add the lime until you're making the salad. If you can't squeeze the lime into the jar of dressing, just squeeze it onto the salad after you've added the dressing and mix some more.

In camp:

Combine jicama, carrots, red onion and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the salad dressing and the cilantro and let sit for 30 minutes.

Tip:

The root vegetables will keep for a long time. Stash them individually around other items in the hold of the boat. The red pepper will keep for a week if you put it into a protective, breathable container (such as a pop bottle with perforations) and keep it dry with paper towels.

 

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