Gourmet Cooking on the Playa

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.

Gourmet Cooking on the Playa

Postby jkisha » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:35 pm

I just couldn't take it any more! Everybody talking about "what works" meals out of a box or can. I'm sure there are other people here that actually cook on the playa and thought it might be fun to share some of the special meals you have prepared.

I'll go first...

One meal that we look forward to is grilled steaks with baked potatoes and corn on the cob all done on the grill, complete with all the trimmings, butter, sour cream and a nice bottle of Cabernet served in glass wine glasses.
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Postby TomServo » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:45 pm

I hate pasta salads...But, Chef Tourettes made the best salad, at the ranch! Our breakfasts were first class as well. Id like to make a prime rib this year.
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Postby wraith » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:08 am

I am working on an oven concept now, as food is my favorite art medium, and I want 3am pizza on the playa. :D
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Postby jkisha » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:54 am

We're bringing an oven this year too. So, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, bread, and I'm thinking about doing a Brie en croute. Though I have to admit we'll probably be using the supermarket pre-made doughs.
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Postby Bob » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:01 am

Elitists.
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Postby jkisha » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:39 am

wraith wrote:I am working on an oven concept now, as food is my favorite art medium, and I want 3am pizza on the playa. :D

Digiorno!
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Postby Bob » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:41 am

jkisha wrote:
wraith wrote:I am working on an oven concept now, as food is my favorite art medium, and I want 3am pizza on the playa. :D

Digiorno!


Or FedEx. It's been done.
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Postby jkisha » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:43 am

Bob wrote:
jkisha wrote:
wraith wrote:I am working on an oven concept now, as food is my favorite art medium, and I want 3am pizza on the playa. :D

Digiorno!


Or FedEx. It's been done.

Now that WOULD be elitist.
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Postby wraith » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:45 am

Nah, professional. :D

I'm just un it for the challenge. MREs and bagged Indian are perfectly good survival food, but how awesome would a stone baked pizza, still smoking hot from the stone in the 4M chill?
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Postby tamarakay » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:27 am

I think jkisha is my new best friend. holy smokes that all sounds good.
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Postby ehcsztein » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:53 am

Ovens are great... I learned how to cook frittata in camp back in '09 and cinamon rolls are a sure-fire way to meet your neighbors. :)

I have always wanted to do some more gourmet food on the playa and this year I am finally making an opportunity to do just that. Full 9 course dinner with wine pairings as a thank you for some very supportive friends.

Planning for serious cookery on playa is providing me with incredible joy (and ultimately some nice new additions to the camp kitchen:D )
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:26 am

Bob wrote:Elitists.


I agree, but how to cook them on the playa?

I'm thinkin' chicken kushiyaki (teriyaki shishkebabs), maybe roasted over a solar flame.
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Postby jkisha » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:27 am

ehcsztein wrote:Ovens are great... I learned how to cook frittata in camp back in '09 and cinamon rolls are a sure-fire way to meet your neighbors. :)

I have always wanted to do some more gourmet food on the playa and this year I am finally making an opportunity to do just that. Full 9 course dinner with wine pairings as a thank you for some very supportive friends.

Planning for serious cookery on playa is providing me with incredible joy (and ultimately some nice new additions to the camp kitchen:D )


Totally agree.
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Postby tamarakay » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:44 am

I'm glad to see this thread as I am not an artist, i can't sew well so our costumes already look a bit homey, i'm not mechanical, etc. etc. but what I love to do is cook. We will have the ready made stuff as a fall back, but now I am going to plan some good lovely meals. I think i'll do some homemade pasta before we leave and then a few simple sauces on playa. yum.
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Postby wraith » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:50 am

Never let anyone tell you cooking isn't art. It is just sculpture you can experience with one more sense!
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Postby Boijoy » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:50 am

Pasta + sauce = win. win.
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Postby jkisha » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:04 pm

tamarakay wrote:I'm glad to see this thread as I am not an artist, i can't sew well so our costumes already look a bit homey, i'm not mechanical, etc. etc. but what I love to do is cook. We will have the ready made stuff as a fall back, but now I am going to plan some good lovely meals. I think i'll do some homemade pasta before we leave and then a few simple sauces on playa. yum.

Great! Unfortunately there are so many threads here on how to live out of a cooler or how to warm your food on the dash board of your car. It's a shame really, because cooked food on the playa tastes fantastically better thanin the default world. And it's really appreciated too! One morning I gotup early and made bacon and cheese quessadillas. No one in our camp was up yet, so I just sliced them up and started passing them out to anyone walking or biking by on the street. That was a fun morning.

Some of the tricks to cooking on the playa are preparing as much as you can ahead of time and chill or freeze it ahead of time. The other thing is, and this is probably the most important, refrigeration. We bought a 7.5 cubic foot chest freezer for the ice-cream for the floats the camp serves, and we will be bringing another one this year which we will be converting to a refrigerator. They only have to be kept running for several hours duringthe heat of the day and they keep things frozen for up to two days in a power failure.
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Postby Bob » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:15 pm

In what universe is pizza 'gourmet cooking'?
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Postby wraith » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:23 pm

Blame California.

Bob wrote:In what universe is pizza 'gourmet cooking'?
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Postby phil » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:28 pm

Bob wrote:In what universe is pizza 'gourmet cooking'?


It depends on the pizza. One of my acquaintances makes pizza totally from scratch - the dough from flour and whatever, the filling from blocks of cheese he brings and grates on spot, fresh veggies, etc. Then he bakes it in his solar oven. I won't hold myself out as a knowledgable gourmand, but fresh baked, made from scratch pizza was gourmet to me. Especially on the playa.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:44 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:
Bob wrote:Elitists.


I agree, but how to cook them on the playa?

I'm thinkin' chicken kushiyaki (teriyaki shishkebabs), maybe roasted over a solar flame.


Okay, Dougly, I'm sending over some very nice friends to talk to you. They will be wearing lab coats.
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Postby ConnieH » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:13 pm

We are definitely bringing steaks this year - I was craving one on about day 4.

Friends with an RV pulled out the best green salad I've ever tasted on Wednesday - I'm sure it was so tasty because all we'd had to eat since the Friday before was backpacking meals and Tasty Bites :P

I like your quesadilla idea jkisha - that would be so easy, cheese doesn't have to be kept ice cold all week and tortillas are very packable.

One of our biggest reasons for not bringing fresh food has been the cooler issue - we simply didn't have room in the car for anything more than a small personal cooler. This year we have a bigger car so we can fit in a cooler - yay! I still don't like cooking on the playa that much, but things like steaks and quesadillas are just about as easy as boiling water. A Greek salad with feta, tomatoes and kalamata olives would be delicious on-playa, and easy to throw together. Or stuffed mushrooms...yummm...
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Postby jkisha » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:16 pm

Greek Salad...great idea. I might try adding that to the menu too this year. The feta cheese and salty olives would taste great in the heat of the day.
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Postby Savannah » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:39 pm

The most gourmet meal I have had on the playa was an enormous freshly caught salmon, grilled with lemon, butter and herbs. Very simple, but the best salmon of my life, and I remain grateful. I barely knew the woman who shared it with me (and others).
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Postby maryanimal » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:43 pm

jkisha wrote:We're bringing an oven this year too. So, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, bread, and I'm thinking about doing a Brie en croute. Though I have to admit we'll probably be using the supermarket pre-made doughs.


I'm buying a Camp Chef Stove/oven jk! I plan on making cookie dough at home and freeze individule pieces! Plus I have a FoodSaver unit and plan to have some pre-cooked meals bagged and frozen. I'm doing the dry ice thing too because nothing tastes beter than mint and chip ice cream or lime sherbert on a hot day or after a good meal.
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Postby maryanimal » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:03 pm

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All this talk about food is giving me great ideas! Maybe we should have a potluck one day of that week!
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Postby ConnieH » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:24 pm

Halloumi Cheese would be awesome and would keep well...it's my new favorite cheese. Sometimes I fry it in a little bacon grease: delicious!!
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Postby Boijoy » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:11 pm

Greek style pasta salad is nice also, it you don't want to mess around with lettuce. I jar my own dolmades & they go hand & hand.
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Postby jkisha » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:12 pm

maryanimal wrote:
jkisha wrote:We're bringing an oven this year too. So, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, bread, and I'm thinking about doing a Brie en croute. Though I have to admit we'll probably be using the supermarket pre-made doughs.


I'm buying a Camp Chef Stove/oven jk! I plan on making cookie dough at home and freeze individule pieces! Plus I have a FoodSaver unit and plan to have some pre-cooked meals bagged and frozen. I'm doing the dry ice thing too because nothing tastes beter than mint and chip ice cream or lime sherbert on a hot day or after a good meal.


That's the same oven we have. AntiM has one too. This will be the first year taking it to the playa, but I've been using it as a second oven just to get used to it. They make two models, we have the less expensive one because we have their stove that comes with the griddle/grill accessory. We also got the big barbecue accessory for the stove too.

You should signup for the Camp Chef deal of the day, and also watch their promotions. We saved a bunch of money on the oven and got free shipping too. But they run frequent promos, you just need to be on the lookout for them.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:15 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:
Bob wrote:Elitists.


I agree, but how to cook them on the playa?

I'm thinkin' chicken kushiyaki (teriyaki shishkebabs), maybe roasted over a solar flame.


Okay, Dougly, I'm sending over some very nice friends to talk to you. They will be wearing lab coats.


They're here! What are those nets for?!!!

Seriously, solar cookers = no charcoal ash = kitchen's closed at sunset. :)
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