Saturday, August 11, 2012

Simple camp meal prepared cast iron skillet and grill

Tonight's dinner began as a way to use some Farmer's Market produce, the country sausage that I prepared last week and a container of crushed tomatoes in the refrigerator. Since the forecast called for temperatures in the 100s in the California Mother Lode, cooking the meal outdoors save us from overheating the house. Except for the pasta, I used my Griswold #10 skillet and Camp Chef Sport Grill to cook the meal.

Here's the menu:
  • Spaghetti with country sausage tomato sauce and garnished with toasted bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese
  • Grilled summer squash marinated in a balsamic reduction
  • Sliced cucumbers with sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil
To prepare the tomato sauce, I sauteed about 1 pound of country sausage with 1/2 chopped onion until the sausage was cooked. I then poured a 1/2 cup of Madeira wine over the sausage and cooked it until most of the wine had evaporated. About 2 cups of crushed tomatoes and 6 tablespoons of half and half were then stirred into the skillet. The sauce simmered over low heat for about 30 minutes. Since I let the sausage season the tomato sauce, no additional seasoning was needed.

I served the sauce over a plate of cooked spaghetti and garnished it with toasted bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. The bread crumbs added an interesting contrast in texture to the pasta dish.

To prepare the balsamic reduction, I simmered 1 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 4 fat cloves of minced garlic in a saucepan until reduced by half. I then stirred in 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. Two sliced summer squashes were then marinated for several hours in the refrigerator.

I grilled the squash until browned and tender on a Camp Chef grill box. While the grill box doesn't give food traditional grill marks, it does give food great flavor.

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