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!