VTStateParksCooks

VTStateParksCooks

Suzanne Podhaizer
Suzanne Podhaizer, Campfire Chef

Welcome to Vermont State Parks Cooks, an exciting new program geared towards helping you enjoy cooking over your campfire at Vermont’s 55 beautiful state parks. All summer, we’ll be sharing creative recipes that can be prepared with minimal equipment, and which make use of the bounty of ingredients made and grown by the state’s farmers and food producers.

Each week, we’ll release a set of themed recipes and photographs. We’ll also be creating cooking videos, printed cooking pamphlets, and online resources. Throughout the season, we’ll offer cooking classes at some of the most popular parks. Have a burning question? Email us at vtstateparks.cooks@gmail.com, and we’ll help you find the answer.

Suzanne Podhaizer is a chef, journalist, cooking educator, and erstwhile goose farmer. She was the first food editor of Seven Days newspaper, owned Salt Café — a farm-to-table restaurant in Montpelier — and is a founder of Sel de la Terre, a multifaceted food education, multimedia, and consulting business that offers public and private cooking classes, recipe development, and pop-up dinners.

This spring, Suzanne reached out to the Vermont State Parks about collaborating on a project centered around campfire cooking, and VT State Parks Cooks was born!

Find us here at and on Instagram at @vtstateparkscooks

From Suzanne This Week: Breakfast Anytime

Steak in the morning, pancakes at sunset...some people have rules about what you're supposed to eat at different times of day, but spaghetti and meatballs is just as good at 8 a.m. as it is at 8 p.m., and toast with eggs and cheese is a super snack. As long as you get all of the nutrients you need, anything goes!

These are foods that can be served for breakfast but can be eaten any old time you want!

Have any burning questions? Send ‘em to vermontstateparks.cooks@gmail.com

Sausage & Tater Skewers

Sausage Tater Skewers
Click on image to view and print full size recipe

The idea for this dish came to me after I made some kebabs for a wedding I catered. I had dozens of skewers rolling around in my car, and I kept stabbing myself on them, so I wanted to use them up! This is how new recipes are born!

Want an egg with that? I threw a couple of eggs on the grate while I was cooking, turned them regularly, and took them off when they were hot on all sides (after 10-12 minutes). They peeled more nicely than I had imagined they would, and really rounded out skewers.

Ingredients

You'll need wooden skewers for this dish

  • Olives
  • Leftover or fresh foil-roasted potatoes
  • Sausage (I used breakfast sausage but any kind would be great), cut into chunks
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Condiments for serving

Directions

  1. Thread the different items onto the skewers in patterns that look pleasing to your eye. I like to start and end with green olives because they're grippy and hold all of the items in place. My skewers went: olive, sausage chuck, onion, potato, onion, sausage chunk, potato, olive.
  2. Season the skewered food with salt and pepper and any other spices you'd like.
  3. Brush the grate/grill with oil to keep the ingredients from sticking.
  4. Grill the skewers until the meat is done. Getting a little color on the meat and veggies is ideal but not required.
  5. Serve wtih an condiments you'd like: pesto, ketchup, may, chimchurri, barbecue sauce, you name it!

Fire Toasted Oats

Fire Toasted Oats
Click on image to view and print full size recipe

This is basically granola, but because the temperature of the fire is harder to control than that of an oven, I cook my oats without sweetener, and add a little bit of brown sugar or maple syrup, later on.

Ingredients

  • Rolled oats
  • Sunflower oil
  • Salt
  • Toasted nuts
  • Cinnamon and other pie spices
  • Dried fruits, chopped
  • Maple syrup or honey

Directions

  1. Butter or oil a piece of foil and fold it into a tray. Or, use a cookie sheet if you've got one.
  2. Toss the oats with sunflower oil and salt and toast until browned and a little crispy, stirring regularly.Remove from heat.
  3. When the oats have cooled, stir in nuts and fruits and sprinkle with cinnamon and other spiece if you'd like (I used some cardamom).
  4. Drizzle on some oil and then the vinegar or lemon juice.
  5. Serve with milk or yogurt and drizzle with honey or maple syrup.

Grilled Bananas with Peanut Butter & Smoked Salt

Grilled Bananas with Peanut Butter & Smoked Salt
Click on image to view and print full size recipe

Browning bananas makes them taste almost like candy. If you want a campfire dessert that's just a little bit healthier than a s'more, this might be it!

Ingredients

  • Sunflower oil
  • Bananas, cut in half lengthwise
  • Peanut Butter
  • Smoked salt
  • Allspice
  • Dried fruits, chopped
  • Maple syrup or honey

Directions

  1. Oil the grill and place the halved bananas cut side down over the flames.
  2. As the bananas cook the skin around the edges will start to darken.
  3. When a banana has gotten some nice browning on the fire-facing side, flip it so that the skin side is on the grate and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Remove the bananas from the heat and smear wtih a thin layer of peanut butter. Sprinkle on the smoked salt and allspice.
  5. If you wish, you can mix honey and rum to make an excellent drizzle, but if you're trying to avoid extra sugar, the bananas are pretty sweet on their own.

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