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.
Some twenty years ago in college, my wife and I became friends with a number of the Indian graduate students. One friend, Bala, opined that American food was bland. My wife was raised on her Southern grandmother’s cooking and started exchanging spicy recipes. This is one of Bala’s recipes, the only one that I know we still have. Words that appear like this are her own words verbatim, including British spelling. She calls the curry a gravy. When you see the word gravy, think curry.
My personal favourite way of using this recipe is to prepare the curry, then stuff a whole chicken with it, and rub the rest on the outside of the chicken. Slow cook the chicken for a couple of hours until the bones slide out of the meat. The chicken should have absorbed the curry flavour.
Serve with plain yogurt. This not only tones down the spiciness, but also compliments the flavour well.
Recipe for a basic gravy, the meats can be varied. Each kind of meat gives a different flavour to the preparation.
|Camp Friendly:||Yes with preparation|
|Yield:||Bala says 4 servings, but typically 6-8 servings|
|Ovens Needed:||One 12″ dutch oven|
|3||Medium sized onions, chopped fine. The finer these are chopped, the thicker and smoother the gravy will be.|
|4 cloves||garlic, chopped fine. If you prefer a garlicky flavour, increase quanitity.|
|½ inch piece||ginger root, chopped fine. Peel the root before chopping.|
|2||Green chiles, chopped fine|
|The above stuff can be blended together in a blender. Makes the gravy very smooth.|
|4||Medium tomatoes, roughly the same size as the onions, or one can (15 oz.) of diced tomatoes. Diced tomatoes give a slightly sour flavour to the curry, for a variation can use stewed tomatoes. Or one 8 oz. can of tomato paste.|
|½ tblsp||cumin seeds|
|5 tblsp||Oil or butter or margarine. (Each gives a slightly different flavour)|
|1 tsp||red chili powder, not flakes. (Start with slightly less than this, can add more if required.)|
|¼ tsp||turmeric powder|
|1 tblsp||coriander powder|
|1 tblsp||cumin powder|
|1 tblsp||curry powder (optional)|
|¼ tsp||nutmeg powder (optional)|
|¼ tsp||clove powder (optional)|
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed container on medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds. Heat the oil till the seeds start popping.
Add onions. Fry them till slightly transparent. If they start sticking to the bottom of the pan, reduce heat to medium. Add a little more oil if required. Keep stirring. When onions become brown and really transparent (about 8–10 minutes), add the garlic, chilies and ginger root. Keep sprinkling with water if the paste starts sticking to the bottom of the pan or the oil starts smoking too much. Fry for another 2–3 minutes till the new stuff is nicely mixed up in the onions, and add the tomatoes.
Stir the mixture till the water from the tomatoes is nearly evaporated. Lower the heat to medium. Add the dry [ingredients] except nutmeg and clove. [See my notes below.] Fry till water evaporated and on pushing the paste to a side, with a spatula, the oil leaves the paste. If the paste starts sticking to the pan, sprinkle with water.
This is the basic stuff required for the gravy. Taste it at this point to see if the salt content and the chili is to your liking. If you add additional stuff, stir the gravy around for a minute for the [ingredients] to get fried into the gravy. If the gravy becomes too salty, don’t worry, the addition of the meat will balance the salt. I usually deliberately make the gravy slightly salty.
You have a choice of meats in beef chunks, chicken pieces, ground beef, pork chunks. If you leave the bones in, it ends up tasting nicer. For the amount of gravy you’ll get with the above recipe, you can add about 2 pounds of beef chunks, 8 chicken drumsticks, same amount of ground beef or even vegetables. The veggies can include cauliflower florets, carrots, potatoes, peas, green beans, corn, mushrooms, green bell peppers — just let your imagination run wild. Other variations are garbanzos (2 cans), red beans (2 cans) anything.
Add the meat or the veggies, stir the mixture till the pieces are all coated with the paste, fry for a minute or two. Add 2 cups of water and let the whole mixture simmer till the meat is tender. About half an hour for chicken, longer for beef or till the meat is as tender as you please. I usually remove the skin off the chicken I use. Cover the curry while it’s simmering, keep checking periodically to see water level. Add more if required. Stir it once in a while to prevent stuff from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
If you have a pressure cooker, the meat comes out tasting better because the pressure makes the flavour penetrate the meat. Add enough water to cover the mixture about ½ an inch over level of the mixture. I wouldn’t use a cooker for the veggies, they’ll go too soggy. One whistle on high heat, lower the temperature, another whistle on low heat, shot off and let it cool down, for chicken. Two whistles on high and one on low for other meats.
If the gravy is too watery to your liking, cook open on high for a few minutes till extra water teams off, if too thick, add desired amount of water and let it come to a boil once.
When done, turn off the heat sprinkle the nutmeg and clove on the curry, stir well, garnish with sprigs of coriander leaves, and serve on a bed of rice. The gravy can be made without the optional stuff also, but these things just add the the flavour
Serve over rice. Serve with plain yogurt. This not only tones down the spiciness, but also compliments the flavour well.
This is not a hot chile recipe. It has a rich and tasty sauce.
This can be served a number of ways, such as over rice, on flatbread, or in tortillas. It goes good in the large “soup bowl” style rolls.
|Camp Friendly:||Yes with preparation|
|Ovens Needed:||One 12″ dutch oven|
|1 large||sweet onion (e.g. Walla Walla)|
|1½ cups||chicken broth|
|2-4 large||green or yellow chiles. I prefer mild yellow chiles for their flavour. Note that in my opinion Jalapeño is the wrong flavour for this recipe.|
|3 cups||Colby Jack or mild cheddar, grated|
|8||skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes|
Serve over rice, with flat bread or tortillas, or try putting in “soup bowl” rolls.
This recipe is really easy for camping. You can put the dry ingredients into a large zip-lock bag at home. Put the drained peaches into another bag. This will reduce the mess of trying to drain the peaches at camp. If you camp in bear country like we do, minimizing food spillage is critical for not turning your camp ground into a bear magnet.
At camp, add the water to the bag of dry ingredients, and squish until well mixed. Voilà! Instant batter with no bowls or spoons to clean!
Note the long cook time. Watch the charcoal to ensure they’re not spent. In colder weather you may need additional briquettes. Remember to rotate lid and oven every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
|Ovens Needed:||One 10″ dutch oven|
|2 tsp.||baking powder|
|1 cup||powdered milk|
|2||15-ounce cans of sliced peaches (drained)|
|½ stick||butter or margarine|
This is a fair bit of work, but very rewarding. You could prepare everything ahead of time at home and transport the dutch ovens to an event during step 10. I assume you could simply replace the damp towel with the lids, as they’re fairly tight and shouldn’t let the moisture out. I have not tried this.
|Ovens Needed:||Two 12″ dutch ovens|
|½ cup||sugar, fructose, or other sugar|
|½ cup||instant potatoes|
|5+ cups||white flour|
|1½ cup||warm water|
|butter or margarine, softened|