Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hut Trip Recipe’s from the Board Retreat

Contributing to a team is one of the most fulfilling activities. As part of the Outdoor Mindset board, I was proud to volunteer as the dinner chef for our 1st annual Board Retreat to the Froelicher Hut. Many people pack freeze dried food easy for backpacking on these overnight excursions, but I refuse (to my boyfriend’s dismay). The fresher the ingredients the better! This may take more time planning and prepping, but I love the process and creativity. Cooking and entertaining is one of my favorite activities. Not a minute goes by that I do not think about what I am making for breakfast (strong coffee included), taking for lunch or chef-ing for dinner! Many people find comfort on the couch or outdoors on a porch swing. My favorite place is in the kitchen! With wine glass in hand, the ladies and I prepped the nights feast in no time. After a long successful day of brainstorming, goal planning and dancing to Michael Jackson (please attach video here), everyone was starving! The cold Asian Cucumber Salad and Spicy Thai Rice Noodles was a perfect “family” meal! I wish I had pictures, but you will just have to imagine the most delicious meal complimented by great friends in a magical mountain top setting that the hut provided for us.

I would like to thank Cooking Light for the inspiration and recipes below. I tripled these recipes for the 12 of us. For the hut trip and ease of transport in our packs, I made the sauces & dressings ahead of time and prepped most of the veggies and chicken. Don’t forget to hand out a bag of ingredients to each hiker to “spread the love” of additional weight. Also never forget wine for the chefs while they are cooking!
Asian Cucumber Salad
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 Cucumbers (seeded)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup Rive Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1. Cut Cucumbers. Mix next 5 ingredients for dressing. Top with sesame seeds.
2. Cover and chill for 20 min.

Thai Rice Noodles with Chicken (Hut Trip Style)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided
1 rotisserie chicken. Shredded.
8 ounces 1/2-inch-thick rice noodles
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
3 tablespoons thinly diagonally sliced green onions
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup torn fresh cilantro
½ cup of each carrots, onion, bell peppers, napa cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms
2 cup spinach

1. DAY AHEAD: Shred rotisserie chicken and pack in zip locks, then freeze overnight (best for transport and food safety!)
2. Soak noodles in hot water 15 minutes or until somewhat soft but still slightly chewy. Drain well.
3. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, sugar, and next 4 ingredients (through chile paste). Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt.
4. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add green onions, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 45 seconds or just until golden and fragrant. Add the rest of the veggies in order from longest cooking times to shortest. I did carrots and bell peppers. Then steam the broccoli, napa cabbage, mushrooms & shredded chicken in the same pan as everything else. Last but not least for the veggies- the spinach! Add noodles; cook 30 seconds, tossing well. Stir in sugar liquid mixture. Top each with 2 tablespoons cilantro.

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