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Plano Woman Named Best Campicurean in America

What is a campicurean you ask? According to a note that just plopped into my inbox a campicurean is someone who can really cook on a campfire. Unbenownest to me, their was a national competition hosted by Redwood Creek Wines on here for America’s Favorite Campfire Chef and Lisa Williams on not- so-plain ‘ol, Plano,Texas was the winner. After the votes were counted, it was Lisa’s swordish a roux “turtle packs” proved to be the country’s favorite, capturing an 47% of the vote. Lisa picked up a check for $1,000 which she plans to donate to the Plano PTA. Here’s some official-speak:

The Turtle Packs, paired with Redwood Creek’s Pinot Grigio, are Lisa’s creative way of satisfying her family’s “picky eaters” without overcomplicating their campsite. She encourages each camper to customize his or her “turtle pack”—a foil packet filled with a swordfish fillet, veggies and tangy condiments—which is nestled directly into a bed of glowing embers.

Ohmigod, Lisa Garza is going to be SO all over this turtle pack idea. Lisa Williams, watch your backpack. Congrats. Jump for recipe.


By Lisa Williams of Plano, Texas

Having raised two Eagle Scouts, with a third son climbing through the ranks, Lisa has one motto she lives by for cooking outdoors: “Be prepared!” This certainly comes in handy during her annual Thanksgiving campout, where she cooks 20 turkeys complete with all the trimmings, for over 100 Boy Scouts and their parents.

One challenge that forces Lisa to be creative with her cooking comes from the fact that her family is full of picky eaters with particular tastes. She is constantly on the lookout for recipes that will please the whole family, while encouraging them to try new foods. Lisa is part of a full house that consists of her husband, their three boys and dog Mufasa.


Extra virgin olive oil

1 4-6-ounce Swordfish steak

4-8 asparagus spears

1 tablespoon cumin

2 tablespoons lime zest

BBQ steak seasoning to taste

Salt & pepper to taste

8-ounce marinated roasted red peppers

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon chicken Bouillon paste

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Other Materials

Heavy duty aluminum foil

Sauce pan or skillet pan

Potato masher or food chopper

Serving spoon

Small pairing knife

Vegetable peeler

Narrow bulb whisk

Fireproof BBQ tongs



1.) On a 12-inch square of aluminum foil, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and place one Swordfish steak atop. Drizzle fish with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, lime zest, steak seasoning and salt and pepper. Flip fish over and repeat on the other side.

2.) Surround and top the steak with the asparagus spears and fold all corners of aluminum foil to center. Seal “Turtle” packet by crimping together the edges of the foil. Each family member can make their own packet. When the coals/firewood have settled to a glow, place all packets directly onto the firewood/coals.

3.) While the steaks are cooking, prepare the red pepper pesto by drizzling extra virgin olive oil on

roasting peppers over the fire for 30 minutes until tender. Clean off blackened skin. Chop in processor and keep in a jar until ready to use.

4.) In a hot skillet or sauce pan, melt the butter, add the flour and whisk together for a minute or two creating a “roux.” Add the chicken Bouillon, whisk again and then the broth. Continue stirring until thickened. Add the red pepper pesto to the gravy, using the masher to incorporate the peppers if necessary, and stir together.

5.) After 25-30 minutes in the fire (depending on the heat), the steaks should be done and the asparagus tender. Use your tongs to lift each packet from the fire. Open each packet carefully and smother in the Red Pepper Gravy. Enjoy!

Estimated Prep Time: 30 minutes

Estimated Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Wine Pairing Varietal: Redwood Creek 2006 Pinot Grigio

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