A small quartered log and a few pieces of kindling can provide enough fuel for one meal.
Regular readers will be aware that I contribute to Promote Shetland’s A Taste of Shetland food blog – a collection of recipes and stories featuring ingredients from the UK’s most northerly island archipelago, my home, Shetland.
I am always on the hunt for recipes and stories to share, and when I learned that there was a Shetland man who knew the technique of cooking over a Nordic Fire Log, I asked him if he would teach me how.
Would you believe that one small log and a small pile of kindling is enough fuel to cook a meal over? You don’t need to make a bonfire and keep feeding it to cook your dinner. This is a useful technique to know, especially if you live in a place where firewood is not in plentiful supply.
Last weekend local physics teacher Chris McGinley and myself headed out into the hills for some Nordic Fire Log cooking. He treated us to a delicious batch of Shetland bannocks made with Shetland Dairy buttermilk (pictured below), while I made my trusty vegan Middle Eastern Spiced Camp Fire Chickpeas recipe, using my favourite blend of spices: sub-ah b’har, also known as a seven spice mix, a staple in any Middle Eastern kitchen.
The recipe for this quick chickpea dish involves sauteing a chopped onion in a little oil, adding the spice blend to taste, adding a tin of drained chickpeas and then finally stirring through some greens, cooking until they are just wilted but still retain some texture.
To read more about the adventure and to learn how to make your own Nordic Fire Log, visit my Taste of Shetland blog post – Cooking over a Nordic Fire Log. You can find the recipe for the Middle Eastern Spiced Camp Fire Chickpeas in my camping post from last summer, when I made originally created this dish for my husband’s birthday dinner over an open fire. This time, though, instead of using spinach I used some spicy Chinese greens from my vegetable box, a leafy green vegetable with a lovely spicy kick and something I just can’t get enough of these days!
I was delighted last week to find that The Feed Feed, a crowd-sourced digital cooking publication and community, had featured my original Instagram post in their Middle Eastern Feed. When I look at that original photo it brings back such memories of warm sun, champagne, and cooking over an open fire. Bliss!
I’m linking up this recipe to a few food blogging challenges:
1. The Spice Trail by Vanesther at Bangers & Mash. For April/May the theme is your favourite spice mix, and mine is definitely the seven spice blend used in this recipe – a gorgeous, fragrant blend of toasted and ground cumin and coriander seed mixed with sweet paprika, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.
2. Meat Free Mondays by Jacqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes. This is a newly launched food blogging challenge for vegan and vegetarian meals. Cooking over an open fire tends to be all about the meat, so here’s an easy vegan, protein-packed alternative!
3. Extra Veg by Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours, guest hosted this month by Kate at Veggie Desserts. As this dish contains a generous helping of leafy greens, something not normally associated with campfire cooking, I’m sharing it with this challenge!
4. Vegetable Palette by Shaheen over at Allotment 2 Kitchen. My current vegetable of choice is the spicy Chinese greens making a regular appearance in my veg box. I love the flavour, and I love that I can eat loads of it in one go without ending up with furry teeth like you do with spinach! It can transform the simplest of meals into something extraordinary, and, as a substantial leafy green it’s good for you!
5. Eat Your Greens by Shaheen over at Allotment 2 Kitchen.
6. Credit Crunch Munch by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food 4 All, guest hosted this month by The Baking Queen. As this dish is very inexpensive to make (a tin of chickpeas, 1 tbsp oil and an onion – and even the spices used only cost pennies) and using a Nordic Log Fire from salvaged wood means no energy costs, I’m sharing with this challenge!