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Recipes from the Great Outdoors

Life at the cabin means expansive views of water and sky plus a quiet so deep and wondrous you can hear the universe speak, says food writer Terese Allen ’77. So when it comes to mealtime, she tries to honor her surroundings with casual, easy-to-assemble dishes that feature local ingredients. In Cabin Fare, she names three such dishes. Here are her recipes. 

Doggie Bag Hash
6 servings

Butter or olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
5-6 cups cut-up leftover cooked potatoes
2-3 cups chopped leftover prime rib or steak
8 eggs beaten with salt and pepper to taste
1½ cups coarsely shredded Cheddar or Swiss cheese

Film the bottom of 1 large or 2 medium-sized heavy skillets with butter or olive oil; place over medium-low flame until hot. Add onions; sauté until they begin to wilt, stirring often. Add a little more butter or oil, plus potatoes and beef. Raise heat to medium and cook without disturbing until mixture begins to brown on bottom, then toss and let it brown again. Toss once more, then move mixture to outer edges of pan. Add a bit more butter or oil to the center of the pan. Add eggs and cook, stirring eggs often, until they’ve set. Toss eggs with potato-beef mixture, distribute shredded cheese over the top and cover pan. Heat just until cheese melts. Serve up.

Smoked Whitefish Spread
Makes any amount

Smoked fish, carefully and completely deboned
Cream cheese, softened
Plain yogurt
Minced shallots or finely chopped green onions
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh dill, parsley or cilantro
Lemon juice

There’s no set amounts here; it’s all up to you. Just mix everything and beat the heck out of it with a fork until it’s as chunky or smooth as you like. Serve with crackers or slices of rye bread.

Maple Baked Beans
8 or more servings

1 pound dry navy beans
½ pound thick-cut bacon
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
¾ cup pure Wisconsin maple syrup
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Sort through beans to remove the duds (i.e. wrinkled, blackened or otherwise compromised ones). Rinse beans, cover with 3 inches of cold water and let soak 8 hours or longer.

Transfer beans and soaking water to a large, heavy pot. Bring the mixture to simmer, skimming the surface often to remove the foam that rises to the top. Cook until beans soften slightly, about ½ hour. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon in a skillet until brown and crispy, reserving the fat. Break strips into pieces; stir them into the beans along with some (or all) of the bacon fat and the remaining ingredients. At this point you want the beans to be barely covered with liquid, but if they aren’t, bring water to a boil and add what is needed to cover them.

Cover pot tightly and bake until beans are fully tender, 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more hot water if the beans dry out on top. If there’s too much liquid towards the end of the cooking time, remove the lid and continue baking to reduce it.

July 1, 2017