Nearly three weeks have whooshed by and the Joshua Tree camping excursion is a misty memory now. Of course, yesterday evening is a bit misty, too. Time, however, can not diminish the memory of warm succulent cherry tomatoes bursting on the tongue, the spicy andouille sausages, sweet baby bell peppers and flavor-soaked mushrooms that my knight and I enjoyed from an iron skillet saute invented out of necessity: the necessity of needing to use what we brought so we didn't have to lug it home! There's nothing like cooking in an iron skillet over an open fire. And no, the boys wouldn't eat it.
First, you need an open sky...
a fire, grate and an iron skillet. Ours is pretty well seasoned. (* Iron skillets are not washed, but oiled and put in your oven at 500 degrees for cleaning. The skillet then begins to be seasoned through repeated cooking, oiling and heating which adds to the flavor)
Mushrooms first--they have a lot of moisture and require a lot of time to get that moisture evaporated--and, of course the stray s'more angling for some heat. Most people wouldn't hear of s'moring until the evening, but not our brood.
Carrots and sausages next. Carrots because they are the hardest thing we are using today (need more time than say a bell pepper to soften).
See the carrots looking softer and glazed, the sausage showing the signs of being well on its way, the mushrooms looking moist and browned a bit...see that? Now it's time for the jalapenos and mini bell peppers.
Last, but certainly not least, are the organic cherry tomatoes! We added our veg in stages of hardness. Our deceptively moist mushrooms went first, though. Otherwise, those items that are hardest and therefore require more time would go in first, while our tomatoes, the softest, would go in last. If they all went in at the same time, the tomatoes would disintegrate before the carrots ever got soft. Thus timing.
Then for a large pinch of my Knight's very convenient seasoning mix (sea salt, cracked pepper and red pepper flakes).
Now let it cook. Moving things around with your fire forks because this will make you feel like your really roughing it (or because, like us, you forgot to bring a spoon of any kind).
Then my Knight, with his resourceful instincts, will rig up some way to get that skillet off the grill and over to...
ummmmhhh...somewhere...how 'bout like a rock. (*note to self: bring hot pads to campsite)
Now for the feast! And after feasting...
MUST GO CLIMB ROCK!