If you ever need to feed (and impress) a lot of people in a remote location, consider paella. It sounds like a fancy foreign dish (because it is), but it is also easy to make, delicious, and can feed a crowd.
Our campfire paella happened when Gordon’s cousin gave us a three foot paella pan for Christmas (she thought it was funny, and figured it would be fun at the cabin). As soon as we had a long weekend, we took it up into the wilderness to try it out.
What made this whole experience more exciting was that it was actually our first time ever making paella. Nothing says first attempt like making enough food to feed dozens of people.
Our recipe wasn’t exact. We built up a healthy fire and let it burn down to make plenty of coals. We heated some oil and fried several onions, then poured most of a ten-pound bag of rice on top and toasted it a little. We poured in water and chicken broth to cover and then giggled as we dumped in cans of tomatoes, tablespoons of spices and pounds of chicken quarters and sausage and covered the pan with tinfoil The whole thing was just big enough to be hilarious the whole time.
Once the rice was mostly cooked we added seafood, peas, and some more spices. When the mussels and clams opened up we ate, laughed, and ate some more.
We may never make that much paella again (barring a huge party at the cabin), but I’m sure we’ll find more uses for that pan.