Monday, April 29, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Oreo Brownies

     Let's give three cheers for the ingenious blogger who created this mouth-watering recipe.  Call them a Turducken for brownie lovers, Oreo cookies are baked between layers of chocolate chip cookie dough and brownie batter.  I first attempted this recipe in my 12 inch dutch oven with a 30 oz. tube of refrigerated cookie dough and a family sized, 9 by 13 inch pan package of brownie mix.  Well, I baked them for almost an hour, they looked perfectly done but when I cut into them the brownie batter was almost raw in the middle. 
     Determined to make this work, I tried it again in my 10 inch oven, this time using a 16 oz. package of refrigerated Toll House cookie dough and a smaller box of brownie mix.  I used Ghirardelli's Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, not only because it is laced with chocolate chips, it uses less oil.  In my 10 inch oven I placed 10 coals in a ring around the bottom, 16 in a circle around the edge of the lid and 5 spaced evenly in the center.  After 50 minutes, I finally took a peek and this time used a tester to make sure they were done enough in the middle.  It takes restraint, but you need to let them cool for a good 15 minutes before cutting into them.  It goes without saying, they are over the moon delicious. 
     If you want to make them with the larger size packages in your 12 inch oven, be sure to bake them for over an hour with enough heat in the center of the lid to cook them all the way through in the middle.  After wolfing down two of them, warm with ice cream and caramel sauce, I promptly packed up the rest and delivered them to my neighbors.  The only thing I can't resist is temptation and these are so good I couldn't keep them in the house without eating the whole batch.  Kids will love making these, they're an assemble on your picnic table kind of recipe and don't forget to pack a gallon of milk in your cooler to wash them down with.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Oreo Brownies
1 16 oz. package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, at room temperature
1 box of brownie mix plus ingredients needed to make brownies.
14 Oreo cookies

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
     Pat cookie dough into bottom of dutch oven.
     Evenly space Oreo cookies in circles to completely cover dough, but not touching.
     Make brownie mix according to package directions.
     Carefully pour brownie batter over cookies until completely covered.
     Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees or until brownies test done in center.
     Cool completely before lifting from oven and cutting into squares or let cool for 15 minutes before serving warm from oven.

Press cookie dough into parchment lined oven

Cover with layer of Oreo cookies

Carefully pour brownie batter over cookies

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until done in center

Unquestionably, the ultimate dutch oven brownie

Friday, April 26, 2013

Crispy Baked Mexicali Chicken

      This recipe for Crispy Baked Mexicali Chicken from Sargento is an easy way to bake juicy, crunchy chicken in your dutch oven without frying.  I adapted the recipe to coat 6 large chicken thighs, if you want to scale back and bake them in your smaller oven, check out the link to the original recipe.  If you're making this outdoors, I would suggest using gloves as the preparation is quite messy.  You can add more heat or even finish the chicken off with a pepper jack cheese.  To cut the calories, use baked chips and low-fat cheese.  Once you get the basic formula down, you can easily double or triple the recipe.  The chicken baked in my 12 inch dutch oven with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and 26 on the lid.  After 45 minutes, I sprinkled them with cheese and they cooked for 5 minutes more.  Serve with a little salsa on the side but definitely give this recipe a try, if you do, you're sure to become the most popular dutch oven cook on your block.

Crispy Baked Mexicali Chicken
6 large chicken thighs, skin removed and trimmed of fat
1 cup ranch dressing
1 tsp hot sauce
3 cups crushed tortilla chips (about 1/2 large bag)
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup grated Mexican blend or Cheddar cheese

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch or larger dutch oven.
     Combine hot sauce and ranch dressing in shallow bowl.
     Place crushed tortilla chips in another shallow bowl.
     Dip each chicken thigh in dressing mixture, then dredge in chip crumbs, completely covering on all sides.
     Place side by side in prepared dutch oven.
     Sprinkle with chili powder.
     Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
     Sprinkle with cheese, bake for several minutes more, or until cheese has melted.
     Makes 4-6 servings.

Look who's back, patroling the backyard in
full regalia

Dip chicken thighs in ranch dressing then roll in tortilla chip crumbs

Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees then sprinkle with cheese

Everyone went back for seconds

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Texas Style Chili with Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage

     Another excellent recipe from the Al Fresco sausage company, this versatile, chunky chili can be dished up in a bowl or wrapped in a tortilla.  If you're a vegetarian, omit the sausage and add another can of black beans.  In my 10 inch oven, I loaded up the lid with 28 coals and placed 10 in a ring around the bottom.  After 20 minutes I gave it a stir and after 25 more minutes the vegetables were soft and the chili was bubbling away.  The nice thing about this recipe is that you can do all your prep work at home, place everything in a zip lock bag and roast it at your destination.  Please don't add any liquid, you don't need it, the vegetables create their own juices.  I threw in an extra pepper and only used one package of sausage, the jalapeno really gives it a kick.  Loaded with vitamins, low in fat and brimming with flavor, a perfect outdoor dinner.

Texas Style Chili with Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage
1-2 12 oz packages spicy jalapeno chicken sausage, sliced
2 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
1 large green, red and yellow pepper, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 Tblsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves (optional)

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Combine all ingredients in dutch oven.
     Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes, stirring halfway, or until vegetables are tender.
     Serve in a bowl or wrapped in flour tortilla.
     Top with sour cream and grated cheese.
     Makes 4 servings.

Mix ingredients in dutch oven

Roast at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring halfway

Don't forget to remove the bay leaves.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Cobbler

     The only flavor combination I like better than chocolate and raspberry is white chocolate and raspberry.  To round out our trilogy of ridiculously easy recipes, this Chocolate Raspberry Cobbler is not only scrumptious, you can just about make it with your eyes closed.  I did have to hunt around for raspberry pie filling so if you can't find it, try it with a can of cherry filling.  Just be sure that you completely cover the cookie mix with butter, you don't want any large patches of dry batter showing through.  In my 10 inch oven, it baked for 30 minutes with 18-20 briquettes on the lid and 10 in a ring around the bottom.  When you are bowled over by the scented steam of chocolate and raspberry, it's done.  To make this in your 12 inch oven just add a second can of pie filling and leave the rest.  Next time, I might try mixing in some fresh raspberries with the pie filling.   Crispy on the top, gooey on the inside and sweet enough to make your teeth hurt, topped with vanilla ice cream, this is easily one of my favorite dutch oven desserts.

Chocolate Raspberry Cobbler
1 21 oz can raspberry pie filling
1 1 lb 1.5 oz pouch Betty Crocker double chocolate chunk cookie mix
3/4 cup butter OR margarine, melted

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven, line with parchment paper if desired.
     Spread pie filling in bottom of dutch oven.
     Sprinkle cookie mix evenly over pie filling.
     Pour melted butter evenly over cookie mix.
     Spoon or spread melted butter over cookie mix just to cover the dry mix. 
     Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until topping is set.
     Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
     Store covered in refrigerator, if there's any left!

Pour melted butter over dry cookie mix and raspberry pie filling

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees

You'd better go to confession after eating this sinfully rich dessert

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Corn Stuffed Peppers

      Sometimes you're just in the mood for a four ingredient recipe.  With these Corn Stuffed Peppers, Stouffers has gone ahead and done all the work for you.  I apologize to those of you who can't find their brand of frozen Corn Souffle in your local grocery store, I really don't know what you could use as a substitution.  Definitely a good camping recipe, if you don't have refrigeration, you can defrost the souffle overnight in your cooler.  In my 10 inch oven, it did take a good hour to cook with 22 coals on the lid and 10 around the base of the oven.  Believe it or not, the souffle does actually rise leaving a light and fluffy filling, just be sure to leave enough space between the peppers and the lid of your dutch oven.  Hard to believe something this simple could be so elegant, also you can easily double or triple the recipe if you're feeding a crowd.

Corn Stuffed Peppers
2 12 oz. packages Stouffers Corn Souffle, defrosted
1 16 oz. jar mild salsa
4 green OR red peppers
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
Cut stem ends from peppers; remove seeds and membranes.
Pour salsa into the bottom of dutch oven.
Spoon Corn Souffle into peppers.
Stand peppers in salsa.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.
Top each pepper with cheese.
Cook for 5 minutes more or until cheese has melted and knife inserted in center of souffle comes out clean.
Makes 4 servings.

Yup, just 4 ingredients for these tasty peppers

Thaw corn souffle then fill peppers

Bake for 55 minutes, top with cheese then bake until cheese has melted

A light and downright elegant camper's dinner

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Caramelized Onion & Sweet Apple Pizza with Brie

      To help myself get back into the swing of dutch oven cooking, I have chosen a couple of fairly simple recipes to post, nothing fancy, just enough to help me get the hang of temperature control again.  This recipe from the Al Fresco sausage company fills the bill on all counts.  The only thing I would suggest doing ahead of time is caramelizing your onions.  You certainly could do that in your camp oven but I like to cook them low and slow on the stove top in my cast iron skillet.  What also drew me to this recipe was using Indian bread, or naan, as the crust of your pizza.  Not only was it crispy on the bottom, one piece of naan fit perfectly into my 10 inch oven.  You can certainly experiment with your toppings, maybe trying sliced pears with blue cheese or a more traditional Italian sausage and mozzarella style combination.  If you can't find chicken sausage, any pre-cooked variety would be fine.  The beauty of these pizzas is that they cook quickly and you can easily make two or three with one batch of coals.  The sweetness of the sausage, onions and apples melds beautifully with the brie, if my herb garden was in full bloom I'd top it with a sprinkling of fresh thyme.  With 10 coals around the base of the oven and 22 on the lid, they were ready in about 12 minutes. These are definitely tres gourmet and a snap to make at your campsite.

Caramelized Onion and Sweet Apple Pizza with Brie
1 12 oz. package Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage, sliced thinly, on the bias
2-3 large onions, thinly sliced
1 large apple, sliced thinly
1 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tandoori style naan
10-12 thin slices Brie, rind removed if desired
1 Tblsp fresh thyme, chopped

     Saute onions in olive oil until soft and caramelized.
     Onions should cook down by about 1/2 in volume.
     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Place one piece of naan in bottom of dutch oven.
     Top each naan with 1/2 cup of caramelized onions.
     Top with apples, then sausage; finish with brie.
     Sprinkle with fresh thyme.
     Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and hot.
     Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
     Makes 2-4 servings.

Layer naan with onions, apples, sausage and brie

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until apples are soft
and cheese has melted

What a great combination of flavors 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Little Cheddar Meatloaves

Dad, on the left, with his brother in the sixties
     Some of you may have wondered if I fell off the face of the earth.  My father became ill last summer and for the past nine months my life has been centered around caring for him at home.  He fought a long and courageous battle but with the help of friends, family and Hospice, my prayers were answered and we were able to keep him with us, in his familiar surroundings, with his cat on his bed, until he passed away at the end of March.  I want to thank all of you who are still checking in on my blog, trying the recipes and leaving such nice comments.  Sitting at my computer was a bit of a luxury and I'm sorry I couldn't reply but knowing you were still out there gave me a big lift. 
     Dad loved life, laughter and good food.  He had more enthusiasm than anybody I know and was so supportive of us in all of our endeavors, especially my dutch oven cooking.  He'd start the day asking what we were having for dinner and loved testing my new recipes.  He'd tactfully offer suggestions when needed, relishing in his new role as food critic, and I came to rely on his opinion before posting a recipe on my blog. 
     I wanted to honor my father in some small way by preparing one of his famous recipes in my dutch oven.  Dad was a master griller, deep dish pizza maker, breakfast chef and he cooked with a smoker long before it became popular.  When we were young we jumped for joy when he made us his delicious 'footballs'.  Basically, he'd form ground beef patties into the shape of footballs, cook them under the broiler and serve them with a side of canned B and B Mushroom Sauce.  We thought we were eating filet mignon at a five-star restaurant. 
     This recipe for Little Cheddar Meatloaves is a big more lavish but much the same in principle.  The original recipe calls for 8 little loaves but I wanted them to be more substantial and made four in my 10 inch oven.  Don't be alarmed when you form them into 'footballs', it makes a wet mixture, however, they bake up into the moistest, juiciest meatloaves I have ever tasted.  They baked for 45 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 24 on top.  After 20 minutes I removed some of the center coals and finished them off with the remaining briquettes in a ring around the outside of the lid. 
     I must confess, I was a little nervous at first firing up my coals today, it's been a while, I had to carefully think about the steps of dutch oven cooking again.  It's been a perfect spring day for backyard cooking, sunny and in the sixties, I know Dad would have loved this recipe and I think you will too.  

Little Cheddar Meatloaves
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp mustard

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Beat together egg and milk.
     Stir in cheese, oats, onion, salt and pepper.
     Add ground beef and mix well.
     Shape into 4 loaves and place in prepared dutch oven.
     Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard.
     Spoon topping over loaves.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink in center.
     Makes 4 servings.

Shape meat mixture into little 'footballs', then cover with sauce

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

This one's for you Dad