Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Campfire Cooking, Part II

After sweating our way through a hot, wet week in Brooklyn, Matt and I engineered a quick emergency camping trip. Despite certain packing deficiencies (pillows next time, definitely), our time on the river was exactly what we needed to give us the will to continue with summer. Between watching the river go by, spotting snakes, bats, and oddly fearless deer, and driving along narrow winding roads, we put in plenty of time at the campfire.
Consider this the first of many updates to last summer's campfire cooking treatise. Our little coffeepot had already lost its handle in a stovetop fire, so it was perfectly engineered for campfire use.
Inspired by Nicki & Joe's expertise on the campfire, I was determined to make pancakes on our new griddle (a gift from Matt's friend Manlio after a recent visit--he determined that our house's only lack was enough pancake surface to match activities). 
The griddle performed like a champ, even multi-tasking as a blueberry deep-fryer. All uneven cooking can be chalked up to my impatience and unwillingness to let the fire die down properly. They were delicious.

I used a pancake recipe that has come to be my standard, from a book by Mitchell Davis called Kitchen Sense. For whatever reason, I rarely cook anything else in this book, but the recipes for both pancakes and waffles are stained and wrinkled. Here, slightly adapted, is Davis' recipe for buttermilk pancakes.

Buttermilk Pancakes
adapted from Kitchen Sense, by Mitchell Davis

(note: I usually double or triple this recipe, as it doesn't make that many pancakes)

  • 2 Tblsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup milk (I often use a little more to thin out)
Melt the butter.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat together egg, buttermilk, and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until smooth. Just before the flour is gone, add the melted butter to the batter. Cook using your standard pancake method. (A note about cooking pancakes--I'm a recent convert to lower heat under the griddle--it almost never needs to be as hot as you think it should. But feel free to do as you please, it was only after years of burnt pancakes that I finally saw the light, and it took a yuppie stove to do it).

I often add a little more milk to the mixture to thin the pancakes out, as I find they don't always cook evenly at Davis' preferred thickness. I also sub in yogurt or sour cream for the buttermilk on a regular basis.


Vicki said...

What beautiful pictures! I am very interested in campfire cooking. Big dream of mine!

Joan said...

Ah,that spot looks so peaceful. Nothing like open fire food. Glad you could enjoy an escape.