We found skillet nirvana in the Sonoran Desert. It’s salty and a tad spicy with a dash of smoke. We’re obsessed with these specialty ingredients and recipes to fire up your campfire cooking game.
Words by Overland Bound Staff
Ah the campfire. That glorious pit of flickering, culinary possibilities. If the hearth is the heart of the home, then the campfire is most certainly the centerpiece of the camp. Have skillet, will travel.
Nothing beats a meal on the trail. Even if it’s less than extraordinary by fancy restaurant standards, every campfire meal is deeply satisfying on an almost cellular level. If you’ve planned it right, you have exactly what you need (not too much and not too little) to prepare something hearty for your family and campmates. You’re surviving, and loving every bite.
Now. Let’s talk about breakfast. Don’t get us wrong, every part of morning in the woods is special, but breakfast…well breakfast is an especially magical time.
We’re early risers on the trail. We wake up (usually) rejuvenated and almost immediately, our stomachs politely inform us that they are both empty and expect nothing less than greatness. Fair.
So we begin to create something up to their standards. Folks, we’re happy to say that we’ve recently discovered an ingredient that takes our breakfast, and every meal on the trail, to summit levels.
We stumbled upon Desert Provisions a few months ago. On a whim, we took their Camp Salt Collection on a trip to spice up our skillet game. Mission accomplished and then some. The founders of Desert Provisions started their company with the goal of sharing the unique flavor of the desert. We especially appreciated and identified with this mission.
Every place has a spirit and once you find a landscape that feels extra right to you, there’s an instinctual desire to share it with the overlanding community. (Note that I didn’t say “divulge the coordinates of a favorite campsite.” Let’s be real.)
Desert Provisions makes a variety of specialty salts and spices sourced from the Sonoran Desert in the American Southwest. Most of their flavors specifically celebrate Hatch, New Mexico. The Camp Salt Collection that we use for everything now (at home and at camp) contains 3 salt blends: Hatch Green Chile Salt, Hatch Red Chile Salt, and Sonoran Sea Salt.
If you’re new to Desert Provisions, start with this collection. It gives you the best introduction to what these flavors are all about. Points for packaging as well.
We’ve also got favorite breakfast recipes! I know, we never go on with such gusto about food like this. Desert Provisions is just that good. We recommend the Camp Breakfast Skillet and the Camp Breakfast Tostadas. By recommend, we mean do this immediately.
Both recipes take less than 20 minutes to prepare and feature fresh vegetables with either eggs or Green Chile Smashed Beans (!) as the protein. (Hey carnivores, throw your chicken in there, no problem). There are corn or flour tortillas involved but they’re optional if you’re doing Whole 30 or gluten free. Of course, make sure that your Camp Salt Collection is nearby because they’re the stars of the show.
Camp Breakfast Skillet
Recipe courtesy of our friends at Desert Provisions
Takes: 10 minutes to prep, 20 minutes to cook
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb small yellow potatoes, quartered
1 yellow onion, diced
2 yellow squash, diced
3 cups baby spinach
Pinches of Desert Provisions CAMP SALT Hatch Red Chile Salt
Using a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, cook potatoes over medium heat in 1 tbsp of olive oil until crispy and 90% done, about 12-15 minutes. Add 2 pinches of CAMP SALT Hatch Red Chile Salt. Add remaining tbsp of olive oil to skillet. Add onions and squash to potatoes and sauté, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and gently toss to combine using a wooden spoon or tongs.
Crack eggs directly into skillet and cover with a lid for 5-7 minutes or until eggs are cooked to desired consistency. Top with generous pinches of CAMP SALT Hatch Red Chile Salt.
Sit back. Relax. Enjoy the view.
Camp Breakfast Tostadas
Recipe courtesy of our friends at Desert Provisions
Takes: 15 minutes
SERVES 4 (TWO TOSTADAS)
8 taco-sized flour or corn tortillas (or store-bought tostadas)
½ cup salsa (any kind, pico de gallo, tomatillo)
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
½ cup onion, finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 lime, halved
1 cup shredded cabbage (optional)
Pinch of of Desert Provisions Hatch Green Chile Salt
Start by warming your Green Chile Smashed Beans over low to medium-low heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Combine cilantro and onion and mix together with a pinch of Desert Provisions Hatch Green Chile Salt, 1 tsp olive oil and squeeze of half lime.
While your beans are warming, heat your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil. Once warm, heat each tortilla (both sides) until they are slightly blackened and crispy. This will serve as the base of your tostada. Alternatively, you can purchase tostadas in advance of your trip to make things even easier.
Fry eggs 2-3 at a time in the same cast iron skillet (or other non-stick pan) or as many as your pan allows. Use additional olive oil or spray if needed.
Assemble tostadas: tortilla, beans, egg, top with cilantro/onion mixture, cabbage, salsa, and top with additional pinches of Hatch Green Chile Salt to taste. Sit back, enjoy your camp coffee before you hit the trail.
Cook’s notes: This recipe works best while camping if you make the Green Chile Smashed Beans in advance of your trip – make up to 5 days in advance. You can easily store these in a sealed container or plastic bag and quickly reheat on a camp stove. Likewise, we also recommend preparing any other things in advance (cilantro/onion mix) to make your cooking experience (and cleaning) super easy.
Our camp kitchen essentials include a cast iron skillet. This is obviously not ideal for backpacking or if you need to pack in your gear, but perfect for a car-camping or vanlife camp kitchen.
Feel free to use corn tortillas to make this a gluten free option or I recently discovered jicama taco shells (hello, genius) if you are going fully no carb or doing a keto, Whole30 or paleo diet. If you opt for the corn tortillas make sure to use enough oil to fry them up a bit to make them extra crispy.