Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Creative Camp Food

I recently returned from camping in Namibia where I was reminded how fun cooking on a fire in nature, with limited ingredients and good company, is.

I find holiday is the time when we are really able to enjoy cooking and for South Africans the braai fire is a place that brings people together, be it in your backyard or in the middle of the Kalahari.
The braai is a meal where everyone contributes and the rules of the kitchen are out of the window, so to speak. Most of us have fond childhood memories of tomato, cheese and onion braaibroodjies, warm roosterkoek with apricot jam or home-made sosaties straight off the grid.

These are a few of my favourite outdoor cooking recipes, but be adventurous and add your own flavour!


Poached eggs in chunky tomato sauce
This is one of my all time favourite camp meals and on a Sunday evening, it becomes the ultimate comfort food – quick, easy and delicious.
Optionally, add chorizo sausage to add a hint of smokiness.

2 tbsp of olive oil
10 ml tomato puree
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 onions, chopped
1 tsp dry oreganum or a bunch of fresh oreganum or thyme
1 tsp sugar
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 eggs per person
1 chilli or 1 tsp paprika

A big, deep non-stick pan works best for this dish, but a pot can also work.

• Heat the pan, add the olive oil, chilli, tomato paste and onion and cook on a low heat until the onion is soft. Then, add the tinned tomatoes.
• Add ½ c to 1 cup water, the sugar and the herbs and allow the sauce to simmer without covering the pan.
• Once the sauce has reduced slightly, you can add the salt and the pepper, to taste.
• Now carefully break the eggs into the tomato sauce evenly spaced, reduce the heat and cover the pan with a lid until the eggs are cooked, but the yellow of the egg is still soft.

Serve this with warm pot bread for a rustic feast!

Beer bread baked in a cast iron pot

Tip: Add onion, dried herbs or sundried tomatoes to give your bread extra flavour. Roll the dough into individual rolls after knocking the bread back and pack them closely together to make small breads that can easily be broken apart, when cooked.

20g dried yeast
2 tsp sugar
300ml beer
300-350ml tepid water
1kg bread flour (brown or white)
30g salt
Some extra flour for dusting and kneading

• Dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the tepid water.
• In the same pot that you’ll be baking the bread, measure the flour and the salt and make a well in the centre.
• Pour all the dissolved yeast mixture into the centre and with four fingers of one hand make circular movements slowly mixing more and more of the dry flour into the dough. Add your 300ml of your favourite beer and continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated to make moist dough. You might need to add some extra water.
• Now knead and dough on a clean, floured surface, folding and rolling the dough over for about 5 minutes. If the dough sticks to your hands, simple rub them together with some extra flour and continue kneading! This is the time to add any additional ingredients, like herbs.
• Shape the bread into a round or oval shape, dust it with a little extra flour and scour the surface of the dough, if you like. Clean the pot and dust it with a little flour. Place the dough in the pot, cover and place it near the fire for about an hour, turning it, if needed.
• When the bread has doubled in sized, it’s time to ‘knock it back’, this is simply kneading the dough again and reshaping the bread. Place it back in the pot and allow it to prove for another 30-40 minutes next to the coals. When it has doubled in size again, it’s time to bake!
• Make sure you coordinate your preparation time and the coals being just perfect for baking your bread.
• Place the pot on a bed of coals as well as placing some coals on top of the pot lid. Check the bread after 30 minutes to make sure it’s not burning and is baking evenly, bake for a further 30-40 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when you tap the bottom on the bread.
• Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing it.

Fruit Skewers with chocolate fondue
200g dark chocolate
60g butter
60ml sugar
180g evaporated milk
30ml brandy or liqueur of your choice
Ripe nectarines, peaches, pineapple or other fruit of your choice.


Melt the chocolate and the butter in a small pot over a low heat.
Add the sugar and gradually add the evaporated milk, while stirring.
Once the sugar has melted, add the brandy or liqueur of your choice.
Cut the fruit into bight sized chunks and make fruit skewers.
Cook over a hot fire for 3-5 minutes, turning them once.
Dip in warm chocolate sauce and enjoy a delicious dessert around the camp fire.


  1. Loving this blog Nelleke, its great...such inspiration for me!

  2. Dankie, ons sal dit probeer! Klink baie lekker!

  3. Thanks for the comments, I am glad it is inspiration!