It’s that wonderful time of year when many of us adore cooking OUTSIDE of our kitchens. Let’s face it, staring at those same, boring kitchen walls all the time can get a bit mind-numbing, not to mention heating up the house . Luckily, backyard barbecues and family camping trips are calling your name. An open-air, change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered. Whether it is over a sizzling grill, a flaming fire-pit, or a crackling campfire, the outdoor cooking possibilities are endless.
One of my new fire side hobbies consists of cooking with two small cast iron plates attached to a set of handles. You may know them as pie irons, tonka toasters, jaffle irons, or my personal favorite, pudgy pie irons. These versatile camping sidekicks start at $15 and can be found at most sporting goods stores. Don’t let these cast iron toasters intimidate you. They are fun and easy to use. Here are a few simple recipe ideas to try out.
Easy Chicken Parmesan Wraps
Recipe makes four wraps
- 3 cups roughly shredded, cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (canned chicken works great for camping)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning (make sure yours is a salt-free blend)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup your favorite marinara sauce
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 4 Flat-out breads (we used Light Italian Herb)
- 1 cup shredded, reduced-fat Italian cheese blend
- Additional marinara sauce, warmed for dipping, if desired
Place shredded chicken in a medium bowl. Add Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper, and stir well to combine. Add marinara sauce and basil to chicken mixture, and stir to combine again. Lay 1 Flatout flatbread on work surface, and sprinkle ¼ cup of cheese down the center, leaving a large border all around the cheese. Spread ¼ of the chicken mixture (about a heaping ½ cup) on top of the cheese. Fold short ends of Flatout inward toward middle, and then fold long sides of Flat-out inward toward middle, making a closed wrap. Repeat with the remaining 3 Flat-out flatbreads, dividing the remaining cheese and the remaining chicken mixture evenly among them. Spray both sides of pie iron with cooking spray. Place folded wrap inside the pie iron and then close. Add the wraps and cook on the first side until golden brown, about 1 ½ – 2 minutes. Flip wraps and cook on second side until golden, about another 1½ minutes. Serve with additional marinara sauce for dipping.
- portobello mushrooms ( stems and gills removed)
- mozzarella cheese
- butter and/or cooking spray
Generously butter or spray each side of the pie iron. Place the mushroom cap between the irons and sear over the fire for a few minutes on each side. (You can’t really over cook these). Open the irons and place mozzarella cheese on the underside of the mushroom cap. Close the irons for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted. Eat and enjoy!
- 8 inch flour tortillas or cones
- Mini Marshmallows
- Milk Chocolate Chips
- Peanut Butter (Optional)
- Cooking Spray
Spread one tablespoon of peanut butter on the tortilla or inside the cone. Sprinkle ¼ cup of marshmellows and 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips on top of the peanut butter. Roll up tortilla, wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil, and seal tightly. Cook in the coals for about 5 to 8 minutes, rotating at least once. The tortilla will burn on the bottom if you leave them on the coals too long.
We would love to hear about your family’s favorite pie iron recipes!
Allie Claypool, Outdoor Education Assistant