Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Country Style Barbecued Onions

     Another winner from Bush's Beans, this recipe for Country Style Barbecued Onions is an excellent dutch oven dish and something everyone will love at your next cook out.  The recipe calls for 8 medium onions but 7 large onion halves just fit in my 12 inch oven.  With 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and around 28-30 on the lid, they were ready in 35 minutes.  I would suggest cutting off the top third of your onions, that way they will be deeper, will hold more filling and less apt to fall apart as they are baking.  Leave the root end on the bottom, you may have to nestle them in closely to keep them upright.  A very tasty and fancy way to dress up baked beans, you could use your favorite flavor, brand or recipe to fill the sweet and delectable onions.

Country Style Barbecued Onions
8 medium Vidalia onions or other sweet onions
1 28 oz. can Bush's Country Style Baked Beans
1/2 cup chopped onion, from centers of onions
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp mustard
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
4 Tblsp butter, cut into 8 pieces
2-4 strips bacon, precooked, cut into 8 pieces
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch or larger dutch oven.
     Cut off top third of onions, leaving root end intact.
     Peel and hollow out root end of onions.
     Chop centers of onion to equal 1/2 cup.
     In medium bowl, combine baked beans, onions, brown sugar, mustard and barbecue sauce.
     Spoon baked bean mixture into onions.
     Place side by side in prepared dutch oven.
     Top each onion with piece of butter, ground pepper and piece of bacon.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until onions are tender.
     Serve with slotted spoon.

Top filled onions with butter and bacon

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes

Baked beans served in  sweet, succulent onions

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pan Seared Corn on the Cob

      Today we honor the men and women who have so bravely served our country, who have given their lives in action fighting for our freedom.  It is also the official kick off of outdoor cooking and summer barbecue season.  This recipe for Pan Seared Corn on the Cob from Parent's Magazine is a very unique and unusual way of preparing it and a method I thought could be easily applied to your dutch oven.  This was my first corn on the cob of the year, although not locally grown, still very sweet and delicious.  At our favorite farm stand they recommend cooking corn for no more than 3 minutes in boiling water.  By sauteing the corn briefly in a hot pan it comes out crisp tender with all the flavor locked into every bite.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, I sauteed the ears in olive oil over a full spread of freshly lit, blazing hot coals.  The corn sizzled when it hit the oil, at first I thought it was going to start to pop.  After it starts to brown, stir in the butter and garlic then add the water and vinegar.  Cover your dutch oven immediately after adding the water (no coals needed on the lid), you want the steam to finish off cooking the corn.  What is left behind is a browned butter, garlicky sauce with a hint of sweetness.  If you don't feel like lighting the coals for such a quick recipe, give it a try in your cast iron skillet or covered saucepan.  Once you taste this you'll never go back to overcooked, mushy, boiled corn again.  One other point, be sure to use ears of corn that will rest on the bottom of your dutch oven and I think you could easily double the recipe if you're feeding a crowd.  If you want to simplify this method of cooking corn, just brown it in a little olive oil, add water, cover then steam for 5 minutes or until tender.

Pan Seared Corn on the Cob
3 Tblsp water
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 Tblsp olive oil
4 ears shucked corn, sized to fit in your dutch oven
1 Tblsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

     Combine water and vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.
     Heat olive oil in dutch oven over a full compliment of freshly lit coals.
     Add corn and cook, turning occasionally, until browned in spots, 5-7 minutes.
     Add butter and garlic, stirring constantly until fragrant but garlic is not browned, about 30 seconds.
     Carefully pour in water and vinegar mixture (it will bubble vigorously).
     Immediately cover, and cook, gently shaking the dutch oven, until the corn is crisp-tender, about 3-5 minutes.
     Remove from heat, sprinkle corn with parsley, salt and pepper, turning to coat.
     Serve with garlic and parsley sauce spooned over each cob.

Lightly brown corn in olive oil over high heat

Add butter and garlic, cook stirring, for 30 seconds

Add water mixture then cover right away and steam for 3-5 minutes

Crisp tender with all the flavor sealed in

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cowboy Cornbread

      Adapted from a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council's recipe, this Cowboy Cornbread tastes like a cheesy, Southwestern corn dog.  Just the right amount to make in your 8 inch dutch oven, double the ingredients if you want to make it in your 10 or 12 inch oven.  Mine baked for 25 minutes with 8 coals around the base of my 8 inch oven and 13 briquettes on the lid.  A kid friendly recipe for sure and with some baked beans and coleslaw on the side you've got the fixings of a gourmet campfire feast.

Cowboy Cornbread
4 hot dogs, coarsely chopped or sliced
1 8 oz. can corn, drained
1 8.5 oz. package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
4 oz. (2/3 cup) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese with jalapeno peppers, divided

     Lightly oil or spray 8 inch dutch oven.
     Combine corn muffin mix with milk, egg, hot dogs, corn and 1/3 cup of cheese; mix until just combined.
     Pour into prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
     Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of cornbread.
     Bake for 5-10 minutes more or until cheese has melted and cornbread is lightly brown around the edges.
     Serve warm, makes 4 servings.

Combine all ingredients and pour into well oiled 8 inch oven

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes then top with remaining cheese

Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until brown around edges

Like eating a cheesy corn dog with a kick

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

      For those of you heading out for Memorial Day this recipe for Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers from Heinz is a real crowd pleaser and something delicious to make at your weekend celebration.  The assembly takes a little time but trust me, these are so good, it is well worth the preparation.  Hot out of my dutch oven, I wolfed down 6 of these bad boys for breakfast.  In my 10 inch oven, they baked for 20 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 20 briquettes on the lid.  The original recipe says it stuffs 24 pepper halves, I would guess no more than 20 if you heap in the filling.  Spoon the filling into a zip lock bag, snip off the corner and use it as a pastry bag to stuff the peppers.  I substituted Panko crumbs for the fresh ones, they are not only easier to use but I like the extra crunchy topping.  If you want to elevate these to perfection, sprinkle some bacon crumbles into the filling.  Give these a try, making jalapeno poppers in your dutch oven couldn't be easier.

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
10-12 large, fresh jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup Heinz Tomato Ketchup
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup softened brick-style cream cheese
1 cup fresh OR Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tblsp butter, softened or melted
1 tsp minced garlic OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Cut peppers in half lengthwise; seed and hollow out the insides.
     Blend Ketchup with Cheddar and cream cheeses.
     Spoon or pipe the filling into the halved peppers, mounding slightly.
     Combine breadcrumbs with butter, garlic, salt, pepper and paprika.
     Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of each stuffed pepper.
     Place peppers, filling side up in prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

My 10 inch oven held 14 large pepper halves

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes

Make a double batch, one for you and one for everyone else

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cheeseburger Meatball Subs

     If you have a hankering for a cheeseburger but don't feel like firing up your grill, these mini burger meatballs from Kraft give you all the flavor in a single bite plus you can bake them in your dutch oven.  Something that kids will love, I was thinking it would also be fun to serve them in a slider sized bun.  Be sure to make them with lean ground beef, I grabbed the 80/20 blend and ended up draining them on a paper towel before serving.  They were brown and crispy in 20 minutes in my 10 inch dutch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 20 on top.  Also, if you like extra sauce like I do, just mix equal parts of salad dressing with the barbecue sauce.  The recipe makes 24 smaller meatballs, since they shrink while they cook I made them on the larger side, exactly 16 fit in my 10 inch oven.  If you're tired of the same old run of the mill cheeseburger, give these funky meatballs a try.  

Cheeseburger Meatball Subs
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
8 Saltine crackers, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 egg
2 Tblsp milk
8 hot dog buns
Romaine lettuce
1/4 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/4 cup barbecue sauce

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Mix first 6 ingredients until well blended; shape into 16-24 meatballs depending on how large you like them.
     Place in single layer in prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
     Meanwhile mix barbecue sauce and dressing.
     Fill buns with lettuce and meatballs; serve with sauce.
     Makes 4-5 servings.

Place meatballs in single layer in well oiled oven

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes

Now who wouldn't love a bite-sized cheeseburger

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fire-Roasted Caponata

     This recipe for Fire-Roasted Caponata from Hunt's can be served as a side dish, appetizer or on your antipasto platter.  A Sicilian condiment, easy to make in your dutch oven, the vegetables are roasted and simmered in a sweet, salty, hot and tangy combination of flavors.  In my 10 inch oven I cooked it over a full spread of coals with about 18-20 on the lid.  Peel your eggplant if you choose, I like it with the skin on, I think you get more vitamins that way.  Also I cut back a bit on the red pepper flakes and doubled the amount of capers.  This is one of the best things I have ever made in my dutch oven and I plan on making it a lot this summer, it's one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day. 

Fire Roasted Caponata
2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1 Tblsp minced garlic
4 cups finely chopped eggplant (1 medium eggplant, about 1 lb.)
1 14.5 oz. can Hunt's Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 Tblsp drained capers
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tblsp honey
2 Tblsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Pita chips, optional

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Saute onion, carrots and garlic in olive oil over a full compliment of coals for 4-5 minutes or until onion is tender.
     Add eggplant, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, capers, red pepper, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper; stir until well combined.
     Cover and cook with enough coals on the lid to keep mixture at a steady simmer.
     Simmer for 20 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
     Uncover and cook for 5-10 minutes more or until some of the liquid has evaporated and mixture has thickened.
     Serve warm or at room temperature as a side dish or with Pita Chips.

Saute carrots, onion and garlic in olive oil over a full spread of coals

Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes

Remove lid and cook for 5-10 minutes or until most of liquid has evaporated

Tons of flavor on a crunchy Pita Chip

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cheez Whiz and Tater Bake

     I have had my eye on this recipe from Kraft for a while and have been saving it for the opening of camping season.  It's one of those Slumgullion one pot recipes that might not sound that appetizing at first but when it all comes together is a yummy belly warmer.  Brown the beef in your dutch oven or even over your camp stove, add the rest of the ingredients and bake.  I made this gourmet delight in my 10 inch dutch oven with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 24 on the lid, in 25 minutes the cheese had melted into the nuggets and it was bubbling away.  You can add more heat with a hotter salsa but hold the salt, there is more than enough from the processed foods.  Substitute 8 oz. of cubed Velveeta if you prefer but I would stick with a cheese that melts easily.  I'm sure thawed tater tots from your camping cooler would be fine, just shorten the cooking time by 5-10 minutes.  Kids will devour this and parents will like how quickly and easily dinner is served.
Cheez Whiz and Tater Bake
1 pound ground beef
1 16 oz. package frozen bite-sized potato nuggets
3/4 cup Cheez Whiz
1 cup Thick and Chunky Salsa

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Brown beef over a full compliment of coals; drain.
     Move bottom coals to a ring around the base of the oven.
     Add remaining ingredients; stir gently until well combined.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and cooked through.
     Makes 6 one cup servings.

Brown beef than gently stir in potatoes, salsa and Cheez Whiz

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes

A five-star dinner in the great outdoors

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Creamy Orange Scones

     We finally got a break from the rainy weather this morning, long enough for me to bake these unique and delicious Creamy Orange Scones from King Arthur.  Once you make the batter, all you have to do is pat the dough into your 10 inch dutch oven, top with marmalade and bake for 25-30 minutes in a hot oven.  Since they have the marmalade on the outside you have to keep an eye on them, the sugar will caramelize as if under a hot broiler.  I started with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom with 22 on top.  After 20 minutes I gave them a peek, noticed they were browning rather quickly and removed some coals from the center of the lid.  These really are so creamy and moist, more like a scone-cake.  Very easy to make, just be careful when you cut them, the marmalade is extremely hot, there is nothing like piping hot sugar to give you a nasty burn.
      Just a quick tip, if you don't have buttermilk on hand, pour a tablespoon of white vinegar into a one cup measure then top it off with milk.  Stir it well and let it sit for a few minutes before using in your recipe.

Creamy Orange Scones
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
grated rind (zest) of 1 orange
1/2 cup (1 stick) iced cold butter, cut into tiny pieces
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup orange marmalade

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
     In medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and grated rind.
     Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with pastry blender, your fingers, or fork.
     Mix until the butter is fairly well combined with flour, a few lumps remaining are OK.
     Whisk together the egg, vanilla and buttermilk.
     Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stirring gently until everything is well moistened and just combined.
     Spread the scone batter in prepared dutch oven.
     Spread the marmalade atop the scone batter, gently pushing it down with a fork.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, adjusting coals halfway through cooking time if necessary.
     Scones are done when edges are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
     Cool in dutch oven for 10 minutes before lifting out onto platter.
     Carefully cut into 8 wedges as marmalade topping is very hot; serve warm.

Gently pat dough into parchment lined dutch oven

Top with orange marmalade

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until tester comes out clean

Very moist, tender and tastes a little like a Creamsicle

Friday, May 11, 2012

Zucchini Lasagna

     This simple Zucchini Lasagna from Martha Stewart has few ingredients but the end result is a creamy, luscious casserole.  Layer thinly sliced zucchini between no-boil lasagna noodles and a mixture of ricotta and cream cheeses.  I used the low fat variety for both cheeses and it was so rich, you'll never miss the fat and calories.  In my 10 inch dutch oven, it baked with 10 coals in a ring around the base of the oven and 22 on the lid.  After 30 minutes or when the lasagna is bubbling away, add a final coating of mozzarella cheese.  Something you could easily make at your campsite, add more of your favorite herbs and some extra garlic if you want to boost the flavor or even add a layer of leftover grilled vegetables.

Zucchini Lasagna
olive oil, for dutch oven
8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened or at room temperature
1 15 oz. container part-skim ricotta cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium zucchini (8 oz. each), halved lengthwise, then sliced thinly crosswise
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp dried basil OR oregano
6 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

     Lightly coat dutch oven with olive oil.
     In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese and ricotta; season with salt and pepper.
     In another medium bowl, combine zucchini, garlic and basil OR oregano; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
     Spread 1/3 zucchini mixture in prepared dutch oven; top with 2 lasagna noodles, then 1/3 ricotta mixture.
     Repeat twice with remaining zucchini mixture, noodles, and ricotta mixture, finishing with the ricotta mixture.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
     Top with grated mozzarella and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes or until cheese has melted and is lightly browned.
     Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Layer zucchini, noodles and cheese mixture in well oiled dutch oven

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes then top with shredded mozzarella

Creamy and tender, an easy vegetable lasagna

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hearty Peasant Soup

     If you've never tried Broccoli Rabe, it's a bitter, strong flavored, leafy vegetable often used in Southern Italian cooking.  Loaded with vitamins A, C, K and iron, Rabe, or Rapini, is not only good for you but adds a boatload of flavor to this simple peasant soup from Whole Living.  When I see Rabe in the produce aisle, I can't help but take a whiff of it's biting aroma, like cilantro, I'm addicted to the smell.  The sweet balsamic vinegar adds the perfect balance to this pungent green.  If you can't find Rabe you could also substitute another boldly flavored green or even a bag of baby spinach.  This has the makings of a good camping recipe, except for the cheese, none of the ingredients require refrigeration. It barely squeezed into my 10 inch dutch oven, would probably opt for my 12 inch oven next time around.  I sauteed the onions over a full compliment of coals, then once I added the rest of the ingredients, added 22 briquettes on the lid.  In 20 minutes the steam was pouring out from under the lid and the soup was done.  The original recipe calls for 4 cups of water but I only added 2 and there was plenty of liquid to keep it soupy.  Good for you, low in calories, easy to make and perfect for camping, it's a dutch oven keeper.
     Just a quick tip, if you can find garlic in a tube, I have found it's a great time saver and an excellent way to simplify your meal preparation.  I use the Amore brand from Italy, not as strong as freshly chopped garlic but the convenience more than makes up for the milder flavor.

Hearty Peasant Soup
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tblsp tomato paste
2 Tblsp balsamic vinegar, plus more for seasoning, if desired
2 14 1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice
2 14 1/2 oz. cans cannelini beans OR chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Broccoli Rabe, cut crosswise 1 inch thick and well washed, with water still clinging to the leaves

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over a full compliment of coals until softened, 4-5 minutes.
     Add tomato paste and vinegar; cook, stirring frequently, until slightly darkened, 2-3 minutes.
     Add tomatoes (with their juice), beans, Broccoli Rabe and 2 cups of water.
     Cover and cook with enough coals on the lid to keep soup at a steady simmer.
     Continue cooking for 15-20 minutes or until Broccoli Rabe is tender.
     Season with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
     Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
     Makes 4 servings.

Saute onion and garlic over a full compliment of coals

Stir in vinegar and tomato paste

Add rest of ingredients

Just fit in my 10 inch oven

Simmer for 20 minutes or until greens are tender

A hearty, healthy, peasant soup, and your Vegan friends will love it too

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

      Seeing as how today is Cinco de Mayo, I thought another enchilada recipe was in order.  This recipe for Chicken Enchilada Skillet from Hunt's is so good you may never go back to rolling enchiladas again.  A terrific camping recipe and if you're a vegetarian, substitute the chicken with drained canned black beans and corn.  As the mixture cooks, the tortillas absorb the sauce and become melt in your mouth tender.  I baked this in my 10 inch dutch oven with 10 coals around the base of the oven and 22 on the lid.  Give it a stir after 15 minutes then finish it off with another handful of cheese.  So light and fluffy, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by this simple Tex Mex one-pot dish. 

Chicken Enchilada Skillet
12 corn tortillas, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 10 oz. can RoTel diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce, no salt added
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monteray Jack blend cheese, divided

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     In large bowl combine chicken, tortilla pieces, undrained RoTel tomatoes, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce and 1 cup of Cheddar Jack cheese; mix well.
     Spoon tortilla mixture into prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway.
     Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese; cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
     Makes 6 1 cup servings.
     Garnish with chopped scallions and sour cream.

Mix all ingredients with 1 cup of cheese then spoon into your dutch oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes then top with cheese

Cook until cheese has melted

Amazingly good for something so simple