MRK Public’s Rayne Frey Devises a Gourmet Meal to Make Outdoors

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Rayne Frey is a chef and co-owner of this San Clemente gastropub, one of our favorite restaurants. His parents took him camping when he was young, and now he continues the tradition with his own family. Here, he shares some tried-and-true recipes. Some of the dishes call for some preparation while you’re still at home, so read carefully. It’s all mighty delicious!

Photo by Priscilla Iezzi


Garlic Roasted Potatoes
1 full head of garlic, peeled

1 cup olive oil

3 pounds baby red-skin potatoes, cut in quarters

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

Smoked paprika, to taste

1 lemon, cut in half

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Before camping: Prepare garlic olive oil: blend the garlic and oil in food processor or blender and process until smooth. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the mixture to be used in the Roasted Salmon and Balsamic Vinaigrette recipes, and refrigerate in separate containers. Combine chopped potatoes, onions, and peppers, and pack in a container.

At the campsite: Spoon about 4 tablespoons garlic oil into the vegetables and toss until well coated. Season with paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Divide potato mixture in half and wrap tightly in two large sheets of foil, keeping the packets flat so everything cooks evenly. Roast over fire until vegetables are tender, and garnish with grilled lemons and chopped parsley.


Roasted Salmon With Lemon Caper Butter

2 sticks softened butter

4-ounce jar capers, drained and chopped

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon garlic oil (see Garlic Roasted Potato recipe)

1 tablespoon chopped dill

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 large filet of salmon, or individual cut portions (skin on), enough to feed your group of campers

4 lemons, thinly sliced

Before camping: Make compound butter: In mixing bowl or food processor, combine softened butter, capers, mustard, garlic oil, dill, and parsley until well incorporated; pack in a container and refrigerate.

At the campsite: Season salmon with salt and pepper and spread compound butter on both sides of the filet(s). Place on a sheet, or sheets of foil, skin side down. On top, layer lemon slices overlapping to look like scales, and tightly wrap. Roast over fire. To test for doneness, open one corner of foil first. When cooked to your taste, pour out juices into a side dish and use as a sauce over the fish.


Grilled Veggie Salad

1 each: red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, all cut in half-inch slices

1 ear of corn, whole

1 red bell pepper, whole

¼ to 1/3 pound chunk pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs of choice (parsley, basil, cilantro, or all)

Balsamic Vinaigrette (see recipe)

Salt and pepper to taste

Before camping: Make Balsamic Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

At the campsite: Coat slices of red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant lightly with balsamic vinaigrette and grill on both sides until tender. Grill corn and red bell pepper whole, until charred and tender. Cut corn off the cob and cut all veggies into bite-sized pieces. Toss in bowl with vinaigrette, and top with fresh herbs and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon garlic oil (see Garlic Roasted Potatoes recipe)

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 sprig rosemary, chopped

5 sprigs thyme, chopped

1 sprig oregano, chopped

1 ¼ cups olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Before camping: Combine mustard, garlic oil, balsamic vinegar, and chopped herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, while continuing to briskly whisk, until the mixture emulsifies. Test for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Pack in a container for camping.

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