CABOT, Vt. (July 28, 2008) — Let’s go camping! However you do it – backpack, tent, cabin, RV, kayak, by foot or by boat – camping is America’s number one outdoor vacation activity.
One third of all U.S. adults have gone on a camping vacation in the past five years, and more get into the outdoors every year. Campground and RV bookings are up nearly 25 percent in 2008, and studies* show families are staying closer to home but making more camping trips this season. Hmm, can you say “four dollars a gallon for gas”?
Regardless of how far or how often people go camping, one thing is certain: campers LOVE to cook in the great outdoors.
“Few things can top a great meal cooked over an open fire,” says Cabot celebrity chef Jon Ashton. “And knowing how much people love to camp, Cabot has developed a number of delicious, easy-to-make recipes that are sure to be a hit around anyone’s campfire.
“Planning ahead is critical,” Ashton says. “The key to camp cooking is to keep things simple and to pack lightly. Prepare snacks ahead of time and keep them in reseal-able bags. Precook noodles, rice and pasta for quick reheating at your campsite. And be sure to bring plenty of ice and a good supply of bottled water, too.”
Ashton also recommends working from a cook’s checklist to ensure you pack necessities including: aluminum foil, disposable plates and utensils, can/bottle opener, corkscrew, plastic cutting board, paper towels and so on. Did we mention a can/bottle opener? Better say it again: a can/bottle opener. And depending on how you plan to cook, don’t forget things like fire starters, charcoal, propane or wood.
Here’s Ashton’s menu of easy-to-make Cabot recipes for campers…
Grilled Fish Tacos
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup Cabot Sour Cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 pound any firm white fish fillets, such as red snapper, halibut or striped bass
4 flour tortillas
Fresh lime wedges
1 large tomato, cored and diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
1 cup grated Cabot Monterey Jack or Sharp Cheddar (4 ounces)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1.In medium bowl, whisk together oil, 1/4 cup of cilantro, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, chipotle pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt; pour over fish, turning to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes.
2.In small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice; set aside.
3.Prepare medium-hot fire in charcoal grill or preheat gas grill to high. Place fish on grill and cook, turning with wide spatula, until just opaque in center, 2 to 5 minutes per side depending on thickness of fillets. Transfer fish to bowl and flake with fork; season with additional salt if needed.
4.Place tortillas on grill and cook until lightly charred on both sides, about 20 seconds per side.
5.Divide fish among tortillas. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over fish and add desired toppings and spoonful of sour cream mixture.
Grilled Summer Pizza
Makes 4 servings
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
1 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups grated Cabot Extra Sharp or Sharp Cheddar (8 ounces)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1.Prepare medium-hot fire on one half of charcoal grill or preheat one side of gas grill to high, leaving other side unlit (if gas grill has only one burner, preheat to high and lower heat to cook second side.)
2.Remove core from tomatoes; cut in half crosswise and gently squeeze out as many seeds and juice as will come out easily. Cut into thin slices.
3.Divide pizza dough into 4 equal balls; on floured work surface, roll/stretch each ball out into approximate 6-inch circle. Bring dough and toppings to grill.
4.Place two dough circles on heated side of grill; when dough is puffed and browned on underside, about 2 minutes, turn over with tongs and cook until second side is lightly colored, about 1 minute longer.
5.Remove crusts from grill. Drizzle each with some of oil. Cover with half of tomato slices and season with salt and pepper. Top with half of cheese and scatter half of thyme leaves on top. Return to unheated side of grill (or reduce heat on one-burner gas grill to very low). Cover grill and cook pizzas until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Slide pizzas back over heat or increase heat if crust needs additional crisping on bottom.
6.Use tongs to slide pizzas onto serving plate or cutting board. Repeat with remaining dough circles and toppings.
Rosemary-Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwiches with Cheddar and Black Forest Ham
Makes 4 servings
4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, fat trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 medium cloves)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 slices Cabot Sharp Cheddar
4 ounces sliced Black Forest or other flavorful ham
4 buns, split
1.Place chicken between 2 large sheets plastic wrap; pound with mallet or heavy pan to flatten to even 1/2-inch thickness.
2.In medium bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper; add chicken, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
3.Prepare hot fire in charcoal grill or preheat gas grill to high. Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess. Grill until browned on outside and cooked thorough to center, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Toward end of cooking time, top each breast with slice of ham and cheese; cover with grill lid or foil until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes longer.
4.Serve on buns with bed of romaine leaves (toast buns on grill if desired).
For these and other exciting Cabot recipes, visit www.cabotcheese.coop/recipes
*(Sources: Adventure Travel Report and The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association)
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919 and is most widely known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar and World’s Best Lowfat Cheddar.” Cabot is owned by the dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s premier dairy cooperative. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, please visit www.cabotcheese.coop
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