How To

Camp Fire Cookin’

Camp Fire Cookin’

Jun 12, 2017

marshmallow over a fire

A cookout is synonymous with summer but not all of us are well-versed on how to create a restaurant-quality meal over a campfire. We tapped Chef/Partner Jeff Mahin (Stella Barra Pizzeria, Summer House Santa Monica, M Street Kitchen), who not only shares his secrets, but gives us his ideal summer cookout menu.

wood embers burning

His tips:

1. Prep as much as you can ahead of time.
2. Re-heat by wrapping your food in tin foil and burying it in the charcoals.
3. Bring napkins and eat with your hands; this could get messy.

What’s on the menu?

several images of camp cooking

Chef Jeff Mahin’s Summer Cookout Menu

Starters:
Fire-roasted Heirloom tomato skewers with olive oil, fig vincotto and sea salt

Main:
BBQ Ribs with Homemade Rib Rub and Pineapple

Sides:
Fire-baked Potato with all the fixin’s

Charred corn on the cob with espelette, cotija cheese and fresh lime

Dessert:

Boozy hot chocolate topped with a toasted marshmallow

 

Chef Mahin walks us through the menu. Ready, set, get cookin’! 

Starters: Tomato skewers – fire-roasted heirloom tomatoes, olive oil, fig vincotto and sea salt 

tomato skewers
Summer is tomato season and this dish is not only super simple but a tasty way to woo your campfire crew.

 

raw tomatoes in a woven basket

  1. Snag medium to large cherry tomatoes (nothing smaller than a gumball but no larger than a golf ball)
  2. Find a durable stick or tree branch – living branches work better as they have moisture and won’t burn.
  • For the “glam-per”: If you can, bring the stick inside and pull off the branches to make it as straight as possible. Run under cool water and scrub with a sponge and a small amount of mild soap. Rinse off the soap and set aside. Continue this process until you have enough branches for each guest
  • Roughin’ it? For the outdoorsy-type, find a branch and use your 12-inch bowie knife to chop it away from the tree. Widdle down the branch to remove the outer layer and smaller branches – again, you want this to be as straight as possible.
  • To assemble: Skewer the tomatoes one by one on the branch – that’s it, you’re done! Told you it was easy.
  • To cook: Place the tomatoes over the fire until they start to blister – the skin should char just slightly and this should take no longer than one minute.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked, remove from the flame and generously coat with olive oil and fig vincotto, then dust with sea salt.

tomato skewers and corn on the grill

For the full recipe for the tomato skewers, click here.

Fire Baked Potato with the fixin’s

baked potatoes

  1. Wrap the potato in tin foil and throw into the ashes of fire. Keep it in the coals for about 30 minutes.
  2. The tin foil won’t get too hot but still be careful when pulling out the potato from the fire. We suggest pulling it out with long tongs.
  3. Set up a baked potato bar with your favorite toppings. Chef Mahin recommends sour cream, your favorite cheese, fresh chives and bacon.

Charred corn on the cob with espelette, cotija cheese and fresh lime

corn on a tray on grass

1. Remove husk and cut the corn in half horizontally.
2. Skewer the corn with either metal skewers or thick wooden skewers. A quick tip: Soak the skewers in water overnight which will prevent them from burning.
3. Blister the corn over the fire until it is steaming and plump.
4. Remove from fire and place on a plate.
5. Cover with lime juice, butter, espelette, crumbled cotija cheese and cilantro.

For the full recipe for charred corn on the cob, click here.

BBQ Ribs with Home-made Rib Rub and Pineapple

slab of bbq ribs

  1. The campfire is nature’s way of re-heating your food. Chef Mahin recommends you prep your rack of ribs at home, rub them with your favorite BBQ sauce then wrap them in tin foil.
  2. Put them in a cooler and when you get to your fire pit, scoop some embers on top of the tin foil wrapped ribs. Re-heat for about two hours.

For Chef Mahin’s full rib recipe, click here.

Boozy hot chocolate topped with a toasted marshmallow 

hot chocolate in a camp mug

  1. For a sweet finish, take your favorite hot chocolate mix and heat over the fire until it comes to a slow boil.
  2. While it is warming up, toast a marshmallow over the fire to top your drink. This adds both a nutty and smokey flavor to your cocoa.
  3. Add a shot of Rumchata or Bailey’s to give your hot cocoa an extra kick!

You May Also Like...

How To
Here’s How to Make Pesto
May 21, 2018

Summer is upon us and one of our favorite seasonal condiments is pesto! You can make pesto with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Farm(ers Market) Right to Your Table: Brunch at Stella Barra
May 17, 2018

Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin (Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra Pizzeria, M Street Kitchen and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Rise & Shine: The Best Way to Breakfast During the Week
May 13, 2018

Early risers rejoice! We've rounded up all of our weekday breakfast specialties that will keep you…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate Mother’s Day 2018
May 11, 2018

That special woman who would do absolutely anything for you deserves a day to be celebrated. Join us…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gift Guide
May 10, 2018

Whether it's a birthday, the holiday season or any of the countless holidays throughout the year,…

read more >
In The Restaurants
21 Dishes for Celiac Awareness Month
May 7, 2018

May is Celiac Awareness Month, so we've rounded up our favorite gluten-free dishes that you have to…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Guide to the 26 Best Burgers to Try During National Burger Month
Apr 30, 2018

Burgers deserve a full month of celebrations which is why May has been declared National Burger…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Apr 21, 2018

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Here are all the happy hour deals at select Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season
Apr 20, 2018

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
Apr 11, 2018

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Trending Now: Matcha
Apr 10, 2018

For all those who are matcha obsessed our chefs and mixologists have incorporated this…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Apr 8, 2018

Finding gluten-free friendly restaurants has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. At Lettuce…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Make Way for the New Fleet Of Thin Sin Pizzas at Stella Barra
Mar 30, 2018

Stella Barra Pizzeria  just introduced a new fleet of thin sin pizzas at all locations and trust us…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Dishes and Drinks with the Color of the Year: Ultra Violet
Mar 30, 2018

Every year, Pantone, the creator of colors, announces their choice in what the Color of the Year is…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate Passover 2018
Mar 29, 2018

Join us for your Passover dinner this year on March 30 and March 31. Select Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Easter 2018
Mar 28, 2018

Celebrate the end of Lent and bring the whole family in for Easter. Whether you're looking for…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Kid-Friendly Dining Options and Activities
Mar 15, 2018

You've been to the zoo, the beach, the pool... the kids are starting to get stir crazy. We've got…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Meet the Women Behind Some of Your Favorite Desserts
Mar 7, 2018

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8 (and every day) we want to give a shout out and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
St Paddy’s Day 2018
Mar 1, 2018

St. Patrick's Day calls for corned beef, cabbage and all of the beer! Lucky for you, our restaurants…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Stella Barra’s Newest Happy Hour with Pizza by the Slice
Feb 28, 2018

How do you Happy Hour? Stella Barra Pizzeria has all the answers, with a new menu that just debuted…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce in Love: Weddings with Lettuce Parties
Feb 13, 2018

It's almost Valentine's Day and love is in the air. Believe it or not it's a tale as old as time (or…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your New Happy Hour Destination: M Street Kitchen
Feb 10, 2018

Calling all of our friends in Cali! Do you like happy hour deals just blocks from the beach? Well,…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Few of Our Favorite Pizzas for National Pizza Day
Feb 9, 2018

There's a food holiday out there for everything but today (February 9) is National Pizza Day and we…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Presidents Day 2018
Feb 8, 2018

Enjoy your long weekend on Presidents Day (Monday, February 19) by staying up late, sleeping in and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to go on Valentine’s Day 2018
Feb 4, 2018

Have you made your Valentine's Day plans yet? It's right around the corner and there's lots of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Big Game 2018: Where to Watch and What to Carry-out
Jan 25, 2018

Need a place to watch the big game on Sunday, February 4, 2018? The below restaurants are a great…

read more >
How To
How To Make the Perfect Game Day Dip
Jan 22, 2018

A staple for your Big Game Sunday spread is a delicious dip! In case you need some inspiration, we…

read more >
How To
Already Fell Off the Healthy New Year’s Resolution Wagon? Let’s Eat.
Jan 12, 2018

"New Year, Same Me" more your speed? Well, we're right there with you. Celebrate one of our favorite…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat: Martin Luther King Day 2018
Jan 6, 2018

A long weekend calls for long brunches filled with sweet and savory treats. And don't forget about…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Cheers for Mocktails
Jan 3, 2018

If you're doing Dry January, mocktails are the perfect way to still enjoy Happy Hour without the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Our Chef’s Predictions and Resolutions for 2018
Jan 2, 2018

Our chefs aren't psychic but they do have a finger on the pulse of what's on the horizon for the New…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
Jan 2, 2018

Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin of Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra Pizzeria, M Street…

read more >
How To
You’ve Made Your Healthy Eating Resolution: Here’s How to Stay on the Wagon
Jan 2, 2018

When the new year strikes we all inevitably vow to eat healthy, exercise more, drink less; just be…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Vegetarian Comfort Food
Dec 28, 2017

A New Year's resolution that we are making is to incorporate more veggies into our diet, but it's…

read more >
How To
Gift Guide: Beyond a Bottle of Wine
Dec 15, 2017

Your mother told you this a million times and it still holds true today - never go to a party…

read more >
How To
12 Days of Holiday Cookies
Dec 4, 2017

‘Twas the first day of the holiday season, one of cheer and treats The best month to warm up by…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Best Spots for Group Dining
Nov 25, 2017

You finally got the whole crew to agree on the same day and time, now you just have to find the…

read more >
How To
Thanksgiving Leftovers Can Transform Your Brunch
Nov 22, 2017

Everyone knows the real reason you look forward to Thanksgiving is for the leftovers. So don’t…

read more >
How To
A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Thanksgiving Wines
Nov 7, 2017

Fact: wine stores are intimidating. More truth: we're here to help! We've tapped the minds of our…

read more >
How To
How to Host Friendsgiving
Nov 1, 2017

Friendsgiving (n): the turkey-centric festive feast held by your chosen family - your friends - to…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
Only on Thursdays: Alaskan King Crab & Burgers at Oyster Bah
May 23, 2018

Why wait for the weekend to have all the fun because every Thursday night at Oyster Bah, in the Low…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Let’s Do Lunch! Meet You at Booth One
May 22, 2018

It seems that no one ever has time for lunch, which is often replaced by a quick snack between…

read more >
How To
Here’s How to Make Pesto
May 21, 2018

Summer is upon us and one of our favorite seasonal condiments is pesto! You can make pesto with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Farm(ers Market) Right to Your Table: Brunch at Stella Barra
May 17, 2018

Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin (Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra Pizzeria, M Street Kitchen and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Now Serving: Happy Hour at Antico Posto
May 17, 2018

Here’s something to get “happy” about. You can now enjoy Antico Posto for lunch, dinner and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Brunching in the Chicago Burbs?
May 16, 2018

When planning your weekend, brunch should always be a priority and trust us, there’s lox to love…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Windy City Smokeout Presents the Country Music Stars of Tomorrow
May 13, 2018

Windy City Smokeout is returning to Chicago on July 13-15! Known for showcasing country music's…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Rise & Shine: The Best Way to Breakfast During the Week
May 13, 2018

Early risers rejoice! We've rounded up all of our weekday breakfast specialties that will keep you…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate Mother’s Day 2018
May 11, 2018

That special woman who would do absolutely anything for you deserves a day to be celebrated. Join us…

read more >
How To
How To: Make a Restaurant-Quality Dinner at Home
May 11, 2018

Our friends at Peapod are making it easier for you to enjoy your favorite dishes from Wildfire and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gift Guide
May 10, 2018

Whether it's a birthday, the holiday season or any of the countless holidays throughout the year,…

read more >
In The Restaurants
You Can Now Order a Whole Alaskan King Crab at Shaw’s Chicago
May 8, 2018

After a trip out to Akutan, Alaska last fall, the team from Shaw's Crab House in Chicago was in awe…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now

Lettuce on Instagram

Checkout our feed @lettuceentertainyou!