Best Luxury Rafting Trip Dinners
Idaho Adventure Dutch Oven Meals
Photo by John and Lisa Merrill
Originating in the Netherlands in the 17th century, the Dutch were creating some of the finest cookware out of Copper and Brass. However, these pots and pans were quite expensive due to their materials. This being said, the English craftsman Abraham Darby, decided to create new cookware out of cheaper material. This material was Cast Iron, which allowed the cookware, such as the Dutch Oven, to be so durable it could even withstand sitting in an open flame (such as in a fire).
Since then, generations of recipes have been passed down to create delicious dishes that can be served anywhere from fancy restaurants to the Middle Fork of the Salmon.
Idaho Adventure Dutch Oven Meals
Although Dutch Oven pots tend to look like a Witch’s cauldron, potions and soup are not the only things that are on the menu when using this cookware. With this being such a versatile cooking option, cultures all around the world have their own version of this Cast Iron cookware. Due to so many cultures using these types of pots and pans, this also means that there is an ample amount of diverse recipes that are simple in structure but pack a punch of flavor.
This is one of the main reasons that Rocky Mountain River Tours loves our cast iron breakfasts and dinners. When on the river, it is difficult to cook for large amounts of people on commercial trips. However, using a Dutch Oven is the perfect solution. Using this method of cooking, we are able to use coals from a fire to evenly cook multiple pots of delicious food at once. This is much more efficient than trying to cook dinner for thirty over a fire pit.
All of Rocky’s Dutch Oven recipes on the Middle Fork and Salmon River can be found in the book The Outdoor Dutch Oven Cookbook by RMRT founder, Sheila Mills. This book has an incredibly vast amount of simple, yet delicious, outdoor recipes. Ranging anywhere from breakfast casseroles, to cake for dessert, our meal managers and guides have pulled inspiration from this book for years. Ultimately, our Dutch Oven meals are one of the primary reasons that RMRT is known not only for its incredible wilderness river trips, but also for the amazing food that is provided each and every day throughout your trip.
A simple yet delicious recipe…
Rocky’s Dutch Oven Thyme-Parmesan Focaccia
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups warm water (105º to 115º)
1 tablespoon salt
5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for rolling out dough
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for coating dough and pans
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup) coarse salt, and freshly ground black pepper
Beat together yeast, sugar, and water and let stand 5 minutes, or until foamy. In a bowl, mix salt and 5 cups flour. Set aside. Stir oil into the yeast mixture. Gradually add flour mixture to yeast mixture, beating with a heavy spoon or in a standing mixture with dough hook for about 2 minutes until soft and slightly sticky.
Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead in the thyme and enough remaining flour to form a soft but not sticky dough. Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. For two 12″ Dutch ovens, roll out each half into a 12-inch circle and place in Durch oven to double in size, about 20 minutes. Or oil two 9″x13″ baking pans and divide dough in half and roll out to fit pans. Let rise in pans until doubled in size.
Sprinkle dough with Parmesan and salt and pepper. Make indentations, about 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart all over the dough. Bake for about 20 minutes. For a conventional oven, bake on the center rack at 450ºF for 12 minutes, until golden.
Remove the focaccia from Dutch ovens or pans and cool.
Yield: 2 loaves