What's your secret ingredients? | High Sierra Topix  

What's your secret ingredients?

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby Ozark Flip » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:38 am

Real garlic, real onion, serrano peppers and sun dried tomatoes. Depending on how the fish is prepared and cooked, I will either use rosemary or dill weed. Rosemary and dill are also fresh (I have plants). Some lemon juice. That's pretty much the "staple" secret ingredients along with oil and a bag of fish fry. The reamining stuff varies.



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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby dave54 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:28 pm

Tabasco sauce.

Wild onions when I find them.
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby East Side Hiker » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:58 am

Picking wild onions in the Sierra should be done with great care and consideration as they are a native plant that has a hard enough time surviving nature and the wild animals. I know it seems there are a lot of onions, but their populations are fragile and it takes many years (5-7) for a seed to produce a flower.

Oregano, basil, thyme, and sage, together with crushed red peppers, occasionally cumin, are my spices of choice, but I don't fish and I'd like to figure out how to stay in the mtns without cooking at all.
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby vandman » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:24 pm

I have a special spice bag that I carry. It's lightweight and brings flavor to grains and rice. There's a tiny Nalgene filled with some olive oil, a few cubes of chicken bouillon for each night, also a section of garlic or shallot for each night and lots of herbs. I grow my own herbs and always have a supply of dried basil, thyme, sage, tarragon and rosemary. Also included are smoked dried chili, dried tomatoes and mushrooms--porcini and morels hydrate fastest and taste best. There's a bag of Parmesan cheese and a few packets of soy sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, salt and pepper. It might sound like a lot, but it's a small bag packed with flavors and except for the bouillon additive free.
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby gregw822 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:51 pm

Take a cup of sesame seeds. Toast them in a skillet until they're golden brown. Add salt to taste. You can add any other spices you like, maybe some dried garlic. Anyway, when the seeds have cooled, grind the mix to a powder in a mortar and pestle or a food processor. Sprinkle on anything you like or just eat it with a spoon. Very high calorie content for minimal weight and volume. Delicious if you like sesame.
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby justjim » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:10 pm

OKAYSO............"Everything is Better With Bacon" might be tough for some to take but......itz the truth............really!!!!

Real bacon bits generally sold as salad toppings are high in every factor (including price). These guys offer a nice flavor, fat, and protein boost to cous-cous, potatoes, or just about anything else that you use as an evening staple. Another nice (for my tastes) seasoning is a basil pesto + Tabasco, loosened up with extra EVOO such that it can be poured from say a 500 ml Nalgene.

So.......Ya take a package of Ore Ida flavored mashies and add some bacon bits before the water. Then when rehydrated, you top off with the oily pesto and some additional shaved Parmegiano Reggiano.

Not bad A-Tall and makes a fine side dish for feesh or a meal unto itself.

JJ
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby Ikan Mas » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:32 pm

Wild Onions, I'm not picking very many anyhow and 90% of hikers probably don't know what they are.

My wife is Asian and we shop the local Ranch 99 alot. I'm always looking for something to make meals more interesting and here is a couple.

Instant Miso Soup. This consists of a packet of miso and a packet of drive mushrooms or seaweed. Add a packet of just dried vegatables from Just Tomatoes (availalbe at the front counter in the Concord REI) and you have a really nice soup. Nice salt replentishment on those hot days.

Another item from the Asian stores is Kaisou Salad. Its a Japanese dish that consists of dried seaweed, snow fungus and agar-agar. You rehyrdrate it and you have a nice crunchy salad. I'm working on a miso-based salad dressing to go with it. Amazon sells it as well. Here's a link:
http://www.amazon.com/Marutomo-Seaweed- ... B001AY460K

If you are in berry country (Pacific Northwest) and you don't want to carry sugar, a few dried mangos will help sweeten up what can be somewhat sour berries. In Goat Rocks a couple of year ago, my brother was rather spent from a tough day going over old snowy. While he was napping, I rustled up a bunch of Winberries (red huckle berries) and boiled with the dried mango. The resulting soup helped him feel better.
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby maverick » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:18 pm

Ikan Mas wrote "Instant Miso Soup." I started making this 2 years ago, and it is quite
good.
Whole Foods has it, and they have a reduced sodium version, which I like using.
They used to carry packages of dried tofu, but has been discontinued a while ago
unfortunately.
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby Ikan Mas » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:24 pm

I saw intant miso soup in Trader Joes this morning as well. You could marinate fresh trout over night in miso and grill them next day. Misoyaki, I believe its called. Good stuff, but could be a problem with bears unless you could get the marinating containers/ziploc in the bear canister. Perhaps on a weekend trip.

I have a variety of onion in my garden that came over with my Russo German ancestors. Instead of blossoms and seeds, it puts up little onions. If I am dilligent about planting them in the fall, I have a great crop of green onions in the spring, and I put those in the dehydrator, as they dry nicely. Great addition to anything lacking flavor is dried green onion.

Question: For those of you on low sodium diets, how do you make do while backpacking? I don't have this problem (yet) but I note that most freeze dried or packaged meals are pretty high salt wise. (I don't know whether this is to help preserve them or because the companies think we need extra salt.) Sorry to hijack the conversation.
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby hikerchick395 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:10 am

Non gourmet...Taco Bell "Fire" hot sauce packets :)
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby Weasel » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:12 pm

In response to Ikan Mas about the salt in the freeze dried foods, I wrote to Backpacker's Pantry about the high sodium content of most of the available products. This is the response that I got:

" Hi Mark,
Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback.

I totally understand your concerns about the sodium. I think you’ll be glad to hear that we are currently revising a number of our existing recipes to lower their sodium content. Please keep in mind, however, because our food is designed for use in an active lifestyle setting - hiking, biking, rock climbing, etc. - the sodium levels, calories, fat content, protein levels, etc. have to be higher than that of food you might eat for dinner on a normal day. When people are really exerting themselves, they need extra sodium and fat and calories to replenish their body. The sodium in particular helps to rebuild electrolytes that are lost during rigorous activity.

With that said, I definitely agree with you that a number of our meals have high levels of sodium, which is why we’re currently working on various recipe revisions. Spicy Thai Peanut is one of my favorite meals that is low in sodium, vegan and delicious. "

So I take a variety of freeze dried meals and ingredients with a spice bag. I use the freeze dried stuff at the end of long days, and then for shorter days, I have the time to prepare something myself. Adding some extras from PackIt Gourmet and some spices can make the prepared stuff taste different and sometimes better, and adding it to some basics allows flexibility on longer trips until the last day or two.

This is my first post on this forum. I love your forum. I will be on an eight day hike from Rancheria TH to Tehipite Valley and back in early September, so any tips you can offer my brother-in-law and me would be appreciated.
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Re: What's your secret ingredients?

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:50 pm

Welcome to the HST, weasel!

I do use freeze-dried meals. last resort. Lots of sodium. Doesn't help me sleep well.
Mostly following others recipes posted here to make my own.. I hate salt.

Russ
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