The Backcountry Chef

Welcome to the first edition of backcountry chef!  I’m Kathy, and I seriously LOVE food and being outside…so as you imagine, I especially love eating outside.  Every week I’m going to give you some inspiration to heat up over your campfire or camp stove, as well as a tidbit or tip to help you along to your ultimate outdoor cooking mastery.

Back Country Chili Mac
Feeds: 2

Ingredients:
-1 C elbow macaroni
-1 15 oz. can of chili
-1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
-Finely chopped white onion (to taste)
-1 green chili (optional)

Tools:
-Camp stove and fuel
-Cooking pot
-Spoon to stir
-Knife to cut up onions, avocados, etc.
-Can opener (do not forget this)

  1. Bring 3 c water to rolling boil over camp stove or fire
  2. Add pasta, cover.
  3. Watch pasta closely to prevent boiling over.  Cook for 8 minutes, or until noodles are cooked to taste.
  4. Strain pasta and divide between bowls
  5. Open can of chili (hopefully you remembered the can opener) and cook over stove until heated through.  Turn stove off.
  6. Distribute chili over noodles.
  7. Sprinkle cheddar cheese and white onion over mac, mix.  Enjoy!

Recipe notes:  Roasting a green chili over fire can add a spicy, smoky southwestern touch to this dish.  Give it a shot! If you don’t want to buy a whole bag of elbow macaroni, a box of Kraft mac and cheese is ALMOST 1 c.  Other great additions are fresh slices of avocado and crackers.  To extend this for more adventurers, broken up spaghetti or any other favorite pasta can add to the grains, and a little spaghetti sauce can add to your sauce mixture.

Cooking tip of the week:
Reheating previously cooked foods without messing up your cooking utensils.
Just when you thought water couldn’t get more awesome, here it is to surprise you yet again.  Storing pre-cooked foods like ground taco meat, chicken, or pretty much anything else you want to in heavy duty plastic sandwich bags beforehand can make food prep a cinch.  Simply submerge bag into boiling water until heated through, taking special care to avoid touching the plastic to the side of the pot.  This is also a pretty sweet way to make scrambled eggs. When cooking is finished, your cleaning is done for you!

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