Tuesday, April 8, 2008

why not engage the tongue?

Unlike backpacking where weight is a major concern and space is limited, Canoe Camping allows you to bring anything and everything you'd would if you were "drive-up" camping. But, if you bring ultralight-backpacking equipment on a canoe, it allows you to bring even more food and beer along, ie. "essentials".  Instead of a 15 lb, two burner Coleman stove, two 2.5 oz Snow Peak Giga Power backpacking stoves make more sense, they weigh less and take up less space; hence,  more wine and cheese.
     This is where pure gourmet gluttony enters the picture. Ok, so camping doesn't scream out fillet Mignon with black truffle potato gratin or soft shell crab sandwiches on fresh camp cooked sourdough, but that's only because you don't have the balls! 
     I'm fucked up. People accuse me of over-doing-it or "doing-it-up". Yes, I am a guilty motherfucker. For me, it's not just camping with freeze dried dinner and trail mix snacks, its a gourmet adventure. A waterfall or gorgeous mountain view from a river bend-beach is why we come, but, that experience can be enhanced by a procuitto, cappicolla, bufalo mozzarella, tomato & basil panini on fresh baguette, drizzled with a fine extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepp, which just happened to be our first lunch on the river. I mean, come on! Am I wrong? While your eyes and ears are getting high from the views and sounds of nature that some consider spiritual, why not engage the tongue? 
     Canoe camp-cooking is a pain in the ass. The more you can do ahead the better. I got my mandolin out the night before we launched, and dealt out the thin cards of a potato dish that drives you out of your mind. Potatoes, butter, cream and truffles, dude. 

8-10 purple potatoes (red can substitute)
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 large shallot, diced
1 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup melted butter
kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup white truffle oil
1 black truffle (if you cant find one, use more white truffle oil)

Slice the potato super thin on a mandolin (don't have a mandolin?, get em consistently even and as thin as possible).
Butter a Pyrex baking dish
Lay out a layer of potatoes
Drizzle with heavy cream, butter, extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of garlic, a sprinkle of shallots, salt,  pepper and Parmesan.
Lay out another layer of potatoes, 
Drizzle again with heavy cream butter, extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of garlic, a sprinkle of shallots, salt, pepper and Parmesan
Repeat this until the Pyrex is full
The cream, butter and oil should fill up 3/4 of the height of the Pyrex
dust the top with an extra sprinkle of parm and bake, cover in foil, at 350 for 45 min
remove from oven when you have a nice light brown crust and the insides are bubbling out the edges.
let sit to cool
slice into 4 in squares
shave black truffle over each piece
drizzle each with white truffle oil 
and serve beeyotch
(or in this case put in Tupperware and refrigerate 'til you leave)

as for the fillet?.........