By a long margin, open fire cooking is my main method of not only getting food ready, but also water sterilization (if needed). Pretty much the only time I will rely on my back up cooking set up (MYOG alcohol stove), is if it is raining/snowing or if there are time constraints.
Rather than write a whole long essay, these videos sum many good techniques up from the master himself:
Some quick and easy tips: http://youtu.be/tO3iJLBYiQQ
A little more advanced, but more useful: http://youtu.be/2RMlyUY3X4A
Multiple pots, soft ground: http://youtu.be/GRvDOHIH568
Multiple pots, hard ground: http://youtu.be/-vnwreTgH_M (part 1), http://youtu.be/OvLmbss-F48 (part 2)
You don't have to get super-technical like he does and carve up your own spoon and pot hangers. A bit of wire works great and weighs little, as does a bit of chain but weighs more, or you can use some string but make sure not to get it too close to the fire.
Hope this helps. Sucks about the laws in the US about fire, but I guess it is needed due to a lot of irresponsible people. Here in Sweden I can go pretty much anywhere I want in the woods and so long as I follow a few provisions, have a nice campfire at my disposal. I hardly ever have to worry about fuel weight, and my fire building skills are at the point now that it doesn't take me very long to get a fire going so long as conditions are alright.