Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Elvis Coffee Cake

     The Elvis Coffee Cake from  Anne Colagioia takes all the ingredients from the 'King of Rock and Roll's' favorite peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwich and bakes them into a rich and luscious cake.  Sweet, moist, salty and very easy to prepare, if you are a bacon lover, you 'Can't Help Falling in Love' with this incredible combination of flavors.  It baked in my 10 inch dutch oven for 30 minutes with 10 coals around the base of the oven and 20 top.  After 15 minutes you may have to move some of the briquettes from the center of the lid to prevent the cake from browning too quickly.  I couldn't wait for the cake to cool and glazed it while the bacon and cake were still warm, it was to die for.  So put on your 'Blue Suede Shoes', fire up your coals and try this fantastic cake, I guarantee with one bite you'll be 'All Shook Up' and going back for seconds!

The Elvis Coffee Cake
2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 Tblsp butter, softened
2 ripe bananas, smashed
2 eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp brown sugar, separated
1/3 cup milk
1 Tblsp peanut butter
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1 Tblsp water
3-6 slices of bacon.

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
     In medium bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until well combined.
     Add bananas, eggs, 3/4 cup brown sugar and milk; stir to combine.
     Add Bisquick then stir until wet and dry ingredients are just mixed, do not over beat.
     Spoon batter into prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
     While cake is baking fry bacon until crisp, drain well then sprinkle with remaining Tblsp brown sugar.
     Cut bacon into small pieces and set aside.
     To make glaze, stir together 1 Tblsp peanut butter, confectioner's sugar and water.
     When cake is done, cool for 10 minutes before lifting from dutch oven.
     Cool completely then top cake with bacon crumbles and drizzle with glaze.
     Makes 6 servings.

Spoon thick batter into parchment lined oven,
bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes

When cake cools, sprinke with crumbled bacon and drizzle with glaze

You 'Ain't Nothin But A Houndog' if you don't try this cake

Saturday, July 14, 2012

To Help Beat the Heat


     It seems like most of the country is locked in a heat wave this weekend, sorry no recipe today, I thought this photo from winter 2011 might help you cool off a bit.  I'd much rather cook in the cold than the heat anyday but there is something to be said for not having to clean out a place for cooking with your snow blower.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ritzy Chicken Casserole

      Life has been hectic lately, even though it's 90 degrees outside I was in need of some major comforting.  I have had my eye on this Ritzy Chicken Casserole from for a while now and thought today was the perfect time to give it a try.  Also, I had a rotisserie chicken from Costco I didn't want to go to waste.  Not only is it a snap to assemble, there is something so soothing about crumbling sleeves of Ritz crackers into your dutch oven.  In my 10 inch dutch oven it baked for 25 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 18 in a ring around the lid.  This is one time you don't want to pile too many coals in the center of the lid, there is so much butter in the topping it will brown quickly.  Velvety smooth and rich, eating this casserole is like wrapping yourself in a warm, buttery blanket.
Ritzy Chicken Casserole
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1 can cream of chicken OR mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream, regular or reduced fat
1/2 cup chicken broth
4-5 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. butter, melted

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Crumble one sleeve of Ritz crackers in bottom of dutch oven.
     Drizzle half of the melted butter over the crackers.
     Mix chicken with soup, sour cream, pepper and broth.
     Spoon evenly over crackers.
     Crush the remaining sleeve of crackers over the chicken mixture.
     Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the crackers.
     Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
     Makes 6 servings.

Layer chicken mixture between sleeves of crumbled Ritz crackers

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes

Rich, buttery and very filling

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fantasy Chicken

  If you're looking for an easy way to dress up a run of the mill boneless, skinless chicken breast, this recipe for Fantasy Chicken from Mr. Food certainly fills the bill.  All you have to do is butterfly the chicken breasts with a sharp knife then stuff with cooked bacon and garlic and herbed cheese (similar to Boursin or Rondele).  Bake until tender, then top with grated or sliced Cheddar.  In my 10 inch dutch, with 10 coals in a ring around the base of the oven and 24 on the lid, the chicken was cooked through in 25 minutes.  I sprinkled on the Cheddar then baked it for 3 minutes more until the cheese had melted.  Tender, gooey, and filled with crispy bacon, this recipe has all the elements of a swellegant dutch oven dinner.

Fantasy Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup refrigerated garlic and herb spreadable cheese, divided
8 slices crisp, cooked bacon
1 cup shredded OR 4 thick slices Cheddar cheese

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     On a flat surface, open chicken breasts like a book.
     Sprinkle each chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides.
     Evenly spread 1-2 Tblsp garlic and herb cheese on one side of each chicken breast.
     Place 2 slices cooked bacon over herb cheese.
     Fold chicken breasts over and place in prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
     Top each breast with Cheddar cheese; bake for 3-5 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Spread one half of butterflied chicken breast with herb cheese then top with bacon

Fold chicken breasts together and place in well oiled oven

My sous chefs

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes then top with Cheddar

Smokey flavored, herbed, cheesy chicken in a flash

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

     On Oct 17, 1777, British General Burgoyne surrendered his army of 5,000 men to the American troops during the Saratoga campaign. It was a major victory for the American colonists and the turning point of the Revolutionary War.  His gigantic cast iron kettle is located by the monument commerating the famous Battle of Bennington in VT.  One can only imagine the thousands of weary British soldiers who were fed hot broths, soups and stews from this massive pot.  Undoubtedly it was one of his army's most important pieces of equipment and vital to the survival of the troops.
     Here's another way to take advantage of summer's ripe berries, this Blueberry Upside-Down Cake from Martha Stewart makes a lighter than air cake topped with sweet, buttery blueberries.  Perfect for your 8 inch dutch oven, be sure to line it with parchment paper for easier removal.  The cake baked with 8 coals in a ring around the base of the oven and 12-13 coals on the lid, in thirty minutes it was golden brown and cooked all the way through.  I served it warm with a big scoop of Maine Lobster Tracks ice cream and it was pure heaven on a plate. 

Blueberry Upside-Down Cake
4 Tblsp butter, melted
1/3 cup plue 3 Tblsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cups blueberries
3/4 cup cake flour (not self rising)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk, room temperature

     Lightly oil or spray an 8 inch dutch oven, line with parchment paper.
     Pour 2 Tblsp melted butter into the bottom of prepared dutch oven.
     Sprinkle butter evenly with 3 Tblsp brown sugar.
     Scatter 1 cup blueberries over sugar.
     In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
     In another medium bowl, whisk together remaining 2 Tblsp butter, remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar and the egg.
     Whisk the milk into the egg mixture.
     Add flour mixture; whisk until batter is smooth.
     Pour half of the batter into dutch oven.
     Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup blueberries over batter.
     Spread remaining batter over blueberries.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
     Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto plate, serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
     Makes 4 servings.

Sprinkle blueberries over melted butter and brown sugar

Top with batter and more blueberries

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes

Let sit for 10 minutes before inverting onto plate

A red, white and blue summer treat