BANJO KEN'S RECIPES
What to bring and how to bring it:
Decide what your menu will be. The meals you want to serve. Many festival goers/campers share meal assignments. Many hands make light work!
When including meats or seafoods-choose products that freeze well and freeze hard!!!
Seafoods that are live then cooked on the scene should be avoided without modern refrigeration. You know like the frig at home or found in larger campers .
Bottom line- bring a cooler with a drain and room for ice.
Ice for the trip to the festival ?
I like to freeze gallons of spring water used as block ice, when it thaws it serves as a fine COLD thirst quencher . Small freezer? Use block ice initially for the cooler. Most festivals have ice for sale for replenishment
Firepower specialized-all purpose
Whats on the menu? This is likely the determining factor of the equipment choice.
For the smaller groups a propane grill and a butane compact stove (like the one at your favorite brunch buffet) for the more aggressive or ambitious cook ( like me) a turkey fryer burner is an excellent choice - great for a wok or the big cast iron pan.
Other pots and pans matching your needs for the likes of eggs, chicken breast, pork loin fillets, tender fish and other products that don’t require intense heat
1 pan recipes:
At the campsite simple is usually the best way to go. One pan recipes work well cause you need only prep your product then add to the pan one at a time .
my fave is the flavorful “braised Italian greens”
you will need: (for 4 participants)
-one large pan (12- 14 inch diameter)
-2 -4 oz olive oil,
-1 large onion medium diced,
4-5 cloves garlic small diced
med chop peppers
about 4 ounces of chunks of chicken breast, lean pork or even spicey sausage out of the casing (by chunk I mean a piece of meat about the size of your thumb)
one large bunch of broccoli rabe cut down as ½ inch slices you can toss the last 3 inch of stem
one can of chicken broth (season with salt & pepper at the end . Follow the order of the list of ingredients into the hot pan, when cooking making each ingredient about half way there. Greens go in last when they look like well cooked spinach you are done. Other greens / veggies are certainly fair game ,hopefully this bit of direction will give you the mindset to imagine other one pan meals
Serve with your favorite or available grated cheese.
Please notice that only the meat products require refrigeration ,the veggies should be prepared when its time to make the feed
A nice side dish is tabouli with sundried tomato pesto:
2 cups Israeli couscous ( the big stuff) to cook 1 -2/3 cup of water or chicken stock per cup of couscous. Make water boil like crazy then add the couscous and a tablespoon of butter, bring back to boil, cover tightly remove from the heat and let it rest for a ½ hour or so.
About 2-3 days before you leave make the red pesto as follows:
2 cups of dried tomatoes covered with water and bring to a boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes
(drain while reserving ¼ to 1/3 cup of liquid)
5 large cloves of garlic fine diced
¾ cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 –3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
then into the food processor starting with the oil and tomatoes (cooled)
grind it up until tomatoes are chopped very fine -
follow with the rest of the ingredients
if it looks on the dry side add the reserved cooking liquid
Stupid cook tricks for the grill,
Got the propane grill? Want to make a fine roast? Why with addition of 2-3 aluminum roast pans
(one inside the other, loosely) fire up the grill place the roast in question in the pan(s) then into the hot grill when all is sizzling nicely close the top and turn down the heat to low-med low.
This will take some time and will require a fair amount of attention .
breakfast- bacon &eggs, grilled ham w/homefries , omelet in a wok, pho
(Oh Ricey brand instant is best) with fresh herbs & green onion, sliced tomato, strong coffee with Crown Royal,
Mid-Day Nosh –
This is the time of day when most folks lay about planning the evening musical activity.
So whats better than the lounging finger foods
good sliced salami, capacola, goat, blue, provolone, maybe even fresh mozzarella cheeses with good bread ( I like it crusty) and of course what you like at festival temperatures , a nice choice for the more daring is assorted fresh spring rolls. the wrapper makes it a spring roll, What’s inside is created in the chefs head. These rolls are all about technique !! check out YouTube for some lessons, with a thoughtful setup at camp these are not hard to do.
I like them with smoked salmon and cream cheese blended with diced capers, red onion,
and fine julienne carrot. Roast beef with marinated mushrooms (portabella work nicely)
served with blended horseradish and chives, sriracha mayo is always good too.
Be certain to avoid foods that don’t do well in the summer heat. Like pot or mac salads.
Marinated mixed!! Veggies as they will tend to sour (cross contamination is what that called) its surprising how fast it happens.
The dinner hour
When doing the dinner deed keep in mind that time is short. I hate to say it, but this the perfect occasion for the hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chick breast and the like.
A nice simple marinate for chicken, pork or shrimp using the “magic ratio”- 115 -
-1 -part fish sauce, -1- part sugar -5- parts water add to this dice radish , garlic whole dried Chinese chili. This will make about a pint of the magical juice , ¼ cup fish sauce, ¼ cup sugar, 1 ¼ cups water to this add 2 pieces each of radish etc. You can use this as dressing for rice noodle salads or a dipping liquid for a myriad of finger foods. Blended with sweet chili sauce is good too.
feed em and send em off to the show
a nice accompaniment is lime cilantro slaw. Throw this one together before you start the grill as follows; (for 4)
3 cups Fine sliced napa cabbage (packed)
¼ cup fine diced red onion
¼ cup chopped cilantro
juice of 3 good juicy limes
¼ cup olive oil
1 fat table spoon sugar
3 fine diced or sliced (wafer thin)
1 teaspoon salt maybe less if not a fan of the salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
a splash of seasoned rice wine vinegar is nice also
serving stuff is always the last thing we think about
plastic/ paper service items with no emotional attachment, this is just the thing.
Also those cute little Lacey patter covers, so we don’t have share with the indigenous
wild life. Remember less need for washing things….. is good washing.
Recycle when you can and leave you spot better than you found it
Thanks so much Banjo Ken. We look forward to your next submission.
Look for Banjo Ken at the next festival you attend. He is the guy cookin' great food and pickin' on the 5-string