Want to take your car-camping meals up a notch? Maybe two? The New Camp Cookbook is your book. I made four of these recipes at home and all were keepers. They’d be knockouts on a picnic table.
I made these:
- Sweet potato and pancetta hash
- Tuscan beans and greens
- Chorizo and chickpea stew
- Moroccan spinach, chickpea, and pancetta bowl
I would recommend making these at home before making them in camp, though the only real bug I had to work out was in the first recipe. I didn’t dice the sweet potato small enough so it took an extra ten minutes too cook, plus I scorched the pancetta.
There are some nice techniques scattered through the book. You’ve probably noticed pancetta in two recipes above. That serves the same purpose as bacon (without the smoke) but is easier to dice and add to a skillet. When cutting up bacon into pieces, you need to handle it a lot and get your hands greasy, which isn’t a great idea in camp.
There is also an excellent (short) front section about charcoal fires and dutch oven cooking. I’ve been car camping since I was six months old and I learned some things.
I really could only find a few things I’d improve about the book. The index should be more thorough, listing other main ingredients. I also like a table of contents that lists all of the recipes, though that is really rare in cookbooks. Also, the icons for cooking equipment are hidden at the bottom of the page; I’d put them at the top. For great use of icons, see The Back-Country Kitchen: Camp Cooking for Canoeists, Hikers and Anglers. This book and Ottolenghi Simple would have done well to imitate that one.
Overall, highly recommended for both camp and home cooking.