For about one million years now, humans have had a bit of an infatuation with cooking food over the fire. And while this culinary endeavor might have originated out of sheer necessity (or perhaps dumb luck, depending on who you ask), it’s abundantly clear that we really, really enjoy flame-cooked food. We love it so much that we’ve attempted to recreate it in a myriad of ways: grilling, barbecue, and broiling, to name a few. That being said, it’s safe to say that nothing is quite as drool-worthy as fire-kissed bratwurst hot off the cast iron, or coal-warmed brownies fresh out of the dutch oven.
However, not every weekend can include a luxurious car-camping adventure and gourmet meal, much less a fire—after all, those Fire Danger Rating Systems do exist for a reason. So, when those two days of work-free yore endeavor you to stay home, know that you’re still able to bring that deliciously smoky camp food to home base, without ever having to leave the backyard, patio, or deck. All you need is a little bit of creativity, a couple of friends who know how to have a good time, and a grill or fire pit.
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, versatility is paramount, which is why we concocted the Grilled Shrimp Burrito. We chose uncomplicated ingredients (i.e. canned and pre-cooked), added our own personal flair, and attempted to cook in such a manner that would require minimal alteration when it came time to replicate the recipe at a campsite. Ultimately, its creation was inspired by a need to bring camp food home and home-cooked food to camp. And in turn we were rewarded with juicy nuggets of lime-spritzed shrimp, steamy tomato-laced rice, sun-warmed hot sauce, and the mouth-watering presence of cheese.
So, with an emphasis on easy and repeatable, this little banger of tubed tastiness makes its case as a delicious home-bound staple, as well as a suitable fit for car camping or grilling out at the local park. Again, the leftover ingredients can be repurposed into breakfast burritos for the next day, so make sure you have resealable containers on hand.
[feeds five people and then some]
- 3 limes
- 2 red peppers
- 2 boxes of Zatarain’s Spanish Rice
- 2 avocados
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 shallot
- 1 can of pinto beans
- 1 can of whole kernel corn
- 1 bag of pre-cooked, frozen shrimp
- 1 handful of cilantro
- 1 bag of pre-shredded cheese
- 1 container of salsa
- 1 bag of tortillas
- 1 bag of chips
- 5 of your friends
- 1 cooler filled with beer
- 1 grill or fire pit
- 1 cutting board and knife
- 1 bag of charcoal and fire starter (or wood, if you desire)
- 1 bag of kebab pokers
- 1 bottle of hot sauce (or several if you’re like us)
- A couple of extra bowls that can store your pre-chopped goodies
[Two people needed]
Person #1: For charcoal grillers and fire keepers, get your coals started. For propane grillers, wait until the rice is done to start grilling.
Monitor until you receive your cue from Person #2.
Person #2: Begin your adventure by defrosting your shrimp. We deliberately chose pre-cooked, because, imagine trying to shell raw shrimp at camp, much less at home. Set aside in a bowl: sprinkle in some Old Bay seasoning and lime juice.
Start cooking your rice (via stovetop). This is the part that will take the longest and require intermediate attention as you prepare the rest of the foodies. Note: Zatarain’s cooking instructions tell you to add a can of tomatoes, but you can easily forgo this ingredient.
Next, open your can of corn and beans: rinse both items if you’re able to. A little bit of pinto bean goo never hurt anyone if a sink isn’t within close proximity or if you’re conserving water at camp.
Then, thinly slice up your red pepper, avocado, shallot, cilantro, and lastly your jalapeno. Leave your red pepper off to side, you’ll be grilling that momentarily. Add shallot, avocado, and cilantro to the corn and pinto beans. But watch out for those spicy jalapeno fingers—they’ll get ya! If you’d rather not risk the impending doom of hot phalanges and the potential havoc they can wreak, skip the jalapeno and stick to hot sauce.
(Did you check your rice recently? It should be done by now)
Resurrect your red pepper. Cue your grill watcher and place peppers in a grillable pan. Flip until slightly soft and subtly charred.
That being said, as your peppers are cooking, begin skewering shrimp. Once peppers are done cooking, remove peppers (add them to the corn and pinto beans bowl). Place skewered shrimp immediately atop grill and warm for three minutes at most. Over-cooked (pre-cooked) shrimp can be chewy, though, still edible, and super tasty.
Once shrimp have been warmed, remove them from grill. Pop them off of the skewers and dice ’em up. Spritz with a little more lime, and voila!
Now is the time, young grasshopper. So, grab your rice, shrimp, burrito accessories, and load up those tortillas! And don’t forget the chips, those are perfect for scooping up decimated burrito bits.
Let us know if you try or modify the recipe!
Car Camping Modification Suggestions
As we mentioned before, we designed this recipe to easily replicate while camping. Granted, there will be some streamlining and alterations to make, but nothing too major. So, here are our thoughts on how to make this recipe a bit more camp-friendly:
Cook your rice and defrost the shrimp beforehand. This will make your cooking process a lot easier. Either that or bring along instant or ready-made rice.
Make sure you have a proper cooling device to keep your shrimp and other temperature-sensitive items chilled.
Find yourself a folding table or tailgate for an amenable, burrito-rolling experience.