Picks and Pans Review: The Trekking Chef

updated 12/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Claudine Martin

Maybe you don't have plans to spend New Year's Eve in a Mongolian yurt, but just in case, Claudine Martin, a backcountry caterer in Sun Valley, Idaho, is all for trekking into nature's far corners with the fixings for cream of chestnut soup and herb-stuffed lamb. Now all those who love to get out and bond with the wilderness can do so in good taste with Martin's menus for trailblazers.

Be warned that these recipes are quick and easy only by the time you're ready to light your campfire. Preparations before you set out, which often include trimming all nonedible parts, dehydrating and sealing, can be laborious; though Martin believes the toil is worth it given the nutritious, protein-packed variety of her fare.

On a hut-to-hut ski trip, she suggests starting the day with an egg and cheese puff and braided potato bread. Stop at midday for a smoked fish spread with dried vegetables, and at dusk for grilled chicken with coriander-lime butter and brown rice. Ummmm. Forget the slopes and pass the pepper. How about crab cakes with horseradish herb sauce on a kayak trip? Or a spinach, leek, tofu, cheese pie on a heli-skiing picnic? This compact compendium will slip into a backpack and make any expedition into the wilds all the more digestible. (Lyons & Burford, paper, $14.95)

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