Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dump Soup

     With arrival of Hurricane Irene this past weekend, I got to thinking about how our dutch ovens could be indispensable and even life saving in an emergency situation.  This recipe for Dump Soup from the Nakomis Heights Lutheran Church cookbook is the kind of meal you can make in a power outage or the aftermath of a storm.  Of course it's a great campsite dinner too, doctor it up with your favorite herbs and spices or even toss in a can of cooked chicken.  All the ingredients fit in my 10 inch oven with room to spare, I heated it with 10 coals around the bottom and 20 on the lid.  Let it simmer away for 30 minutes or until it's bubbling at a steady pace and heated through.  Use low salt varieties if you can.  Keep the ingredients in your pantry and some charcoal on hand and you'll always have the fixings of a warm, hearty stew you can feed your family and neighbors in a time of crisis.

Dump Soup
2 14.5 oz. cans stewed tomatoes with juice
1 15 oz. can Veg-All mixed vegetables, drained
1 15 oz. can white shoe peg or yellow corn, drained
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
1 can Progresso vegetable soup

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Open all cans and pour into dutch oven; mix well.
     Cook at a steady simmer for 30 minutes or until ingredients are heated through.
     Makes 6 servings.

Open cans, pour ingredients in your dutch oven and stir

Heat for 30 minutes

Pretty tasty for a pantry soup

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roasted Spiced Carrots

     If you're wracking your brain trying to decide what to bring to your next dutch oven gathering consider making these Roasted Spiced Carrots from the Real Simple website.  Not only are they a healthy side dish that everyone will love, they are easy to toss together at home or away.  I like big thick chunks of carrot but you could just as easily use bags of the peeled baby ones.  I baked these in my 12 inch oven with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and 24 on top.  They were tender but still firm to the bite after 35 minutes.  Glazed with a touch of sugar, a little bit smokey and splashed with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, these glorified carrots are not to be missed.

Roasted Spiced Carrots
2 Tblsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tblsp sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces or baby carrots
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
juice of 1 lemon

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Combine oil, garlic, sugar, cumin, salt, cinnamon and carrots in dutch oven; stir well.
     Cook for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees or until carrots are fork tender.
     Add raisins, lemon juice, and parsley.  Toss well.  Serves 8.

Combine ingredients in your dutch oven and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes

Toss with raisins, parsley and a spritz of lemon juice

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chicken Stuffed Croissant Bake

      If you've ever made crescent roll apple or peach dumplings in your dutch oven, this Chicken Stuffed Croissant Bake is basically the same recipe only baked with savory ingredients.  It's a breeze to make especially if you have any leftover chicken in the fridge.  This would also be a great recipe for a young person just starting out in dutch oven cooking, it's fun to assemble and easy too.  You'll need a 12 inch oven, I baked these with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and 22 on the lid.  It did take a full 45 minutes for the rolls to brown.  The velvety sauce bakes into the rolls and makes them soft and puffy.  Sprinkle with your favorite cheese during the last 10 minutes of cooking time if you want to make them even creamier or add a can of chopped chilies to the chicken to give it some heat.  Definitely comforting, this rolled up version of chicken and dumplings is creamy and good.

Chicken Stuffed Croissant Bake
2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Celery Soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
1 cup chicken broth

     Lightly oil or spray your dutch oven.
     Separate the dough into 16 triangles.
     Spoon 1/4 cup chicken onto each triangle.  Roll up the triangles around the chicken.  Place in prepared dutch oven.
     Whisk the soups, sour cream and broth in a medium bowl.  Pour the soup mixture over the rolls.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.

Roll crescent dough around chicken

Cover with soup mixture

Bake for 45 minutes

Tender chicken rolls blanketed in a creamy sauce

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Country Style Ribs with Red German Cabbage

      I found this recipe for German Red Cabbage in the Neiman Marcus cookbook, Pure and Simple.  The woman who submitted it wrote that it came from her grandmother's German mother-in-law.  Originally I thought I would just make the cabbage but decided at the last minute to add some pork ribs.  You could substitute the ribs with pork chops, bratwurst or even make the cabbage as a side dish.  Place your 12 inch dutch oven over as many coals as you can fit under the bottom.  Saute the ribs with the bacon until they are browned on both sides.  Remove the ribs to a platter while you add the cabbage mixture.  Stir the cabbage well and place the ribs or chops on top.  Move the coals to a ring of 12 around the bottom and cover the lid with 22-24 coals.  Leave it to cook, undisturbed for 50 minutes or until cabbage has cooked down and ribs are tender.  If you decide to just make the cabbage, saute the bacon then add the cabbage mixture and bake for 45 minutes.  With or without the pork, this sweet, tangy cabbage is a real delicacy.

Country Style Ribs with Red German Cabbage
2 pounds country style pork ribs
3 bacon slices, diced
1 head red cabbage, finely chopped
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven.
     Mix cabbage, apple, water, brown sugar and vinegar together in large bowl.
     Season ribs with salt and pepper.
     Brown bacon and ribs over a full compliment of coals until ribs are lightly browned on both sides.
     Remove ribs from oven and set aside.
     Stir cabbage into bacon drippings in dutch oven.
     Lay pork ribs on top of cabbage.
     Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until pork and cabbage are tender.

Brown ribs with bacon

Bake pork on bed of cabbage for 50 minutes

Tender cabbage with juicy ribs

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Amish Chicken Casserole

     Like most heartland recipes this Amish Chicken Casserole from is good, basic comfort food.  This rich, hearty casserole starts with a white sauce and ends with the addition of noodles, chicken and a topping of Parmesan cheese.  I was amazed by how quickly and easily the white sauce whisked together in my dutch oven, start over a full spread of coals then once you add the rest of the ingredients move them to a ring around the outside.  I made this in my 10 inch oven, with 10 coals around the bottom and 18 on the lid, it was bubbling and brown in 25 minutes.  I even had some Pennsylvania Dutch egg noodles which gave it a real homemade flavor.  If you are camping you could use canned chicken and mushrooms or even add some frozen carrots and peas.  It takes a little more time to cook the roux and whisk the white sauce but the end result is so much better than throwing in a can of soup, everyone will love this creamy casserole.

Amish Chicken Casserole
8 oz. broad egg noodles
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked chicken, cut in cubes
2 Tblsp chopped parsley

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Cook noodles as directed on package.  Do not overcook.
     Melt butter in dutch oven over a full compliment of coals. 
     Add mushrooms and cook until lightly browned.
     Stir in flour and cook for several minutes.
     Stir in milk, broth, salt and pepper; whisk sauce constantly until thickened.
     Add noodles, chicken and parsley; stir until well combined.
     Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 
     Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until casserole is bubbling and cheese has browned.  Serves 4-5.

Saute mushrooms in butter over high heat then add flour

Cook flour for several minutes

Add milk and chicken broth, whisk until thickened

Stir in noodles, chicken and parsley

Top with Parmesan cheese

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Like an Amish version of Fettucine Alfredo

Friday, August 26, 2011

Banana Upside Down Cake

      What more can I say, this Banana Upside Down Cake from an October 1992 issue of Bon Appetit is one of the best desserts I have ever made.  The batter reminds you of a banana bread but the cake is surprisingly light and moist.  The brown sugar and butter glaze seeps down into the crevices of the cake giving you a syrupy layer of sweetened goodness.  I made this in my 10 inch dutch oven and baked it with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and started off with 20 coals on top.  After 10 minutes I removed about 8 coals on the lid and moved the rest to a ring around the outside.  Keep an eye on it as it will brown quickly.  It was firm to the touch in the center in 35 minutes.  Let it rest for 20 minutes before inverting onto a platter.  If you like bananas, you must try this unbelievable cake.  Out of this world and easy to make, it's the ultimate dutch oven dessert.

Banana Upside Down Cake
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2-3 large ripe bananas, sliced

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening or butter
2 eggs

     Lightly oil or spray a 10 inch dutch oven.  Line with parchment paper.
     Sprinkle brown sugar evenly in bottom of oven.  Pour over 6 Tblsp melted butter.
     Arrange banana slices atop brown sugar mixture, covering completely.
     Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in small bowl.
     Mix mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla in another small bowl.
     Using electric mixer, cream 1 1/4 cups sugar and shortening until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
     Add dry ingredients alternatively with buttermilk mixture, mixing until just combined. 
     Pour batter over bananas in dutch oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. 
     Let cool in dutch oven for 20 minutes before inverting onto plate.

Arrange banana slices over brown sugar and melted butter

Pour golden batter over bananas

After 35 minutes, cake looks more like banana bread

Let cake rest in oven for 20 minutes before inverting onto plate

Sweet, gooey and delicious

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits

     I found the recipe for these Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits in an eighties cookbook called Savory Southwest, Prize Winning Recipes From the Arizona Republic.  It's a great way to use up leftover sweet potatoes and to disguise a vegetable from the finicky eaters in your household.  One large microwaved sweet potato yielded just under a cup when mashed.  The batter is on the wet side, when I make them again I won't even bother to roll them out but drop them into my dutch oven by spoonfuls.  Bake them in a 10 inch oven if you can, placing them close together will help them rise higher.  These were ready in 15 minutes with 8 coals in a ring around the bottom and the top completely covered with briquettes.  Sweet, lovely in color and good for you too, serve them with honey, apple butter or even as sandwiches with sliced ham and dijon mustard. 

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups flour
2 Tblsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tblsp sugar
1 Tblsp packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces OR 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven
     Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugars.
     Cut in butter or shortening with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse corn meal.
     Combine buttermilk and potatoes and add to mixture.
     Turn onto floured surface and knead 8-10 times.  Roll or pat dough to 3/4 inch thickness, cut with 2 inch biscuit cutter.  Biscuits can also be dropped by large spoonfuls into oven.
     Place side by side in bottom of prepared oven.  Bake at 450 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until biscuits have risen and are lightly browned.
     Makes 10 biscuits.

Mix buttermilk with mashed sweet potato then add to flour mixture

Makes 9 large biscuits, just the right amount for a 10 inch oven

After 18 minutes in a hot oven

Moist and light on the inside, crispy on the outside

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Orzo Stuffed Peppers

      The green peppers looked so good at the grocery store today and at ninety nine cents a pound I couldn't resist coming home with a bagful.  I poured over stuffed pepper recipes online and this pasta stuffed version from Mr. Food looked the easiest and did not require any prior cooking of the ingredients.  It's a one bowl dish.  Clean the peppers, mix the stuffing, place them in your oven and bake away.  It makes enough for five large peppers or six medium ones.  Bake them in your 12 inch oven with 12 coals around the bottom and 22-24 on top.  After 30 minutes pour on the remainder of the sauce and cover with cheese.  Dutch ovens magically cook peppers, steaming and baking them at the same time.  Like mini meatloaves wrapped in sweet, tender peppers, this old fashioned recipe never goes out of style.

Orzo Stuffed Peppers
1 pound ground beef
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 medium-sized green bell peppers, tops removed and cored
2 cups water
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

     Lightly oil or spray a 12 inch dutch oven.
     In large bowl combine the ground beef, orzo, 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper; mix well.
     Loosley stuff the peppers with beef mixture.
     Stand the peppers in prepared dutch oven.  Pour 2 cups of water in bottom of oven.
     Cook at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until beef is browned on top.
     Pour remaining sauce over peppers and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
     Cook for ten minutes more or until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbling.
     Serves 5-6.

Bake loosely stuffed peppers in 2 cups of water

Bake for 30-35 minutes

Pour on remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese

Ready in 10 minutes

Juicy and succulent, my new favorite way to cook peppers

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cottage Cheese Sweet Rolls

     Some days I check to see what I have in my refrigerator then search for a recipe that will use up the leftovers and save me a trip to the grocery store.  Bouyed by a new found confidence in baking and having all the ingredients on hand, I decided to give these Cottage Cheese Sweet Rolls from Red Star a try.  What makes these rolls so great is that you can mix them, roll them out, then place them in your oven and wait for them to double in bulk with a single rise.  I have posted the link to the original recipe but ended up making a few changes to hopefully enhance the recipe and adapt it more to dutch oven cooking. 
     First of all, I made these on an unbelievably humid day and ended up adding almost a third of a cup more flour to the dough.  It is a wet batter to begin with but you might need to add more flour, a little at a time, to help the dough form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl. 
     Secondly, I formed the dough into one 20 by 10 inch rectangle, it is almost easier to pat it out with a little flour on your hands than have it stick to a rolling pin.  I added cinnamon to the filling mixture in place of the nuts and cut the rolls into two inch sections, ten fit perfectly in my 12 inch oven. 
     I baked them with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and covered the lid with 20-22 coals, removing some from the center during the last five minutes of baking time.  They were ready in 20 minutes, let them sit for a few minutes in your oven while you whisk up the glaze.  The original recipe calls for sprinkling the hot rolls with confectioner's sugar, which would be an easier thing to do if you were camping, but I opted for a thicker, more spreadable version.  These are moist and flaky, it must be the cottage cheese that helps make the dough so tender.  I'll say it again, if I can make these, so can you.  With only one rise, in the time it would take you to drive to the local bakery you could be enjoying these warm, sugary rolls at your breakfast table.

Cottage Cheese Sweet Rolls
3 cups flour plus more if needed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup small curd creamed Cottage Cheese, drained
1/4 cup soft shortening
1/4 cup softened butter
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 egg
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3 Tblsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tblsp cinnamon (optional)
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk or milk

     Lightly oil or spray a 12 inch dutch oven.
     Have water at 110°-115°F and all other ingredients at room temperature.
     Dissolve yeast in water.  Let stand 5 minutes; stir.
     Measure the first 6 ingredients into a bowl; mix with pastry blender or fork.
     Add egg and yeast-mixture to flour-mixture; blend.  The dough will be a little sticky with cheese bits throughout.  Add extra flour one tablespoon at a time if needed until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl.     
     Turn onto lightly floured board.  Pat or roll dough into 10 by 18 inch rectangle.  Dough will be soft and sticky so flour rolling pin well.  Spread filling evenly over dough leaving 1/2 inch border around edges.  Roll dough up from the long side ending up with seam on bottom of roll.  Cut 10 rolls with dental floss or serrated knife.  Place about an inch apart in bottom of dutch oven.
     Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, cover with lid and let sit for an hour or until rolls have doubled in size.
     Remove plastic wrap and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown and cooked through.
     Let sit for 10 minutes while you make the glaze.
     For glaze, whisk two cups of confectioner's sugar with 1/4 cup buttermilk.  Mix vigorously until all lumps have disappeared and glaze is smooth.
     Remove rolls from oven with spatula and spoon over glaze.  Serve warm.
     Makes 10 rolls.

Place ten rolls an inch apart in oiled dutch oven

Wait an hour for them to rise and double in size

Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees

Glaze and prepare to devour while still warm

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tater Tots Romanoff

     From potatoes to noodles to strawberries, several recipes have been linked to the Russian House of Romanov.  Somehow it's hard to imagine the chef to Czar Alexander whipping up a tater tot casserole in the kitchens of the Imperial Palace.  Thanks to Ore-Ida the lowly tater tot has now been elevated to royal status.  This recipe has all the basic ingredients of a cheesy, creamy dutch oven potato dish, the best part is that all you have to do is open a bag of frozen tater tots.  The original recipe calls for letting the mixture sit in the refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours.  I mixed everything in a large bowl and let it sit at room temperature for an hour before spooning into my dutch oven.  The tater tots need a chance to thaw and the sour cream time to soak into the potatoes.  You could even mix them at home, bring them to your campsite then bake them the next day.  I made them in my 10 inch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 20 on the lid.  After 20-25 minutes, sprinkle on the remaining half cup of cheese, cover and cook until the cheese has melted and has started to brown.  They sure smelled good when they were baking in the oven, the backyard was filled with the aroma of onions and sour cream, and they tasted even better. 

Tater Tots Romanoff
5 cups frozen tater tots
2 cups sour cream (regular or low-fat)
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar, divided
1 bunch (about 5-6) green onions, chopped
Salt to taste
1/8 tsp. pepper

     Lightly oil or spray your dutch oven.
     In a large bowl, combine tater tots, sour cream, 1 cup cheese, onions, salt and pepper.
     Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
     Spoon into dutch oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
     Sprinkle remaining cheese over potatoes. 
     Cook for 10 minutes more or until potatoes are bubbling and cheese has melted and browned.  Serves 6.

Let potato mixture sit before baking

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

A shortcut version of potatoes au gratin