Sunday, August 24, 2008
Although I've never baked a cake in a Dutch oven, I am intrigued by this one. I'll let you know how it goes...
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup hot water
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Cream butter, sugar and egg. Blend in molasses and water. In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Whisk to blend.
Add dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture and stir to mix the batter. Pour into a buttered 8- to 10-inch Dutch oven and cook with top and bottom heat about 30 to 40 minutes, testing for doneness. It will take about twice the above quantity of ingredients for a 12-inch Dutch oven.
Monday, June 23, 2008
I LOVE Dutch-Oven Potatoes. So much so that they were served at our ranch wedding! I'm sure you can make them in the oven in your house also, but I'll post the traditional directions here. The recipe in the magazine calls for peppers, scallions and cheese, but the authors admit they added those things for color. I like the traditional potatoes, with nothing "fancy" added.
1/2 to 1 pound bacon, chopped
6 to 8 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into quarter-inch-thick rounds
1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
(they added chopped red bell pepper, chopped scallions and shredded cheddar for garnish. you can if you want to, but I'm not going to!)
Cook the bacon in a 12-inch Dutch oven. If you have access to a propane camp stove or indoor stove, you can do this step while the coals are being prepared. When the bacon is nearly done, pour off excess fat but leave some in the pot for the flavoring of the potatoes. Add the potatoes to the Dutch oven in layers alternately with the onion, sprinkling generously with salt and pepper between layers. Fold the potatoes gently but thoroughly to disperse the bacon and some bacon fat throughout the dish. Put the lid on the Dutch oven.
Measure out coals (charcoal briquettes) based on the diameter of the Dutch oven. You will need approximately twice as many coals as the oven's diameter, so the 12-inch oven requires about 24 coals. Divide the coals into two equal heaps. Then remove three coals from one heap and add them to the other heap, so that you have slightly fewer coals for the bottom and slightly more for the top.
Ignite the coals or briquettes. When their edges become white and crumbly, they're ready. Spread the smaller heap of coals and place the Dutch oven on top of them. Shovel the larger heap of coals onto the top of the oven. Potatoes will be done in about 30 minutes; check once or twice to be sure they are not burning. When potatoes are tender and golden, they are ready to eat!
This recipe comes from a magazine called Sojourns. "Sojourns among the peaks, plateaus and canyons of the West." From the winter/spring '08 edition.
German Apple Pancake
Serves 2 to 4.
3 large eggs
2/3 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons melted butter (divided use)
4 tablespoons sugar (divided use)
3/4 teaspoons cinnamon (divided use)
pinch of salt
1 to 2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
A wonderful breakfast treat that's easy to do.
Make the batter: Place eggs, half-and-half, flour, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a 10-inch Dutch oven to 450 degrees and brush its bottom and sides with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Place the sliced apples in the Dutch oven over medium heat; sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon. Cook uncovered about 6 minutes or until apples are tender (add a little more butter, if necessary), stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
Pour batter over apples, cover and bake about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cut around pancake sides with a knife. Insert a plate into the Dutch oven top side down over the pancake. Using welder's gloves, turn the oven upside down so the pancake falls out onto the plate (you hope! this is one reason to have a well-seasoned Dutch oven!) Sift powdered sugar on top and serve.
Black Onion Gravy
Saute 4 cups chopped onions in 1/4 cup oil over high heat until onions are brown. Add 1/4 cup Spice Rub and cook 10 minutes longer. Add 1/2 cup soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Whisk in 1/2 cup flour and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Whisk in 1 quart of homemade veal stock or beef broth. Simmer 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring until smooth.
Combine 1/4 cup each of sugar, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, Mexican oregano, kosher salt and pepper. Add 3/4 cup paprika and mix well. Store in an airtight container.
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Spice Rub
1/2 cup catsup
1/2 cup cream
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Worcestershire saue
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 pounds ground buffalo
8 ounces ground pork
Saute the vegetables in oil until onion is translucent. Add Spice Rub and cook five minutes. Spoon into large bowl and set aside to come to room temperature. Add all the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well by hand. Pack into a lightly oiled loaf pan and strike the pan on the counter to release any trapped air. Bake at 375 degrees F for 1 1/4 hours or to 160 degrees on meat thermometer. Serve warm with Black Onion Gravy.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Also known as Min's Famous Lamb Tacos, this is Number One's favorite meal!
Lamb Barbacoa from the Backyard Grill has got to be one of our all-time favorite recipes from Rick Bayless' Mexican Kitchen. If you have ever been curious about preparing authentic Mexican foods, you cannot live without this book. Find one, and buy it.
This is slow-roasted lamb at its best. Although the roasting takes virtually all day for a larger roast, it is a simple dish to prepare. Almost everything else can be prepared ahead of time, and because it is roasted on the grill, there is virtually no clean up, and minimal hands-on time. The recipe also includes a soup that is cooked right underneath the lamb. We save the soup in the freezer for a rainy day, and it is delicious.
We usually prepare this dish for dinner guests, as we did last night. We have also prepared this special meal for Christmas Eve dinner--that is how good it is. The lamb roasts we buy are larger than the recipe calls for, so they take a bit more roasting time, but you just have to start a bit earlier. The roast pictured weighed almost 6 pounds. There are some things in the soup that we typically leave out, so I will leave them out of this post as well.
Lamb Barbacoa From the Backyard Grill
Serves 6 to 8, with 7 cups of soup
3 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 cup cooked (or canned) garbanzo beans (I just throw in a whole can)
One 3-pound rolled and tied boneless lamb shoulder roast
- Salsa (my homemade Roasted Tomato-Jalapeño Salsa, if you're lucky enough to have the recipe)
- finely crumbled Mexican Queso Fresco or Queso Añejo (these come in 12-ounce rounds, we crumble the whole package with a fork)
- 1 cup good-quality olives (we use a mixture of jalapeño- and garlic-stuffed olives)
- warm tortillas
1. Preparing the grill and soup ingredients. You will need a gas grill with two controls--so you can turn off the flame on one side for indirect cooking, and two grill racks. (*If you'd like me to post the directions for charcoal, leave a comment and I will. I've never used charcoal, but you can) Turn on both sides of your grill to preheat, about 10 minutes or so before.
In a 12 x 9-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil pan (or something similar), combine the potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic and garbanzos. Position the pan to one side of the lower grate and turn off the flame under the soup. Pour water into the pan to about 1 inch from the top (it'll take about 5 cups). Position the second cooking grate 8 inches above the flame.
2. Grilling the meat. Sprinkle the lamb liberally with salt. Lay the roast on the top grate directly over the soup, and set an oven thermometer next to it, if you have one. (if you don't have one, I recommend you go out and buy one for this purpose.) Cover the grill and cook, maintaining a moderately low temperature (between 250 and 300 degrees), checking the temperature every 30 minutes. the will be beautifully smoky-roasted--it'll register about 170 degrees on a meat thermometer and be fall-apart tender in about 2 1/2 hours. Be sure to check periodically the slow-simmering soup that's capturing all those aromatic lamb juices to ensure the liquid level remains more or less the same, adding more water if needed.
3. Finishing the dish. With a big pair of tongs, a couple of meat forks or spatulas, remove the roast to a platter. Sprinkle with salt and let rest, loosely tented with foil, in warm place for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, with the precision of a steady-handed circus performer, carefully remove the pan of soup from the bottom of the grill. (I take a sheet pan out and slide the soup onto the pan before attempting to carry it. Also, since don't usually eat the soup with the meal, I just leave it on the turned-off grill until dinner is over--but don't forget to bring it in after dinner!!). Taste the soup and season with salt, usually about 3/4 teaspoon. Ladle into small, warm soup cups. (or into a container for freezing!)
Remove strings from lamb. Slice into good thick slabs and arrange on a warm platter. Strew the olives around the platter and carry to the table with a flourish. Pass the meat, salsa, cheese and lots of warm tortillas for everyone to make delicious soft tacos.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
This is a family recipe from Number One's grandma, Annaley. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet her, I've heard she was quite a lady. And with recipes like this as her legacy, it's easy to believe.
Spring always brings these beans to mind, as we are lucky to eat them at least once at this time of year, at the annual Bull Sale. It's coming up this year on April 12. We just couldn't wait until then for Prairie Fire, we had to make some!
**Note: this recipe makes a ton of beans. I mean it. I have a huge pot here, full of beans. Annaley used to feed herds of cowboys from her kitchen, you can tell that from this recipe. Good thing we love them! If you have a bunch of cowboys around, no need to double this recipe!
2 quarts pinto beans
2 small or 1 large ham hock
2 cups grated onion
1/2 lb. butter
1 lb. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 large cans diced chili peppers
6 large garlic cloves, diced
1 Tbsp. diced jalapenos (more if you like it fiery)
salt and pepper to taste
Pick over and wash pinto beans.
Soak beans in cool water overnight. Drain.
Add ham hocks, and add water to cover beans. Cook until beans are soft and water reduced (pour off excess water). Remove ham hocks.
Add: onions, chili peppers, garlic, jalapenos, butter and salt to taste.
Cook slowly until onions are soft.
Turn off heat and add grated cheese.
Keep warm, serve.
*This time, I did things a bit differently. First, I fried the onions in a bit of lard, perhaps 3 Tbsp. or so (I didn't measure). I gently fried them for about 10 minutes, until they were nice and browned. Then I added the beans, ham hocks and water. Then I did everything else the way it's listed up there. And they turned out perfectly.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
1 lb. ground venison, crumbled
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained (reserve liquid in 2-cup measure)
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 cup)
1 small onion, sliced
1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch strips (1 cup)
6 cups hot cooked white rice
In large mixing bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Shape mixture into 30 meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter. Set aside. In 2-cup measure, combine reserved pineapple juice and enough water to equal one cup, the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon ginger. Set aside. In small bowl, combine pineapple chunks and cornstarch. Set aside.
Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. (I used olive oil) Heat skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until meatballs are browned, turning occasionally. Drain.
Add pineapple juice mixture, carrots and onion to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 13 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add pineapple chunks to skillet, stirring until smooth. Stir in green pepper (I used yellow, that's what I had). Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until pepper is bright green, stirring frequently. Serve over hot cooked rice.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
In order to make authentic and delicious refried beans, and keep your cowboy happy, of course, you need to start by making Frijoles de la Olla (Mexican Pot Beans). If you've already got some Frijoles in the freezer and you've just been waiting for the Frijoles Refritos recipe, go ahead and start thawing them out. You'll need about 4 cups of Pot Beans.
This recipe is also from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen, one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. Buy it if you can find a copy, you won't be sorry.
Makes about 3 1/2 cups, 6 generous servings
2 Tablespoons lard (I don't measure this. You shouldn't either. Just use a generous amount)
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
4 cups undrained, seasoned cooked beans (you can use practically any variety here, either canned or homemade), preferably slightly warm for easy mashing
Salt, if necessary
About 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Mexican queso fresco, queso anejo, pressed, salted farmer's cheese, dry feta or Parmesan, for garnish
Handful of tortilla chips, for garnish
1. Frying and mashing the beans. In a large (10- to 12-inch) well-seasoned or nonstick skillet, heat the lard over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden, about 10 minutes. (just like you did for your Frijoles de la Olla). Stir in the garlic, cook for a minute or so, then use a slotted spoon to scoop in about 1/4 of the beans, leaving most of the liquid behind. With a potato masher or the back of a large spoon, mash the beans into a coarse puree. Add another portion of the beans, mash them in, and continue until all of the beans have been added and coarsely mashed.
Add about a cup of bean liquid (or water if you have no liquid) and stir frequently over the heat until the beans are still a little soupier than you'd like to serve them (they'll thicken as they sit--[Rick likes his] finished beans the consistency of soft mashed potatoes). The total cooking and mashing time will take 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, if necessary.
2. Serving the beans. Spoon the beans onto a warm serving platter (or onto individual plates), sprinkle with crumbled cheese, decorate with tortilla chips, and they're ready.
Advance Preparation: The finished beans can be covered and refrigerated for several days. Add more water or bean liquid, as needed, to thin them while reheating.
We like to roll these up in tortillas with some queso fresco and salsa. Or sometimes serve 'em on the side of our famous Grilled Lamb Tacos. Yeehaw!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place 2-1/2 Tablespoons butter in 9-inch glass pie pan and melt in oven.
In blender or food processor, combine:
1-1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Process until smooth.
Remove pie pan from oven and increase temperature to 425 degrees. Pour batter into pie pan and return to oven. Bake 20 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake 8 to 10 minutes longer. Invert on serving platter. (This part is a bit tricky, to be honest. You will most likely need a knife to loosen the edges, place the serving platter upside down on top of the pancake and invert, then use your knife to loosen the bottom as you are hovering the hot pie pan over the serving platter with oven mitts because it never just comes right out. It's possible you may need to assistance of another person until you get the hang of it. That's what I did.)
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut into four or more wedges and serve with fresh berries and warm maple syrup on the side. Of course a true cowboy will ask for whipped cream, so you should be sure to have some of that handy as well.
Enjoy this delectable breakfast!
Friday, January 11, 2008
This recipe is from an awesome cookbook we have, called The Complete Hunter: Venison Cookery. Every single recipe we have tried in this book, a total of 9 so far, has been excellent! If you or your husband is a hunter, you need this book.
This will make 8 to 10 generous servings. We fed four adults and four hungry kids, with plenty left over!
1 1/2 pounds uncooked fresh venison sausage (or hamburger), crumbled
1 pkg. (2 lbs) frozen Southern-style hash browns (we didn't have these, so we used shredded raw potatoes)
4 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided
2 cups skim milk
6 eggs, slightly beaten
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Salsa (the book says optional, I say Highly recommended)
Sour Cream (Ditto.)
In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink. Drain.
In large mixing bowl, combine sausage, hash browns, 3 cups cheese, the milk, eggs, onion, hot pepper sauce and salt. Pour mixture into 13 x 9-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick vegetable oil cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 cup cheese (we used a bit more cheese).
Cover with foil. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Remove foil. Place casserole in oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and top is browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish individual servings with salsa and sour cream.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Frijoles de la Olla con Queso Fresco y Tortilla
(Classic Mexican Pot Beans with Fresh Mexican Cheese and Tortilla)
These beans are some of the best you'll eat. I'm not kidding. The original recipe came from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. If you love authentic Mexican food, and you can find this cookbook (there are just a few used copies on amazon) you should buy it. I have modified his recipe somewhat, so you will get my recipe. Guess it will be a "secreto" no longer...
And, before we begin, I feel like I must say this. Do not fear the lard. I'm serious. Lard is what gives these beans the best authentic flavor they can produce. There may not be another smell in the world that smells quite as good as onions fryin' in lard, you'll see. (perhaps the scent of the nape of a young boy's neck, but honestly it's a toss-up). Just remember, it's not like you're going to eat these each and every day for the rest of your life. Although after you taste them, perhaps you might be tempted. Lard is your friend. I'm not kidding. It will treat you and your taste buds well. (and if you don't eat them every day, it won't harm your arteries either).
This recipe as is makes 7 to 8 cups, serving 8 to 10 as a side dish. Sometimes we just eat the beans in bowls, or use the beans to make burritos, with some sour cream and cheese rolled up in tortillas. That is how much we love them. This recipe is also the basis for several other bean dishes, namely and most importantly Frijoles Refritos (Refried Beans). But for now, here we go:
1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) dry beans (we usually use pinto, but you can use black, pinto, pink, kidney or navy.)
3 Tablespoons lard (for heaven's sakes, don't measure. Just scoop out a big hunk of lard. I usually use a bit more.)
1 medium white onion, diced
Salt, about 1 1/2 teaspoons
1. Cooking the beans. Rinse and sort the beans thoroughly. Put the lard in a large (5- to 6-quart) pot and set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until deep golden, at least 10 minutes. Sometimes 20 minutes. Here's a picture of onions that are not done, although a few of them are golden:
And here is the way I do it. These onions are just perfect:
Scoop in the beans, measure in 2 quarts of water, and remove any beans that float. Onions that float are just fine.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are thoroughly tender, at least 2 hours, depending on the type and freshness of your beans (there should be no chalkiness at all when you break a bean open. You can see chalkiness, and you can also taste it, it's a bit crunchy. Just make sure your beans are perfectly done).
You'll need to gently stir the beans regularly and add water as necessary to keep the liquid a generous 1/2 inch above the level of the beans. (I have to admit, my beans have now been simmering away for almost 2 1/2 hours, and I have not stirred them once. No biggie.)
2. Finishing the beans. Season with salt to taste, simmer another 10 to 15 minutes for the beans to absorb the seasoning, then remove from the heat, and they're ready to serve (to serve a bowl of beans, there should be just enough of the slightly creamy broth to cover the beans; for the best texture in both beans and broth, let the pot cool completely, then reheat before serving. If you can possibly wait that long.)
Advance Preparation--Covered and refrigerated, beans keep for at least 4 days. Reheat slowly, stirring often to prevent sticking.
I also freeze beans all the time! Today I made a double batch, yes two whole pounds of beans, and I will freeze more than half of those. Divide them into meal-sized (four-cup) containers, leaving room at the top for expansion, then freeze. Whenever you need some beans, take them out and gently reheat them in a pot. Or, you could take them out and convert them into delicious Refried Beans!
And would you just break down and try the lard already? I mean it.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
This recipe is for a “double batch,” which makes enough enchiladas for 16 to 20 hungry cowboys. You can also freeze a pan or two for a month or so. (instructions below) If you want to make a single batch, just cut all ingredients in half. I got a variation of this recipe from my friend Karen, a fiery red-head from Texas.
A typical serving is two enchiladas.
2 roasted chickens, deboned and shredded or chopped
2 large yellow onions, diced
2.5 pounds shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Colby/jack or a Mexican blend)
+ 40 tortillas
- Spray 9 x 13 inch pans with Pam oil spray.
- In each tortilla, tightly roll up: small handful chicken, some cheese and some onions. Roll up tightly, and place in pan with rolled part at the edge of pan and round loose end facing the middle of the pan—the round end will flap down and prevent the enchiladas from unraveling. Lift up each flap to put in the next enchilada—it’s alright if the rounded edges are sticking up a little when you’re finished.
- Squeeze enchiladas tightly in the pan, and if there is space to one side of your enchiladas, put one or two on that side of the pan as well.
- You may or may not use all the onions; if you run out of chicken, you can either get more or simply use cheese and onions for the remainder of enchiladas. It is important that the pans be tightly packed with enchiladas. (if you see you are running out of supplies, use a smaller pan for the last few enchiladas)
- Sprinkle generously with cheese.
- At this point, enchiladas may be tightly covered with plastic wrap and foil and frozen.
- To Prepare and Bake If Frozen:
- Thaw enchiladas overnight in refrigerator.
- Prepare Enchilada Sauce:
- Mix together in large saucepan:
- 2 16 oz. Containers sour cream
- 2 14 oz. Cans chicken broth
- 2 4 oz. Cans diced green chilies OR diced jalapeños
- Heat over medium-low heat, stirring until sour cream is melted.
- Ladle generously and evenly over enchiladas, almost up to rim of pan. (you may need to make more sauce; use 1 of each of the above ingredients)
- Bake at 350° to 375° for roughly one hour, until golden and bubbly.
- To Prepare if not freezing:
- Follow steps under 7.b. & 7.c., baking at 375° for about one hour.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Some people are afraid of flank steak, or, like my dad, hadn't had a good flank steak until we cooked this up. Honestly I think a lot of people just overcook it. Don't be afraid of a rarer steak--this steak is best on the medium rare side, or even rarer than that. Trust me. You will not be disappointed.
Here we go:
Serves 4; can be doubled for (no need to double the marinade)
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary leaves
1 (1 ½- to 1 ¾-pound) beef flank steak
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Whisk together the vinegar, the oil, the garlic and rosemary in a large dish (or use a thick, sealable plastic bag). Add the steak and turn to coat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours, turning every 2 hours.
2. Heat your grill to high.
3. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred and crusty, 4 to 5 minutes. (do not close lid on grill unless it is cold and/or windy) Turn steak over, reduce the heat to medium or move to a cooler part of the grill, and grill until medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes more. *(If your steak is larger, grill for an extra 1 to 2 minutes per side, but be careful not to overcook).
4. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into ½ inch thick slices against the grain of the meat.
Serve immediately with slices of grilled crusty bread and a salad. We usually just have steak, to be completely honest. We're beef people, after all.