Every New Years Eve we go campin’ with our best friends, Felicia and Mark. When I say campin’, I mean CAMPIN’, not camping. We pitch tents, we build fires, we don’t shower for multiple days (ok, that last part? Felicia and I don’t shower. The boys use the 25cent showers to clean themselves daily. There’s just something about being filthy that makes it so much more authentic!). Truth be told, we also bring air mattresses, pillows, and blankets to sleep on. Hey, at least we are not sleeping in a cozy RV or bunking in a cabin. We bring tons of good wine, proper wine glasses, and beer.
I bake rice krispy treats and aloha bars (look for that recipe soon!). We bring pancake mix, sausages, bacon, eggs, and bread. We pack a campin’ stove. We brew coffee. It’s LEGIT. Everyone is jealous of our campin’ skillz. And by everyone, I mean the other 10 people who are crazy enough to be camping around New Years (because even in SoCal, that time of year can get down into the 30’s at night).
Every year, we plan out our campfire dinners. It goes something like this:
Me: we need to find some new recipes to make this year.
Felicia: Let’s look through some recipe books.
Me: we should just make the same meals we always make.
So, the same meals we always make are…
Night 1: meat and bean chili, premade, ready to be warmed in the cast iron pot over the open fire. Between the 1 hour drive, setting up camp, pitching the tents (Rob and I ALWAYS get into a fight when pitching our tent. It’s comical. I think we do it now just because it’s expected), and generally wanting to make things easy, we like to keep this first meal simple, with little prep work involved.
Night 2: Fancy Mojo Hot Dogs, a recipe I originally got from Bon Appetit years ago. I buy good quality hot dogs from Omaha Steaks (they call them Gourmet Franks), nice bakery bread rolls (you absolutely cannot make these in a regular hot dog bun, don’t even try it), make the Mojo sauce ahead of time, and prep all the accoutrements at home.
Night 3: Chicken and Rice Cooked in the Lodge Cast Iron Pot Over an Open Fire (that’s the recipe name). This is Mark’s specialty. He cooks it just right so that there is a layer of crispy rice at the bottom, which we basically fight each other for.
So, I recently had all the ingredients to make a Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich from Blue Apron. The problem? Mayonnaise (so gross), mustard (eh), and sweet pickle relish (no thanks). I racked my brain for what I could do to salvage this meal…
Shrimp Mojo Po’ Boy. BOOM. Combine a Louisiana tradition with my campin’ mojo sauce. I made the sauce, let that sit so the flavors could meld, then ran out to the farm store and bought an avocado. I chopped up some butter lettuce (Romaine works really well in this recipe as well). I cooked the shrimp as per the instructions (seasoned with a Po’ Boy spice blend provided by BA). I threw the crusty French style rolls in the oven for a spell. It was almost too easy (good thing after my disastrous coconut rice last week)!
The trick to assembling this type of sandwich: pull out the dough from the center of the roll, so that you can pile in the good stuff. Start by laying down the lettuce layer, then add your avocado (that shit is slippery), pile on your shrimp, then add the Mojo sauce. A lot of Mojo sauce.
Basically, you can make this sandwich from anything really: hot dogs, shrimp, salmon, chicken. This Mojo sauce is so versatile, and delicious. Seriously. Consider doubling up the recipe so that you have extra for your eggs in the morning. YUM.
MOJO Sauce (this recipe is SUPPOSED to serve 6, but that’s bullshit. You will want to put as much sauce on your sandwich as your bun will allow!)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tomato, halved, seeded, chopped
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add tomato, lime juice, orange juice, and cumin; bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Prepare this a day in advance if possible, but no worries if you can’t.