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Menu under the trees

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm a chef with a new challenge -- I need a menu to be served in a very remote forested area, by a lake at 8000' elevation, and all materials must either be carried or rowed in 1/4 mile. Propane stove burners only, no oven, though I can prepare at home and transport later to the site. And no, I'm not kidding.

Weather will be warm and mild (CA sierra mountains), view is stunning, and dinner for 2 will be enjoyed under the pine trees. Difficulty is not an issue -- anything goes. Wine suggestions too...

Any ideas? Thanks!
post #2 of 9
You could do this on a burner, although a fire would be better, Salmon, thin slices of lemon, a little lemon juice, capers, fresh thyme, wrapped in foil, baked over the fire (burner) for 10-15, turned once, time depending on thickness.
With this I would suggest a Riesling.
post #3 of 9
not every burner is the same, I've cooked on single butane burners in the middle of a street with no running water, electricity (and all that implies)...weekly for 7 years.

There are burners that crank to 16,000 BTU way better than the ones that only get 3-4000.

Who are you clients....ie is it you or someone else? If it's someone else ask what they like/want.
When is it.....what is the weather like? If it's 103* like STL today, cold food rules!!! If it's 70-80's anything goes, if it's colder than 60's than hotter food.

What's your style? What cuisines do you enjoy cooking?
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks juliec and shroomgirl for your suggestions!

Unfortunately I'm working with a camp stove, about 5000BTU. Ick. Not what I'm used to, definitely. No electricity or running water, either.

This time around it's for me :) Date is a very close friend. The weather in the mountains runs generally in the high 70's during the day, low 50's at night.

Though I can and do prepare many different styles, generally I tend to rely on California-style fare -- lots of fresh local fruits and vegetables, homemade artisanal cheeses, main dishes with a Pacific Rim or Southwestern influence thanks to our geography, and various California wines. Definitely prefer local food over tropical or otherwise imported things.

There isn't much that we don't like. As long as it isn't mundane or predictable, then we love it!

I'm beginning to wrap my brain around the idea of a "camp" menu with a gourmet twist...some sort of pine nut crusted seared trout stuffed with tomatoes, tarragon and homemade goat cheese; a campfire roasted baby beet salad; maybe a type of pommes-Anna and wild onion tart (onions available in a nearby meadow) that I can make at home and then add the wild onion blossoms on top when I get there...and a rosewater marshmallow/gingered graham cracker/bittersweet chocolate napoleon-esque concoction, reminiscent of a campfire s'more (and as a lifetime Girl Scout, I do have the right to say that!) :)

Any additional suggestions, especially on side dishes, would be most appreciated!
post #5 of 9
I think your menu sounds great! When I backpack I freeze the veggies and fish (or meat) in foil before I leave home along the way the salmon repsonse suggested and them throw the whole thin in the fire ans it is thawed at the right time and cooks quick... yummy! If you have a canoe for a cooler, all the better!
Enhoy your date!!!
post #6 of 9
5000BTU is poopy.....just warms does not sear nor boil, food gets muddled up. If the majority of your food can be cold you'll be in great shape.

Seafood Salad or fresh sashimi grade tuna tartar, I've been making it with red onions, capers,cucumbers, dillweed, lemon juice and evo....serving with lavosh

I made vichyssoise last week and topped it with lardons.....

Caprise salad with caponata, cut the tomatoes there have the dressing made.

My mind keeps saying smoked meats or something that reheats well without the umph of BTU.....stew, braise.....

Great Bread and cheese, figs are in season....champagne grapes (currants)

I took three semesters of Backpacking in college, had 2 boyscouts and cook in the woods for several hundred shroomers.......the more you prep the better it'll be, and keep in mind your equipment.....you don't want to spend all night cooking, you want to enjoy the company.

If it were my party, I'd have a seafood salad, or maybe nicoise salad.....pates/cheeses/breads/fruit......chocolate.....champagne or pinot noir, if we're spending the night chambord or ice wine.
forget the burner and have a bon fire with fresh marshmallows.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #7 of 9
Menu sounds good but not sure you have enough BTUs to effectively saute trout. How about using your idea for the trout stuffing and instead turning it into a goat cheese and pine nut stuffed tomato, which could then be a side dish. The trout since you are in high sierras, could be stuffed with sage and juniper and cedar smoked, then drizzled with a gin and juniper berry beurre blanc.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #8 of 9
Are there trout or other fish in the lake? There are lots of things to be done with fresh freshwater fish if you don't mind doing a little fishing and getting your hands dirty.
post #9 of 9
You can saute with 5000 BTU, not ideal conditions, but it definitely can be done, for I have done it before. Just let the pan get really hot at first, and you should be fine.
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