Monthly Archives: May 2015

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

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If it wasn’t for the rice, this would be an awesome one-pot meal. But we love to serve it with rice so it’s a two-pot meal. This is a family favorite at home and at camp, and when I’ve made it on scouting trips, it’s been a huge success with adults and youth. In fact, it’s on the menu for this weekend’s camping trip by unanimous vote!

It’s bursting with flavors and loaded with healthy vegetables. We love it. It’s one of my son’s favorite dinners. This was the dish that taught him to love broccoli! How about that?!

This recipe has many ingredients and looks a little scary at first glance, but let me assure you it goes together very fast and easy. The key is to get everything prepped and ready before you start cooking, and this can be done in camp or at home before you go. And, with everything prepped ahead of time, dinner can be on the table in less than 30 minutes, which would make it a great choice for a Friday night roll-in-to-camp-meal.

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Equipment
Pot for the rice; large, deep skillet with a lid or 12-inch Dutch oven; knife; cutting boards; small bowl; measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients for Stir Fry
1½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 (5 oz can) water chestnuts, sliced, drained
1 (5 oz can) bamboo shoots, sliced, drained
1 (14 oz can) bean sprouts, drained
2 tablespoon sesame oil
Fresh broccoli florets (as many as desired)

Ingredients for Sauce
1 (10.5 oz) can beef consommé
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup pineapple juice (drain an 8 oz can)
2 garlic cloves, minced, or ½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium onion, chopped, or 2 tablespoons minced onion
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Prep
Drain the bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. Drain the pineapple for the juice and, if you want to, add the pineapple to the stir fry. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets, chop the onion and garlic (if using fresh), slice the meat (if you haven’t actually purchased stir-fry meat), and stir together all your sauce ingredients. The vegetables and meat can be bagged separately and the sauce can be poured into a bottle or container. Everything goes into the cooler for the car ride to camp.

When you’re ready to start cooking, set out all your ingredients and then start your water for the rice.

On medium heat, in a large, deep skillet or 12-inch Dutch oven, brown the meat in the sesame oil. (You don’t have to fully cook the meat, just get it browned; it will continue cooking with the other ingredients.)

Add the sauce ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer with the lid off for about 5 minutes. Sauce will thicken and reduce slightly.

Sprinkle over top the bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, broccoli florets, and the pineapple if you choose to. Put a lid on, reduce heat and simmer until the broccoli is fork tender or to your liking (I prefer my broccoli a little al dente).

By the time this is done, your rice should be ready. Serve over hot cooked rice (long-grain, jasmine or sticky). Bring extra soy sauce for adding at the table.

Serves 7-8.

 

This post has been shared at Homestead Bloggers Network and Homestead Blog Hop. If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, subscribe to Chuck Wagoneer by clicking on the Follow Us button in the upper right corner and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest updates and more stuff!

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Categories: Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, Meals in 30 Min., Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Reasons to Cook with Cast Iron

awesome_grill

If you don’t own any cast iron or have never used that cast iron skillet you inherited from Aunt Edna, here are 10 reasons why you should use cast iron every day.

Clean Emissions
With cast iron, there are no toxic fumes unlike most non-stick cookware when you get them too hot, and you avoid possible health hazards associated with aluminum cookware.

Stovetop to Oven
Cast iron can withstand high temperatures so it can easily go from stovetop to oven, which is perfect for searing meat and then finishing in the oven. It’s also great for making skillet breads and frittatas.

Nonstick
Not sure why, but people tend to think cast iron is not nonstick. Au contraire, a well-seasoned, preheated piece of cast iron can throw down against any non-stick cookware any day.

Easy Clean up
Clean up really is a breeze with cast iron. If it’s well-seasoned, food should easily lift right off. A good rinse with hot water (don’t use any soap because it can ruin your seasoning) and a thorough drying over some heat and you’re good to go.

Health Benefits
Studies have shown that eating foods that have been cooked in cast iron can up your iron levels and, as we all know, iron is good for us and boosts our immune system.

Inexpensive
Depending on where you shop, cast iron is pretty moderately priced, but the real bang for your buck is cast iron’s durability. A well cared for piece of cast iron can last through generations of use. Some of us are using pieces that have been handed down from our great-great grandmothers!

Restaurant-Quality Cooking
Nothing browns a piece of food quite like cast iron can. If you want to cook like a restaurant chef then start cooking with cast iron!

No Need for Kid Gloves
Because of its durability, you can use any kind of utensil in your cast iron and you don’t have to worry about your spouse or your kids using the wrong utensil and wrecking the coating. If the seasoning gets a little gouged, just freshen it up. Remember, this stuff has withstood the test of time.

Disaster Approved
Cast iron can be used in your home kitchen and in your camp kitchen and is great in an emergency. It can transition from range to oven to gas stove to campfire without breaking a sweat. Cast iron is not afraid of an open flame so if disaster strikes, light a fire in the fireplace and cook a hot meal in your cast iron!

Time Tested, Grandma Approved
Cast iron dates back to about 513 B.C. It has proven itself to be cost-effective, durable, safe, and produces some great food. For more on some of the history of cast iron, see my blog post “Cast Iron Cooking Colonized and Settled America.” Once you start cooking with cast iron, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner!

If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, subscribe to Chuck Wagoneer by clicking on the Follow Us button in the upper right corner and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest updates and more stuff!

 

Categories: Cooking Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Raspberry Vinaigrette is Sweet and Tangy

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I admit, store-bought dressings are a convenience but have you ever stopped and read the labels? They are loaded with all kinds of unnecessary ingredients and some of them are allergens. Cooking for others can sometimes mean cooking for allergies so I’m always on the lookout for ways I can cook from scratch so I can control what all the ingredients are. This recipe only has 3 ingredients and you could choose to make it with fresh or frozen raspberries or you could use raspberry jam and, if it’s homemade raspberry jam, all the better.

I love this raspberry vinaigrette because it has great flavor and is so simple to make. It’s sweet and tangy and tends to be well received by kids who tend not to be big salad eaters.

Equipment
Blender or mixing bowl and whisk, measuring cups

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
10 ounces of seedless raspberry jam or fresh or frozen raspberries, mashed

Prep
Dump everything into the blender or bowl and blend or whisk until smooth and store in the refrigerator. Serve over greens. I like to add chopped nuts and a little feta cheese to contrast with the sweet and tangy dressing.

This post has been shared at Homestead Bloggers Network and Homestead Blog Hop. If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, subscribe to Chuck Wagoneer by clicking on the Follow Us button in the upper right corner and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest updates and more stuff!

Categories: Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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