Despite making hundreds — if not thousands — of pudgie pies during more than 30 years of camping trips, Darren Kirby said he's still finding new pie iron recipes.
"I had the basics, pizza and whatnot, but I was looking for more," said Kirby, a Wisconsin native who lives in the Bloomer area.
Sometimes 'more' in his collection is as simple as a sausage and egg breakfast sandwich, but there's plenty outside-the-iron thinking with recipes like spaghetti sandwiches, brie in pastry and honey glazed carrots.
For the uninitiated, pudgie pies are grilled sandwiches made in a long-handled, double-sided cast iron skillet that's thrust into a campfire. Cook times per pie range from 5 to 10 minutes depending on how hot the heat source.
Note: You don't have to go camping to enjoy pudgie pies, a backyard fire pit or a grill will do the trick as well.
Figuring he wasn't the only one looking for more pudgie pie ideas Kirby says he searched the internet for recipes and compiled his findings into a self-published book "Pie Iron Recipes" that is available on Amazon.com both in Kindle ($3.99) and print ($8.99) formats.
Kirby says he focused on simple recipes that help campers break away from the same old grilled cheese, pizza or desert pies made with canned pie fillings, without requiring campers to master advanced culinary skills or hard-to-find ingredients.
Here are a few of the recipes from Kirby's collection for campers looking to expand their pudgie pie repertoire during the final push to enjoy sun soaked days at campsites across Wisconsin.
Sausage And Egg Breakfast Sandwich
Cheddar cheese slices
Beat eggs in small bowl. Put a dab of butter in one half of the pie iron, then add a slice of bread pressing it down. Pour eggs into the bread divot. Add a slice of cheese over the eggs, then add sausage over the cheese. Top with second slice of bread, and put a dab of butter on this slice. Cook until the egg is set and cheese is melted, turning frequently. If you like sunny side up eggs, just crack the egg onto the bread without scrambling.
Chicken BBQ Pie
Bread (Italian bread works well)
Sliced cooked chicken breast (or deli sliced chicken)
Sliced Canadian bacon
Shredded Monterrey jack or mozzarella cheese
Add butter and a slice of bread to one side of the pie iron then add chicken, bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce, top with second slice of bread and butter. Close pie iron and cook until golden brown.
Peanut Butter Cup Melt
Chocolate chips or bar
Add butter and a slice of bread to one side of the pie iron then add peanut butter and chocolate chips, add another slice of bread and butter, close pie iron and cook until golden brown.