This is the recipe that I used for our main dish entry in the Eighth Annual Klondike Dutch Oven Cook-Off today. It’s a slight modification of the Black Pot Lasagna recipe that appeared in the Winter 2008 edition of the Dutch Oven News, the quarterly newsletter of the International Dutch Oven Society.
I tend to like Italian dishes with more spices than are usually called for. I’ve made references to the original quantities for those that don’t like the amount of spice.
|Camp Friendly:||With Preparation|
|Yield:||8 or more servings|
|Ovens Needed:||One 12″ dutch oven|
|1¼ pound||Hot Italian sausage cut into bite-sized pieces. The original says “sweet Italian sausage links”.|
|1¼ pound||ground chuck|
|1||onion, chopped. I like sweet onions like Walla Walla.|
|5 cloves||garlic, chopped. The original calls for three.|
|3+ tsp||oregano, fresh from garden preferred. The original calls for 2 tsp.|
|2 tbl||basil, from garden preferred. The original calls for 1 tsp.|
|¼ tsp||black pepper|
|6||Roma tomatoes, diced. (Original calls for one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano. I use tomatoes and extra spices as listed here.)|
|2||15 oz cans of tomato sauce|
|1||6 oz can of tomato paste|
|1½ cups||small curd cottage cheese|
|5 oz||grated parmigianino–reggiano cheese|
|2 tsp||chopped parsley. (Original calls for 4 tsp.)|
|~½ package||oven-ready lasagna noodles|
|2 pounds||shredded mozzarella cheese|
Cook at 350°F for 30-45 minutes until hot and bubbly. You can use ⅔ timing if you want the cheese on the top to brown slightly.
Let stand 10 minutes or so before serving. If you don’t let it cool and set a little, it’ll be a mess trying to scoop it out.
What will command the attention of the kids faster than a pizza with a spiced cheese-stuffed crust? No more left over crusts piled on the plate… they’ll eat every bit.
There are scores of pizza recipes out there. This is the one that has evolved in our house to the point where the kids look forward to homemade pizza more than delivery.
|Camp Friendly:||Advanced skills (raising yeast dough)|
|Yield:||Two 12″ thin crust pizzas|
|Ovens Needed:||Two 12″ dutch oven|
|Thin Crust||Thick Crust|
|1 cup||1½ cups||warm water|
|1 tbsp||1½ tbsp||yeast|
|1 tsp||1½ tsp||sugar|
|2-½ cups||3-3/4 cups||flour|
|1 tsp||1½ tsp||salt|
|½ tsp||½ tsp||garlic powder|
|4 tbsp||4 tbsp||olive oil|
|2 tsp||2 tsp||basil|
|½ pound||½ pound||block of mozzarella cheese, not semicircle or non-block shape (I buy one-pound blocks and save half until the next pizza.)|
|1||8 ounce can tomato sauce|
|½ tsp||garlic salt|
With toppings, let your imagination go wild. The only constant that we count on is a pound of cheese and a 6 or 8 ounce bag of sliced pepperoni.
The following ingredient list is typical for our house, where we ordinarily make a double pepperoni pizza, and a multi-item pizza.
|1 pound||shredded mozzarella|
|1||8-oz. bag of pepperoni|
|½ pound||hot Italian-style sausage, cooked|
|8 or 10||black olives, sliced|
|2 or 3||sliced mushrooms|
This is personal preference. Experiment to determine whether you like to put the shredded cheese
Personally, I like to put the cheese on top of the pepperoni pizza because some pepperonis have a tendency to curl. Turkey pepperoni that’s been in the refrigerator is notorious for this.
On the other hand, I find cheese underneath is more aesthetically pleasing with other toppings. You can play with making patterns or designs so it looks nice.
The verdict is suus quique… each to his own.
Cook at 400°F for 30 minutes using ⅔ timing.
If you cook in dutch ovens in a conventional oven, leave the lids off. I also stack them in the oven by putting a cooling rack on top of the lower dutch oven, and placing the upper dutch oven on the cooling rack.
Some people suggest cooking with the dutch oven upside down. In other words, prepare the crust on the lid, then putting the oven on top (upside down). Unless you have a fancy dutch oven lid with its own legs, you’ll need to set the lid on a trivet to keep the whole assembly from tipping over.
The advantage to doing this is that you don’t have to monkey with getting the pizza out of the dutch oven. I’ve not tried this, personally.
If you cook this at home, cook in a cast iron skillet since the edges of an ordinary dutch oven are a little tall for easy extraction. With a dutch oven, I work a fork under one edge, then (using gloves) tip the dutch oven to let the pizza slide out onto a pizza pan or other large cutting surface to slice the pizza. After slicing, I slide the pizza to a cooling rack.
Others suggest leaving in the cast iron to keep it hot as people come back for more.
Yes, I’ve made all the mistakes and lived to tell the tale.
Here are some photos, however, of last Sunday’s two successful pizzas with crusts stuffed with cheese and garlic.
We attended our first DOG (dutch oven gathering) on 4 October 2008. A DOG is basically a dutch oven club meeting. People get together to cook, eat, and have a good time.
Today’s DOG was a combination of three different clubs to do some community service cleaning up a park, with the dutch oven club providing breakfast for everybody. The weather was very cold and rainy, but for the most part people still got out, picked up trash, and had a good time.
Here’s a 52-second video of some of the cooking.
We had a wild hair and cooked Christmas dinner in dutch ovens. Overall it was great.
The turkey roast was a three-pound thing in a net. A sauce of oil, garlic, blackened seasoning and a little cayenne pepper went over the top. An army of baby carrots stood guard. Cooked at 300°F until the cooking thermometer beeped at 170°F. Put it another place, which read 135°F, and waited for it to beep again. After checking other spots, the pot was moved inside to wait for the other dishes. The turkey roast came out very nice.
The drippings were sparse, but made a killer gravy.
The first batch of potato rolls came out perfect. Not as much flour was used so they weren’t as dry as we’ve done before. Golden brown tops made for great presentation.
We finally made some good rice in a dutch oven today. I was a little disheartened by previous failures, but I knew that it could be done because the Japanese have been cooking rice over a fire for centuries.
Heat! You want heat! I have a 10″ cast iron pot with a lid. It’s not a “camp” dutch oven (with the legs and a rim around the edge of the lid). I set the pot on a wire trivet with charcoal packed underneath. If you have a dutch oven, it’s more convenient. Today all the dutch ovens were being used to cook other things.
If the water isn’t hot enough at the beginning, the rice will turn to mush with a hard core — really gross.
Note that we cook with the short grain Japanese rice, which turns out a little sticky. It’s perfect for using chopsticks. I’ve not cooked the “fluffy” American long-grain rice for over a decade, so I can’t comment on that.
While curry may not be a native Japanese dish, the Japanese have adopted it and given it their own flair. There’s no “standard” curry. People use it as a gravy base to which they’ll add many things: corn, potatoes, carrots, onions, you name it. They will put it on rice, udon (noodles), or bread. In this spirit, you can use this recipe as a base. Play with it. Experiment. Have fun with it.
Note that meat is optional. I prefer a good curry without meat. If the curry needs meat to taste good, it’s not a good curry… in my opinion.
2008-12-21 Update: I reworked this article slightly, including altering the recipe.
|Camp Friendly:||Yes with preparation|
|Ovens Needed:||One 12″ dutch oven|
|1 large||Walla Walla (sweet) onion|
|2 cloves||garlic (I use four)|
|1½ pounds||pounds pork, chicken, or beef cut into small cubes. One may omit this for vegetarian style|
|1 package||Golden Curry roux (8.4 oz)|
|½ pound||baby carrots, split length-wise|
|1 can||corn, drained|
|2||potatoes, sliced thin|
|2||large green bell peppers|
|1 cup||cottage cheese (optional)|
|2 cups||plain yoghurt (optional)|
Serve over white rice.
I got wind of this document called Outdoor Cooking with Dutch Ovens from the IDOS forums. It has an interesting “ring” method for estimating the amount of charcoal required for cooking. I’ll be playing with it in the future.
We had a partially successful meal tonight. I switched charcoal brands today. (I wrote about “no more cheap charcoal” earlier.)
I prepared a main dish, bread, and dessert.
I started dutch oven cooking with coals from a wood fire. I admit some unease at using charcoal simply because I didn’t have any real experience with it. (I grew up with the idea that when one goes camping, one makes a wood fire and cooks with the coals.)
I admit my ignorance when it comes to charcoal. It’s black lumps that makes dutch ovens portable. At first I bought the cheap (HomeLife) brand charcoal. I’ve been using it for some months and am familiar with it. I’ve read on the ‘Net that one shouldn’t use the cheap stuff, so I decided to give name brand (Kingsford) charcoal a go. I used it for the first time today. I have a one-word summary:
This stuff lights much easier, burns hotter, burns more consistently, burns much longer… and doesn’t have the huge pieces of grit in them. I’m confident that I’ll quickly adapt to this type of charcoal, but I’m not going to go back to using the cheap charcoal given the choice.