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), 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...

In The Restaurants
DC & Bethesda Restaurant Week 2019
Jan 15, 2019

DC Restaurant Week (January 14 - 20) and Bethesda Magazine Restaurant Week (January 11 - 20) are…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Big Game Day Carry-out + Brunch Specials 2019: Los Angeles
Jan 13, 2019

The Big Game is February 3, 2019 and if you are in Los Angeles, Stella Barra in Santa Monica and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Jan 13, 2019

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

read more >
How To
Already Fell Off the Healthy New Year’s Resolution Wagon? Let’s Eat.
Jan 13, 2019

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Chicago Restaurant Week 2019
Jan 12, 2019

Have you been dying to try one of our Chicago restaurants but were waiting for a sign? Well, Chicago…

read more >
In The Restaurants
8 Food Trends We’re Looking Forward To In 2019
Jan 8, 2019

Just like fashion, food is always trending and it’s up to the experts to decide what’s “in”…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
Jan 8, 2019

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
Cheers for Mocktails
Jan 8, 2019

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Brunch this Weekend
Jan 3, 2019

If you're anything like us, you plan your weekend around brunch. Here is your guide to all of our…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Kid-Friendly Dining Options and Activities
Jan 2, 2019

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
A Gift Guide for the Food Lover in Your Life
Dec 5, 2018

Whether a birthday, graduation or any other of the countless holidays, we're here to make selecting…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Griddled Turkey Breakfast Sandwich
Nov 23, 2018

The day after Thanksgiving it’s inevitable there will be leftover turkey. According to our Chef…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Nov 18, 2018

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Fall Harvest’s Best Dishes
Nov 1, 2018

The bounty of fall harvest comes at a time in the year when we are craving the comfort of cool…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Pancakes with Cranberry Relish and Orange Zest
Oct 31, 2018

The morning after Thanksgiving leaves a lot of leftovers to be transformed. Jeff Mahin, Chef/…

read more >
In The Restaurants
All Pumpkin, Everything
Oct 20, 2018

'Tis the season for everyone's favorite fall ingredient, pumpkin. Whether you're preparing pumpkin…

read more >
In The Restaurants
It’s Apple Season: Where To Eat ‘Em
Oct 16, 2018

Yeah, yeah, pumpkin this and pumpkin that, but let us not forget about our other favorite fall…

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Detroit-Style Pan Pizza Rises at Stella Barra Hollywood
Sep 20, 2018

The Detroit-style pan pizza craze has swept the Midwest for years, and now, it has reached the West…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Guide to Game Day Grub 2018
Sep 14, 2018

Fall is the kick-off to football season and no matter what team you are rootin' for, several of our…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Fall Foliage on the Horizon: Five Ways to Enjoy the Season
Aug 28, 2018

As summer dwindles down, our days are getting chillier and the leaves are starting to turn. Fall is…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season
Aug 10, 2018

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

read more >
How To
All the Ways to Rosé this Summer
Aug 6, 2018

Let’s face it, rosé is welcome all day, every day. We’re here to help you navigate your way…

read more >
In The Restaurants
One of Our Favorite Things About Summer: Heirloom Tomatoes
Aug 1, 2018

As we savor the last months of the summer season, our chefs are just getting ready to add heirloom…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: Meet Avril Zayas, Senior Designer
Jul 30, 2018

Welcome to Lettuce Life, a behind the scenes look at what makes Lettuce Entertain You special: our…

read more >
How To
This Summer, Grill Like A Chef. Here’s How
Jul 19, 2018

Executive Chef Justin Diglia of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in Chicago and his…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Summer Ice Cream Checklist
Jul 19, 2018

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM...we all know the drill so let's get to the good stuff. July is National Ice…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Jeff Mahin’s Grilled Peaches & Burrata
Jul 19, 2018

Nothing screams summer more than ripe, sweet peaches! Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin of Stella…

read more >
In The Restaurants
4th of July 2018
Jul 3, 2018

It's that time of year to don your red, white and blue, fire up the grill and, of course, celebrate…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Be Your Summer Cookout’s Hero
Jul 2, 2018

It's 4th of July weekend and we know you don't want to show up empty-handed to your BBQ. We're here…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Somm Picks: Top Bottles Under $50
Jun 26, 2018

Searching through wine lists can be a daunting task. Thumbing through dozens of pages filled with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Rich Says You’ve Gotta Try: Stella Barra Pizzeria
Jun 13, 2018

Summer time is typically synonymous with (trying to) eat lighter but what if we told you that what…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Unconventional Wine Regions of the World
May 24, 2018

Everyone loves a great Napa Cab or Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, but lately, our LEYE Wine…

read more >
How To
Recipe: 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 and Do-Rite Donuts)…

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
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
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 >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
Now Serving: Di Pescara Thursday Night Lobster Special
Jan 17, 2019

Kick off the weekend early with this amazing deal! Di Pescara, located in Northbrook Court, is now…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Building The Perfect Bowl Of Ramen
Jan 16, 2019

'Tis the season for a hearty bowl of ramen to warm you up during these colder winter months. But…

read more >
In The Restaurants
DC & Bethesda Restaurant Week 2019
Jan 15, 2019

DC Restaurant Week (January 14 - 20) and Bethesda Magazine Restaurant Week (January 11 - 20) are…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Mon Ami Gabi’s Braised Short Ribs
Jan 15, 2019

It's chilly outside and we've got the perfect winter dish to warm you up: Mon Ami Gabi's Braised…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Ozzie’s Pops & Pretzels Abuelita Hot Chocolate
Jan 14, 2019

Chef / Partner Ozzie Ocegueda of Ozzie's Pops and Pretzels is sharing his family hot chocolate…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Guide to Our Favorite Salads
Jan 14, 2019

A salad a day keeps the doctor away. Well, maybe not. But we know it can be tough keeping your New…

read more >
How To
8 Ways to Use Your Lettuce Gift Card
Jan 14, 2019

Racking your brain for the perfect gift? Here's an idea, how about a Lettuce Entertain You Gift…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Big Game Day Carry-out + Brunch Specials 2019: Los Angeles
Jan 13, 2019

The Big Game is February 3, 2019 and if you are in Los Angeles, Stella Barra in Santa Monica and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
What to Carry-Out and Where to Watch the Big Game 2019: Las Vegas
Jan 13, 2019

The Big Game is February 3, 2019 and if you are in Las Vegas, here are some of our restaurants that…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Big Game Day 2019: What to Carry-Out + Brunch Specials in D.C.
Jan 13, 2019

We're already looking forward to the Big Game on Sunday, February 3, 2019. Whether you're hosting at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Big Game is February 3, 2019: What to Carry-Out in the Twin Cities
Jan 13, 2019

The Big Game is Sunday, February 3, 2019 and this year stock your game day spread with Wildfire or…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Jan 13, 2019

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

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!