Trail RecipesBy Akira Suzuki
Campfire Cooking Fried Garlic
Olive Oil Salt
miso or soy sauce
The second installment of the “Campfire Cooking” series follows the previous column about fried bananas. This next recipe features aluminum foil cooking and sticks to the basic premise of “goes well with a beer.” Next on the hit list is fried garlic.
Garlic, known worldwide as a “pick-me-up” energy food, cooks easily on the side of a fire. With some spirits to warm you up from the inside, fried garlic is a perfect fit to keep you going on camping trips.
(1) Place the peeled garlic in an aluminum foil “bowl” and liberally spread on olive oil. Placing this on the coals will have your garlic cloves smelling good in about 10 minutes, but don’t pull them off just yet.
Garlic is great to load up on when you feel as if you’re coming down with something, and also is good for people with stiff shoulders and necks. Folks worry about their breath in the morning, but if everyone eats it up at night, there’s nothing to be concerned about.
Although using aluminum foil removes the need for bulky fry pans, there’s one point to keep in mind: the right kind of firewood. Campfires burn best with wood that is thick, hard and dry. Unfortunately, most campgrounds in Japan tend to sell cedar which, while easy to start, burns too quickly and without much heat.
(2) Once the garlic aroma is really filling the air, pull the lid back and check to see if the cloves are steaming hot. If so, drop in some salt and soy sauce—or maybe even add miso—then dig in.
For cooking, it’s best to take the time to get good wood, choosing broad-leaved trees over needles for their superior smell. Having said that, the cooking in this issue is taking place in aluminum foil, which helps conduct heat evenly, so we don’t need to concern ourselves too much with the wood.
However, keep this advice in mind when you’re cooking over open flames, as finding a way to fan the flames just right is half the challenge of cooking outdoors.