Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Eye of Round Roast with Mustard Herb Crust

     Adapted from this Southern online recipe, this one pot dutch oven roasted meal will have you whistling Dixie when it's time to serve dinner.  The mustard topping creates a flavorful crust of tarragon, pepper and garlic.  Try to use fresh tarragon if you can find it, you'll smell the licorice scented herb steaming from your oven when you open the lid.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, the roast cooked for 1 hour with 12 coals in a ring around the base of the oven, 18 briquettes placed in a ring around the outside edge of the lid and 10 more spaced evenly in the center.  Be sure to let the roast sit for a good 15 or 20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to distribute throughout the meat.  Eye of the Round is a lean cut of meat but cooking it like this in your dutch oven makes it very juicy and tender and the flavors of the herbs and mustard really permeate the beef.  I made a 2.5 pound roast and it was on the well done side after an hour, shorten the cooking time if you like your beef a little more on the rare side. 

Eye of Round Roast with Mustard Herb Crust
1 3-4 pound Eye of Round roast
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tblsp chopped fresh tarragon OR 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 large onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into large slices
10 small potatoes, unpeeled
1 Tblsp olive oil

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     In small bowl combine mustard, vinegar, garlic, tarragon and pepper.
     Scatter onion wedges in bottom of prepared oven.
     Place roast, fat side up, atop onions in center of dutch oven.
     Slather roast completely with mustard mixture, being sure to spread a thick coating on top.
     Toss carrots and potatoes with olive oil.
     Spread carrots and potatoes around roast.
     Roast at 400 degrees, 1 hour for a 3 pound roast, 1 hr and 15 minutes for a 4 pound roast.
     Allow beef to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Slather beef well with mustard sauce and surround with vegetables

Depending on size of beef, roast at 400 degrees for 60-75 minutes

A moist and flavorful roast and the vegetables take
on the flavor as well

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Garden Patch Minestrone

     This Garden Patch Minestrone comes to us from Betty Crocker and is conveniently made with a box of Hamburger Helper.  A very good camping recipe, chop the vegetables at home, place them in zip lock bags then all you have to do is open a couple of cans and add the water when you're ready for dinner.  Be sure to light a generous amount of briquettes, not only will you need to saute the veggies over a full spread of coals, you'll need to cover the lid with enough to bring the soup to a good, strong bubble.  The Hamburger Helper creates a rich, beefy broth and with the fresh vegetables you'd never guess this filling minestrone was made with anything out of a package.

Garden Patch Minestrone
2 Tblsp olive oil
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves OR 1 Tblsp dried
1 5.6 oz box Hamburger Helper beef pasta
1 15 oz can cannellini OR dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
5 cups water

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Saute oil, carrots, celery, onion and garlic over a full compliment of coals until vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
     Move bottom coals to a ring around base of dutch oven.
     Stir in zucchini, basil, uncooked pasta and sauce mix (from Hamburger Helper box), beans, tomatoes and water.
     Cover lid with as many coals as needed to bring soup to strong bubble.
     Simmer for 35-40 minutes or until vegetables are cooked the way you like them.
     Serve with grated Parmesan cheese; makes 6 servings.

Saute carrots, celery, onions and garlic over a full
compliment of coals

Add remainder of ingredients

Simmer for 35-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender

An easy Hamburger Helper camper's minestrone

Friday, April 4, 2014

Chocolate-Topped Peanut Butter-Bacon Bars

     Just when you thought you'd seen it all, Betty Crocker brings us the ultimate dessert for bacon junkies.  Easily made from a package of peanut butter cookie mix and crisply cooked bacon, these addictive bars are the perfect balance of sweet and salty ingredients and will remind you of a warm peanut butter and bacon sandwich. 
     In my 10 inch dutch oven, the bars baked for 25 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the base of the oven, 14 placed in a ring around the outside of the lid with 6 spaced evenly in the center.  Once the cookie batter layer is golden brown, remove the lid, sprinkle with the chocolate chips and continue baking until the chips are soft and spreadable.  I allowed them to cool in my dutch oven for 30 minutes before lifting them out with the parchment paper.  If you don't want to eat them while they're still warm and gooey, place them in the fridge until the chocolate has set before cutting into bars.  These are indescribably good and if you use maple flavored bacon they're even more flavorful and delicious.

Chocolate-Topped Bacon Peanut Butter Bars
1 17.5 oz pouch Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tblsp maple-flavored syrup
1 egg
12 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled (about a cup)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
     In large bowl, stir together cookie mix, oil, syrup and egg until soft dough forms.
     Reserve 1/4 cup bacon for garnish.
     Stir remaining bacon and peanuts into dough.
     Press dough evenly into parchment lined dutch oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
     Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.
     Replace lid and cook for 3-5 minutes or until chocolate has melted.
     Immediately spread softened chocolate over bars.
     Sprinkle reserved 1/4 cup bacon over chocolate.
     Cool for 30 minutes before lifting from dutch oven.
     Wait 30 minutes, or until chocolate has set, before cutting into squares.
     Store tightly covered in refrigerator.

Press cookie dough into parchment lined 10 inch dutch oven

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, sprinkle with chocolate chips
and bake for several minutes more or until chocolate has melted

Spread melted chocolate then top with remaining bacon pieces

Nothing like a little protein to balance out the sugar

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sizzling Sausages and Grapes

     Leave it to the Italians to think of pairing rustic sausages with sweet, roasted grapes.  I was drawn to the simplicity of this dish, an easy one pot meal that you can toss together in your dutch oven.  Roasting the grapes heightens their sweetness, turning them almost into a jam-like consistency and when cooked with the spicy sausages, it's an unusual but very tasty combination of flavors. In my 12 inch dutch oven the casserole baked for one hour and fifteen minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and 28-30 on the lid.  It's not necessary to turn the sausages at the halfway mark but it will help them to brown more evenly. The polenta soaks up juices and a dash of balsamic vinegar right before serving helps this peasant dinner to really shine.  From Better Homes and Gardens the Ultimate Casseroles book.

Sizzling Sausages and Grapes
1 1/2 lbs seedless red grapes, stems removed and rinsed
1 16 oz tube cooked polenta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped OR 1/2 tsp dried
6-8 sweet and/or hot Italian sausages (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
2 Tblsp balsamic vinegar

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch or larger dutch oven.
     In large bowl, combine grapes, polenta, onion, oil and rosemary; toss to coat.
     Spread mixture evenly in prepared dutch oven.
     Using a fork, prick each sausage in several places.
     Add sausage to dutch oven, nestling them into the grape mixture.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes, turning sausages halfway, or until sausages are cooked through and grapes are slightly shriveled.
     Drizzle with balsamic vinegar right before serving.
     Makes 4 servings.

Nestle sausage in polenta, onions and grapes

Roast at 350 degrees for 60 to 75 minutes

Serve with a slotted spoon and drizzle with balsamic vinegar

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tanyard Farm Buttermilk Cake

     Other than the fact my mouth was watering when I read this recipe, what really drew me to it is the fact that you can mix all the cake ingredients in one bowl, a huge plus when you're baking outdoors.  Posted on the King Arthur Flour website, the recipe comes courtesy of a farm in West Hartford, VT.  The batter comes together as easily as a cake mix, you do need to melt the butter for the topping but other than that it's extremely easy to make.
     In my 12 inch dutch oven, the cake baked for a total of 45 minutes.  I started out with 12 coals around the base of the oven, 17 in a ring around the outside of the lid and 10 spaced evenly in the center.  After 20 minutes I rotated the lid and moved the center top coals to the outside of the lid as the cake was starting to brown in the center.  After a total of 35 minutes a tester came out clean in the center of the cake and I proceeded to add the topping.  After 10 more minutes the cake was done.  It is important to bake the cake completely before adding the warm topping otherwise it will sink in the center.  I allowed the cake to cool for a good hour before lifting it out of the oven however if you like it on the gooey side, serve it warm right from your oven. 

Tanyard Farm Buttermilk Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tblsp butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 to 1 cup chopped pecans

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
     In large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together until smooth.
     Add the eggs, beating until smooth.
     Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
     Add the baking soda, salt and flour to the wet ingredients, beating until thoroughly combined.
     Pour the batter into prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
     Towards the end of the baking time, prepare the topping.
     Stir the melted butter and sugar together.
     Add the milk, pecans and salt; the glaze will be thick but pourable.
     Spoon the topping over the cake, completely covering cake.
     Return lid to dutch oven and continue to bake for 10 minutes.
     Allow cake to cool for one hour before lifting from oven.
     The topping will look very runny.
     You can eat the cake hot, with the glaze still gooey or let the cake sit at room temperature for a few hours, at which time the glaze will have set.

Pour batter into parchment lined oven

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until tester comes out clean

Spoon warm topping onto cake and continue baking
for 10 minutes

Allow cake to cool for one hour before lifting from oven

A definite died and gone to heaven coffee cake

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken and Potatoes

     Having all my favorite ingredients, I couldn't resist trying this recipe from Southern Living in my my dutch oven.  Scaled back to fit in my 12 inch oven, you may want to follow the original recipe if you want to make it in your larger oven.  Very simple, all you do is combine the flavorings, toss in the chicken and potatoes and bake.  You do need to roast this in a hot oven, after placing 12 coals in a ring around the base of the oven with at least 30 on the lid, I left it alone and in one hour the chicken was golden and the potatoes were tender.  Be sure to serve it with a chunk of crusty bread to mop up the tangy, garlicky and very fragrant juices.

Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken and Potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
3 Tblsp capers, drained
1 lemon, thinly sliced
8-10 garlic cloves, smashed
2 Tblsp fresh rosemary leaves OR 1 Tblsp dried
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
6-8 pieces chicken legs and/or thighs
1 lb small red or creamer potatoes, unpeeled
Crusty French bread

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven.
     In large bowl combine first 8 ingredients.
     Add chicken and potatoes; toss well to coat.
     Spread mixture in single layer in prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 450 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until chicken is done.
     Serve with sauce and French bread.
     Makes 4 servings.

Toss ingredients together then place in single layer in dutch oven

Roast in a hot oven for one hour

Lots of flavor in this one-pot dinner

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Marion Cunningham's Irish Soda Bread

    Since my father was conceived in Ireland and my grandparents emigrated to the United States from County Mayo, I owe it to my distant relatives to at least try, if not perfect, the art of baking authentic Irish Soda Bread in my dutch oven.  You can watch Marion Cunningham, a wonderful cook book author, making this bread here in a Youtube episode of Baking with Julia.  She makes it look so easy, I followed her recipe to a T and found the batter to be extremely sticky and a little tricky to handle.  I would suggest flouring your hands and work surface well in order to shape the dough.  If you're baking this on a muggy day, hold back a little on the buttermilk, you can easily go down to 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk with the same result.  The loaf is supposed to be craggy and wet so don't be alarmed.  I transferred the dough to my dutch oven using a plate and large spatula but if you form it on a round piece of parchment paper you can transfer it directly into your hot oven. 
     I pre-heated my 10 inch deep dutch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom, 15 around the edge of the lid with 6-7 spaced evenly in the middle.  Once I added the bread, I left it alone and after 45 minutes it was golden brown and hollow sounding when I rapped the loaf.  Let it cool almost completely before slicing and if you have any leftovers, wrap it well and toast it the next day.  A great quick bread for campers, mix the dry ingredients at home and all you have to do is add the buttermilk when you're ready to bake.
Marion Cunningham's Irish Soda Bread
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for shaping dough)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven then light coals for baking bread.-
     While coals are heating, in medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a whisk or fork.
     When coals are ready, place hot coals above and below empty dutch oven.
     While oven is pre-heating, add the buttermilk and stir vigorously with a fork or wooden spoon just until the dough comes together.
     Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for a minute (the dough will not be smooth).
     Form the dough into a round loaf shape about 6 inches in diameter.
     Transfer dough to heated dutch oven (use spatula and plate or parchment paper as dough will be sticky).
     With sharp knife cut an 'X' in the top about 1/2 inch deep.
     Bake for 45-50 minutes at 375 degrees or until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom of the loaf.
     Remove from dutch oven and place on rack to cool completely.
     Best eaten the same day, once cool, wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Pre-heat dutch oven before baking

Transfer loaf to hot oven, dough will not be smooth

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes

Buttermilk and soda help this rustic bread to rise