Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cream Biscuits

     It doesn't get much easier than this when it comes to biscuit making.  With just two ingredients and a bowl you can whip up a batch of these airy, delicate biscuits.  Measure your self rising flour, add the cream, mix, and voila, ready to pop into your oven.  Most of the cream biscuit recipes require a few minutes of kneading, I skipped that process altogether by lightly forming them into balls before setting them close together in my oven.  Be sure to use heavy cream, you definitely need the fat content, and if you like your biscuits on the sweet side, add a tablespoon of sugar.  I did brush them with a little melted butter before baking to help them brown more evenly.   They took almost 20 minutes to bake in my 10 inch dutch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and the lid completely covered with briquettes.  Once again, you need that initial blast of heat to help them rise.  You can eat these dainty, flaky biscuits in two bites, better yet dripping with honey or topped with your favorite homemade jam.

Cream Biscuits
2 cups self rising flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1-2 Tblsp melted butter

     Lightly oil or spray a 10 inch dutch oven.
     Mix flour with cream in medium size bowl.  Do not over mix. 
     Lightly shape into rounds and place closely together in dutch oven. Brush with melted butter if desired.
     Bake for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees or until biscuits are nicely brown and cooked through. 
Shape biscuits with your hands

After 20 minutes in a hot oven

You can eat these delicate biscuits in two bites

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Easy Peach Crisp

     If you are looking for a foolproof dutch oven dessert, look no further.  This Peach Crisp recipe from a Del Monte magazine ad gives you the basic formula for any canned fruit crisp topping.  This is the perfect amount for your 8 inch oven and easily makes 4 servings.  It baked in 25 minutes with 8 coals in a ring around the bottom and 12-14 on the top.  If you want to make it in your ten each oven, double the amounts of topping ingredients but use three 15 oz cans of peaches.  I have made it for a crowd in my 12 inch regular dutch oven with two 29 oz. cans of peaches and tripled everything else.  You cannot go wrong with these proportions.  Sweet, crunchy and buttery, file this away as a must have dutch oven recipe.   

Easy Peach Crisp
2 15 oz. cans of sliced peaches in heavy syrup, drained
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Lightly oil or spray an 8 inch dutch oven.   
Place drained fruit in oven.
Combine flour, sugar, oats and cinnamon. Mix in butter until crumbly, sprinkle over fruit.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 min. or until golden brown. 

Sprinkle topping over drained peaches

After 25 minutes, golden and bubbly

Crunchy, buttery topping laced with cinnamon

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Easy Chicken and Biscuits

     This has to be one of the easiest and most popular dutch oven recipes out there.  It is also a great way to use up your leftovers.  Two cans of soup and a cup of milk make the creamiest base for whatever vegetables you have on hand.  I like to cut up big chunks of carrots and blanch them beforehand, it gives the pie a little more of a made from scratch flavor.  Toss in some peas right from the freezer and they'll stay green and crisp.  I first made this in my 10 inch dutch oven and ended up scorching the biscuits, I should have known better but was in a hurry and was too lazy to fetch my larger one.  On my second try it baked perfectly in my 12 inch camp oven with 12 briquettes in a ring around the bottom and the lid completely covered with coals. This comforting dish cooks in a jiffy, basically all you are doing is heating the ingredients and baking the biscuits.  Next time you come home from work and are craving some real down home cooking but are too hungry and tired to wait, give this one a try.  From Back of the Box Cooking.   

Easy Chicken and Biscuits
1 10 oz. can Campbell's Cream of Celery Soup
1 10 oz. can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Potato Soup
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups cooked cut-up vegetables
2-3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 7 oz. package refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

     Lightly oil or spray a 12 inch dutch oven.
     Mix soups, milk, thyme, black pepper, vegetables, and chicken.  Pour in dutch oven.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbling.
     Place biscuits on top of chicken mixture.  Cover and bake for 12-15 minutes or until biscuits are golden.

Oops, first attempt in a 10 inch oven, biscuits fused to the lid

Back to square one, heat chicken ingredients until bubbly

Add a can of biscuits

After 15 minutes in a hot oven, puffed and golden

Good down home cooking

Monday, June 27, 2011

Black Magic Cake

     For those of you who have never baked a cake from scratch, this recipe from Hershey's is the one for you.  Mix the dry ingredients together, add the rest, then beat for 2 minutes.  What could be simpler?  Bake this in your 12 inch oven with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and 20-22 on top and be sure to rotate the lid halfway.  This moist, dark cake is rich like a brownie and the coffee only serves to heighten the chocolaty flavor.  For now on this will be my go to chocolate cake recipe.  Your friends will think you have been baking for years when you serve them a slice of this rich, outstanding dessert and like magic, it will quickly disappear.

Black Magic Cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven.  Line with parchment paper.
     Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl.  Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin).  Pour batter evenly into prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from dutch oven.  Cool completely.  Frost as desired.

Mix in one bowl, batter will be thin

Done in 30 minutes

Finish with your favorite frosting

You know you want a piece

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sisters on the Fly Stuffed Bell Peppers

     Sisters on the Fly is an organization of women who love to fish, travel and gather in their vintage trailer caravans.  Formed in 1999 their membership has grown to 1,400 adventurous women.  They have published a great book portraying life in the sisterhood with tips on camping, cooking and life in the great outdoors.  This recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers from Sisters on the Fly; Caravans, Campfires, and Tales from the Road was one of the first recipes I tried in my dutch oven.  This is an easy recipe in that it does not require any pre-cooking of the beef, just stuff the peppers and wait for your dutch oven to steam them to perfection. I have made it several times both in my 10 and 12 inch ovens, my only suggestion would be to make sure your oven is deep enough or your peppers low enough to allow enough room between the stuffing and the lid.  I would recommend using your deep oven if you have one.  The sweet peppers are fork tender, the stuffing light and juicy.  These are incredibly good and hard to believe, they are almost better the next day.  If you are a lover of stuffed peppers this classic recipe is about as good as it gets and thank you sister Edith Berry for sharing it with us!

Sisters on the Fly Stuffed Bell Peppers
14 soda crackers (Saltines), crushed into fine pieces
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 large red, green, orange, or yellow bell peppers
2 cups water
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated ( I use shredded Mozzarella)

     Edith Berry (Sister #614) is acknowledged as one of the best cooks in the Sisterhood. She has collected hundreds of campfire recipes. This old fashioned favorite can be put together in advance and stored in a cooler until suppertime. Serves 6.

     Lightly oil or spray a 14 inch dutch oven.
     In a large bowl, mix together the soda crackers, ground beef, onion, celery, and half the tomato sauce.  Add the eggs and garlic and mix well. 
     Cut off the top of the peppers and clean out the insides.  Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture and place them in your dutch oven.  Add 2 cups of water to the bottom of the oven and steam the peppers for an hour using approximately 12 charcoal briquettes on the bottom and 15-20 on the lid.
     When the peppers are tender and cooked, pour the remaining tomato sauce over the peppers and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Cook for a few more minutes or until cheese is melted.

Steam stuffed peppers in two cups of water

After 50 minutes to an hour, peppers tender and stuffing cooked through

Cover with tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese

A definite blue ribbon recipe

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Coastal Shrimp and Tomato Rice

     This quick and tasty shrimp dish from The Dinner Doctor by Ann Byrn has all the flavor of low country cooking.  In twenty minutes and with five ingredients you can have a bowlful of Southern goodness.  Open a can of tomatoes, peel some shrimp and you're in business.  I made this in my 8 inch dutch oven with 9 coals on the bottom and completely covered the lid.  It will serve two ravenous campers or maybe four as a side dish.  Enjoy the taste of Charleston on your next camping trip, this simple little recipe will reward you with big flavor.

Coastal Shrimp and Tomato Rice
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onions
1 cup instant rice (Minute Rice)
2 Tblsp sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives
1 lb. medium-size shrimp
1/2 tsp black pepper or more to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

     Lightly oil or spray an 8 or 10 inch dutch oven.
     Place tomatoes in prepared oven.  Fill the tomato can with water and add to tomatoes.  Cover and cook over a full spread of coals with as many as will fit on the lid to bring it to a low boil. 
     Stir in rice and olives.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until rice is almost tender.
     Add shrimp and pepper; stir.  Cover and cook 5-10 more minutes or until shrimp is pink and opaque.
     Sprinkle the feta over the shrimp.  Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Stir rice and olives into simmering tomatoes

When rice is almost done stir in shrimp and pepper

Crumble feta over shrimp and heat until melted

Bold flavor from just a few ingredients

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

     These Enchiladas Suizas or Swiss-style Enchiladas are rich, creamy and loaded with flavor.  The roasted red pepper and cilantro jump out at you with every bite.  The corn tortillas can be a bit tricky to roll, they tend to crack if they are not warmed to the right temperature.  If you are unable to warm them beforehand, try using flour tortillas instead.  Make them in your 10 inch oven with 8 coals in a circle around the bottom and 16-18 on top.  The nutty, rich flavor of the cheese makes these enchiladas a sure winner.  From The New Woman's Day Cookbook; Simple Recipes for Every Occasion.

Chicken Enchiladas Suizas
8 corn tortillas
1 1/4 cups red or green salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
Garnish: diced tomato and sliced scallions

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven.
     Mix salsa, sour cream and cilantro in a medium bowl.  Spread 1/2 cup over bottom of dutch oven. 
     In another bowl, mix chicken, 1 cup cheese and the roasted peppers.
     Heat tortillas in microwave or oven before rolling.
     Spoon scant 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla.  Roll up; place seam side down in baking dish.  Pour remaining salsa mixture over top.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until bubbly.  Top with remaining cup of Swiss cheese and bake for 10 minutes more or until cheese has melted.  Serves 4-5.

Low-fat sour cream, cilantro and salsa top corn enchiladas

Add cheese during last 10 minutes of cooking time

A great flavor combination

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mayberry's Mexican Potato and Corn Casserole

     It would be hard to find a potluck or dutch oven gathering that did not include some form of a cheesy, layered potato dish on the table.  There are many great potato recipes out there made for dutch oven cooking.  They make the perfect side dish for just about anything and can easily and cheaply feed a crowd.  I ran across this Mexican Potato and Corn Casserole in my copy of Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook.  Not only did I have all the ingredients on hand but I thought the corn and chilies added a new twist. Slice the potatoes as thinly as you can to help them cook faster.  Make them in your 10 inch dutch oven with 10 coals around the base and cover the lid, with 20-24 more.  Once I put the potatoes on the coals I left them alone for 50 minutes then sprinkled on the cheese and scallions.  At camp or at home, this could become your new standby potato recipe, it's pretty darned delicious.  And as Aunt Bee would say, "Don't be late for suppa!".

Mayberry's Mexican Potato and Corn Casserole
2 lb. potatoes (4 or 5 large potatoes), peeled & sliced
Salt & pepper to taste
4 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob or 2 c. frozen or canned corn
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups buttermilk
2 Tbsp chopped chives or scallions
2 cups grated Monteray Jack and or Cheddar cheese

     Lightly oil or spray a 10 inch dutch oven.
     Arrange half of the potato slices in the oven.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with half of the corn and half of the chilies.  Dot with butter.  Repeat the layers.  Pour the buttermilk over all. 
     Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Top with cheese and scallions or chives and cover.  Cook 5-10 more minutes or until cheese has melted.  Serves 8.

Layers of potatoes, chilies, corn and butter

After 50 minutes, potatoes tender and ready for cheese topping

Cover and cook for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese

Bound to be a big hit wherever you serve this

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blueberry Buckle

     Here is another doozy of a recipe from the King Arthur site.  Blueberries are folded into a moist, buttery batter then baked beneath a layer of cinnamon and brown sugar.  The name was given to this cake by colonial bakers because as the cake rises it 'buckles' around the streusel topping.  I baked this in my 10 inch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 18-20 on the lid.  Check it after 30 minutes and let it cool for 10 minutes before lifting it out of the oven.  Serve it with ice cream for dessert or a hot cup of coffee for breakfast.  Rustle up some blueberries, fire up the coals and live a little with a big, warm slice of this luscious coffee cake.

Blueberry Buckle
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup  sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, well drained  

     Lightly oil or spray a 10 inch dutch oven and line with parchment paper.
     To make the topping:  Mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Cut or rub in the butter or margarine with the side of a fork, two knives or your finger tips until it reaches a crumbly state.  Set aside.
     To make the batter:  Blend the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl.  In a large bowl cream together the sugar, butter or margarine, egg and vanilla.  Alternately add the milk and the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, ending with the flour.  Stir only enough to blend.  Fold in the blueberries.
     Pour the batter into prepared dutch oven and spread evenly.  Batter will be wet.  Sprinkle the topping over the batter and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester or knife comes out clean.
     Let cool in dutch oven for 10 minutes before inverting on a plate.  Serve warm.

Sprinkle blueberry batter with streusel topping

Buckle is done when tester comes out clean

Let cool in oven before inverting onto plate

Warm moist cake gushing with blueberries

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cincinnati Chili

     Cincinnati is famous for it's world class chili, it's residents consume more than two million pounds a year, topped by 850,000 pounds of cheddar cheese. Their uniquely flavored version is thinner than the standard chili con carne and is usually served over a plate of spaghetti.  It comes garnished with grated cheddar, chopped onions, pinto beans and oyster crackers. You need to know the lingo before ordering at a 'chili parlor'.  Two-way is chili and spaghetti, Three-way is chili, spaghetti and cheese, Four-way is served with chili, spaghetti, onions and cheese and Five-way has it all, beans included.  I have always wanted to give this a try. You may be able to find a more authentic recipe by searching online but this fairly simple version from Land O' Lakes has all the basic ingredients and is a good place to start.  
     If camping, you could easily toss your spices together in a zip lock bag before leaving home.   Brown the beef over a full spread of coals then move the bottom coals to a ring around the base of the oven.  I covered the lid with coals to bring it to a low boil then left it to cook for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.  I can see why Cincinnatians go wild over their chili, this is a definite taste sensation and not to be missed.  I envy anyone who lives within a hundred miles of any place that has this amazing combination of textures and flavors on their menu.  So put on your stretch pants and dish yourself up a mountain of this incredible chili.

Cincinnati Chili
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1/2 cup water
1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon instant beef bouillon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (16-ounce) package uncooked dried spaghetti
shredded Cheddar cheese
Chopped red onion, if desired

     Lightly oil or spray a 10 or 12 inch dutch oven.
     Cook ground beef, garlic and onions over a full compliment of coals until beef has browned and onions are soft and translucent.  Drain.
     Stir in all remaining ingredients except spaghetti, cheese and red onion.  Bring to a low boil and simmer for 45 minutes until flavors are blended.
     Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Drain.
     To serve, spoon chili mixture over spaghetti.  Top each serving generously with grated cheddar cheese and onion, if desired.  Serves 4-5. 

Brown beef with onions and garlic, stir in rest of ingredients

Chili turns a deep mahogany color and smells amazing

A classic Four-way

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lemonade Party Cake

     For some reason I woke up craving lemon cake today.  This recipe from Betty Crocker delivers a one two punch of flavor.  Not only do you taste the lemony cake but the sweet, tart glaze permeates every bite.  The cake baked in 25 minutes in a 12 inch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 22 on top.  I started out covering the whole lid with coals then after 15 minutes moved the center coals to the outside.  It seems to help keep the cake from browning too much in the middle.  I let the cake sit in the dutch oven for 15 minutes before inverting it onto a plate for the next step of glazing.  If you were cooking outside I think I would pour the lemonade-sugar mixture over the cake in the oven then let it cool before removing.  Next time you are in the mood for something light and lemony, be sure to give this moist and refreshing cake a try.

Lemonade Party Cake
1 box lemon or yellow cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 container whipped white or lemon frosting

     Lightly oil 12 inch dutch oven and line with parchment paper.
     Mix cake as directed on package and pour into prepared dutch oven.  Bake at 350 degrees or until cake springs back in center when tested.  Let cake cool in dutch oven for 15 minutes.
     Carefully remove cake from dutch oven and invert onto plate.
     Mix lemonade concentrate and powdered sugar.  Pierce top of warm cake every 1/2 inch with long tined fork or skewer, wiping occasionally to reduce sticking.  Make perforations 3/4 of the way through cake.  Place cake plate on tray or waxed paper.  Drizzle lemonade mixture evenly over top of cake.  Refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.
     Frost cake.  Serves 12.

Bake cake in 12 inch oven until center is firm to the touch

Poke holes in cake and while still warm, pour over lemonade glaze

Cool completely before frosting then get ready for a tart, sweet treat