To me the sound of sizzling hot dogs brings back memories of a roaring fire and a classic campfire meal. But what if you wanted to try something a bit more exotic for a change? After all, it’s easy to pick up a fire pit and having the ability to cook outside in your own backyard opens up a plethora of culinary options. We’ve compiled a list of five delicious international dishes that can be made in any fire pit or grill. All you’ll need are a few ingredients, a cherry backyard fire and a empty stomach. Read on to find out our top 5 exotic firepit recipes
#1 Elotes (Mexico)
A spicy, yet flavorful variety of corn on the cob, this Mexican dish makes for a great firepit recipe. With only a few easily found ingredients you’ll be munching on these delectable street snacks before you know it.
What you’ll need
4 ears fresh corn
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon chile powder (less if you don’t like spicy food)
Salt & pepper to taste
⅓ cup crumbed cotija cheese (we used feta because it’s easier to find)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Make sure your fire pit is nice and hot with a few coals glowing in the bottom. You’ll want to either shuck the corn and wrap it in aluminium foil or just use it with the husk on. Either way all you have to do is simply throw it on the edge of the flames. Every few minutes give it a turn with a stick so all the sides are equally cooked. Depending on the heat of the fire 7-10 minutes should be about right.
While the corn is cooking, mix up everything else but the cheese and cilantro into a bowl, you’ll smear this all over the corn when it comes out hot and steaming. Top it off with the crumbled cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of lime and you’ll be be in Mexican heaven!
#2 Xinjiang Lamb Skewers (China)
Next up on the list are melt in your mouth Xinjiang lamb skewers. These sumptuous snacks are commonly found on the streets of nearly any Chinese city, and for good reason. They are incredibly tasty, easy to make, and even the pickiest eater will be headed down to chow town. Dive into one of our easiest firepit recipes for a taste of the far east!
What you’ll need
1 lb. Lamb meat (fat is good in this case, but lean cuts still work fine)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2+1 teaspoons cumin powder (reserve 1 tsp. for grilling)
½+½ teaspoon chili powder (reserve ½ tsp. For grilling)
½ teaspoon salt
(Optional) ¼ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder
Dice the lamb into ¾” cubes that can be easily skewered. Afterwards, mix up all the spices and liquids together, minus the bit reserved for grilling and toss the mixture in a bag with the lamb meat. Seal, shake and let rest for 30 minutes while you get the fire pit going. After the marinade has had time to absorb into the meat take it out of the bag and put 4-5 pieces on each skewer. You’re now ready to cook these bad boys over the fire. I’d recommend getting a long piece of metal (like a roasting stick) or a green branch and putting it near the edge of the fire so you can rest the skewers on it instead of holding them. Simply cook them for a few minutes per side while sprinkling heavily with cumin and chili powder. Take them off and enjoy!
#3 Fried Cheese (Canada)
Who doesn’t like delicious sharp cheese with an incredibly smoky flavor? The answer my culinary compatriot, is nobody in their right mind. This super easy recipe is great for any occasion and is extremely customizable to your preferred choice of cheese.
What you’ll need
Block of cheese (we like sharp cheddar)
Vegetable oil (don’t use olive oil as it will burn and impart a pungent flavor to the cheese)
Stainless steel or cast iron pan
Like we said, making Canadian fried cheese is extremely simple. Simply get your fire pit going about 20 minutes before you’re ready to cook, you want some nice embers for heat. Toss your (non-coated) cast iron pan right into the flames, you want it hot. Cut up the cheese block into slices or ½” cubes while pouring a healthy dose (apx. 2 tbs.) of oil into the pan, be careful not to burn yourself. Give the oil 1 minute to heat up and thrown a 4-6 pieces of cheese in. Wait until the get golden brown and crispy all around. Take the pan out with a glove, serve and prepare to enter cheese nirvana.
#4 Bannock (Scotland)
This flat quick bread originally hailed from Scotland, but is now a staple for many campers, backpackers and RV goers. With a variety of different topping you’ll be able to have something to fit everyone’s tastes. Not to mention it is blast to make and is perfect for kids who want to help out!
What you’ll need
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
¼ cup butter (melted)
1½ cup water
Thumb thickness stick or cast iron pan
1½ tablespoons sugar
½ tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon onion powder
Get your fire at a nice low heat, no blazing orange flames for this dish or you’ll have burnt exteriors and doughy insides. Knead the dough together for 5 minutes, for easy cleanup do it in a big bag and just squish it around. Next either spiral the dough in ½” thick long strips on a few sticks or make a pancake shaped blob of it and throw it into the cold pan before heading to the fire. Let the dough cook for 4-5 mins per side depending on the heat of the fire. Push on the center to see if it’s done, it shouldn’t be squishy. Once cooked, sprinkle your toppings of choice over them and bite into that warm delicious bannock eh.
#5 Llapingachos (Ecuador)
What you’ll need
5 medium Russet potatoes (2 lbs.), peeled and cut into chunks
(alternative) 2 lbs. shredded potatoes (well thawed)
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
½ cup thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon ground paprika (or achiote)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Salt to taste
This one requires a bit of indoor prep beforehand if you’re using whole potatoes, as they need to be boiled until soft first. While you could do that over the fire it’s a bit easier to do it on the stove. Next up grab a flameproof pan and place it in the hot fire pit, you can put it on a fire pit grill if you’re worried about getting burned. Toss in the oil, onions and paprika and cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Once done mash the potatoes into the onion mixture and salt to taste, you’ll now have a sort of dough.
Some people call for covering and resting this mixture for an hour or so, but if you’re hungry you can skip that step and go straight into forming dough balls. Make them about the size of a golf ball. Use your finger to poke a large hole in the center of the dough and fill it with cheese. Next up press the dough into a patty shape about ⅓” thick. Afterwards you can wrap the individual patties in foil and carefully place them on the fire. Turning them after about 3-5 minutes. Once done they should be golden brown on both sides. If you want to get the full experience, serve them with a fried egg, fresh tomato, thinly sliced onion and an avocado slice.