Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best ideas.
Master Maine Guide, Dan Pelletier, was a keynote speaker at the Maine Canoe Symposium when I attended last year, and he also conducted a campfire cooking workshop. Most Maine Guides take great pride in cooking over a fire and consider these campfire meals a part of the trip experience for their guest, and Dan is no exception.
Dan shared one quick and easy recipe that he says is always a favorite on his trips: "Eggs François." It's a delicious breakfast that resourcefully puts the previous evenings leftovers to work and is named as a tribute to the nearby Quebecois woodsmen and their campfire cuisine.
To make Eggs François:
1. Heat up your spaghetti sauce leftovers from the previous night's evening meal
2. Throw in a few eggs until poached to perfection.
Of course, Eggs François is only an option on trips where you have a cooler to keep your leftover spaghetti sauce chilled (or if the weather is cool enough). Many of Dan's trips are on the Allagash, St. John, and other great Maine rivers where the current does a lot of the work and there are few portages ("carries" in Mainer speak), so you can pack a comfortable camp, including a cooler and fresh food (luxuries that are a challenge for the lightweight style preferred in the portage-heavy Boundary Waters Canoe Area or Algonquin Provincial Park).
I make Eggs François on the trail and at home--it's that good! (Truth be told, I always make extra sauce on spaghetti nights now, just so I can have Eggs François the next morning.) Besides tasting great, this is a very forgiving way of cooking the eggs (almost impossible to screw up), and it doesn't require extra grease, which is nice when afield.
Extending the concept, I've also been known to satisfy my craving for spicy food with Eggs José (yep, grill 'em up in leftover chili!) every now and then.
Try Eggs François on your next outdoor adventure and let us know what you think!
Dan isn't just a great campfire cook--he's a real riverman and a heck of a nice guy! After the Maine Canoe Symposium wrapped up last year, my friend and fellow Registered Maine Guide, Bud Farwell, and I spent a day on the Kenduskeag Stream with Dan, learning new poling techniques and trying to perfect our skills. Dan is a great instructor, and I highly recommend spending time in the bush with him if you can!