Mary Brent Galyean is an expedition chef. She cooks some of the tastiest dishes you'll ever eat in places that very few people have ever been. Chef MB does it all without electricity and running water, and I had the wonderful opportunity to taste this five star cuisine on the Gauley River in West Virginia. Courses included but were not limited to lamb sliders, salmon and acorn squash poached in spiced honey, and the crowd favorite sweet potato and red apple au gratin.
I think that everyone is a little crazy, and if you’re lucky you figure out where your crazy makes sense!
Kitchen at the campsite.
Lamb sliders with Farmer Jim’s apple butter and tarragon mayo
Recipe: Sweet Potato and Apple Au Gratin
In her “kitchen” Chef MB layers ingredients in the Dutch oven and cooks it in a bed of coals. In a home kitchen, use a deep baking dish.
Serves 6 to 8
2 large sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
3 red apples, thinly sliced
1 (5 ounce) bag fresh spinach
4 ounces blue cheese
3/4 cup chopped cooked bacon
2 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
Cook the sweet potato slices in a pot of boiling water until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes and drain.
Layer one-third of the sweet potato slices in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with one-third of the apple slices, followed by half each of the spinach, blue cheese, and bacon. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over this layer, then repeat layering as above, finishing with the final third of sweet potato and apple slices.
Heat the oven to 375.
Heat the butter, cream, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved and mixture is well blended. Pour the hot cream mixture slowly over the top of the layered ingredients and cover the dish with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 10 minutes longer or until tender (check tenderness with the tip of a sharp knife). Cool slightly before serving.
Salmon and acorn squash poached in spiced honey, served over grilled bitter greens and curried-cherry wild rice with pickled carrots, topped with coconut yogurt sauce and cilantro
Pear-Fresca-infused prime rib, butter seared and slow roasted on the grill, served with a horseradish creme and rosemary demi glaze
Hollow out the citrus fruit (save the juices for seasoning something else) and use it as a poaching vessel (fish, eggs, etc.). Chef MB says "If the situation calls for it, you can use the same orange to make four or five poached eggs. Waste not, want not!"