Say goodbye to ho-hum canned beans and freeze-dried backpacking meals. With prep-ahead recipes and field-tested advice, flavour-packed dishes like herby lemon chicken, vegan dan dan noodles and even fire-baked pecan sticky buns become deliciously doable and fuss-free. Each recipe is divided into “at home” and “at camp” sections, so most of the cooking is done before your trip. Extraordinary outdoor eating is often as simple as dropping fully prepped ingredients into a pot or onto a grill. Just like that, you’ll be feasting on showstopping sweet-tangy lemon ribs, sublime vegetarian pastas, or sizzling cumin lamb kebabs paired with puff-and-serve chapati.
Plus, with fun and savvy camp kitchen advice, you’ll learn everything you need to become a master outdoors cook, including which cheeses travel best, how to chill drinks when you don’t have ice, how to pick (and use) a backpacking stove, and how to make great coffee in the wild!
Whether your idea of wilderness is a beach, a mountain, a rushing river or your own backyard, you’ll want to make these recipes for friends and family. For cooks and campers of every level, Cook It Wildturns outdoor mealtimes into a cause for celebration—and the highlight of every trip.
Roasted Stone Fruit with Wild-Whipped Cream
Warm, ripe, peak–season fruit is flecked with vanilla sugar and caramelized on a glowing fire. The whipped cream—shaken up in a wide–mouth water bottle—is almost too much delicious. Almost, but also not at all. For the stone fruit, peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and cherries are all ideal.
Heavy-duty aluminum foil, 18 inches wide
¼ cup granulated sugar
Zest of ½ lemon
½ vanilla bean
1½ pounds fresh, ripe stone fruit
Prepared vanilla sugar
1 cup cold whipping cream (thawed) [F]
1 . PREP AND PACK THE VANILLA SUGAR
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest.
Using a sharp knife, slit open the vanilla pod, then scrape its sticky black pulp—the seeds—into the lemon sugar. Reserve the pod. Rub the mixture with your fingers to break up the pulp and distribute it evenly.
Transfer the vanilla sugar and reserved pod, to an airtight container or resealable bag. (The pod will add flavour when the fruit roasts.)
2. CHOP, SEASON, AND WRAP THE FRUIT
Remove the pits from the fruit, then chop the fruit into bite-size pieces.
Cut a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil that measures 22 inches long. Transfer the fruit onto the foil and arrange lengthwise down the middle of the foil, stopping 2 inches shy of either end.
Sprinkle the fruit with the sugar, add the vanilla pod, and toss to coat. Gather together the long edges of the foil, folding them over each other two to three times to form a tight seal. Seal both ends of each packet in the same way—you want to avoid any leaking.
3. ROAST THE FRUIT
Set the foil packet on a grill placed over medium-hot coals, or directly beside them. Roast the fruit, turning the packet occasionally, until it feels very tender through the foil and smells incredible, about 25 minutes.
Cut a hole through the top of the packet and continue roasting until the juices have reduced and thickened and the pieces of fruit are beginning to colour in spots, about 5 minutes more.
4. WHIP THE CREAM AND SERVE
Meanwhile, pour the whipping cream into a clean, 32-ounce, wide-mouth water bottle and seal. Shake vigorously until the cream forms soft peaks (or your arms give up), 4 to 8 minutes.
Spoon the roasted fruit and its juices into bowls or mugs, then top with dollops of the whipped cream. Serve immediately.
The vanilla sugar, 6 months, unrefrigerated
Excerpted from Cook It Wild by Chris Nuttal–Smith. Copyright © 2023 Chris Nuttal–Smith. Photography by Maya Visnyei and illustrations by Claire McCracken. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.