Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake for a Crowd

      I've had my eye on this recipe for a while and was waiting until I had company to make it.  Conveniently made with Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon rolls, the prep work only requires melting a stick of butter, snipping the dough into quarters and rolling it in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Keep your refrigerated rolls as cold as possible until you're ready to assemble them, otherwise the warm dough will become sticky and hard to handle.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, the coffee cake baked for a total of 30 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the base of the oven, 18 briquettes placed around the rim of the lid with 10 spaced evenly in the center.  When you can smell the cinnamon it's probably done.  Lining your oven with parchment will make for an easier clean up while you're camping and be sure to serve this unbelievably good monkey bread-like cake warm so you can scoop up all the gooey caramel from the bottom.

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake for a Crowd
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp grated orange peel (1 large orange)
3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 17.5 oz cans Pillsbury Grands refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven.
     In medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and orange peel; whisk until well combined.
     Pour butter mixture into prepared dutch oven.
     Top with 1/2 cup of the pecans.
     In small bowl, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
     Separate dough into 10 rolls.
     Cut into quarters.
     Place dough pieces in sugar mixture; toss to coat.
     Arrange dough in single layer in dutch oven.
     Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center.
     Drop icing by teaspoonfuls over top of coffee cake; sprinkle with remaining pecans.
     Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
     Serve warm, makes 10 servings.

Spread brown sugar mixture in bottom of well oiled
oven then top with pecans

Roll cinnamon roll pieces in cinnamon sugar then
arrange in single layer in dutch oven

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes

Add icing and remaining pecans

Be sure to serve this yummy pull-apart coffee cake while
still warm

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Roasted Summer Vegetables with Goat Cheese

     For a light and easy dinner or lunch, give this Roasted Summer Vegetables with Goat Cheese salad a try.  From Williams Sonoma, your dutch oven serves as the perfect vessel for roasting the vegetables and keeping your kitchen cool in the summer heat.  In my 10 inch dutch oven the vegetables roasted for a total of 35 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the base of the oven and the lid completely covered with 24 briquettes.  The crispy lettuce combined with the warm vegetables and creamy goat cheese creates a culinary match made in heaven and is a great way to use up your bumper crop of garden vegetables.

Roasted Summer Vegetables with Goat Cheese
4 Tblsp olive oil, divided
1 lb red or orange bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into slices
1 lb slender eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 lb zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 Tblsp sherry OR red wine vinegar, divided
1 romaine lettuce head, separated into leaves
4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Pour 2 Tblsp olive oil into prepared oven.
     Add the bell peppers, onion, eggplant and zucchini.
     Sprinkle with garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.
     Stir until well combined.
     Roast at 400 degrees, stirring halfway, for 35-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
     Drizzle vegetables with 1 Tblsp vinegar.
     In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 Tblsp olive oil and 2 Tblsp vinegar.
     Add the lettuce and toss to coat.
     Divide the lettuce among 4 plates, stacking the leaves slightly to make a bed for the vegetables.
     Spoon the warm vegetables evenly over the lettuce.
     Sprinkle 2 Tblsp goat cheese over each salad.
     Serve immediately, makes 4 servings.

Toss vegetables with olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper

Roast at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes

Tender summer veggies on crispy greens, a perfect combination

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Plum and Blueberry Galette

     At first I wasn't sure I was even going to write up this recipe.  After seeing the finished product, with it's leaky juices and uneven crust, I didn't quite think it was worthy of posting.  Well after tasting this sweet and tart rustic pie, I decided to share it with you.  It was very delicious, a perfect summer dessert.  The pie crust mix came together easily, you'll need flour on your rolling pin to prevent it from sticking and if you roll it out and fill in on the parchment paper you'll have no problems transferring it to your dutch oven.  Pie crusts are not my forte so many of you more experienced pie bakers will probably do a better job of forming the crust than I did.  I'm sure you could make this with a ready made refrigerated pie crust and it would be equally as good.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, it baked for 35 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom, 18 in a ring around the outside of the lid and 10 spaced evenly in the middle.  Serve it while it's warm, top it off with some vanilla ice cream and savor the flavors of summer.

Plum and Blueberry Galette
4 large plums, black or red, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1 11 oz box pie crust mix
3 Tblsp granulated sugar
Pinch ground ginger
1/3 cup water
1 egg lightly beaten

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch or larger dutch oven.
     Cut 15 inch circle of parchment paper.
     In a medium size bowl, toss together plums, blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch; set aside.
     In a large bowl, combine pie crust mix, 3 Tblsp sugar, ginger and 1/3 cup water.
     Stir until mixture begins to come together.
     Roll out to a 13-inch circle on parchment paper.
     Spoon filling onto center of crust, leaving a 3-inch border all around.
     Fold edge of crust partway over plum mixture.
     Brush pie crust with beaten egg.
     Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until crust is browned and bubbly (some juices may leak out of the crust).
     Cool in dutch oven for 20 minutes before lifting out with parchment paper.
     Makes 4-6 servings.

Roll and fill pie crust on parchment paper before
transferring to dutch oven

Fold crust over fruit and brush with beaten egg

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes

A rustic but very delicious summer dessert

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

     From Sargento, this Cheesy Chicken Casserole is one of those comforting kind of dinners that is also a good way to sneak some green vegetables into the picky eaters in your family.  I added the broccoli straight from the freezer but if you're camping, allow it to thaw in your cooler.  The casserole baked in my 12 inch dutch for 40 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the base of the oven, 16 placed around the outside of the lid with 8 briquettes spaced evenly in the center.  If you can't use fresh bread crumbs, try it with Panko.  Turn a leftover rotisserie chicken into an elegant and creamy casserole that is assembled in minutes and everyone will love.
Cheesy Chicken Casserole
2 10 oz. packages frozen, cut broccoli or asparagus, thawed, drained
4 cups coarsely chopped, cooked chicken
1 10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven.
     Arrange broccoli and chicken in bottom of prepared oven.
     Combine soup, sour cream and pepper; mix well.
     Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese; spread mixture over the chicken and broccoli.
     Combine remaining 1/2 cup cheese, bread crumbs and butter.
     Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over soup mixture.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
     Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Arrange broccoli and chicken in well-oiled dutch oven

Spoon soup mixture over chicken then sprinkle with
buttered, cheesy, crumb topping

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

An excellent recipe for the beginning dutch oven cook

Friday, August 1, 2014

Praline Peach Cobbler

     What makes this Praline Peach Cobbler from Betty Crocker so good is the bottom layer of pecans, brown sugar, and graham cracker crumbs.  Not only does it make enough to feed an army, but the peaches are nestled between a gooey praline crust and a sweet cake-like topping.  In my 12 inch dutch oven it baked for 55 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and 28 on the lid.  I did line it with parchment paper for an easier clean up but it's not really necessary.  Make this for your next dutch oven gathering and there's bound to be a line of people coming back for a second helping of this delicious dessert.

Praline Peach Cobbler
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 29 oz cans sliced peaches, drained
2 tsp prepared cinnamon-sugar
1 cup Bisquick
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper if desired.
     In medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, pecans, brown sugar and butter.
     Press crumb mixture evenly prepared dutch oven.
     Arrange peaches on crust.
     Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
     In medium bowl, whisk Bisquick, granulated sugar and milk.
     Pour over peaches.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and done in center.
     Serve warm.
     Makes 12 servings.

Press graham cracker layer into prepared 12 inch dutch oven

Cover with drained peaches then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar

Pour Bisquick batter over peaches, it will be on the thin side

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Four Can Baked Beans

     From Progresso, the hardest part about making this bean recipe is opening the cans.  Ideal for camping, after the flavors meld, these rich and spicy beans taste like they were simmered all day.  In my 10 inch dutch oven, the beans baked for 50 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 20 briquettes on the lid.  You can monkey around with the flavors, I used bake beans with onions and chile beans with cayenne and cumin, although I would avoid the sweeter maple flavored baked beans.  Allow them to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving so the beans will have time to absorb some of the zesty juices. 

Four Can Baked Beans
1 16 oz can baked beans, undrained
1 15 oz can spicy chili beans, undrained
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     In large bowl, combine ingredients well, pour into prepared oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until bubbling and flavors have blended.
     Allow beans to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Combine all ingredients in well oiled dutch oven

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes

Simple to make but loaded with flavor

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mom's Cocktail Meatballs

Camping with Mom when we were young

     We buried my mother this week.  After a long illness and a year of dialysis, she passed away peacefully at home.  Thankfully, I was able to take care of her, it was an amazing gift and I treasure every minute we were able to spend together.  
     My mother was an incredible cook.  Some of my earliest memories are of her standing over the stove making rosette cookies for us.  She'd dip the batter covered iron into the bubbling oil and in minutes would pass us a platter of the light,  crispy cookies covered in powdered sugar.  For Christmas Eve she'd make pressed pork and molded jellied veal loaves from recipes handed down to her from her Swedish relatives.  It would take days of preparation and I still have the meat grinder she'd clamp to the kitchen table and crank furiously until the cooked veal was the right consistency.  We rolled and cut cookies every holiday and to this day I use her Mirro cookie press from the sixties.  When Julia Child introduced American housewives to French cooking, my mother was glued to the tv, taking notes during every episode of The French Chef.  In her new enameled, cast iron cookware she prepared many wonderful meals, educating our palettes along the way.  While the other kids in the neighborhood were eating franks and beans on a Saturday night, Mom was whipping up platters of Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon.  She came home one day from her Chinese cooking class with bags of exotic ingredients, shiny new cleavers and a wok that she seasoned and used faithfully. 
     Mother was fearless, daring and her adventurous spirit in the kitchen spilled over into all aspects of her life as well.  When arthritis got the best of her and she could no longer stand at the kitchen counter, she continued to devour cookbooks, voraciously reading them from cover to cover, still enjoying armchair meal planning and finding new recipes for me to try.  I am so grateful for her never ending, unconditional love and for all the wonderful smells, sounds and flavors that emanated from her kitchen, she continues to be my inspiration and I aspire to be more like her every day. 
     Food and mealtimes create some of our best memories, I hope you'll think of my mother when you make these meatballs.  I'm not sure where she found the recipe but friends and neighbors flocked to the Crock Pot every holiday to load up on them before they disappeared.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, they baked for 40 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the base of the oven and 26-28 briquettes on the lid.  Bake them anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of your meatball.  It's a great party recipe, they freeze well too and if you can't make them in your dutch oven, bake them in a 9 by 13 inch pan in your conventional oven, I hope they become a classic at your holiday table as well. 
Mom's Cocktail Meatballs
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup packaged cornflake crumbs
1/3 cup dried parsley flakes
2 eggs
2 Tblsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup ketchup
3 Tblsp instant minced onion
1 14 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
1 12 oz bottle chili sauce
2 Tblsp brown sugar
1 Tblsp lemon juice

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch or larger dutch oven.
     In large bowl, combine beef, cornflake crumbs, parsley, eggs, soy sauce, pepper, garlic powder, ketchup and minced onion.
     Form into small balls about the size of a walnut and arrange in a single layer in prepared oven.
     In medium sized saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice.
     Cook over medium heat, stirring, until smooth and cranberry sauce is melted.
     Pour sauce over meatballs.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Form meatballs and place in a single layer
in prepared dutch oven

Cover with sauce

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes

Mom loved sharing her recipes and this one's a keeper