This weekend I went camping with my family who, while supportive of my vegetarianism, would not touch seitan with a ten foot pole. (And upon first glance, I cannot really blame them…) Still, I was able to successfully prove that I can go out into the wild, eat not a touch of meat, and never once want for food.
The menu was pretty simple. I took the easy way out the first night and had Boca burgers when everyone else was eating hamburgers. No real trick there. However, my wife and I also dined on seitan simmered in barbecue sauce that I made on the grill and grilled portabella sandwiches. The key to cooking those meals, as always, was to control the amount of heat that gets to the cooking vessel (in both cases a trusty teflon skillet I brought from home.)
One of Tina’s relatives brought along a two level metal grill under which we built a fire for a three zone cooking setup. I could put the skillet directly on the fire (which I did for eggs), on the above the coals for direct cooking, and then on the second level for more indirect heat (ie simmering.) Cooking over the direct and indirect portions of the setup were much slower than a stove while putting the skillet in the fire was much, much faster.
What I ended up doing was putting the skillet on the coals to get it charged and then dumping the food in to let it cook. This method worked and netted me five perfectly cooked portabellos and probably the finest scrambled eggs I have ever had. The seitan was tinder, but failed miserably in the taste category due to some horrific Jim Beam barbecue sauce.