Sunday, December 26, 2010

Video - Chile Verde Burritos



These chile verde burritos go great on a cold day like today. The simple seasoning balances out the tangy chile verde sauce for a dynamic flavor blend. View the embedded video for detailed instructions. Video by Andy Johnson, Music: TechnoBeat, by Andy Johnson

Recipe:
12" Dutch Oven
400 Degrees
Roasting, then Broiling
60 minutes
4-8 Servings

3 chicken breasts, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 packet fajita season
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped

8 medium flour tortillas
1 can black beans
1 jar chile verde (we used our home canned green salsa)
cheddar cheese, shredded

tomatoes, diced
lettuce, chopped
sour cream

Brown chicken, garlic, onions, pepper, & green onions, while adding fajita seasoning. When cooked, scoop out. Roll burritos with chicken mix and black beans. Lay 4 burritos in Dutch oven and top with chile verde and cheddar. Rotate 90 degrees and lay 4 more burritos with sauce and cheese. Cover and add top heat, broiling cheese. Serve with diced tomatoes, chopped lettuce and sour cream.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dutch Oven - Baked Ziti


We were invited to my brother's for Christmas dinner, and I decided to get back in the iron saddle, so we scoured the web, and decided to try Mark & Brendan's Baked Ziti. I've been very busy this December, and I'm sorry I haven't posted much, but we've had a serious case of the busys. I've got some good plans for January, so stay tuned.

This recipe was easier than I thought, and it tasted great! Everyone at the party liked it, so I'm giving this our first ever 5+! Congratulations Mark! You sure know how to cook them! I've paraphrased the directions below, but check out marks post for the full details.

Recipe Courtesy Mark Hansen of Mark's Black Pot, www.marksblackpot.com

Dutch Oven Baked Ziti

12" dutch oven

15-20 coals below, then
8-10 coals below, and 18-22 above


1 Tsp oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (We actually went more toward the 1 tsp...)
1 lb ground meat (we used turkey)

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
3 Cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb ziti pasta (we actually cheated and used penne)

juice of 1 lemon
1 pint carton cream
1/2 cup parmesan
liberal doses of basil, oregano, parsley
liberal dose of black pepper
1 medium package of shredded mozarella

Feta, crumbled, for serving

Brown meat, garlic, crushed red pepper and onion. Add canned tomatoes, water and pasta. Stir then cover and let boil until the pasta is 'Al Dente'. (About 20 minutes) Add cream, parmesan, pepper and lemon juice. Top with mozzarella and broil by adding coals to the lid. When golden brown, serve with feta.

We used turkey as well, but we used farfalle (bowtie) pasta. This turned out great, and I've got Mark to thank for it! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe, I've wanted to try it for a long time!

5+ Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Stove - Æbleskivers


I am Scandinavian by descent, and growing up we would have a lot of Danish and Swedish traditions, especially around Christmas. An Æbleskiver is a Danish breakfast pastry similar to our flapjacks, but fluffier and cooked in little balls. A few years ago I saw a direct to consumer marketed (As Seen on TV) product called the Pancake Puff. I actually was mad. Yet another timeless design had hit the As Seen on TV circuit, and thousands of Americans would get a shoddy product that gets put in a box a week after the 3 easy payments had cleared. Come on! The Danes had already invented it THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO! Please, Mr. Popeil, leave this one alone. Put a clock in a frying pan or something. *end rant*

I grew up with Æbleskivers (pronounced Ay Blah Ski Vers) As a warm Christmas tradition. They're great year round. You'll need a special pan, and you'll want a nice cast iron one, not a made for TV piece of garbage. Here's a good one. It has (usually) 7 depressions in form of half spheres. You put a dab of oil in each hole and drop batter (see below for secret family recipe) into each one and turn with a pointy object like a knitting needle or sharpened chopstick.

Mom & Sissy showing me the way.

Mom helped me out this year, and it will become our new family tradition. I learned a few things too. When it means to beat an egg white until stiff, that means you beat it until it turns into whipped cream, and will hold its shape. This was witchcraft, seeing an egg turn into cool whip, but it makes the Æbleskivers fluffy, so don't skip it! I sure was glad Mom was able to teach me the things that are not passed down in the family cookbook.

Recipe:
Medium Heat
Stovetop
20 minutes
6 -8 Servings

1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups buttermilk
3 egg yokes

2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 egg whites

Whip egg whites until stiff. Mix all ingredients together and add the egg whites last. Put a small amount of oil in each depression of the Æbleskiver pan. Get the oil hot enough to spit. Spoon in batter, when it bubbles and is a beautiful light brown on the bottom, turn with a knitting needle. Poke it into the corner and flip like a pancake. Turn before baked too long. Makes 35-45.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Serve warm.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sauce - Alabama Barbecue Sauce

I've searched this world and now I've finally found it.

The best sauce in the world.

And I'm willing to share the secret. You're lucky I'm an open-source guy.

It's called Alabama Barbecue Sauce, and it's not even barbecue sauce.

I love paradoxes.

Recipe:

1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Vinegar
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon Pepper, black
1/2 tablespoon Cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and chill for 2 hours. Store up to 2-3 weeks in a air tight container in the refrigerator.

This stuff is great. So far we've marinated pork chops with it, dipped french fries in it, put in on fajitas and quesadillas, and I'd drink it if I could. It's SO good!

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dutch Oven - Sunflower Oat Bread, The Final Chapter

I'll never reach perfection in this life, but I think I've gotten as close as I can with this bread. If you're just tuning in, please check out Episode I, II, III, and IV. The saga closes with this final episode. In this episode, our hero, Captain Yeast is caught in a war with the separatists that insist on unleavened warfare tactics...

Well, maybe it's not that epic. Honestly, I proofed the dough, got it ready and it was too cold out for me to want to cook outside. I actually tried, but my coals didn't light well, so I put in a bread pan and put it in a preheated oven. This is a second attempt at Episode III. It worked very well, so I'm calling it finished. Also, I've used all my sunflower seeds and oats, so I need to get more. I guess I could call it the Bread Formerly Known As Sunflower Oat Bread; but I'm not trying to escape any kind of royalty contracts.

A few things learned in the journey:
  1. Kneading isn't hard. It's the funnest part, in fact.
  2. You really can't knead too much.
  3. You really can knead too little. Do it until you can pull the dough into a clear window.
  4. Even if bread fails, it usually tastes good with lots of jam.
  5. Hot bread made by your hands beats Wonder 10 to 1.
  6. Baking bread can help you survive a Zombie outbreak. It can keep your mind focused so you can have the energy to bash Zombie heads in without losing yours.
  7. Kids love to help cook. Baking bread is perfect for Dad and Son.
  8. Dogs like bread dough. If you leave it on the floor, they will eat some.
  9. If you leave bread dough on a 72 degree heat vent for 3 hours it will start to cook.
  10. Cooking bread in a blizzard isn't half as bad as eating Wonder bread.

Recipe:
12" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
60 minutes
8 Servings

1 1/3 cup water
1/2 tbs active dry yeast

2 tbs butter, softened
2 3/4 cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup rolled oats

Warm water and mix with yeast. Set aside to activate. Mix all ingredients and knead until the dough passes the windowpane test. Let raise 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Giveaway - Best of the Back Porch Gourmet Cookbook


Today my copies of my cookbook, "Best of the Back Porch Gourmet 2010" arrived today. So to one lucky reader, I will be giving away a copy. This book is 80 pages of full color, crammed full with recipes, tips and photos. This makes a great gift for anyone. If you don't win, until January 31, I'm offering free flat rate shipping on any order with checkout code: SHARE

Good luck!

Contest details:

There are 4 ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment below with your favorite Back Porch Gourmet recipe.

2. Follow us on Twitter (@dutchoventips) and leave a comment below with your name and "Twitter Follower"

3. "Like" our Facebook page and leave a comment below with your name and "Facebook"

4. Blog about this giveaway on your own website and get a bonus entry. Leave a comment below with your post URL and your name.

In all entries, leave a way to get in contact with you, either a twitter handle, email address, or facebook page. If I can't get in touch with you for your shipping address, the prize will be given to the next random entry.

The contest lasts between now and 6:00 PM Sunday, December 12. Book will ship via USPS flat rate.

Contest is open to all U.S. residents, no PO/APO boxes please. No purchase necessary. Immediate family members, employees and hired hitmen of the Back Porch Gourmet not eligible. (That's you, Missla) Extended family members and friends may enter.

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dutch Oven - Sunflower Oat Bread Part Four

This is what it looked like on Sunday when I went to cook on my porch:


I'm not a fan of cooking in a blizzard, but I am a die hard, and wanted to share something with you all. It's all for you, the readers. I will suffer through the cold and ice, facing peril and treachery just so you can... okay, I'll stop. But it was cold!

This kidney shape was a result of only having two hands available when transferring the dough to the pot.
Curse you evolution! Where's my third hand?


If you're just tuning in, I've vowed to make one bread recipe and tweak it until I get it right. Parts one, two and three can be found at the links embedded in this sentence. This week, I doubled the yeast to a full tablespoon, and dropped the water to 1 cup. This made the dough less sticky and easier to work (with the water) but also tasting like yeast. So, as the adage goes, "back to the drawing board". Initially, we started out with one teaspoon yeast, and the dough rose to probably 50 percent. Then, we did half a tablespoon, and the dough probably rose to 75 percent, but formed a crust on the top, since I put it right on the heat vent. This time, we increased the yeast to a whole tablespoon, and it rose 2x, and formed a crust. It was ready when I left for church, but then sat for 3 hours in more heat, which made it start to cook. I'm getting frustrated, and the only way a geek like me can cope is to go the scientific route. So I charted my progress over the last few weeks:


You notice a trend while yeast increases, so does the rating; however, it crashes on week four, when a full tablespoon is added. Water also was reduced on week four, but without further testing, we won't know which is the culprit. Kneading time is not graphed, because it was not measured; however, all but week one passed the windowpane test, so I'm throwing that out, pending further failure.

I will post the recipe, but PLEASE don't cook it. It didn't turn out. Cook version 3. It worked out a lot better.

Recipe:
12" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
60 minutes
8 Servings

1 cup water
1 tbs active dry yeast

2 tbs butter, softened
2 3/4 cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup rolled oats

Warm water and mix with yeast. Set aside to activate. Mix all ingredients and knead until the dough passes the windowpane test. Let raise 3 hours. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

This time the crumb was pillowy and light, but I didn't cook it long enough. The recipe calls for 60 minutes, and I cooked it 45. I even took it's temperature, and it only registered 160, not the 180 needed for doneness, so it was a little doughy, which made the yeasty taste worse. It was edible, even though it was so bad, so it gets a two. The bottom was hard again... I don't know if I mentioned, but the bottom has been hard and crusty each time I've cooked it, so I need to count coals better. I've just been doing the three over, three under rule, but maybe 9 coals is too many for the Volcano?

2 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Guide 2010

Here at the Back Porch Gourmet, we are just excited for the holidays this year. Here's a few of our favorite picks for a traditional holiday meal. Happy holidays!

For a different take on the traditional meal, try roasting a whole pig.


A great side dish are my Grandma's carrot recipe.


A twist on the traditional mashed potatoes is leaving a little skin in. Try my dirty potatoes.

Make a pie the easy way! Try my no bake pecan pumpkin pie.


And don't forget the cranberry sauce! Head over to instructables for step-by-step instructions.


And no holiday dinner isn't complete without Mom's Dinner Rolls!

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Instructable - Dutch Oven Cranberry Sauce


Happy Thanksgiving! This is one of my favorite holidays, because everybody sits down with their loved ones and celebrates their gratitude. I am thankful for my God, my family, my friends, my home, my country and my freedom. Remember the soldiers & sailors around the world today in your prayers. Let us pray they are safe and may return to their families. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

Today's post shows you how to make easy cranberry sauce in your Dutch ovens. Head on over to Instructables to check out how to make delicious cranberry sauce step-by-step. I doubled the recipe in two batches, and I hope it's enough for dinner this afternoon!

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dutch Oven - Broccoli Cheese Soup


Today we had plans to make a beef stew from yesterday's roast, but we didn't have any potatoes, so we made Broccoli Cheese Soup instead. This vegetarian dish goes great on a snowy day like today--I woke up to a foot of snow! Last week we had temperatures in the sixties. I hate Utah's weather. Since it snowed last night, I had some charcoal get soaked so it didn't work very well. Despite that, dinner turned out great.

Recipe:
12" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
Roasting
45 minutes

Servings

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oil

2 cups broccoli, chopped
3 cups milk
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp celery salt
1 pinch dry mustard
salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups cheese, shredded

Blend flour and oil in heated Dutch oven and heat to boiling to form a roux. Add all ingredients except cheese and simmer for 30 minutes. Add cheese and stir, blending the cheese. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

4 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Dutch Oven - Sunflower Oat Bread, The Third Time


Two weeks ago, you may remember that I tried to make bread again. I'm not going to try another recipe until I can get this one right. That may mean that I completely redesign the original recipe, until it doesn't resemble it at all. I may have hit that point. Welcome to part three of the Bread of Our Lives.

This morning Dylan and I mixed flour, water, yeast salt and a few other things and kneaded the dough. We really focused on the kneading this time. I think I may have kneaded for twenty minutes. We also used more yeast. I would estimate half a tablespoon, because I ran out. I wanted to use a whole tablespoon. The last two times, I've used a teaspoon. It didn't work, as my sister pointed out in the comments. The recipe calls for 2 3/4 cups flour, but we easily put in four. I just kept mixing it in until the dough was no longer sticky.

Recipe:
12" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
60 minutes
8 Servings

1 1/3 cup water
1/2 tbs active dry yeast

2 tbs butter, softened
2 3/4 cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup rolled oats

Warm water and mix with yeast. Set aside to activate. Mix all ingredients and knead until the dough passes the windowpane test. Let raise 3 hours. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

This time, the crumb was light and pillowy. The bottom crust was still hard, I think I'm adding too much heat on the bottom. It also raised! I put it over the heat vent and set the thermostat to 72. When we came home from church it had doubled in size, and the top had started to cook. That's probably not a good thing, but we are coming in leaps and bounds. I don't know where to put it to rise that will be warm in these winter months. Any ideas?

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

No Bake - Pumpkin Pecan Pie


Time to take a break from cooking and enjoy an easy no-bake pie. This is a great recipe just in time for Thanksgiving. Who wants to go to the trouble of making a pie when you can do it the easy way?

Recipe:
8 Servings

Premade graham cracker crust
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup whipped topping
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Pecans
Caramel
Extra whipped topping

Drizzle caramel in bottom of crust. Add half the pecans. Mix pumpkin, spices and 1 cup whipped topping in bowl. Spread pumpkin mix into pie crust. Top with spread whip topping, caramel and pecans. Chill in refrigerator for an hour.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Dutch Oven - Carrot Cake

Last week we had friends over for games, so I wanted an easy dessert, and I thought about doing a cobbler, but the only cake mix we had was carrot. By a happy coincidence, I had pulled some carrots from our garden that same morning. Funny how life works out sometimes!

Recipe:
12" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
Baking
30 minutes
10 Servings

Carrot cake mix
Carrots

1 Can cream cheese frosting

Mix cake mix according to package directions. Grate peeled and washed carrots into mix and stir. Pour into 12" greased Dutch oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with cream cheese frosting.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Dutch Oven - French Dip Sandwiches



Today we wanted an easy dinner. I've been working hard lately, with our new book and trying to get ready for the holidays, so an easy meal was welcome. These French Dip sandwiches are about as easy as it gets. I've been researching cooking techniques lately and I wanted to try "deglazing". Deglazing is where you add a liquid to a pot that has had a meat in it to remove the bits that stuck to the bottom, in order to make a stock. Cook the roast in a little liquid; just enough to tease out the juices, and then deglaze the pot to get a good stock.

Recipe:

12" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
Broasting
90 minutes

6 Servings

Roast, lean
Meat tenderizer
Salt
Pepper
Water

Au Jus seasoning
Baguettes

Rub roast in meat tenderizer and salt & pepper. Place in oiled dutch oven. Do not sear. Broast at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. You will need to replenish the coals as soon as they are half size. Keep a side fire going. When the roast is cooked, remove it and carve. Add water and Au Jus seasoning to pan, along with more heat. Deglaze the pan, stirring often. Strain the liquid and serve with baguettes. You may want horseradish or mayonnaise.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Cookbook available for order!


The presses are firing up here at the Back Porch Gourmet! We are so excited to announce our first cookbook release! Just in time for the holidays, you can get a copy of the Best of The Back Porch Gourmet from our online bookstore! At only $19.95, this full color 80 page cookbook is the perfect addition to your outdoor kitchen. We've been hard at work the last several months to get this done before Thanksgiving, just in time for the holidays.

The book not only contains the best recipes here at the Back Porch Gourmet this year, but also basic dutch oven techniques such as seasoning cast iron and cleaning up properly.

Pick up a copy here!

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

BPG Merchandise

Check out our new merchandise store to get the latest in Back Porch Gourmet apparel and accessories. We have something for everyone--even the dogs!

A few of the items available:

-T Shirts
-Aprons
-Tote Bags
-Messenger Bags
-Mugs
-Much much more!

Check out our store at Cafe Press here.

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homemade Biscuit Mix

Mrs. Gourmet and I ran out of Bisquick the other day, and we wanted to make biscuit dough. So We came up with this replacement. It works wonders, and we won't be buying Bisquick again.

Recipe:

9 cups flour
1/4 cup baking powder
1 tbs salt

oil

Mix dry ingredients and store in an airtight container. When ready to use, add 1 tablespoon oil to 1 cup mix with water to make dough.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dutch Oven - Dad's Roast


Growing up, the Sunday roast was a good tradition in our family. No, we didn't highlight someone's faults in the name of humor, well, not always! I'm talking about meat and potatoes. Our weekly roast was similar to the Sunday roast I posted earlier. My father in law makes this roast camping. It's really easy, and it tastes pretty good too.

Recipe:

12" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
Baking
60 minutes
8 Servings

Ingredients:
Beef Roast
Potatoes, peeled and quartered
Carrots
Mushrooms
1 pouch Au Jus mix
Season Salt
Water

Gravy:
Cornstarch mixed in Water
1 pouch brown gravy mix
Milk
Pepper

Rub roast with season salt. Sear roast on all sides in a hot Dutch oven. Add vegetables, Au Jus and about 1" - 2" water. Cover and bake at 350 degrees until done, approximately 60 minutes

3 Stars*

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

*Would likely have gotten a higher rating had we not used a chuck roast. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say. It tasted good, it was just very fatty.

Dutch Oven - Sunflower Oat Bread, Revisited


Last week's Sunflower Oat Bread was tasty, but it didn't seem to raise, so I wanted to give it another shot. This morning, I donned my new Camp Chef apron (they sent it for participating in their Halloween contest.) and started mixing it up. I activated the yeast in hot tap water, not microwaving it. Dumped the dry ingredients, butter and omitted the syrup and mixed in the water. This dough was very sticky, and I kept adding flour as I kneaded it. And I really kneaded that bread. I smooshed and rolled until it passed the windowpane test, and set it in a greased bowl, covered it and placed it on my heating vent to raise. (Consequently, I also set my heater to 72.) Then we headed off to church. Three hours later, I came home and found a ball of dough exactly as I left it. Rats! No, I don't think rats ate the part that raised, but I'm going to keep trying.

I preheated my Dutch oven and set the dough in. I've been turning the lid and oven in opposite directions every fifteen minutes. I just popped the lid off and it has risen a little, but it is not filling my 12" dutch oven. I hope you don't mind the play by plays, but its easier to keep up with the posts if I write them as soon as I can. Sometimes writing them as I do them is the easiest way to keep up.

I let it bake for 60 minutes, turning the lid and oven every fifteen minutes. It did not fill my Dutch oven, but rose a little bit. In fact, it rose enough to tear the surface of the crust. The crumb was pretty dense, but that wasn't a bad thing. I'm starting to believe that this is just the way this bread crumbles. It's great with jam hot out of the oven, and it may not be a sandwich recipe. I adapted it from a bread machine recipe, so maybe I need to let the machine make it to see how it is supposed to be.

This go round, it climbed the ratings charts with an extra point. I like the density of the crumb, and the crunchiness from the oats and sunflower seeds is great!

Recipe:
12" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
Baking
60 minutes
4 Servings

1 1/3 cup water
1 tsp active dry yeast

2 tbs butter, softened
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup rolled oats

Warm water and mix with yeast. Set aside to activate. Mix all ingredients and knead until the dough passes the windowpane test. Let raise 3 hours. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

4 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bricked

Click to embiggen.

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Instructable - Dutch Oven Thai Curry Noodles


Earlier this week, I asked Mrs. Gourmet what she wanted for dinner this weekend. Without hesitation, she shouted out "Thai Noodles!" So I did a flashback. I basically remade the Thai Curry Noodles with Chicken recipe that I did last June. Instead of reposting here, or just sending you back there, I decided to do an Instructable again. Instructables is a website that promotes the DIY ethic by making it easy to share your Do It Yourself projects to the web. They have a large food section, but a very small Dutch oven section. So I decided to expand it. I don't think I will do it all the time, but definitely do a few more signature dishes there. (It gets annoying taking pictures of EVERY. SINGLE. STEP.)

You can find the Instructable here.


P.S. It was 5 Stars again.

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Instructable - Backpacking Food Packets


I love backpacking and hiking, but I don't get to do it as often as I'd like. I also like gourmet food, and when you have to eat dehydrated food for a week, it helps to take along some condiments to make it taste better. I don't like stealing condiments from fast food restaurants, so I set out to make my own individual condiment packets. This could translate well to the brown bagging commuter that wants to spice up lunch but doesn't want to leave a bottle in a warzone fridge. Come on, you don't label your food?

These individual packets resulted from a lifetime of unconscious research, culminating in a great AHA! moment a few nights ago. To see how to make your own, visit my instructable.

*P.S. The green packet is homemade chile verde, not what you might be thinking.

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Squidoo Lens - Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

After posting about seasoning cast iron, I decided to expand the topic to a squidoo lens. Squidoo is a user submitted blog like knowledge base, where anyone can submit articles about things they are experts on.

The lens can be found here.


I will keep it updated as I find new techniques for seasoning irons.

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dutch Oven - Chuck Wagon Chicken


This is pretty easy--just dump in the ingredients and bake. Since I made bread dough this morning, I wanted something easy for dinner. I think I've hit a Dutch oven equilibrium. I don't always get to cook every weekend, but I still enjoy doing it. Lately, we've been very busy. With Halloween this month, I've had parties the last two weekends, and Dutch oven or grilling wasn't on the menu. I stopped doing the 'Wordless Wednesday' posts, mostly because I figured the readers of this blog would prefer quality over quantity.


Recipe:
10" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
Baking
60 minutes
4 Servings

4-6 small potatoes
2 chicken breasts, cut in half
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pouch dry onion soup mix
1 cup water

Cut potatoes in quarters and lay in a 10 inch Dutch oven. Add 1/2 the onion soup. Add chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle remaining soup mix on top. Add cream of mushroom soup on top and add water. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.


4 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Dutch Oven - Sunflower Oat Bread


I decided to try bread again, and it didn't go as well as I'd hoped. First of all, I scoured the net trying to find a recipe that I could do in one day; I'd prepare the dough before church, and bake it when we came home. Mark's Black Pot has a lot of great ideas, but a lot of his breads are sourdough, and I don't have a start in my fridge. So I cracked open my bread machine cookbook. Before you all run away, I want to say that while I was tempted to at least do the dough in the machine, I adapted this recipe and did it all by hand. First, I made the mistake of activating the yeast in too hot of water. It was only warm to the touch, but I'm not microwaving any more yeast starts. I think I killed those poor defenseless micororganisms. Next I put all the other ingredients in a bowl and mixed them, adding the yeast water. This gave me a sticky dough, so I added a little more flour and kneaded. I probably didn't knead enough. We will refer to this as mistake number two. Next time, I will knead until it passes the windowpane test. (and I will actually do the windowpane test. Read Mark's squidoo lens here for more info.) Then I put it in a bowl, covered it with a towel and put it next to my cold window, where I thought that magically I would get some heat waves and it would rise. Yes, this is mistake number three. We went to church. I came back, and to my utter shock, it had not risen a bit! So, I punched and folded and added the oats and seeds, marked with an *insert your initial here*, and tossed it in the oven for *insert your name here* and me. I baked it for 350 using the 3 over 3 under rule-- 3 coals more than the diameter of the lid on top, and three under below. This doesn't work for the volcano, because it gets hotter. So I burned the bottom. It still tasted good. I rated this a 3 and called it a flop, but it was a good learning experience. I can't wait to try it again next week. Hopefully, I'll learn from my mistakes.

Recipe:
12" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
Baking
60 minutes
4 Servings

1 1/3 cup water
1 tsp active dry yeast

2 tbs butter, softened
3 tbs maple syrup
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup rolled oats

Warm water and mix with yeast. Set aside to activate. Mix all other ingredients except sunflower seeds and oats. Knead and let raise 3 hours. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

3 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dutch Oven - Bacon Wrapped Trout


This is an old recipe, but a good one. We caught these beautiful trout last summer and I saw this photo while I was cleaning up my drive. We drove to the Granddaddy Lakes trailhead early in the morning, hiked our float tubes in, fished for 6 hours and hiked out. My Dad skunked us all with about 27, and I got a shameful 19. I kept these three. Since we fly fished, it was easy to catch and release. Every fisherman needs to do his part to conserve our resources.

Recipe:

10"-12" Dutch oven
350 degrees
Baking
30-40 minutes

Trout, cleaned and beheaded
Bacon
Lemon, cut into wedges
Green onions
Pepper

Clean and behead trout. Shake pepper on the inside of the body cavity and stuff with lemon wedges. Wrap fish in bacon and lay in 10"-12" Dutch oven. Lay green onions whole in oven for flavor. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until fish is tender. Discard bacon, unless you like fishy bacon. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Grill - Bill's Famous Bar Bee Que Chicken


I cooked this on the 17th, but hadn't had a chance to post yet. This is my Dad's famous chicken recipe. It's really tasty, and easy. Dad's original recipe didn't call for the rub--he would just do two bastings, but I had some on hand so I tried it.

Recipe:

Chicken breasts
McCormick Barbecue rub
Barbecue sauce

Rub chicken in barbecue rub. Grill 5 minutes on a side. Baste both sides with barbecue sauce and finish on medium heat.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Grill - Italian Chicken Sandwiches


This is an easy marinade- your acid, sugar and flavor base are already mixed in the salad dressing, so just dump the bottle into the chicken bag and refrigerate overnight.

Recipe:

Grilling
20 Minutes
4 Servings

Chicken breast
Italian Salad Dressing

Bread, toasted
Tomato
Lettuce
Pickles
Sauerkraut
Mayonnaise
Mustard

Marinate chicken breasts in Italian salad dressing and pound flat with a meat tenderizer. Grill on high for 10 minutes on a side. Cut chicken in half and make sandwiches.

4 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Primer: Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware


People worry too much about this, and I think this is one aspect of Dutch oven cooking that scares a lot of people back indoors. It really is easy if you do it right. A well kept patina will lead to years of successful Dutch oven cooking. A bad patina, rancid oil, and improper maintenance can not only ruin your Dutch ovens, make your food taste gross, but it could actually kill you. Food poisoning is no light matter, but use the right techniques and you'll be safe.

Lets examine how the non-stick coating on your Dutch oven works. When new from the factory, the metal is susceptible to rust and water damage. So the factory coats the oven in wax or gross petroleum based grease. (Bear in mind we are talking about non-factory seasoned ovens.) This packing wax or grease protects the oven during shipping and the time spent on the shelf, but it needs to come off when you pull it out of the box. How do you get the grease off? Two ways. 1. Scrub with a green scrubby and soapy water. Repeat until the metal no longer feels waxy. Don't use steel wool or other abrasive pads. 2. Put it in the dishwasher. Set the washer to a pots and pans scouring setting and put nothing else in the dishwasher. Load it upside down so the water drains out. Wash both the oven and the lid. Either way, dry the oven and lid with a cotton towel that doesn't leave a lot of lint behind.

After you get the grease or wax off, the oven is susceptible to rust, so don't leave it out, or you'll have an orange oven in no time. What is a patina, anyway? A patina is a food safe oil that is burned into the oven. Cast iron is cast into molds made of sand, and has lots of little bumps and pits. Look at a Dutch oven with a hand lens- bumpier than our moon! The patina is burnt oil that fills the holes, cracks and gaps in the iron finish. This creates a slick surface so food doesn't stick... Better than Teflon, right? So how do you get a patina? A few ways, with the same goal in mind.

Lets start off with the worst way. Your home oven. Capable of temperatures near 500 degrees, and conveniently available to all with racks for placing the cookware on. Why is this the worst method? Because your house (or apartment, as I did my first time) will fill with smelly, gross, yucky smoke. If it's all you have, open all your windows, and you'll still probably have to fan your smoke alarms as I did my first time.

A step up is the barbecue grill. Capable of higher temperatures, conveniently situated outside, and at waist height. Also has convenient racks. You'll probably have to do your lid and oven separate.

My favorite method, is to do it in a fire pit. Directly in the coals, it has the heat potential of 800 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, and does a great job.

What you will need for any method:

Heat resistant gloves
Cooking oil (don't use spray oils)
A heat source (see above)
cotton rags that don't shed much lint

Step one: Scrub the packing grease off. (See above)

Step two: Thoroughly oil all surfaces in and out wiping with rags.

Step three: Build heat up to the hottest possible. On an oven, set to the highest temperature on the dial. For a grill, set the flame highest or build a hot fire. For the fire ring, burn a lot of hardwood and rake the coals to the center. Keep a side fire going.

Step four: Invert the Dutch oven on the heat source. For the oven and grill, just put it upside down on the racks. For the fire, you'll need a way to raise it about an inch above the coals- we used 3 bricks arranged radially. This allows you to get the iron out without losing a hand.

Step five: Wait. For the oven and grill, you may need to wait 30 minutes or more. The tell tale is when the smoke stops coming from the iron. Directly in the coals, you only need wait 15 minutes. See why it's my favorite?

Step six: Remove iron from heat and wipe out. Wear gloves- fire is hot.

Step seven: Repeat whole process (except scrubbing) at least 3 times. More is better, especially with the lower temperature methods.

Step eight: Cook something in it, with a lot of fat. Bacon, roasts, any meat really. Don't cook starch foods at first. The patina is weak initially, so you want to strengthen it before giving it something that sticks as bad as starch.

After cooking each time, a lot of people wipe an amount of oil on the oven to reseason it. I don't do this, because the oil will either go rancid, or get tacky, and won't give a good patina. If your going to oil after cooking, heat up the iron either in some coals or on a large gas stove and then add the oil. Heating it up will bake it in the pores and also kills any germs that are living there.

The best way to get the best patina, is to use your iron often! Get a skillet and put it in your kitchen- nothing beats a fried egg when cooked in iron! And look ma, no Teflon flakes in my food! If the patina flakes off, it's just harmless burnt oil. No nasties!

What's your experience with seasoning iron?

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dutch Oven - Chicken Lentil Soup


This is the second in what seems to be the soup series at the back porch gourmet. Soup and sweaters are the best things about fall. I love soup and I love sweaters. Something about their warming properties is just amazing. A good cup of herbal tea, soup and a sweater is probably the best thing about fall. Oh, the leaves are nice too.

12" Dutch oven
350 degrees
roasting
60 minutes

Chicken, cubed
Dill
Parsley
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Salt
Celery
Carrots
Potatoes
Radishes
Lentils
Water

Braise chicken with spices. Add remaining ingredients. Boil until potatoes are tender. Serve immediately.


5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Dutch Oven - Split Pea Soup

Last week, my buddy Richard and his wife came over for dinner, and Richard stayed until late- we were seasoning his cast iron in our fire pit. I'll post up a primer on how to do this. It's easy, but I didn't get any pictures of the process.

This is a great soup because it only takes an hour, and warms you up on a cold day.

Recipe:
12" Dutch oven
60 minutes
350 degrees
roasting

split peas
lentils
ham, cubed
parsley
celery, chopped
chicken bullion
rice
onion powder
garlic powder

Braise ham in oil. Add fresh parsley and celery. Add water and remaining ingredients. Boil until peas and lentils are soft, and rice is cooked.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Guest Post - Mark's Black Pot Publishes Tome on Breadmaking


Mark Hansen over at Mark's Black Pot has been a great friend of mine since the dawn of the internet. A few weeks ago I asked the great sage if he could give me some advice on a good sandwich bread. What resulted is a veritable tome on bread making that will grace the halcyon halls of the University of Baking for millennia. Go check it out! It's a great read, if not awesome.

Available for your enjoyment here.

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!


*Photo courteously ripped off Mark's Website. All rights reserved to the owner.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stove - 48 Hour Chili

I was not aware that when cooking chili beans you needed to cook them for so long. I soaked the beans and started cooking them, and found I needed to simmer the beans for 48 hours. I will definitely do this again, but I won't use the cinnamon next time, it just came out too strong.

Pinto beans
Ground beef
Tomato sauce
Chili Powder
Beef broth
Salt & Pepper
Anaheim Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Cinnamon
Garlic Powder
Onion
Onion Powder

Soak beans overnight, drain. Brown beef and add beans, simmering. Add all other ingredients except cinnamon. Simmer and transfer to crock pot. Simmer overnight. Add cinnamon and spices to taste. Serve with cheese shreds and sour cream.

4 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stove - Curried Stir Fry with Smoked Pepper

This curried stir fry goes great with the smoked beef we made. It was pretty easy to make, and yielded great results. I'm very comfortable cooking with curry now. I didn't used to be though. One time we cooked a curried dish and it was terrible. Luckily, I wasn't posting my recipes back then, because it was pretty embarrassing.


Recipe:

Stove
Medium Heat
30 minutes

Peppers, red bell
Peppers, green bell
Carrots, sliced
Rice noodles
Coconut milk
Oil
Curry
Ginger powder
Salt & Pepper

Cut peppers in half, remove seeds and smoke for 15 minutes. Slice peppers and saute with carrots. Soak rice noodles according to package directions. Transfer vegetables and noodles to large pot and add coconut milk, curry, ginger and salt and pepper. Put on heat and cook for 10 minutes.

4 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Grill - Smoked Beef Strips with Soy Honey Glaze


Lately I've been wanting to try my hand at sauce reductions, so I decided to make a glaze for the steak strips. This turned out a little salty, but still very savory. Don't add salt with the amount of soy sauce used.


Recipe

Grill
Low heat
Smoking

Beef Steak

Marinade:
Soy Sauce
Rice Vinegar
Ginger
Garlic Powder

Marinate beef in marinade for 4 hours. Save marinade. Light charcoal and mix soaked wood chips. Smoke steak 30 minutes on low heat turning every 10 minutes. Be sure to rotate the steak to get nice grill marks.

Glaze:
Marinade from above
Fish sauce
Soy sauce
Water
Cornstarch dissolved in cold water

Garnish:
Sesame seeds

Pour all glaze ingredients into a saucepan cooking on medium high heat, withholding cornstarch. Let reduce for 20 minutes, adding cornstarch to thicken. Strain and pour over sliced smoked steak strips. Top with sesame seeds.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Appetizer - Sweet and Sour Marinated Cucumbers

These are really tasty. And super easy, so they make a great appetizer. I think a good appetizer should be easy to make so you can focus on the main course. There is a nice contrast between the sour vinegar marinade, and the sweet sugar crystals on the edges.

Cucumbers
White Vinegar
Rice Vinegar
Sugar

Slice cucumbers and marinate for 2-4 hours. Roll edges in sugar right before you are ready to serve.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Dressing - Honey Mustard Vinaigrette


This dressing has a real tangy flavor, and goes great with a minimalist romaine salad. I don't know what the ratios are, so do your best to taste it often, and add more of an ingredient as needed.

Recipe

Dijon Mustard
Yellow Mustard
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
Rice Vinegar
Salt
Pepper

Mix ingredients according to taste in small measuring cup. Chill until ready to serve. Toss with lettuce and top with crushed peanuts.

5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Appetizer - Egg Drop Soup


Yesterday we had our friends over for a full 5 course feast. We had just as much fun eating it all as we did cooking it. Lately we've been watching "Master Chef", FOX's newest Gordon Ramsey reality show. Basically, a bunch of amateur foodies cook as professional chefs would for $250k in cash, a cookbook deal and the coveted "Master Chef" title. Watching Chef Ramsey destroy the self esteem of amateurs had made me want to cook for some reason.

This is the menu:

Egg Drop Soup

Romaine Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Sweet and Sour Marinated Cucumbers

Smoked Beef Strips with Sesame Honey Soy Glaze

Curried Stir Fry with Smoked Peppers


Egg Drop Soup

Recipe

Stove
10 minutes
Medium High Heat

2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 5 teaspoons cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten

Over high heat, bring chicken stock to boil in medium saucepan and add the salt. Give cornstarch mix a quick stir to recombine it. Add to the pan and stir until stock becomes slightly thicker. Slowly pour in the egg and stir once gently. Immediately turn off the heat. Add more salt to taste.


5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Podcast - Interview with Toni Black of Dutch Oven Madness



Today I had the opportunity to interview Toni Black of Dutch Oven Madness. She is an amazing cast iron chef. She not only cooks EVERY day in her Dutch ovens, but she blogs about it too! She is a great inspiration and new friend of mine. That is what Dutch oven cooking is about. Coming together in this world and creating great food and great friends.

In the interview, she talks about her struggles with charcoal heat balance, and how she found a great method to regulate the temperature. She also talks about her favorite recipes and how much planning it takes to cook Dutch oven dishes every day.

Check her site out here: http://www.dutchovenmadness.blogspot.com/

Check out the full interview here.


Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dutch Oven - Artichoke Disaster Pasta Goulash

I followed a recipe.

Sue me.

It was terrible.

I served it to my family.

It was terrible.

It looked terrible.

I have only cooked this bad once or twice.

I cooked a recipe from the Friends of Deseret Dutch oven cookbook, and it sounded really good. It was an artichoke chicken recipe to be served over pasta. Mom called 5 minutes before I was putting it on glass and invited us to dinner, so we just packed it up and left. I think it reduced too much, because the colors were really gross looking. It didn't taste bad at first, but it won't be in my lunchbox for leftovers. Complete disaster. It looked horrible, and it tasted meh, if not bad. I'm glad my Mom offered the same invite to my other sibs, because I got to eat different dinners. We all just brought what we were eating to Mom's and ate it there. So internets, that is why I don't do recipes. I have to cook on the fly or I flop. How do you cook?


1 Star

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Wordless Wednesday - Raindrops on Strawberry Leaves


Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dutch Oven - Sunday Roast


In Utah, part of the predominant Mormon culture is the Sunday roast. At many homes on a Sunday in Utah you will find a roast cooking, because when you have 3 hours of church, you can start the roast in a crockpot or oven and leave it, coming home to a cooked dinner. Growing up in a devout Latter Day Saint family, we had roast many times. I love the smell of roast slowly cooking in the oven, it truly is a "comfort food" of mine, and it brings back a lot of memories.

Yesterday, we cooked roast for our friends Eric and Heather. I've been friends with Eric since high school, and he's a great guy. We have a lot of fun together.

Recipe:
350 degrees
Broasting
12" Dutch oven
60 minutes

Beef roast
Season salt
Pepper
Onion soup mix
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
Water
Oil
Onions

Cornstarch
Water

Rub the roast in the season salt and pepper. Sear on all sides on high heat. Add soup mix, soup, water covering only half the roast, and onions. Move more heat to the top and broast for 60 minutes. Skim out onions and thicken gravy with cornstarch and water. Serve with mashed potatoes and Mom's Crescent Rolls and Maurine's Sweet Carrots.


5 Stars

Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!