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Whether assembling gooey s’mores or roasting hot dogs on a stick, many of us have fond memories of cooking in the great outdoors. And while there’s a time and place for that typical fireside fare, we believe that nourishing whole foods can be a fulfilling addition to the time we spend outside. All it takes is a little planning and preparation.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the Dirty Gourmet trio, chefs Aimee Trudeau, Mai-Yan Kwan, and Emily Nielson, who have mastered the art of bringing fresh ingredients and global flavors to their own camping expeditions. The following recipes are excerpted from their cookbook, Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures.

These recipes are ideal for car camping or dining alfresco in your backyard, assuming you have access to a campfire grate and a cooler for perishables (see the “Car-Camper’s Kitchen Kit” below). Each one includes a few make-ahead elements, so you can focus on tending the flames once your fire is lit.

The meals are designed to be cooked over open flames, ideally surrounded by plenty of hungry friends and family. (For tips on building your own campfire, see “How to Build a Campfire.”)

The Dirty Gourmet Car-Camper’s Kitchen Kit

  • Matches
  • Heatproof gloves
  • 10-inch cast-iron skillet
  • 12-inch Dutch oven
  • 4 12-inch skewer sticks
  • Aluminum foil
  • Chef’s knife and cutting board
  • Bottle and can opener
  • Lid lifter
  • Spatula
  • Long tongs
  • Wooden mixing spoon
  • Whisk
  • Cooking oil
  • Cooler
  • 1-gallon food-storage bags
  • Medium and large canning jars
  • Measuring cups and spoons, or multiuse items such as a water bottle and stirring spoon with measurements notated
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Reusable or recyclable plates, bowls, utensils, and drinkware
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sponge and biodegradable soap
  • Dishwashing tub and dish towel
  • Trash bags

Grilled Corn With Ancho-Lime Mayo and Cilantro

Makes six ears
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes

Grilled corn with ancho-lime mayo and cilantro.

Campfire Bibimbap

Makes six to eight servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Bibimbap over a campfire.

Steak Skewers With Harissa

Makes four skewers
Prep time: 30 minutes at home, five minutes at camp
Cook time: eight to 10 minutes

Steak skewers with harissa.

For the Skewers

  • 1 lb. ribeye steak
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the Harissa

  • 1 tsp. red-chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 11/2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

At Home
Trim any fat off the steak and cut meat into 1-inch cubes. Place into a 1-gallon food-storage bag.

In a small bowl, whisk oil, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour over the cubed steak and seal the bag. Massage contents so the steak is evenly coated. Keep chilled.

For the harissa, combine the chili flakes, coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the spice mixture until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the oil and onion and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and cook for another minute. Add the chopped roasted peppers and mash the mixture with a fork until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt. Spoon into an airtight container and keep chilled until ready to use.

At Camp
Oil a grate and adjust the fire so there are medium flames licking the underside of the grate.

Thread steak onto skewers; leave a little space between the chunks so they cook completely.

Place skewers directly on the grate. Cook for two to three minutes, then rotate a quarter turn. Cook for another two minutes, then rotate again; repeat twice more.

Smother with harissa and serve.

Skillet-Baked Brie

Makes six to eight servings
Prep time: five minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Skillet-baked brie.

For the Brie

  • 1 8-oz. wheel of Brie
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbs. brown sugar
  • Seed crackers for serving

At Camp
Set a grate over the campfire and adjust the fire so there are medium flames licking the underside of the grate. Place the wheel of cheese in a cast-iron skillet. Set the skillet on the grate. After about five minutes, when the cheese starts to sizzle on the bottom, use a spatula to flip the wheel. Add pecans next to the cheese and cook until toasted, about three minutes more.

Remove the skillet from the heat.

Leaving the Brie in the skillet to keep it warm, cut an X in the center and sprinkle the brown sugar inside. Use a small spoon to scoop the pecans into the center. Serve right out of the skillet with seed crackers.

Tomato and Jalapeno Toast

Makes eight to 10 toasts
Prep time: 10 minutes at home, five minutes at camp
Cook time: five to 10 minutes

Tomato and jalapeno toast.
Photo by: Dirty Gourmet
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