Most every conversation in the field eventually winds its way back to food. So having a varied and interesting menu is critical. Here are some of the recipes we take along with us to nourish, comfort, and entertain. If servings seem large, it's because they are. After 8 hours of walking rugged terrain looking for fossils, you are ready to throw back an enormous amount of food. Warning: everything tastes 80 times better in the field so if you try serving these at home to guests, don't blame us if you lose some friends!!
Download a pdf of all 11 recipes here
PARRY ISLANDS GUMBO
One of the originals. This is a version of the recipe we used to make in Nova Scotia
- 1 package freeze dried shrimp
- 5 cans crab meat
- 12 tablespoons ghee
- 2 oz freeze dried onions
- 1 1/2 oz freeze dried bell pepper mix
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic or equivilant from tube
- 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon file gumbo
- 1 1/2 tablespoon dried chives
- 3 cups of water or wine
- Tony's Famous Creole Seasoning to taste
- Tony's roux and gravy mix (as thickner to taste)
- Gumbo File
- Cayenne to taste
Hydrate shrimp and onions-pepper separately. Melt ghee in pressure cooker. Season shrimp generously with Tony's Creole seasoning. Add paprika to ghee. Sauté shrimp about five minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside.
Sauté onions and peppers about five-ten minutes. Return shrimp to pot and add 3 cups of water/wine and Worcestershire sauce. Stir and simmer slowly until done about 40 minutes. Check for taste, add more Worcestershire sauce/seasoning if necessary. Add mixture of roux mix and file gumbo and water slowly until thickened.
Serve with rice (make three cups dry) and garnish with died chives. (Serves 6)
If we're honest with ourselves, this is just a vehicle for mashed potatoes. After about 7 days in the field all people want is comfort food. And what are mashed potatoes if not the ultimate comfort food?
- 1 package mixed vegetables
- 3 packets gravy mix
- 1 package freeze-dried beef
- mashed potatoes to hunger-level
- pantry spices
Hydrate and blast beef and vegetables with ghee or oil. Add spices to taste (garlic, herbs, pepper). Thicken mixture with roux mix, file or extra gravy mix.
Mix mashed potatoes with water and milk. Mashed potatoes can be spiced gently with garlic, pepper, parmesian (even a dash of pesto mix).
- 2 serving options:
- Normal: spuds and beef
- Rainy Day (i.e., lots of time & fuel): in smaller pot, cover beef mixture with spuds. Add layer of cheese and strips of bacon on top. Bake ‘till cheese is melted and pot is impossible to clean.
SPAGHETTI w. MEAT SAUCE
- 6 oz Beef, freeze dried
- 2 oz Onions
- 1 oz Peppers
- .25 oz Mushrooms: shitake, portabello, MOREL, sliced & freeze dried or dehydrated
- 1 oz Tomato, diced, dehydrated
- 4 oz Tomato powder
- 2 oz Carrots
- 1 tube Garlic extract
- 1 tube Tomato paste Spices
- 1 Tbsp parsley
- 1 bayleaf
- 2 tsp basil
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp chilis
- 1 tsp cayenne
- black pepper
- 2 lb Spaghetti
Throw all the dehydrated ingredients into a pot and cover with water. Let rehydrate for 30 minutes, then add a tad more water and bring to a boil. Let simmer while noodles cook. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Apply hot sauce liberally.
*Note: Depending on the year, we also dehydrated marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought, again, depending on the year) in our home dehydrator. The result is a savory fruit-leather of tomato sauce that is easy to pack and store and you can't beat the convenience – it rehydrates quickly and easily and tastes like home.
Directions for dehydrating (courtesy of Ann Monoyios who makes this sort of thing for Arctic canoe trips): For best results, purée your sauce in small batches before dehydrating so it dries more evenly. Dehydrate (2 C/tray) at 120 degrees for 12-24 hours until it becomes a "leather." Cool and wrap in cling wrap or plastic, label and store in cool, dark place. At the fireside, rehydrate sauce in hot water and simmer until completely dissolved. Pour over pasta and serve. Can also be used for pizza, calzone or in chili, etc.