The campfire, whether or not you're sleeping by it, is one of my favourite places to cook up a feast. The forgiving element of being out of the house and in the dark, coupled with the immediate flames and heat and the amazing things that emerge you hadn't planned at all.
So here are my latest favourites that happened - not totally as they were meant to - on a recent trip to Italy. A magical feast we all adored.
RISOTTO CAKE CRISP
- 500g leftover Risotto (the day after is the best)
- 50g grated parmesan
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp Fresh parsley, chopped
Pour the oil into a large cake tin or roasting tin. Press the risotto mixture firmly down into the tin, to create a packed, even layer of sticky rice. Place the tin onto the glowing embers of the campfire and leave to cook for 10 minutes, until sticking nicely to the bottom. Then scoop and flip sections at a time, so you end up with brown, crisp rice on both sides.
Scatter with parmesan and parsley to serve.
ROSEMARY GARLIC ROAST POTATOES
Another one pan wonder that smells amazing and tastes like a treat with minimal hassle.
- 1 kg par-boiled potatoes diced into 1 inch pieces
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, shredded
- 9 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 200ml olive oil
- 1 tbsp sea salt
Place the potatoes and garlic into the pan, drizzle over the olive oil and toss until coated. Throw the rosemary sprigs over and sprinkle on the salt.
Position the tin in the middle of the fire once it is embers only and cook for 10-20 minutes until they are crisp. They may stick to the pan. Use a spatular to scrape them off and turn them. Any stuck bits will turn into lovely crispy bits when you scrape them off.
CARAMEL BANANA CRUNCH
Sticky toffee gooeyness is the perfect ending to a feast by a fire.
- 6 bananas - spotty and browning ripe ones
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp honey
- 4 tbsp flaked almonds
- 2 tbsp mascarpone
Peel the bananas and slice them down the middle, as a banana split. Add the butter, dotted in the bottom of the roasting pan and then the bananas and place over the embers of the fire.
Don't be tempted to stir or prod for 5-8 minutes until browning, then flip over delicately, add the cinnamon and repeat on the other side.
Scoop out a banana for each bowl.
Drizzle over honey, a dollop of mascarpone and top with flaked almonds.
Curl up and snooze!