Friday, October 25, 2013

Beat the Clock Ghoulish Goulash

     It's that time of year again when ghosts and goblins are lurking around every corner and goulash recipes pop up all over the Internet.  This delectable dish comes courtesy of Mr. Food, its a quick and easy recipe, good for campers as well as hungry trick or treaters.  Brown the beef over a full spread of coals, stir in the remaining ingredients and let your bubbling cauldron work it's magic.  In my 10 inch dutch oven, after sauteing the beef and onions over a full spread of coals, I removed most of the bottom coals, leaving 10 in a ring around the bottom and 22 on the lid.  In 25 minutes the macaroni was tender and most of the liquid had been absorbed.  The paprika does give it some warmth, add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you want to ramp up the heat.  A good basic recipe, saute some red bell pepper with the beef and onions to give it more color.  Whatever you do, enjoy the season and have a hauntingly good Halloween! 

Beat the Clock Ghoulish Goulash
1 1/2-2 lbs lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 1/2 cups beef broth
8 oz elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 Tblsp paprika
1 Tblsp garlic powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-1 1/2 cups sour cream

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Brown beef with onion over a full compliment of coals; drain.
     Move bottom coals to a ring around base of oven.
     Add broth, macaroni, paprika, garlic powder and pepper, stir until well combined, making sure macaroni is completely submerged in broth.
     Cover with as many coals as needed on lid to bring mixture to a strong bubble.
     Simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway, or until macaroni is tender.
     Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. 
     Makes 4-6 servings.

Brown beef with onion over a full compliment of coals

Stir in broth, macaroni and spices

Simmer for 20-25 minutes, remove from heat then
add sour cream

A filling hobgoblin's goulash

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Swirl Truffle Brownies

     I have been wanting to try this recipe from Trader Joe's for the longest time, it has received rave reviews and the combination of chocolate and pumpkin sounded too good to resist.  I apologise to those of you who do not live near a Trader Joe's market, you might be able to duplicate the recipe with similar boxed mixes.  The Trader Joe's brownie mix is very thick and loaded with chocolate chips so look for a brand that is similar.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, they baked for 45 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom, 16 around the outside of the lid with 8 briquettes spaced evenly in the center.  Be sure to test them with a toothpick before removing from the coals.  The aroma of pumpkin, spices and chocolate billowing from my oven made it impossible for me to wait for them to cool.  Splurge by serving them with a big scoop of pumpkin ice cream and if you fall in love with this recipe like I did, stock up on their pumpkin bread mix because it only comes around once a year.

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Swirl Truffle Brownies
1 16 oz box Trader Joe's Brownie Truffle Baking Mix
1 17.5 oz box Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix
4 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup vegetable OR canola oil
1 cup water

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper if desired.
     In a large mixing bowl, prepare Brownie Truffle Baking Mix according to package directions.
     In another large mixing bowl, prepare Pumpkin Bread Mix according to package directions.
     Spread brownie batter evenly in prepared dutch oven, batter will be thick.
     Pour the pumpkin mixture over the brownie mixture.
     Using a large stiff spatula, swirl the two mixes together to make a marble effect.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
     Cool before lifting from dutch oven and cutting into squares.

Pour pumpkin bread batter over brownie batter then
swirl with a knife or spatula

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes

Top with pumpkin ice cream for an out of this
world, flavors of fall dessert

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Creamy Chicken and Corn Pot Pie

     This pot pie is a variation on a recipe from a 2010 edition of Real Simple Magazine.  Unable to find the 14 oz. cans of corn chowder called for in the original recipe,  I substituted with one can of Progresso Chicken Corn Chowder (with bacon!) and a 10 oz. can of undiluted cream of chicken soup.  In my 10 inch dutch oven the pie baked for 40 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the base of the oven, 15 coals in a ring around the outside of the lid and 6 spaced evenly in the center. This is a good and easy way to transform leftovers into a hearty and filling dinner.  Use canned vegetables if you're camping, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the homemade flavor of this quick and convenient pie.

Creamy Chicken and Corn Pot Pie
1 rotisserie chicken, cooked and shredded (about 4 cups)
1 18.5 oz can chicken corn chowder (like Progresso)
1 10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups frozen chopped vegetables
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves OR 1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 ready made 9 inch pie crust (brought to room temperature according to package directions).

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven.
     In large bowl, combine first six ingredients.
     Spoon into prepared oven.
     Cover with pie crust; pinch edges of crust to fit oven.
     Cut several slits in crust.
     Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and pie is bubbling.
     Makes 4 servings.

Spoon chicken and vegetable filling in 10 inch dutch oven
then cover with pre-made pie crust

Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes

Homemade flavor from a quick and easy recipe

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones

     Here's a wonderful savory scone recipe from King Arthur Flour, they're brimming with bacon, tangy Cheddar and chives.  I used fresh cut chives from the garden and hand grated a good sharp Cheddar but cheated by using a 2.5 oz. box of fully cooked bacon.  You know how much I love scones made in my dutch oven, there's nothing like them and this recipe is no exception.  I added almost a full cup of heavy cream as I like my biscuit and scone doughs on the wet side.  You can pat them in a circle and cut them into wedges or drop them like biscuits into your oven.  I piled as many coals as I could on my 10 inch oven lid, about 28, and placed 10 around the bottom.  In exactly 22 minutes they were cooked to perfection.  You'd think they would be heavy and dense but they're actually quite light and tender.  So all you bacon Cheddar lovers out there, fire up your dutch ovens and give these a try, this one is sure to go to the top of your recipe list. 

Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tblsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
4 Tblsp (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut in small pieces
1 cup coarsely grated Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup snipped fresh chives OR finely diced scallion tops
1/2 lb bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp heavy cream or enough to made dough cohesive

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
     Work butter into the flour with fingers or pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly.
     Mix in the cheese, chives and bacon until evenly distributed.
     Add 3/4 cup cream, stirring to combine, add more cream, if needed, until the dough comes together.
     Pat dough into a 7 inch disc and cut into 8 wedges or form into 10 biscuit sized rounds.
     Place into prepared dutch oven and brush with cream if desired.
     Bake at 425 degrees for 22-24 minutes or until golden brown.
     Serve warm or at room temperature.

Form dough into biscuit shaped rounds and place in
well oiled oven

Bake in a hot oven for 22-24 minutes

My new favorite savory scone 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Duncan Hines Pineapple Upside Down Cake

     Have you ever seen a grown dutch oven cook cry?  I consider it nothing short of a miracle any time I remove an upside down cake from my dutch oven and invert it perfectly onto a platter.  As I was photographing this finished Pineapple Upside Down Cake the plate tipped and most of the cake landed in a pile of crumbs in the grass.  I was able to salvage a few slices and our wild turkeys happily squabbled over the rest. 
     In any event, the cake was very delicious and was made from a box of Duncan Hines Pineapple Supreme Deliciously Moist Cake Mix.  The recipe can be found here and on the side of the package.  You need to bake it in your 12 inch dutch oven or even your cast iron skillet.  The cake baked with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom, 16 in a ring around the outside of the lid with 8 briquettes spaced evenly in the center.  In 45 minutes the cake was ready when a tester came out clean.  A prepared mix makes this old fashioned classic incredibly easy and extremely moist.  Substitute walnut or pecan halves for the maraschino cherries or serve it naked like I did using only the sweetened pineapple slices.

Duncan Hines Pineapple Upside Down Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 20 oz can pineapple slices, drained, juice reserved from can
Maraschino cherries (optional)
1 package Duncan Hines Pineapple Supreme 10.25 oz cake mix
1 3.4 oz package vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
4 large eggs
1 cup water OR juice saved from can of pineapple slices
1/2 cup oil

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
     Pour melted butter into prepared dutch oven.
     Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar.
     Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar, place cherries in center of pineapple rings.
     Measure one cup of juice from drained pineapple (if there is not enough juice, add enough water to equal one cup of liquid).
     Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, pineapple juice and oil in large mixing bowl.
     Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes.
     Pour batter evenly over fruit in dutch oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
     Let cool for 45 minutes before lifting from oven and inverting onto plate.

Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar and melted butter

Cover pineapple with thick batter

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes

Cool for 45 minutes before removing from oven

The cake is deliciously moist and rises quite high

Friday, October 4, 2013

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Mushrooms, Green Beans and Sausage

     Craving dutch oven roasted vegetables, I took this excellent recipe from Viking, scaled it back a bit and added a package of sun-dried tomato chicken sausage.  You can use whatever sausage you like, just be sure it's fully cooked beforehand.  Leave it out and toss in some diced red pepper, zucchini and more onion if you're a vegetarian.  In my 12 inch dutch oven the vegetables roasted for a total time of 50 minutes with 12 Kingsford briquettes in a ring around the bottom and 30 on the lid.  After 30 minutes, stir in the green beans they only need 15-20 minutes to roast.  If you can't find the tiny potatoes, cut whatever you have into smaller pieces and this recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd.  Try to use fresh thyme if you can, combined with the olive oil, garlic and the smokey flavor of your dutch oven, you are going to love this hearty but healthy one dish dinner. 

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Mushrooms, Green Beans and Sausage
3/4 lb baby new or fingerling potatoes, unpeeled
4-5 large mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tblsp fresh thyme
1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and washed
1 12 oz package pre-cooked chicken sausage, cut in quarters
2 Tblsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch or larger dutch oven.
     Spread potatoes, mushrooms, shallots, sausage, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in prepared oven.
     Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat evenly.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
     Add green beans and stir.
     Bake for 20 minutes or until vegetables are golden brown and potatoes are tender.
     Makes 4 servings.

Toss everything but green beans together in prepared oven

Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes then stir in green beans

Roast for 20 minutes more or until potatoes are tender

A healthy one-pot meal in under an hour