Outdoor Cooking: Curry Couscous with Dried Fruit & Cashews
The Midwestern Gentleman and I recently returned from a week camping on the North Shore of Minnesota with some friends. We ate a lot of great food on this trip, both in restaurants and at our campsites. Our first foray into camp cooking used our tiny, portable gas grill, but we were able to cook subsequent meals over the campfire — my favorite way to cook outdoors — thanks to the well-designed, highly functional, swiveling grill plates on every campfire pit in Minnesota’s state parks.
Before we hit the state parks, we spent a night on the shore of Pelican Lake at a private campground called Pine Acres. Our campsite included a dock with an exceptional view of the lake. We witnessed a muskrat scurrying down a nearby slope to the water’s edge, otters swimming, a blue heron lounging, and a mama wood duck teaching her two babies how to forage.
For dinner, we threw together a combination of foodstuffs recommended by a former colleague of mine from my internship days at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: curry couscous with dried fruit and nuts. We used dried apricots for sweetness, dried cranberries for a tart kick, salty cashews, and served plain Greek yogurt on the side. We assembled the dish on-site, but you could combine all the dry ingredients in a ziploc baggie ahead of time to make transport easier. We also noshed on brown sugar smoked trout from the Northern Waters Smokehaus in Duluth (with thanks to Rebecca for the recommendation). It was a simple but satisfying meal, made even better by a few cold beers and a gorgeous view.
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1/3 cup dried apricots, roughly diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup cashews
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt (omit if cashews are salted)
1 1/2 cups water
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl or ziploc baggie. Boil the water in a lidded pot over the fire. When water is boiling, stir in all ingredients.