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Saturday, March 26, 2011

World Championship Dutch Oven Cook Off

Sorry it’s been a while since my last blog, let me tell you what’s been happening.
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to “do” the news spot on KUTV ( promoting the ISE (International Sportsman’s Expo) and the IDOS(International Dutch Oven Society) WCCO (World Championship Cook Off). I was told the Chef that would be interviewing me, liked “healthy” food – well in my mind Dutch Oven Cooking is all about Bacon, Cheese and potatoes, nothing healthy here. So I search for a recipe that would meet this request so I found a recipe for Mushrooms, Artichokes, and Chicken served over pasta. (Recipe below) I had to prepare one before I went and one “on the air”, I was a little disappointed that the one I prepared on air turned into a “Dump” recipe – which this was not – now granted if you ask my co-workers who benefited from this it still must have tasted good cause it sure disappeared fast. 
In all honesty I think I was more nervous for the news spot than the actual competition on Thursday. But it was sure fun and Chef Brian Woolley was very nice.
Thursday – Melissa and I competed in the 1st round of the WCCO semifinals. We made a Beef Wellington, Strawberry Danish Cake, and Melissa’s Rolls. (Recipe below). Everything was going very smoothly right up until the Bread…  In my rush I failed to heat the water and the yeast did not proof and thus my bread did not rise. So we hurried and made another batch, that was starting to rise but time did not allow us to be patient and wait for it we had to bake it so we presented little blond dough bricks.  Our cake looked beautiful however the judges said it was “dry”. I laugh a little when I read those comments because we have competed with this cake before and it has taken 1st place and the recipe never changed, odd. And the Beef Wellington, done to perfection the beef was tender, the pastry flaky, but I was judged because I got festive and put a shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day on it and colored it with food coloring. I have to say the Judging was tough on Thursday.
We love Don's Meats in Syracuse!!!!
Friday – Becka and Rod competed in the 2nd round of the WCCO. They made Polynesian BBQ Ribs, Pumpkin Delight, and Dinner Rolls (Recipe below). Melissa and I were their assistants who got them wash water and their coals. It was very hard not to coach them along. I found myself walking away more often than not so I would not interfere. The Pumpkin delight was up first and Becka did a beautiful job on it, other that a rush at the end and put too much coals under the center and it burned just a bit. The roll dough looked great, she just needed more instructions on how to form them, the color when they were done, was beautiful, but knowing that they were up against Stuffed breads and Sweet breads….. We learned a lesson this weekend – add flavor to the bread. The Ribs……WOW! They were awesome, I was very impressed Rod did an awesome job the sauce was amazing and the meat was to die for. With their judging they were able to see where each dished placed and the Ribs came in 2nd that day. But the other dishes brought them down, dang it.
 So needless to say neither of the Boyer teams made it to compete in the finals on Saturday, but that was ok, we were so exhausted that it was nice to sleep in a bit on Saturday. We did go down to watch the end of the competition to see who won. There was some steep competition, in my book they should have all won, but that’s not how it works. My friends from Idaho took home the Grand Champion title, well deserved, they are amazing cooks. If you’d like to see pictures of all the dishes that were prepared you can check out the IDOS website ( they also have a link where if you are interested you can buy a cookbook of all the dishes. The cookbooks will also be available at the Spring Open House in Farmington (see previous post).

Sunday – The Cast Iron Chef’s Challenge, Rod, Andrew, Becka and I all were able to be “Chef’s advisors” we were all assigned to a chef to be their advisor regarding Dutch Oven cooking. Some of these Chefs had never cooked in a Dutch Oven let alone Cast Iron. Camp Chef generously outfitted these teams with Dutch Ovens, cook tables and a 2 burner stove (DANG – nice package). One of the sponsors was Macey’s Grocery store, they supplied all the food the chefs cooked. They had 3 mystery ingredients they had to use in their dishes, they were; Nutella, Cinnamon Bears, and Coconut Rum. They had to incorporate these in to a Main dish, a dessert, and  bread.  It could be one  or any combination in these dishes, needless to say there was some mighty creative folks.  (These pictures are also found on the IDOS website). Their “Protein” was Rabbit –this is what they had to cook for their main dish. The variety of how they cooked this was neat – there were smoked rabbit, braised rabbit, stuffed rabbit, and rabbit with rice…. So many different ways they cooked them – Sorry no they don’t taste like chicken, and I’d have to be starving to eat another one, they were not my favorite. I learned a lot from watching these guys at work. I am glad to have had the opportunity to be a part of this event.
I hope you will enjoy trying one or all of these recipes.
Have fun cookin’

Mushroom, Artichoke, Chicken & Pasta
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves cubed
  • 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1-12 oz can marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 jar (4-1/2 ounces) whole button mushrooms, drained
  • 1 cup chopped onion1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • Hot cooked noodles
  • Minced fresh parsley
In a 12” Dutch Oven, brown chicken in olive oil. Remove chicken to an ungreased 12” Dutch Oven. Toss with artichokes and mushrooms; set aside.
Sauté onion in pan juices until crisp-tender. Combine the flour, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir into pan until blended. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat and spoon over chicken.
Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes (17 briquettes on top 8 briquettes on bottom) or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Arrange noodles on the lid of a 12” Dutch oven; top with chicken and sauce. Sprinkle with parsley.

Beef Wellington
  • 3 pints (1 1/2 pounds) mushrooms                                               
  • 2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only                                     
  • 2 tablespoons butter                                  
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil                                              
  • Kosher salt                                                                
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Finely chop mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and thyme to. Add butter and olive oil to a large sauté pan and set over medium heat. Add the shallot and mushroom mixture and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
For the Beef
  • 1 (3-pound) center cut beef tenderloin (fillet mignon), trimmed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil                                                             
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper                                                       
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
  • Flour, for rolling out puff pastry                                         
  • 1 pound puff pastry, thawed if using frozen
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard                                                        
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Tie the tenderloin so it holds its cylindrical shape while cooking. Drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and sear all over, including the ends, in a hot, 12” D/O lightly coated with olive oil - about 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile set out your prosciutto on a sheet of plastic wrap (plastic needs to be about a foot and a half in length so you can wrap and tie the roast up in it) on top of your cutting board. Shingle the prosciutto so it forms a rectangle that is big enough to encompass the entire fillet of beef. Using a rubber spatula cover evenly with a thin layer of duxelles. Season the surface of the duxelles with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves. When the beef is seared, remove from heat, cut off twine and smear lightly all over with Dijon mustard. Allow to cool slightly, then roll up in the duxelles covered prosciutto using the plastic wrap to tie it up nice and tight. Tuck in the ends of the prosciutto as you roll to completely encompass the beef. Roll it up tightly in plastic wrap and twist the ends to seal it completely and hold it in a nice log shape. Set in the cooler for 30 minutes to ensure it maintains its shape. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  21 briquettes on top 10 briquettes on bottom
On a lightly floured surface set your puff pastry out to thaw. Depending on the size of your sheets you may have to overlap 2 sheets and press them together. Remove beef from cooler and cut off plastic. Set the beef in the center of the pastry and fold over the longer sides, brushing with egg wash to seal. Trim ends if necessary then brush with egg wash and fold over to completely seal the beef - saving ends to use as a decoration on top if desired. Top with coarse sea salt. Place the beef seam side down on a baking sheet.
Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash then make a couple of slits in the top of the pastry using the tip of a paring knife - this creates vents that will allow the steam to escape when cooking. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until pastry is golden brown and beef registers 125 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from oven and rest before cutting into thick slices.

Rosemary Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil                                                                                  
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp crushed rosemary                                                 
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1tsp salt                                                                                 
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 lbs new potatoes quartered
Mix spices into olive oil, add potatoes, toss till well coated. Place in 12” D/O that has been coated with small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking. Roast @ 425 for 30 minutes or till potatoes are tender.  21 briquettes on top 10 briquettes on bottom

Danish Cake
  • 3/4 cup shortening                                                             
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour                                                                
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder                                                        
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 egg whites                                                                        
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Sift and measure flour. Add salt and baking powder, and sift again.
In a large bowl, cream shortening. Add sugar gradually, and cream until fluffy. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk and flavoring. Beat thoroughly after each addition.
Beat egg whites until stiff, and fold into mixture. Pour batter into 2 lined or greased 12” Dutch Ovens bake with 17 briquettes on top 8 briquettes on bottom. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick pressed into the center comes out clean.  (just a note this is like strawberry short cake if you like this more moist brush the cakes with a simple syrup of 1 C water and 1 C Sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla, heated just until the sugar is dissolved)
  • 1 16 oz tub of cool whip                                                    
  • 1 8oz. pkg. of cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar                                                    
  • 1 1lb strawberries
  • 1 package of Junket Danish Dessert (Strawberry flavor)
While the two cakes are cooling, make the Danish Dessert following the pie glaze directions on the back of the box. Flip the cakes out of the Dutch Ovens onto the lids. Mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar with 16oz of cool whip. Mix well. In a separate bowl mix 1 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 topping across the top of one of the cakes. Then lay about ½ of the strawberries on top of the cool whip topping. Place the other cake on top of the 1st and repeat cool whip topping, strawberries, then spread the Danish dessert across the top.

Melissa’s Rolls
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 3/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
In a small Dutch oven over medium heat combine the milk, 1/4 cup of the butter, dry milk, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm before proceeding.
In a large mixing bowl dissolve the yeast and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in 1/4 cup of warm water (110 degrees F). Add the eggs and stir to combine. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour 1 cup at a time. The dough will be quite stiff and somewhat sticky. If the dough gets too stiff to stir with a spoon, use your hands to mix.
Lightly grease the inside of a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the remaining butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat. Lightly grease a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap with the remaining teaspoon of butter and use it to cover the bowl. Set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, at least 2 hours.
Melt remaining 1/4 cup of butter and transfer to a small bowl to cool. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/2-inch Cut into equal size pieces. Tuck the cut edges of each piece under to form a smooth round ball of dough. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of each roll with some of the melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Bake the dinner rolls at 350° until golden brown and puffed, about 18 to 20 minutes.   17 briquettes on top 8 briquettes on bottom

Polynesian Barbecue Ribs
  • 2-4 Rack of pork ribs
  • Salt and Pepper ribs according to taste
Sear the ribs in oil making sure to brown on all sides. Braise in a hot Dutch Oven for 40 to 45 minutes at approximately 450 °. 14” 26 briquettes on top 14 briquettes on bottom.
12” 22 briquettes on top 11 briquettes on bottom Separate ribs and cover with barbecue sauce/glaze.  Bake for approx. 2 hours until desired doneness.

Fred’s BBQ sauce
  • 2 C Soy Sauce
  • ¼ C Vinegar
  • 1 C Ketchup
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • ¾ to 1 C honey
  • ½ Tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ C finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp Cholula Hot Sauce
  • 1 ¼ C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
Place in a Dutch oven and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Set aside to cook and thicken.  10-12 briquettes

Dinner Rolls
  • 5-6 C Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Active dry yeast
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 C Milk
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/3 C butter or butter flavored shortening- melted
Prepare Dough: In a mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt; blend well. Mix in warm milk, egg, and melted butter. Mix thoroughly. Mix in remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead it for 5 minutes until dough becomes elastic and sticky. Roll dough generously in flour, then cover and place in a warm area free from drafts to rise until double in size.
Assemble Rolls For Baking: Punch dough, form rolls place rolls in a lightly greased 14" Dutch oven. Cover and let rise.
Bake using 10 briquettes around the outside on the bottom and 18-20 briquettes top until rolls turn a light brown color. Brush tops of rolls with butter then bake until golden brown. Total baking time will be 20-25 minutes. For even browning rotate oven and lid every 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Delight
  • 2 C Flour
  • 1 ½ C sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ C non-fat dry milk
Mix together and reserve 1 C for topping.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ½ C melted butter
Mix together. Press into bottom and 1 1/2" up sides of a well greased 12" Dutch oven.
  • 1 - 30 oz can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs; beaten
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 C milk
  • ¾ C dark brown sugar
In a bowl combine all filling ingredients and mix well. Pour filling into Dutch oven to fill crust.
  • 1 C Reserved cake mix
  • ¼ C sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp cold butter
In a small bowl combine cake mix, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir to mix. Cut in butter until coarse crumbs are formed. Sprinkle over top of pumpkin filling.
Bake: Cover Dutch oven and bake using 8-10 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 1 hour.
Garnish whipped cream.
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