You'd think trying to prepare kamp kebobs while on a river trip, or for that matter any camping trip, would be a hassle, maybe even a disaster.
There are so many pieces to the gourmet puzzle that I thought we'd have meat and pineapple falling into the coals and veggies getting well done while the meat remained uncooked.
Timing is crucial in camp cuisine, and you don't want experiments in cooking on a river trip.
Rowers and paddlers are hungry after a day on the river and don't want to wait for dinner. They also don't want to know that dinner fell through, and we'd be opening a couple of freeze-dried backpacking meals to get us through.
My wife and I tried the kebob experiment on a recent float trip on the Grande Ronde River in Oregon, and I'm glad to report it worked, and that it was a hit.
It turned out to be a colorful work of art on the grill on top of the fire pan filled with white coals.
Nearby, we had a Dutch oven filled with Asian-spiced rice and the cooking timed to the kebobs.
It was sure a before-dinner conversation piece as I turned and moved the kebobs around the grill, and I kept peeking at the rice in the Dutch oven.
Everything cooked to perfection and right on time.
We pulled the wooden skewers off the grill and piled the meat, pineapple and veggies on top of a rice-filled bowl and enjoyed our success.
Here's the recipe from my wife Julie (she does the recipes and food preparation while I handle the grill, coals and spatula).
ASIAN PORK KEBOBS
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons sriracha Asian hot chili sauce or 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, quartered
1 zucchini and 1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
Can of pineapple rings.
At home, in a small bowl, combine the teriyaki sauce, vinegar, oil, honey and hot pepper sauce. Put it in a sealed container for the camp cooler with the other ingredients. Cut up the meat and freeze it in a plastic bag.
In the morning at camp, pour 1/3 cup marinade into a large, resealable plastic bag and add the pork. Seal bag and turn to coat the meat.
Refrigerate in your cooler until you are ready to cook. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for basting the veggies later.
At dinner time, soak wooden skewers and then cut up veggies.
Drain and discard marinade from pork. Don't use it for basting. Use the saved marinade for basting the veggies on the grill.
On some skewers, alternately thread the pork and pineapple chunks. On other skewers thread the veggies. Make sure your charcoal is white hot.
Grill kebobs, covered with aluminum foil, over the coals for 15 minutes or until meat is tender, turning occasionally and basting frequently with reserved marinade.
Yield: Four servings.
Have fun with this recipe in camp.
Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors