Episode 020 continues the What We’re Grilling series, where Taryn discusses recipes she and her family have grilled over the last couple of weeks to give you some meal inspiration. In this episode, Taryn discusses the recipes she and her family made on recent camping trips to give you some ideas for any 4th of July camping you may be doing. She breaks down making campfire nachos and smores banana boats, and talks about grilling up some flank steak and seasoned chicken thighs. She also mentions a fun camping resource for finding places to camp that aren’t on public lands.
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- 8×8 inch aluminum baking tin
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- HipCamp (use this link for $10 toward your first camping stay)
- Gallon-sized ziploc bags
- Penzey’s Spices Krakow Nights
These are some of the recipes mentioned in the episode. They are on this website, Hot Pan Kitchen, except where noted.
Taryn Solie: Hello grillers! Welcome to another What We’re Grilling episode. I am your host, Taryn Solie, and I am here to give you some grilling inspiration. These What We’re Grilling episodes are meant to be short and sweet, coming out about every 2 weeks. I go over some of the foods that my family and I have grilled that we’ve liked – some of what I mention will just be general meal ideas, and for others I’ll go into more detail to give you a sense of how to grill it. The goal is to give you some ideas for what to cook for your family and friends.
We’re coming up on 4th of July weekend, which is a big camping weekend for many in the US, so I’m going to go over some camping meals that my family and I made on our two recent camping trips. One we did over a live fire and the others we did using a grill that was available at our site.
The first one was campfire nachos. I was trying to think of something simple but warm that we could make there and I thought nachos would be something fairly easy.
I ended up cooking a pound of ground beef beforehand with some simple seasonings like kosher salt, black pepper, ground cumin, and a little bit of smoked paprika. I let it cool and put it in a ziploc bag so we could take it with us in the cooler.
I also cut up some cherry tomatoes and put that in a container in the cooler, along with some shredded lettuce and shredded cheese that I bought at the store.
To cook the nachos I ended up buying some 8 by 8 inch aluminum foil baking tins, one for each member of my family. I also brought along some aluminum foil so that I could cover the nachos, which I knew would help the cheese melt.
When we got to the campsite my husband started the fire while I assembled the nachos. We laid down some tortilla chips, then some ground beef and shredded cheese into each baking tins. We covered them with foil before putting them on the first. After we had some hot coals ready we lowered the grate over the fire pit and put two tins on the grate. We waited about 5 minutes but realized they weren’t cooking well so we took the grate up and instead put the tins right on top of the coals, which we’d spread out into a single layer.
The cheese melted much faster that way, and we actually overcooked the nachos a little bit. We did better with the second two baking tins of nachos – those we put directly on the coals and cooked for maybe 4 to 5 minutes total. The coals were super hot so the nachos heated up quickly. Then we dug in!
It was a really quick and easy meal to make camping and everyone agreed that it was a winner. I could see where you wouldn’t necessarily need the tins – you could probably fashion a container of sorts out of some heavy duty aluminum foil, which would be cheaper than buying a baking tin. But for ease of use, the baking tin was pretty nice.
Next up we have some grilling recipes. The first is a grilled flank steak – the recipe is on my site so I’ll link to it in the show notes page. I made the marinade ahead of time for that, which had lime, garlic, cumin, coriander, coconut aminos, oil, and salt in it. I put it in a gallon-size ziploc bag and put that in the cooler, then on the way to our campsite we stopped at the store and bought a flank steak (along with other foods).
When we woke up the next morning I put the steak in the marinade and let it sit in the cooler all day while we were out and about. Then I cooked it on the grill that was provided at our site. We were staying at a HipCamp site – if you haven’t looked into HipCamp yet, I highly recommend it. It’s essentially like AirBnb but for private campsites. We’ve found some real hidden gems that way, and I’ll provide a link to it in the show notes page if you’re curious. The link is good for $10 off your first stay at a HipCamp site, so be sure and check that out, and there are HipCamp sites all over the US and Canada.
But back to the flank steak – we didn’t have a meat thermometer with us, so we kind of guessed and cooked it over medium heat, probably around 400 degrees F for 5 minutes on one side and another maybe 10 minutes on the other side. It was kind of a thick steak and we tested how done it was by squeezing the steak with the tongs. If it gives too much, it’s not done, but if it hardly gives it’s overdone. It’s kind of a fine balance. Thankfully we got it just right, so we let it rest for about 10 minutes then sliced it up and served it with coleslaw and grilled corn on the cob.
For the coleslaw you could certainly buy a bagged kit and just bring that. I don’t tend to like store-bought coleslaw dressing – it’s too sweet for me. So I made my own ahead of time, put it in a container and packed it in the cooler. Then I bought a bag of coleslaw that was just the veggies and used that to make the slaw. It worked great.
We also grilled up some chicken thighs, which were pretty basic, but I did want to mention the seasoning I used – it was Krakow Nights from Penzey’s Spices. It’s a spice blend with good flavor that’s still mild enough for kids. I just put it on both sides of the thighs before they went on the grill and it was enough to get some good seasoning on them.
The last recipe I want to talk about is a fun dessert recipe. My kids are big fans of smores when we camp – and I mean, whose kids aren’t – but at the HipCamp site there were no fires allowed so smores weren’t really an option. Instead I decided to do smores banana boats.
I brought 4 very ripe bananas with us in the cooler – you could also look at the grocery store for them if you’re buying items on your way to a site. Sometime they have really ripe bananas in a discount produce section.
I tore off 4 pieces of aluminum foil, big enough to wrap a banana in. Then I cut about a quarter of the peel of each banana off, lengthwise, so there was a long strip of banana exposed. I split the banana in half, lengthwise, so create that boat shape, then I put some mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips in each banana. I wrapped up the bananas in the tin foil, sealing them as best I could without smushing them, then placed them on a grill over medium heat.
I checked them after about 8 or 10 minutes and they still needed some more time, so let them go another 4 or 5 minutes. Then everything was nice and melted so we removed them from the grill and ate them with spoons!
I really enjoyed them, but I have often eaten warmed banana with chocolate as a dessert so it was familiar to me and I like soft banana like that. One of my kids was into it, the other one I think had an issue with the texture of the softened banana so he didn’t finish his. But I thought it was a super fun and different dessert option. And you could easily customize the fillings if you’d like. You could also easily make them in a campfire if you don’t have a grill when you’re camping.
And that’s it for today! So we went over campfire nachos, grilled flank steak, grilled chicken thighs with that spice blend from Penzey’s, and the smores banana boats. I did take pictures of everything except the chicken thighs, and I’ll put those on both the show notes page and on the Grill Like A Mother Instagram account. You can look in either of those places to see how the foods turned out.
To get to the show notes page you can either go to my main website at Hot Pan Kitchen dot com and click on podcast in the main menu, or you can click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on.
If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would share it with a friend who you think would be interested! As a newer podcast, it helps spread the word and I would really appreciate it.
Thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep grilling like a mother.