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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Varsity Big Event - Dutch Oven Demos

I had this writted over a year ago, I never hit post.....
Here you go.

This past week, I had the opportunity to demonstrate the many, versatile, uses for the Dutch Oven, for 2000+ boy scouts and their leaders.  

We covered Dutch Oven Basics.... Starting with:
History of Dutch Ovens
 A Dutch oven, as we know it today, has been around for about 300 years. The Dutch Oven as it is known was once called the black pot or cooking cauldron. Early reference to the black pot came to be found in the Old Testament. Columbus actually brought the black cooking pots with him when he was coming to America. In 1620 the pilgrims cook with them hanging from the beams of the ships. The fires were built in sand pits and used on calm sailing days. This was easier than trying to use stationery pots that would slosh around with the movement of the waves. A Dutch oven is merely a cooking pot with a tight fitting lid and is usually made of cast iron, but is also made of enamel, clay, ceramic, and aluminum.

 Why, is the Dutch oven, called a “Dutch oven?

Until the start of the 18th century, iron was cast in baked loam or clay soil. This made for a rough surface and the mold generally broke while being removed. One casting was about all they got from the mold. For many years, foundries were more advanced in the Holland area, the ovens that the Dutch made had a smoother surface than those that the Europeans produced. Their secret was to use dry sand as the molds for the ovens, hence, the “Dutch oven” name remains to this day. The early pots were very thick walled and heavy. As people migrated to the New Colonies of the America, they brought the trade with them. In 1704, Abraham Darby traveled to Holland to inspect the foundries. From this trip, the sand molds were perfected, in 1708; he received a patent on the process and soon after began to produce large quantities of cast iron in the furnace at Coalbrookdale. By the mid-18th century, these pots were being shipped to the Americas.
American Dutch ovens changed over time during the colonial era. These changes included a shallower pot, legs to hold the oven above the coals, and a lid flange to keep the coals on the lid and out of the food. Small foundries could be found in most of the colonies after that. Most pots back them were identified by the round mark (a sprue) found where the iron entered the mold. Generally this was on the bottom. The gate or sprue as it was called left a protrusion on the pot or kettle but it made no difference on the hearth pots. Soon as the cooking ranges came to be, it became necessary to build one with a flat bottom for cooking on top of the stove or in the oven of the coal or wood stove. Paul Revere is credited with the design of the flat lid with a ridge for holding coals as well as the addition of legs to the pots.
Two major foundries made Hollow ware, cast iron in the 18th century. Griswald of Erie, Penn. and Wagner of Sidney, Ohio, both became household names and remain well know today, even though Griswald is out of business. Griswald remained the cast iron business until 1953. The Griswald and Wagner trademarks were sold to General Housewares. The trademarks were dropped and General Housewares continues to manufacture cast iron pots today.
Colonists and settlers valued cast-iron cookware because of its versatility and durability. Cooks used them to boil, bake, stew, fry, and roast. The ovens were so valuable that wills in the 18th and 19th centuries frequently spelled out the desired inheritor. For example, Mary Ball Washington (mother of President George Washington) specified in her will, dated 20 May 1788, that one-half of her "iron kitchen furniture" should go to her grandson, Fielding Lewis, and the other half to Betty Carter, a granddaughter. This bequest included several Dutch ovens. Some were called dinner pots, Gypsy pots, Bean pots, Stew pots, and Stock pots.
                Westward bound settlers took Dutch ovens with them. A Dutch oven was among the gear Lewis and Clark carried when they explored the great American Northwest in 1804–1806. Mormon pioneers who settled the American West also took along their Dutch ovens. In fact, a statue raised to honor the Mormon handcart companies who entered Utah’s Salt Lake Valley in the 1850s proudly displays a Dutch oven hanging from the front of the handcart.
The Dutch oven is also the official state cooking pot of Texas, Utah and Arkansas.
Mountain men exploring the great American frontier used Dutch ovens into the late 19th century. Chuck wagons, accompanying western cattle drives, also carried Dutch ovens from the mid-19th century into the early 20th century. 

Seasoning & Care

All New Dutch Ovens have a protective wax coating to prevent rust while shipping. Remove paper label, place Dutch Oven on heat (BBQ) to burn off the wax. This will remove protective coating. 

Lightly grease inside and out. Suggested oils are vegetable, solid Crisco, bacon grease, or lard because they offer a low burning point. You do not want the oil to pool anywhere while you are seasoning your oven, so be sure to turn bottom side up. 

Put your Dutch Oven upside down. Put the lid on the top of the legs. Place Dutch Oven in BBQ on Medium Heat until it turns black and burns the oil into the Dutch Oven.  You’ll want the heat around 500 to 550 degrees to burn the oil in. You will notice that sometime during this process smoke will come out of the BBQ for about 20 minutes or so. This is normal. Remember, you are burning oil into the pan. That is what creates the nice black look that you want. Your Dutch Oven will be extremely hot!!! After one hour, just turn off your BBQ and let the Dutch Oven cool by itself. This will take some time. Your oven should be a nice black color.

If the pans are not as black as you like, just redo the process on a little higher heat on your BBQ. Remember, you want your Dutch Ovens black not brown.....brown means that you need to season at a higher heat. 

Acid foods such as tomato sauce might remove some seasoning, just lightly oil after use, and place upside down in you BBQ for 30 min. to re-season. After use, Dutch ovens are typically cleaned like other cookware:  with hot water and soap. (There are many that will tell you do not put them in soap and water, however, read on….) After the oven has been towel dried, heat your oven to remove all humidity (not long just till all signs of moisture is gone), then it should be given a thin coating of cooking oil to prevent rusting.

Whether that should be a vegetable oil, Crisco, bacon grease, or lard it is hotly contested, that Saturated fats are more stable than polyunsaturated fats, which tend to go rancid more quickly.

Where possible, a cleaned and freshly oiled Dutch oven should be stored in a clean, dry location with the lid ajar or off to promote air circulation and to avoid the smell and taste of rancid oil. If the Dutch oven must be stored with the lid on, a paper towel or piece of newspaper should be placed inside the oven to absorb any moisture.

With care, after much use the surfaces of the Dutch oven will become dark black, very smooth, shiny and non-stick. With proper care, a Dutch oven will provide long service.

We then covered how to restore a Rusty Dutch Oven....

Rusty Ovens

What a great opportunity to share what I love with these young men. What was even better was to see them in action, at the cook off. 

Great teamwork and sportsmanship. 
Thank you to the Great Salt Lake Council for the invitation, we look forward to next year.  




Friday, July 10, 2015

Dutch Oven Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast

Dutch Oven Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast

Last month we headed down to Bryce Canyon in Southern Utah for the National Dutch Oven Gathering, they had a little contest for breakfast one morning. The topic was "Breakfast Bread" - not wanting to make cinnamon rolls or the likes - this is what I came up with.....

Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast

Toss

1 loaf of French bread cut into cubes
2 pkgs. cream cheese cut into cubes
1 C blueberries
       together in a 12" Dutch Oven (or 9x13 pan)

Mix

12 lg. eggs
2 C Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/3 C Maple syrup
       together and pour over the top and refrigerate overnight
Next morning place 9 coals on the bottom and 18 coals on the top and bake till golden brown...about an hour.

Topping

1 C sugar
2 tbsp. corn starch
1 C water,
bring to a boil, stir consistently for 3-4 minutes, mix in 1 C blueberries, reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes until the blueberries burst. Stir in 1 table spoon of butter and pour over the baked French toast.


...- it was nice to prep part of it, the evening before, so all I had to do was add briquettes and make the syrup, and breakfast was ready.

This was a nice breakfast in a beautiful canyon, with some amazing people!

Have fun Cookin'
Cyndi

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Goulash

As a child, when it came to dinner, my mom had a knack of making a feast, from very little. This came from wondering each week, where the paycheck would come from and if there would be enough for the bills and groceries.

We always had a garden and when space did not allow, we were always welcome to Grandma's surplus, from her 1/2 acre garden. Tomatoes were always in abundance. I remember Mom making homemade Ketchup/Catsup/Katchup.... (however you spell it (Blech) it was not my favorite), she bottled salsa, whole tomatoes, and my favorite, was always....Stewed tomatoes.

Comfort food, is food I remember mom making, that no matter what I was doing, I'd change plans to be home for this. This dish is so very simple and very cost effective, great for those on a budget, and healthy (sorta).

Goulash

1 lb Ground beef
1 box of Mac & Cheese
1 Quart of Stewed Tomatoes 

Brown & Drain the Ground beef (I rinse my now to remove the grease) and return it to the pan. Boil & Drain the macaroni and add to the ground beef. Add the tomatoes and the cheese packet from the Mac & Cheese and stir until the cheese lumps are smooth.... You could use the Velveeta kind too just stir till creamy.

Sorry I don't have a pictures, It never lasts long enough to take one.

If you don't have home canned stewed tomatoes you can always use store bought ones, you'll just need 32 oz ish.... you can add more, if you like them.... this is a very forgiving recipe. We like to top ours with shredded Colby Jack cheese.

Super simple and very tasty!
Have fun cookin'
Cyndi


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Sirloin


I have been pondering for quite some time as to the future of this blog. This has been a great resource for my friends and family to get recipes for outdoor cooking, or just cooking in general.
 
With starting this new Job, 3 years ago, my time has been consumed to the point that I have completely neglected my blog, to my followers I apologize, I will do my best and post new Ideas when I can. If you have suggestions or questions you would like addressed please let me know.
 
Last night I was inspired by the thin sliced steaks as I walked by the meat case at my local grocery store.

There were a couple of varieties, thin sliced rump, and sirloin.  Sirloin it is.
 
Note: Normally I purchase these thin slices when they make it to the discount bin, they make excellent jerky and I don’t have to cut them.

I have made a similar version of this before for a competition, and used a different stuffing, I like this one better, and it is much more simplistic.
 

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Sirloin


1 16 oz. package of bacon
1 package thin sliced sirloin steaks (my pkg. had 5)
2 C. wild rice
2 cans of beef broth
2 beef bouillon cubes
4 tbsp. butter – you can use olive oil if you’d like.
1 tsp. salt
½ C. water
Season or Salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare your rice, place Rice, broth, bouillon, butter, water, in a pan bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let sit.  –if doing in a Dutch Oven once boiling let it boil for a few and remove from the heat – the Cast Iron will keep it warm and cooking. – When I prepare this I was at home and I used my rice cooker – just dumped it all it and pushed “Cook”.

Once your Rice is done now it’s time to prepare the meat…. Place the bacon (I started with 3 pieces) in an x type shape. Place your steak in the center of the bacon. Season the steak with Salt and pepper – and hey if you like other seasoning – have at it…..

Place ¼ C of Wild Rice in the center of the steak and bring the corners of the steaks in to cover the rice. So now you have a steak ball, begin wrapping the bacon, to the center of the ball. Once you have all the bacon ends wrapped to the center – you should have a “bacon wrapped” steak ball.

Tip: I secured mine with a piece of spaghetti, it holds everything together like a toothpick and cooks as the food does and you don’t have to worry about finding the toothpick

 



 

I placed this in my skillet and browned them for a bit…. With the ends of the bacon down first to cook and seal them – Let them crisp up so they stay sealed.  Then I placed them in the oven at 350° for 30-40 minutes till they reached 165°.

 I served them with the rest of the wild rice and some fresh cucumbers for a tasty late night dinner.  If you were feeling ambitions you could make gravy with the pan drippings and poured over the rice and meat…. It didn’t need it. It was plenty juicy without.  



 These can be made in a Dutch Oven instead of a skillet and done over coals. Start with a 12” oven with 10-12 briquettes under it to sear the bacon. Once the meat is seared and browned, move the DO and place 8 coals on the bottom and 16 on top. Same time and temp.

 Have fun cookin’

Cyndi

 
Be creative and add a cube of cheese or some fresh herbs to the center….

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chocolate Raspberry Danish Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Danish Cake



It seems like a lifetime since I have posted, my apologies.  
Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to dabble with the little black pots once again.  I had the opportunity of cooking for 330 youth and adults for 3 days, Let me tell you how crazy that was, my feet ached for weeks, and it took 2 weeks just to get everything put away. It was on this trip that I came up with this morsel of tastiness.  One of the gentlemen called to the committee owns his own Dutch Oven catering business. With my history of competitions we thought it would be fun for the last dinner... to have a dessert throw down.  He brought 3 of his desserts that he caters with, and I brought my Super Simple Apple Cobbler and I also did Blueberry Pull-a-parts but knowing I had to kick it up a notch I also made a spin on my Strawberry Danish Cake

This was also fueled by the fruitfulness my raspberry bushes this year. 



Chocolate Raspberry Danish Cake


Cake
1 Devil's food cake mix - made by the directions on the box. 
Baked in a 12" Dutch Oven 
8 coals on the bottom
16 coals on the top

Topping
1 - 16 oz. tub of cool whip                       1 - 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar                             1 – 1 lb. Raspberries
1 package of Junket Danish Dessert (Raspberry flavor)

Directions
While the cake cools, make the Danish Dessert following the pie glaze directions on the back of the box.  Mix together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 1 -16 oz. of cool whip. Mix well. In a separate bowl mix 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 1 - 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese.  Mix well. Mix the cream cheese mixture and the cool whip mixture together in a large bowl. Spread cool whip/cream cheese mixture across the top of the cake. Mix the raspberries into the Danish Dessert then spread across the top.



Now if you are feeling adventurous you can make the cake from scratch. But when cooking for a crowd, the mix is the way to go.

To finish the story…. We each did 3 ovens full of each dessert… so if you are counting that is 18 ovens full of sweetness….You guessed it.... there was not a drop left.  The winner of the throw down?  Well you are looking at it. But dang,  it was some stiff competition – the Peach pineapple cobbler he made was fantastic! (I’ll have to see if he will share the recipe…..)

I also had the opportunity to take this on a camping trip this past weekend and not wanting to mess with missing cream cheese by hand – I mixed these together beforehand and stored them in the cooler till I made the cakes, and it worked beautifully. Again, not a drop leftover.

I hope you enjoy.
And as always, have fun cookin’
Cyndi

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Egg Rolls

For many years we would celebrate Christmas at my Grandma’s with the entire White family. As the years passed and Grandma could no longer host such a large party, we started to have the party later towards the end of January to commemorate her birthday as well as the Chinese New Year. As our families began to grow, and life took hold, and Grandma’s passing…. This tradition was forgotten until recently, my cousin’s daughter, missing the tradition, decided that we needed to get together like we use to, so this weekend we celebrated what a great family, my Grandparents started so many years ago….  And the Chinese’s New Year.

We celebrate by having a pot luck dinner consisting of different dishes, my contribution was a recipe I received from a very dear friend, about 15 years ago, that has become a family favorite…. WARNING: This makes quite a few Egg Rolls, but they freeze and re-heat fantastically. My daughter love to pop a few in the Microwave after school for a snack, and as a Mom who am I to object when she chooses a healthy treat like these….  

Egg Rolls
4 pkgs. Egg Roll Wraps (found in the Produce Dept.)(5”x 5”)
4 Celery stocks
1/3 lb. Bean Sprouts
4 medium Onions
2 medium heads of Cabbage
½ lb. Carrots
4 C. Ground meat (Beef, Chicken, Pork, Turkey, or Shrimp)
2 Cans of whole Water Chestnuts

Shred: Cabbage, Celery, Carrots, Onions and Water Chestnuts, into a LARGE bowl.
Brown the meat of your choice…. Drain well.




Add the Seasoning:
½ tsp Pepper
½ - 1 tsp Garlic
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp MSG (optional)
1 tsp salt
¼ -1/2 tsp Chili Powder
¼ C Soy Sauce

Mix together, (I find it easier to use my hands than a spoon, to mix it thoroughly).
Mixture should be moist, squeeze a handful if it drips, it good, if not add just a tiny bit of water.
Follow the instructions on the package of egg roll wraps for wrapping, and cooking. You can either fry or bake.
For Dipping, you could use a Sweet & Sour Sauce, Ranch dressing, or Barbecue sauce…. My favorite is hot Chinese mustard with a side of ketchup.



For the Super bowl next week, I planning on making

Southwest egg rolls
2 skinless chicken breast
¼ C Minced red bell pepper
¼ C Minced onions
2/3 C Corn (frozen)
½ C Black Beans – Rinsed and Drained
¼ C diced Jalapeno peppers
1 Tbsp minced Fresh Parsley
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Chili powder
¾ tsp salt
¾ C Colby Jack Cheese
10 flour tortilla

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook chicken in a tablespoon of olive oil - approximately 5 minutes per side, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add another 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.
Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.
Wrap tortillas with a clean, lightly moist cloth. Microwave on high approximately 1 minute, or until hot and pliable.
Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with toothpicks. Arrange in a medium dish, cover with plastic, and place in the freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours.
In a large, deep skillet, heat oil for deep frying to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Deep fry frozen, stuffed tortillas 10 minutes each, or until dark golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving.

For Dipping….

1 Smashed, fresh avocado
½ C Mayo
½ C Sour cream
2 Tbsp buttermilk
3 tsp white vinegar
¼ tsp Salt
¼ tsp dried parsley
¼ tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp dill weed
1/8 garlic powder
1/8 pepper
Mix and chill for 30 minutes.

I guess you could say I’m on a bit of an egg roll kick lately…. Hope y’all enjoy.
Have fun cookin’
Cyndi



Monday, September 30, 2013

Pull-A-Parts

I've been feeling guilty lately, because I haven't posted in a couple of months. Sorry.

In August we had the Davis County Fair, where my husband and I were the chairfolks for the Dutch Oven cook-off... that's a lot of extra hours pulling things together, however, I couldn't have done it without his help. Not to mention the countless hours the rest of my family put into it.  Some of the things I enjoy about organizing this are the fact that we bring new people in to our love of cooking in cast iron pots, and all the new recipes they bring.

This year’s winner has been cooking in Dutch Ovens for years, the last couple of years we have asked him to come be a field judge for this competition and he watch as other teams competed and was bitten by the bug, and decided to compete this year. He and his wife practiced their recipes for weeks, until they mastered them. I was a little iffy on his dessert but it certainly knocked my socks off.

I thought I’d share it with you.



Blueberry pull-a-parts

1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon                   
1/4 cup butter, melted

Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, and melted butter together in a bowl; sprinkle over the greased sides and bottom of 12” Dutch Oven.

2 (8 count) cans refrigerated biscuit dough (such as Pillsbury Grands! ®) – Or make yours from scratch.

Separate biscuit dough into 16 biscuits; cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.

3/4 cup white sugar                                                 
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted                                             

Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Pour melted butter into a separate bowl. Dip each biscuit piece in the melted butter; roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until well coated.

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries                                  
1/4 cup butter, melted

Toss coated biscuit pieces and blueberries together in a large bowl; arrange biscuits and blueberries in the Dutch Oven. Drizzle with 1/4 cup butter and any remaining butter from dipping.
                       
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar                                
2 tablespoons milk, or more as needed

Bake @ 350° (8 coals on the bottom and 16 on the top) until, golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 -10 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Whisk confectioners' sugar and milk together in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over pull-a-parts.

Some great variations would be to use a mix of berries instead of blueberries or apples instead of blueberries, then drizzle with a caramel sauce…. Recipes like this really get the ‘ol creative gears moving.

Hope you’ll give this a try and put your own spin on it and let me know how it turns out, and in the meantime…..


Have Fun Cookin’ 
Cyndi
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