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Camp Cuisine – Vaca frita

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Camp Cuisine – Vaca frita

Culinary lessons at camp are a favorite with campers of all ages!
Check out this recipe! For more recipes check out the
Camp Towanda Cookbook!

Mexican Lunch

Vaca Frita

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds Flank Steak
  • 3 cups Beef Broth
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Lime Juice (about 1 lime, depending on the size and how juicy it is)
  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, thinly sliced
  • Lime Wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Add the steak and beef broth to a large pot. If it’s a large piece cut it in half, so it fits in the pot without folding or overlapping.
  2. Set the pot over high heat. When the broth comes to a boil lower the heat to medium and cook 15 minutes.
  3. Turn the steak, lower the heat to medium-low and cook 30 minutes. Turn the steaks again about halfway through the cooking time.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat; place the flank steak on a cutting board or a pan. When it’s cool enough to handle, shred the steak to resemble thin strings.
  5. Add the meat back into the broth. Sprinkle with the salt, garlic powder, black pepper and lime juice. Stir well to combine.
  6. Heat the oil in a large, skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, almost smoking, add the shredded beef and arrange it so it covers the entire skillet in one layer. 
  7. Cook the beef for 3-5 minutes, do not stir. Let the liquid cook out and allow the bottom to become browned and crispy.
  8. Using a large spatula, get under a section of the beef and flip (don’t stir). Pick another section and flip, repeat until all of the shredded beef is browned side up.
  9. Cook the beef for another 1-2 minutes. This side will brown a lot faster since the liquid has cooked out already. Check a section after 1 minute to make sure it’s not burning.
  10. Flip over any sections that need to brown a little more. Keep checking and flipping until the beef is golden and crispy on the outer layer.
  11. When the vaca frita is done, remove the skillet from the heat and place the beef on a plate or pan.

Lime and Cilantro Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long-grain jasmine rice, rinsed well and drained
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes (or check the time listed on the package of your rice).
  2. Uncover, fluff with a fork, then add the lime zest and stir to combine. Let cool for 1 minute then add the remaining lime juice, cilantro. Stir to combine and season to taste.

Chimichurri 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves (or 4 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Place parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper (to taste) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until finely chopped, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 1-minute total.
  2. With the motor running, add oil in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day to allow the flavors to meld. Before serving, stir and season as needed. The chimichurri will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Street corn bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels removed (about 3-4 cups depending on how large your corn is)
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, freshly grated or crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Handful of freshly of chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat then add the corn kernels. Spread in an even layer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until exterior is charred/browned, stirring frequently. Be careful of the popping action of the heated kernels!
  2. Once charred/browned, place into a large bowl then mix in mayo, feta, paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  3. Mix to combine then divide evenly and serve!

Flan

Ingredients:

Caramel

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water

Flan

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (500 ml) milk, hot
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).

Caramel

  • In a saucepan, cook the sugar and water until it is a dark golden brown (mahogany). Divide among six 125 ml (1 / 2 cup) capacity ramekins. Allow to cool.

Flan

  • Add the sugar and vanilla extract to the hot milk. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. In a bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the hot liquid. Pour into the ramekins.
  • Prepare a water bath by laying a towel in the bottom of large baking dish. Place the ramekins in the dish and fill halfway up with simmering water. Bake for about 40 minutes. The water should never boil.
  • Remove from the oven and water. Cool. Refrigerate. Run the blade of a knife around the ramekins, invert and serve very cold.

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