Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them and cook up a feast.
Dave Bekken, the manager of Marczyk's, just returned from a hiking trip with his wife in the Sierras, where they needed to pack enough food to sustain them for two weeks. And since people in Colorado consider backpacking and camping a full-time hobby, Barb asked Bekken for his favorite recipe when he's in the wild. "The central challenge in dehydrating and re-hydrating delicious food for backpacking is protein," says Bekken, noting that you can't dehydrate oils (fat) unless they'll turn rancid, which presents a challenge, because fat, as we all know, makes food taste good.
"When backpacking," he advises, "be one with nature, and don't try to rehydrate hamburgers, because they'll be gross." If you want meat or other proteins, Bekken suggests "sticking to salamis, dried fish, and those cool little shrimps you find at Pacific Mercantile." And for fat and flavor, "throw a stick of butter in your food stash, but make sure that the container is sealed in hot weather."
This recipe, says Bekken, "provides all your nutritional needs and flavor combinations by keeping it simple and connecting with your inner Morimoto."
Edamame and Mushrooms over Rice Serves two backpackers
1 cup sushi rice (Cook the sushi rice before dehydrating; you could also just do this on the trail, but most backpacking stoves make simmering very difficult.) 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (skip this ingredient if you're storing the rice for a long period of time in a dehydrated state) Enough water to cover the rice 8 to 10 ounces frozen and shelled edamame beans, dehydrated 3/4 cup mushrooms of your choice, dehydrated 1 tablespoon butter Chile flakes to taste Salt to taste
*Rinse your rice before you cook it. The extra starch will make great sushi rice, but you're not eating sushi unless you catch some fish.
1. Rehydrate mushrooms and edamame in 1 cup boiling water, adding more water if necessary. 2. Add rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. 3. Reduce liquid and add salt and chile flakes to taste. 4. Add butter. 5. Rehydrate the rice in 1 cup boiling water, stirring frequently, adding more water if necessary to rehydrate rice. Salt to taste 6. Serve edamame and mushrooms over rice.