Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cranberry Coffee Cake

     Here's a great way to use up that small bit of cranberry sauce left over from your Thanksgiving dinner.  Using a boxed biscuit mix, this Cranberry Coffee Cake from can be made in the time it takes to fire up your coals.  Line your 10 inch dutch oven with parchment paper, pour in the batter, plop spoonfuls of cranberry sauce over all and sprinkle with the topping.  I baked this with 10 coals in a circle around the base of the oven and 20-22 coals on the lid.  I'm sure whole cranberry sauce would be equally delicious.  Let it cool for a good 15 minutes before lifting out of the oven, you could let it cool completely before glazing.  Naturally, I couldn't wait and devoured this yummy cake while it was still warm, gooey and dripping with the sugary glaze.

Cranberry Coffee Cake
2 cups Bisquick or baking mix
2 Tblsp sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 Tblsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
     In a large bowl, combine Bisquick, sugar, milk and egg.
     Spread batter evenly in bottom of prepared oven.
     Drop cranberry sauce by spoonfuls over batter.
     Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over cranberry sauce.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
     Cool for 15 minutes before removing from dutch oven.
     In a small bowl, whisk glaze ingredients until smooth; drizzle over coffee cake.

Drop cranberry sauce by spoonfuls over batter

Sprinkle with topping

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees

Drizzle glaze over cake

Best when served warm

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cider Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

      I was looking for a way to save a little time and energy on Thanksgiving by roasting the carrots and Brussels Sprouts together.  This recipe for Cider Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots is a delicious medley of flavors and textures.  The cider transforms into a slightly sweet glaze, the walnuts add crunch and the thyme gives the vegetables a fresh, herblike fragrance.  Spread the carrots and sprouts in a single layer in the bottom of your oven, mix with the cider dressing and let your dutch oven do the work for you.  In my 12 inch oven they roasted in 20 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and the lid completely covered with briquettes.  If you haven't figured it out by now I'm a big fan of roasting vegetables in a hot oven, when you see the steam pouring out from under the lid they are usually fork tender and ready for the table.

Cider Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots
1/2 cup apple cider
1 Tblsp Dijon mustard
2 Tblsp finely minced shallots
1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp thyme (fresh if you can get it)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cleaned
3-5 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (toasted, if desired)

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Whisk together cider, mustard, shallots, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme; mix until well combined.
     Arrange sprouts and carrots in single layer in bottom of prepared oven.
     Pour cider mixture over vegetables, tossing to coat well.
     Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees or until vegetables are fork tender.
     Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.

Arrange vegetables in single layer and toss with cider mixture

Roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until fork tender

The walnuts add a crunchy finishing touch

Saturday, November 26, 2011

123 Snap Brownies

      The name 123 Snap Brownies, from Eagle Brand, describes this delicious dessert to a T.  No eggs to crack, no measuring cups, just open the boxes and cans, add a splash of vanilla, mix and pour into your dutch oven.  The original recipe calls for 4 cups of graham cracker crumbs, I used one whole 13 1/2 ounce box which is just over 3 1/2 cups.  Of course you can make your own from scratch but I wasn't about to buy another box for a scant 1/2 cup of crumbs.  The original recipe also uses 3 1/2 cups of chocolate chips, I found one 12 ounce bag to be more than enough for a 12 inch dutch oven.  Unless you are going to serve them right from your oven I would highly recommend using parchment paper.  These brownies are so soft and gooey that you'll need to lift them out with the paper and let them cool before serving.  Even though they form a crust while baking be sure to cook them the full 25-30 minutes.  In my 12 inch oven, I used 12 coals in a circle around the base of the oven and 22-24 on the lid.  This foolproof recipe has been around for years, it's easy to see why it is still a favorite, with a bowl, a spoon and a dutch oven you can't go wrong with these sweet brownies.

123 Snap Brownies
4 cups or 1 13 oz. package graham cracker crumbs
2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
     Combine graham cracker crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter and vanilla in large bowl.  Mix until blended. 
     Spread evenly in prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
     Cool in dutch oven for 15 minutes before lifting out using parchment paper.
     Cool completely before cutting into bars. 

Spread sticky batter evenly in your parchment lined oven

Bake for a full 25-30 minutes

Get ready to lick the chocolate off your fingers

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cornbread Stuffing with Chorizo and Chiles

If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is thank you,
it will be enough.  Meister Eckhart
  I had every intention of posting two different stuffing recipes today, this Chorizo and Chiles recipe from Campbells and a more traditional version.  As you can see from the photo, I forgot to turn off the oven and baked my bread cubes for over an hour at 400 degrees.  Will post that recipe in time for Christmas, in the meantime, if you like a little spice in your dressing, this zesty cornbread version is one you've got to try.  Be sure to use the precooked version of Chorizo, you could also add the whole can of chiles if you love the heat.  Saute the celery and onion in the butter, combine the rest of the ingredients and add to the softened vegetables, it's almost as easy as opening up a box of instant stuffing mix.  I made it in my 10 inch oven, after cooking the vegetables over a full spread of coals I moved them to a ring of 10 around the bottom.  It was on the chilly side so I placed 18-20 coals on the lid, it was ready in 25 minutes.  I would imagine this recipe could be easily doubled in a larger oven if you're feeding a crowd or want lots of leftovers.  Give your dinner a Southwestern flare with this simple to bake, moist and spicy stuffing.

Cornbread Stuffing with Chorizo and Chiles
4 Tblsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
8 oz. cornbread stuffing
1/4 pound (cooked) chorizo sausage, diced
1/2 of a 4.5 oz. can chopped green chiles, drained
2 Tblsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven
     Melt butter over a full compliment of coals.  Add onion and celery; cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
     Combine broth, stuffing, sausage, chiles and cilantro in large bowl.
     Add to softened vegetables in dutch oven; mix lightly.
     Move bottom coals to a ring around the bottom of dutch oven.
     Cover and bake at 350 degrees until stuffing mixture is hot and lightly browned.
     Serves 4-6.

Forgot to set the timer and blackened my first batch of stuffing bread

Saute onions and celery over high heat until softened

Gently stir in cornbread mixture

Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through

Cornbread stuffing with a kick

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Espresso Scones With Coffee Glaze

     The recipe for these Pumpkin Espresso Scones comes courtesy of Becca Hartke from the Smiles Coffeehouse in St. Louis, Missouri.  Adding strong coffee or espresso to pumpkin scones really piqued my curiosity, I had to give them a try and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.  I did not have any allspice on hand so substituted one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice for the allspice and ginger.  You really can't go wrong with the substitution because pumpkin pie spice contains allspice, ginger and cinnamon.  As usual, I baked them in my 10 inch dutch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and the lid completely covered in coals.  After 15 minutes in a hot oven they were golden brown and cooked through.  Let them cool for 20 minutes or so before drizzling them with the glaze.  The frosting gives these light and spicy scones a hint of coffee flavor.  Jump start your day by venturing out into the backyard on a cool fall morning and baking up a batch of these tasty scones.

Pumpkin Espresso Scones With Coffee Glaze
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canned or fresh pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons brewed espresso or extra-strong coffee, chilled; divided
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     In medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, allspice and ginger.
     Cut butter into small pieces.  Add to flour mixture, working butter in with a fork or pastry blender just until crumbly.
     In another bowl, stir together egg, pumpkin, 2 tablespoons coffee and buttermilk.  Add to flour mixture.  Stir around the bowl, scraping the sides, about 4 turns until the dough holds together.  Don't over mix, the batter will be a little lumpy.
     Drop by large spoonfuls into prepared dutch oven.
     Bake for 15-18 minutes at 375 degrees or until scones are lightly browned and firm to the touch in the center.
     Let scones cool for 20 minutes before frosting.
     For the glaze, place remaining 1 tablespoon coffee in a small mixing bowl.  Gradually add powdered sugar, whisking until the glaze is thin enough to pour over the scones but thick enough to set quickly.
     Pour glaze over cooled scones.

Drop large spoonfuls of batter into bottom of prepared oven

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through

Cool slightly before glazing and enjoy

Monday, November 21, 2011

Buttery Pan Rolls

     I grabbed a copy of Sunset Cookbook of Breads off of a library book sale table not too long ago.  It was the last day of the sale when books were five dollars a bag, as an afterthought I tossed this seventies paperback into my sack and am certainly happy that I did.  This little book is chalk full of good, basic bread recipes and this recipe for Buttery Pan Rolls is no exception.  I'm always on the lookout for bread recipes that don't take all day to make and aren't very complicated.  The beauty of these rolls is that there is no kneading required, let your mixer do all the work and all you have to do is wait for them to rise.  The recipe suggests spooning them into your pan, I chose to shape them into balls before the second rise.  In my 12 inch oven they baked for 20 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and the lid completely covered with 28-30 coals.  You need an initial hot oven, after 10 minutes I moved the coals to the outside of the lid to prevent the center rolls from burning.  After I brought the oven inside and set it on the counter I took several deep breaths over the freshly baked rolls, the smell of hot bread and butter was intoxicating.  These flaky pan rolls are soft and light on the inside with a buttery, crisp crust you can't resist.

Buttery Pan Rolls
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
10 Tblsp butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 egg
1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees)

     In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water; let stand until bubbly about 15 minutes.
     Stir together 2 cups of the flour, the sugar and salt until well mixed.
     Add 6 tablespoons of the melted butter, the egg, yeast mixture and milk; beat for about 5 minutes to blend well.
     Gradually beat in remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, you may have to add a 1/4 cup of flour if dough is too sticky.
     Cover bowl and let batter rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
     Pour half of the remaining melted butter in bottom of dutch oven.
     Beat down batter and drop by spoonfuls or shape into balls and place in dutch oven.
     Brush dough with remaining melted butter.
     Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
     Bake at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until lightly brown.  Serve warm.

After first rise, punch down dough and spoon or place in buttered dutch oven

Let rolls rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees

You can smell the yeast and taste the butter in these flaky rolls

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Seriously Orange Cranberry Sauce

      Although the pilgrims did not serve cranberry sauce at the first Thanksgiving, you'd be hard pressed to find an American Thanksgiving gathering without a dish of canned or homemade cranberry sauce on the table.  I haven't made it from scratch in many years and had forgotten how incredibly bright and sharp the flavors can be.  This is a one pot wonder recipe, mix the berries, cinnamon stick, sugar and orange juice together in you dutch oven.  Bring the mixture to a boil, let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the cranberries have started to pop.  Remove it from the heat, stir in the marmalade and zest and you've got a tangy, fresh relish that stands heads above a log of canned jelly.  I made this in my 8 inch oven with 10 coals on the bottom and 12 on the lid.  You can make it a few days in advance and the best thing is that it only improves with age, your family will never guess how easy it was to make.  From a 2004 issue of Health Magazine.

Seriously Orange Cranberry Sauce
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 Tblsp or zest of one large orange
1 cup orange juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
1 12 oz. package fresh cranberries
1 cinnamon stick

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Add cranberries, orange juice, sugar and cinnamon stick to prepared oven; mix well.
     Cover and place over a full compliment of coals with enough briquettes on the lid to keep it at a steady simmer.
     Cook for 15 minutes or until cranberries begin to soften and pop.
     Remove from heat; stir in marmalade and orange zest.
     Chill in refrigerator before serving.

Mix cranberries, cinnamon, orange juice and sugar in dutch oven

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop

Remove from heat and stir in marmalade and orange zest

Chill for a couple of hours before serving

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes

     I have always wanted to make scalloped potatoes and what better way to try them for the first time than in my dutch oven?  This recipe from a 1995 edition of Christmas with Southern Living seemed like a good, basic recipe.  I was pleasantly surprised to find them deliciously creamy and rich.  The only way you could improve upon them would be to crumble in some cooked bacon between the layers.  You don't even have to peel the potatoes, slice them thinly, layer in your oven and pour in the flavored cream.  It was a blustery day so I baked them in my 10 inch oven with 10 briquettes in a ring around the bottom and 24 on the lid.  After 45 minutes I sprinkled on the final layer of cheese and in less then 10 minutes they were golden brown.  Happily, the cream does not separate while cooking and if you let them sit in your oven for 15-20 minutes the last of the liquid will be absorbed into the soft, dreamy potato layers.

Scalloped Potatoes
1 shallot, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced OR 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper, optional
3 Tblsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1/8 inch slices
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere OR Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Layer potatoes in bottom of prepared oven.
     Mix melted butter, shallot, garlic, red pepper, whipping cream, milk, salt and pepper in medium bowl.
     Pour over layered potatoes.
     Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until potatoes are tender when tested with a knife.
     Sprinkle on cheeses.
     Cover and bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese has browned and is melted.

Layer potatoes in bottom of oven

Pour over cream mixture

Bake for 40-45 minutes then sprinkle with cheese

Bake until cheese has melted and browned

These are wonderfully creamy and good

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Maple Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts

     I love cabbage so much it's no wonder my favorite vegetable is Brussels Sprouts.  It seems like most people have a love hate relationship with this tiny, delicate vegetable.  Sometimes I'll steam up a batch and keep a bowl in the fridge for those moments of weakness when I'm looking for something to snack on in the middle of the night, I pop them in my mouth like potato chips.  I love them roasted, steamed, sauteed and even when they're overcooked, mushy and stinking up the kitchen.  One of my favorite ways to prepare them is to cook them for a short time under high heat in my dutch oven tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  The dutch oven works it's magic by roasting/steaming them until they're crisp on the outside and tender in the middle.  I was inspired by this recipe to add a maple mustard glaze along with a handful of sliced shallots to my usual roasting method.  None of the flavors are overpowering, the sweetness of the maple syrup is perfectly balanced by the tangy mustard.  In my 10 inch oven I roasted them for 18 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 22 on the lid.  If you're a sprout-a-holic like I am, give this easy but delicious recipe a try and don't forget, they're one of those cancer fighting super foods that are really good for you too.

Maple Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts
1-1 1/2 lbs. Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cleaned
5-6 shallots, peeled and sliced OR 1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tblsp maple syrup
2 Tblsp dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Place cleaned sprouts in single layer in bottom of prepared oven.
     Whisk olive oil, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper together in small bowl until combined.
     Pour mustard mixture over sprouts and stir until vegetables are completely covered with glaze.
     Roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until sprouts are tender.
     Serve warm or at room temperature.

Toss sprouts and shallots with maple mustard glaze in your oven

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until tender

So good, I could eat the whole bowl

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Camper's Crumble

      Next to a dump cake, here's just about the easiest dutch oven dessert you'll ever make.  Mix a package of oatmeal cookie mix (I used Betty Crocker) with a stick of melted butter then sprinkle over canned apple pie filling in your dutch oven.  The top bakes into a crispy, crunchy oatmeal crust over the bubbling fruit.  I made this in my 10 inch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 20 briquettes on the lid, in 20 minutes it was hot and golden.  If you decide to try this in your 12 inch oven use one package of cookie mix with three cans of pie filling and in your 14 inch oven, double everything.  If you're cooking for two, use half the amounts in your 8 inch oven.  Use any flavor pie filling and add cinnamon or nuts to the cookie mix if you want to dress it up a bit.  No measuring required and if you don't feel like melting the butter, just soften it and mix the topping with your fingers.  With very little effort you can enjoy this sweet and simple dessert around the campfire.

Camper's Crumble
1 16 oz. package of oatmeal cookie mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 21 oz. cans apple pie filling

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven.
     Spread pie filling in bottom of prepared oven.
     In medium bowl, combine cookie mix with melted butter.
     Sprinkle cookie batter evenly over pie filling.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and topping is brown and golden.
     Makes 6 servings.

All you need are three ingredients

Combine cookie mix with butter

Sprinkle over fruit filling

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees

Tuck this away in your camping recipe file