Forest school campfire cooking
Here at Flo & Fawn, we love a bit of Forest School campfire cooking!
In this blog post, I share some flavoured butter recipe ideas designed to add flavour to already delicious corn on the cob – perfect for your next Forest School campfire cooking session.
If you give any of these recipes a try with your own Wild Tribe, please share the results with us here at Flo & Fawn, or tag us on social media @floandfawn.
Corn on the Cob with flavoured butter
Corn on the cob is one of my family’s favourite things to cook outside.
Easy to transport and cook as it comes with its own wrapper, it keeps its sweetness whilst taking on the delicious smokiness that sets campfire food apart.
Soaking the corn before popping them on the fire will help steam the kernels so they don’t dry out and prevents the husks from catching fire so quickly. If they do catch fire its not the end of the world, just put them out and you’ll have a slightly more smokey flavour.
They can either be placed on a grill above the fire or in the embers and take about 5 minutes to cook.
Children love the drama of unwrapping the husks to discover their corn hidden inside.
If you want to get them more involved in the cooking flavoured butters are simple to make. They work best with a pestle and mortar as this removes any knives from the process so even young children can safely join in.
Below are some of my favourites but the possibilities are pretty endless. The key is to make sure that you’re not combining the butter with too much liquid, and if you are adding liquid oils are best as water won’t mix with the fats and you can end up with more of a salad dressing than a butter (though arguably still something tasty).
Once your corn is cooked simply pull off all the husk and slather with your chosen butter.
Wild Garlic Butter
Because let’s face it anything tastes great with garlic butter on!
Wild garlic can be found growing all over the UK in springtime and is a great place to start if you’re new to foraging as its distinctive smell makes it easy to identify. You can use both the leaves and the flowers to make the butter, and a little bit goes a very long way.
Add a few leaves of wild garlic to the pestle and mortar with some salt to help break up the leaves and grind to a smooth paste. Mash this together with unsalted butter till just combined, but not so much that the butter warms up and becomes too runny. Sprinkle with the wild garlic flowers and its ready to serve.
Use any leftovers for garlic bread, stirring through pasta, or spreading on field mushrooms before barbequing.
Morrocan Spiced butter with rose petals
Ras El Hanout is a blend of herbs and spices used in all sorts of North African dishes. It goes extremely well with the smokey sweet flavours of campfire cooked corn, changing it into something more exotic but equally delicious.
You can buy Ras El Hanout from most supermarkets, but it’s very easy to make and toasting the spices on the fire before crushing them yourself makes for a more fragrant butter.
Incidentally making dried rose petals is also very simple. Pick flowers that have just opened rather than those starting to shatter and remove any damaged petals.
If you have the time then leaving them in a warm dry place spread thinly on a tea towel for a few days turning each day. If you’re in a rush or don’t have a suitable spot they can be dried in the microwave by spreading in a single layer on a kitchen towel and zapping for 30-second stints till crisp.
Making your own Ras El Hanout also allows you to customise your blend adding more or less of the different spices to tailor it to your taste, there is no definitive recipe so feel free to experiment.
My Ras El Hanout combines whole cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns and cardamom pods, with ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground turmeric.
First toast the whole spices in a pan on the fire till fragrant, then add all the spices to a pestle and mortar and grind till smooth.
Sprinkle in a good pinch of saffron and rose petals and mix lightly so as not to completely crush these. Stir through salted butter and allow the flavours to infuse overnight or use straight away.
Charred chilli butter
Just two ingredients but this butter add some kick to your corn.
Your choice of chilli will have a big impact on how fiery your butter is. Thai Birdseye chillis or Scotch Bonnet will give you serious heat, but a milder red or green chilli adds warmth without being so worried about accidentally getting it in your eye!
The easiest way to char them is to poke them on to a stick or skewer and treat the same as you would a marshmallow, holding it close to glowing wood rather than directly in the flames so the flesh softens a little before the outside catches fire, turning it slowly so it cooks evenly.
For extra smokiness hold it in the flame for a short burst at the very end.
Once charred remove the stalk and seeds and grind to a smooth pulp in the pestle and mortar with a large pinch of salt. Stir through unsalted butter and its ready to liven up your corn.
Bacon and Cheese butter
A classic combination, this butter is great for an American style cookout.
The first thing is to cook your bacon as it needs to be completely cool before you mix it with the butter.
Streaky bacon is important here as you want plenty of fat to meat to add flavour whilst keeping the butter smooth, and grill till its really crispy.
When cool, break up the bacon in the pestle and mortar into a fine crumb, add unsalted butter and finely grated cheddar cheese and mix to combine. Using scissors snip a small bunch of chives in (a great way for children to work on their motor skills) and give a final stir before serving.
Sign-up here to get our email newsletter with fun forest school tips and first access to activity dates.