I don't think I'll surprise anybody out there in internet-land by saying I am not an outdoorsy kind of woman. While I enjoy the occasional merguez sausage or beer-can chicken grilled in the backyard, I'm not going to be unfurling my sleeping bag (actually, I don't own a sleeping bag) next to that crackling fire anytime soon.
But, I confess. I just love the book Campfire Cookery: Adventuresome Recipes and Other Curiosities for the Great Outdoors (Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, 2011) by my two recipe testers and assistants Sarah Huck and Jaimee Young. I couldn't be more proud of the both of them. This book, their first, is well-written, hilariously funny, and the recipes are superb - and, believe me, I can vouch for those ladies' recipe testing skills.
Fortunately for us non-campers, most of their dishes can be easily adapted to the home oven, and they have a whole chapter on make-aheads such as homemade Honeyed Marshmallows, Strawberry-Champagne Jam, and Potted Spreads (their Potted Cheddar Huntsman Spread is a particular favorite of mine). And the rest of the book makes for a good read, full of fun and whimsy (love the section on how to read your tea leaves).
Scroll down to get their version of the British brunch classic Toad in the Hole (taken from their blog huckandyoung.com). Well done Sarah and Jaimee!
Provides four to six portions
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for coating
1 pound good-quality pork sausage, cut in half crosswise
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 generous pinch kosher salt
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Coat the interior of a 2-quart soufflé pan or baking dish with the additional oil, taking care that the sides are not neglected. Place the pan in the oven to warm.
2. In a skillet set over medium-high heat, warm 2 teaspoons of the oil. Add the sausages and brown well on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, and salt until few lumps remain.
3. When the sausages are ready, carefully remove the warm pan from the oven. Scrape the sausages and their meaty juices into the pan and scatter the thyme sprigs on top. Pour the batter over the sausage-thyme mixture and return the pan to the oven. Bake until the pudding has puffed and the edges are a crisp, golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot, in or out-of-doors!