Monday, June 29, 2015

Red White and Blue Biscuits


     These patriotic biscuits are guaranteed to disappear quickly from your Fourth of July celebration table.  Tangy, tart and overflowing with berries, the flaky biscuits baked for 22 minutes in my 10 inch dutch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 22 spaced evenly on the lid.  Use dried cranberries if you can't find the fresh ones and be sure to oil your dutch oven well to prevent them from sticking.

Red White and Blue Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tblsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
2 Tblsp granulated sugar for topping

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     In large bowl, stir together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.
     With two knives or pastry cutter, blend in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
     Stir in fruit.
     Make a well in the center and gradually stir in buttermilk until just blended.
     Dough will be sticky.
     Drop by tablespoonful into dutch oven.
     Sprinkle tops evenly with remaining sugar.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.
     Serve warm, can be reheated.

Spoon wet batter into well-oiled oven

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown

A flaky buttermilk biscuit brimming with berries

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Stuffed Peppers


     There is something about stuffed peppers made in a dutch oven that is beyond compare.  Baked and braised, these 'broasted' bundles come out tender, juicy and loaded with flavor.  Nothing too fancy and very easy to prepare, this classic recipe from Mr. Food tastes like it came right out of your grandmother's kitchen.  In my 10 inch deep oven the peppers cooked for a total of 50 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom, 14 placed around the outside of the lid with 6 briquettes placed evenly in the center.  Halfway through cooking time baste them with the remaining tomato sauce or finish them off with a topping of your favorite shredded cheese right before you take them off the coals.

Summer Stuffed Peppers
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 cup uncooked instant rice (Minute Rice)
1 small onion, chopped
6 bell peppers, washed, tops removed and seeded

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     In a medium bowl, combine tomato sauce, water, garlic powder, salt and pepper; mix well.
     Remove 1 cup of mixture to a large bowl and add to it ground beef, rice and onion; mix well.
     Stuff each bell pepper with an equal amount of the meat mixture.
     Place 2 cups tomato sauce in prepared dutch oven, place peppers upright in sauce.
     Spoon half of remaining sauce over peppers.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, spooning remaining sauce over peppers halfway through cooking time.

Spoon 2 cups of sauce into dutch oven before adding peppers

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, spoon remaining
sauce over peppers halfway through cooking time

A vintage recipe that never goes out of style

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Chicken Chow Mein Casserole


      Call me lazy but with the warm summer days approaching and trips to my favorite campground planned, I have been scouting easy, no-fuss, one-pot recipes that I can assemble quickly in the time it takes to light the coals.  This casserole from Better Homes and Gardens does require a little prep work but if you do all your chopping at home all you have to do is open a few cans when you're ready to cook.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, the casserole baked for a total of 45 minutes with 12 briquettes around the base of the oven and 28 spaced evenly on the lid.  At the 35 minute mark, when the casserole was hot and bubbling, I sprinkled on the noodles and let it cook for 10 minutes more.  The flavors are mild but the vegetables are crisp-tender and the crunchy noodles really give it some pizazz. 

Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
4 stalks celery, chopped (2 cups)
2 medium carrots, shredded (1 cup)
1 cup chopped red sweet pepper
2 4 oz cans sliced mushrooms, drained
2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
2 Tblsp diced pimiento, drained
2 10 3/4 oz cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups chow mein noodles

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     In an extra-large bowl, stir together chicken, celery, carrots, sweet pepper, mushrooms, almonds and pimiento.
     Add soup to chicken mixture; mix well.
     Transfer chicken mixture to prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
     Sprinkle with chow mein noodles.
     Bake for 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through.
     Makes 6-8 servings.

Mix all ingredients but noodles and spoon into prepared oven

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes then
add topping of noodles

Light but filling, an easy recipe when you can't call for take-out

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Golden Sweet Cornbread


      This cornbread recipe from Del Monte caught my eye because it requires no measuring and can easily be whipped together at your campsite.  Brimming with corn and a little on the sweet side, in my 10 inch dutch oven it baked for a total of 30 minutes with 10 coals around the base of the oven, 14 around the outside of the lid with 4 briquettes spaced evenly in the center.  It's very moist so be sure to test the center before taking it off the coals.  For convenience, this one can't be beat.

Golden Sweet Cornbread
2 packages (8.5 oz each) corn muffin mix (Jiffy size)
2 eggs
1 14.75 oz can no salt added cream style corn
1 15.25 oz can no salt added whole kernel corn, well drained

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven.
     Stir together all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; batter will be slightly lumpy.
     Pour batter evenly into prepared oven.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
     Cool 10 minutes before serving.

     Variations:
     For FIESTA CORNBREAD, stir 1 4 oz can diced jalapenos, drained and 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese into batter before baking.
     For BACON AND ONION CORNBREAD, stir 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon and 1/4 cup sliced green onions into batter before baking.
     For BLUEBERRY CORNBREAD, gently stir 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries into batter before baking.

Pour batter into well oiled 10 inch dutch oven

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or
until tester comes out clean

Leave the measuring cups at home when you make
this moist and tasty cornbread

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Gooey S'mores Bars


     If you have a hankering for the taste of a warm, gooey s'more but are unable to sit around a crackling campfire, this easy bar recipe from Betty Crocker will satisfy your sweet tooth and remind you of the great outdoors.  The recipe recommends wetting the back of a spoon before spreading the layer of marshmallow creme but I found cooking spray to work much better.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, the bars baked for 22 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the base of the oven, 16 placed around the outside of the lid with 6 briquettes spaced evenly in the center.  Keep an eye on them as the marshmallows can brown quickly.  Allow them sit for 30 minutes before slicing, it goes without saying, gobble them up while they're still warm for that real campfire treat flavor.  

Gooey S'mores Bars
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 11.5 oz bag milk chocolate chips (2 cups)
1 7 oz jar marshmallow creme
1 cup miniature marshmallows

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper if desired.
     In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until light and fluffy.
     Stir in graham cracker crumbs, flour and salt.
     Reserve 2 cups graham cracker crumb mixture.
     Press remaining mixture in pan for crust.
     Sprinkle chocolate chips over crust; press slightly into crust.
     Drop marshmallow creme by tablespoonfuls over chocolate chips.
     Wet back of large spoon or spray lightly with cooking spray and use to lightly spread marshmallow creme over chips.
     Sprinkle with marshmallows.
     Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture; press lightly.
     Bake for 20-25 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and light golden brown.
     Cool at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars.

Press crumb mixture into parchment lined oven

Lightly press chocolate chips into crumb layer

Spread marshmallow cream with wet or oiled spoon

Sprinkle with marshmallows then top with remaining
crumb mixture

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

Decadently delicious warm or at room temperature

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Chicken and White Bean Bruschetta Bake


     This is one of those recipes that sounded better than it tasted but if you were eating it under the stars by a crackling campfire you would definitely give it two thumbs up.  It's very easy to make, in fact, you can stir everything together in your dutch oven.  For ease of preparation and the fact that it's a true belly warmer I would recommend it for your camping recipe file.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, it baked for a total of 40 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom, 16 in a ring around the lid with 8-10 briquettes spaced evenly in the center.  Serve it would some pasta sauce on the side for dipping to add a bit of extra flavor.

Chicken and White Bean Bruschetta Bake
1 19 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs and garlic, drained
2-3 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 11 oz can Pillsbury refrigerated original breadsticks
8 oz (2 cups) shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley, if desired

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch, or larger, dutch oven.
     In large bowl, mix beans, tomatoes, chicken, vinegar and salt.
     Unroll dough; separate into 12 breadsticks.
     Cut each breadstick into 4 equal pieces.
     Stir 1/4 of breadstick pieces at a time into bean mixture.
     Stir in 1 cup of cheese.
     Spoon into prepared dutch oven, gently smoothing top.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
     Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese and continue baking for 10 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
     Garnish with parsley. 

Combine all but one cup of cheese and spread
evenly in prepared oven

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes then top with cheese

Bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown and
cheese has melted

A hearty, carbo-loading kind of casserole

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bacon and Date Scones


     If you have ever savored a bacon wrapped date as an hors d'oeuvre, you are going to love these sweet and savory scones.  From Bon Appetit, this recipe makes just the right amount for your 10 inch dutch oven.  Rather than kneading, patting out the dough and cutting it into wedges, I took the easy way out and plopped spoonfuls of batter right into my well oiled oven.  They baked for 20 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the base of the oven and 24-26 on the lid.  Don't worry if they fuse together while baking, just cut them while they're hot and allow them to cool a bit before removing from your oven. 

Bacon and Date Scones
10 slices thick-cut bacon
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk
Raw sugar for sprinkling tops of scones

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until cooked through but still tender and not crisp.
     Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain; cool.
     Pour bacon drippings from skillet into small heatproof bowl and reserve.
     Coarsely chop cooled bacon.
     In large bowl, whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
     Using pastry blender or two knives cut cold butter into flour until mixture resembles small crumbs.
     Add bacon and dates to flour mixture; mix until well combined.
     Add buttermilk, stir until just combined.
     Drop dough by large spoonfuls into prepared dutch oven.
     Brush with reserved bacon drippings and sprinkle with raw sugar.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
     Allow to cool slightly before removing from oven.
     Makes 7-8 scones.

Spoon batter into well oiled oven then brush with
bacon drippings and sprinkle with sugar

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes

A sensational combination of flavors in a flaky, buttery scone