Posts Tagged With: cheddar cheese

Denver Frittata

On the average West Coast diner breakfast menu, the Denver Omelet, also known as the Western Omelet, is a common item. It’s made with red and green bell peppers, onion, ham, and cheddar cheese, and has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. So, how to make one in camp or for a crowd? Convert it to a frittata.

Frittatas are simply baked omelets and perform extremely well in a Dutch oven in camp or in a cast iron skillet at home. Like most frittatas, this one starts on the camp stove by sautéing the vegetables. Once the vegetables are soft, the ham is mixed in and the cheese sprinkled on top. The egg mixture is poured over everything and the whole thing is baked until the eggs are puffy and set. The last 5 minutes of baking, you could even sprinkle on a bit more cheese to melt on top before serving. How easy is that?

The Denver is popular and has endured over the decades because of it’s bold flavors. Between the onion and peppers, sharp cheddar cheese, and smokey, salty ham, it is a great breakfast any time of year. Serve with biscuits, hashbrowns, and fruit. It’s sure to be a winner!

Equipment
10-inch Dutch oven or 7×9 or 9×9 baking dish, bowl, whisk.

Ingredients
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced small
1/3 cup yellow onion, diced small
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup (heaping) ham, cooked and diced small
8 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and black pepper

Prep
The ham and vegetables can be diced at home and loaded into containers or resealable bags for the ride to camp in the cooler.

In camp, assemble your materials (mise en place) and start 25 coals in a chimney.

On medium-high heat on a propane stove, heat oil in the Dutch oven. Add the bell peppers and onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, in a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and add the ham and toss together. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the ham and vegetables. Bake in a 400°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for about 25 minutes or until egg is puffy and set. Serves 6.

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Categories: Breakfasts, Dutch Oven, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enchilada Pull-Aparts

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The first time I made these, I accidentally used diced jalapenos instead of diced green chilies. They were just a wee bit spicy, but we still really liked them. In addition to being hot and tasty, these go together in a snap and take only 30 minutes to bake. You can easily have dinner on the picnic table in under an hour. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and a salad, and you have a great meal.

This is also a dish that you can easily customize. I did, without even intending to, when I swapped the diced green chilies for diced jalapenos. You could swap the red enchilada sauce for green or swap the ground beef for chicken. You could add black beans, diced tomatoes, or some corn. Whatever floats your boat. Have some fun and make it your own. I’ll bet it becomes a family favorite.

Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven or 9×13 baking dish.

Ingredients
1 package of refrigerated biscuit dough
10 ounces enchilada sauce (we like to use red)
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning or use your own mix
4 ounce can diced green chilies or diced jalapenos
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese

Prep

On a propane stove or over coals, in a Dutch oven, brown the ground beef. Drain the grease and stir in the taco seasoning and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir in the diced green chilies or jalapenos. Remove from heat and set aside. Start your coals.

Open the biscuits and slice each biscuit into 8 small pieces. Add the biscuits and enchilada sauce to the Dutch oven and lightly mix everything together like tossing a salad. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.

Bake in a 350°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for 30 minutes or until the biscuits are cooked through and the cheese is fully melted. You could also load this into a 9×13 baking pan and bake it in a box oven, using about 14 coals.

Top with cilantro, avocado or guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce, etc.

Serves about 8

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Categories: Box Oven, Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cottage Pie with Hashbrown Topping

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This is classic British comfort food from my paternal grandfather’s side of the family. People often confuse cottage pie with shepherd pie, which is made with lamb. Cottage pie is made with beef. For either recipe, you can use leftovers or fresh ingredients.

This recipe breaks from the traditional shepherd or cottage pie in that it uses shredded potatoes instead of mashed potatoes for the topping. But if you wanted to go the more traditional route, you could top this one with a mound of mashed potatoes. Either way, it’s yummy.

Instead of ground beef, you could use just about any cut of beef and cube it up before browning. It takes about an hour to get this dish on the table and it easily scales up if you’re feeding a crowd.

Cottage pie is a hearty dish loved by both adults and youth. The chili powder brings a nice subtle heat that keeps you warm long after dinner.

Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven or 9×13 deep baking dish, if feeding a crowd, double this recipe and bake it in a 16-inch Dutch oven

Ingredients for Potato Topping
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 russet potatoes, shredded, or about half a bag of frozen
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for Meat Vegetable Mixture
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 spring onions or ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
1 ½ pounds ground beef or a roast, cubed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas and carrots
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup finely grated Parmesan

Prep
Lightly grease Dutch oven or baking dish.

For the potato topping, in a medium bowl, combine grated potatoes, melted butter, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In Dutch oven, over medium heat (either coals or propane), melt butter and sauté onions and garlic until the onions are soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and chili powder and stir until you have a nice paste. Add tomatoes and beef broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. While I’m doing this I usually prep and start my coals. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat further and stir in the peas and carrots, and cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted.

Evenly cover the top of the casserole with the grated potato mixture and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake in a 425°F oven, or until crisp on top and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

If you’re making a single batch in a 12-inch Dutch oven, use 31 coals, 21 coals on the lid and 10 underneath.

If you’re making a double batch in a 16-inch Dutch oven, use 42 coals, 28 coals on the lid and 14 underneath.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Single batch serves 5-6.

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Categories: Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheesy Spicy Hash Brown Casserole

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We love hash browns for breakfast either in a main dish like a big breakfast skillet or as a side dish. This hash brown casserole makes a great side dish and brings great flavor and a little heat. When I made this last weekend for the first time for a mixed group of scoutmasters and scouts, I seeded my chiles because I was concerned that I might overwhelm some of the younger taste buds. The heat was very mild. If you really want to bring the heat, then leave the seeds in. You could also swap out some of the chilies for hotter varieties. My son tried to talk me into using a ghost pepper. I said no. I opted for Monterey Jack cheese but, again, if you want to bring the heat, you could step it up to Pepper Jack cheese. I used frozen southern style hash browns, but you could just as easily peel and dice fresh potatoes.

First thing in the morning, after I get my coffee, I’d start this one. It has about 30 minutes of prep (less if you chop your veggies and grate your cheese at home before you go) and then about 30 minutes of baking time. After 30 minutes, the potatoes were cooked through but you’ll notice in the picture below that they look a little pale. Next time I might let them brown a little in the Dutch oven before I put the lid on and add coals. After I put the lid on and add coals, I also might let them go longer than 30 minutes just to see if I can get a little more color on the potatoes.

I’d recommend a 12-inch or larger Dutch oven or 9×13 deep baking dish for a full batch. If you want to do a half batch, I’d step down to a 10-inch or 12-inch Dutch oven or an 8×8 baking dish. Remember to adjust your coals for the size of your Dutch oven. Here’s a link to my Dutch Oven Size Chart and Temperature Guide.

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Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven, cutting board, chef knife, cheese grater, stirring/serving spoon.

Ingredients
8 slices bacon, fried and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 large green chiles, diced
2 jalapenos, finely diced
1 poblano chile, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 pounds (2 bags) frozen southern style hash browns (diced potatoes)
Salt and ground pepper
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
2 cups grated Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack

Prep
Dice the vegetables and grate the cheese. On a campfire, a bed of coals, or on a propane stove, fry the bacon in the Dutch oven until its nice and crispy. While the bacon is frying, load 27 coals into a chimney with 1-2 fire starters and, when the bacon is done, light your coals. Remove the bacon from the Dutch oven and set aside on a paper towel. You may want to critter and camper proof it or it just might disappear! I’ve had a number of scouts learn that lesson the hard way!

To the Dutch oven, add the butter and then add the chiles and onion, and sauté until well browned. Pour in the frozen hash browns and add some salt and pepper. Be generous with the salt; that’s a lot of potatoes. Toss everything together. Let it heat up for just a few minutes to steam off any excess liquid from the hash browns; you can crumble or chop the bacon while you wait.

Sprinkle on the cheese and top with crumbled bacon. Put the lid on and move it to coals.

Bake at 375°F, using 18 coals on the lid and 9 underneath, for about 30 minutes until hot and bubbly or until the potatoes are done to your liking.

Makes about 20 4-ounce (½-cup) servings or 10 8-ounce (1 cup) servings. And, c’mon, let’s be real. We’re all going to take a 1 cup serving and go back for seconds…. Just sayin’….

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Categories: Breakfasts, Dutch Oven, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chili Quick and Simple

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Yesterday was National Chili Day! We love chili and this chili goes together fast and easy. It would be a great meal for a Friday night after you’ve rolled into your site and set up camp. It’s also a hot, slightly spicy, hearty meal. You can get this on the picnic table in about 30 minutes, which should leave plenty of time to eat, clean up, and get started on the evening campfire.

It has nice, fresh tomato flavor with just a little kick from the green chiles and chili powder. I prefer to use petite diced tomatoes. Our protein of choice was ground beef and we chose to use kidney and black beans. We used a can of tomato sauce, but if you prefer a thicker chili, you could use tomato paste instead.

If you’re home, you could also make this in a slow cooker. Brown the meat on the stove top before adding it and the other ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook the chili on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

In camp, if you have a little more time, this would be great to start a little earlier and let it simmer for an hour or two. We made my awesome cornbread to go with it. If I wasn’t crunched for time, I would probably start the chili and then make the cornbread, which bakes for an hour, and let the chili simmer while the cornbread bakes.

For the cornbread recipe, please see my blog post: “Cookie’s Cornbread.”

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For a fully loaded, awesome, rich flavor, 4-bean, slow-cook chili, please see my blog post: “Cookie’s 4 Bean Chili Con Carne.”

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But if you’re looking for a tasty and fast to the picnic table meal, this one is a winner.

Equipment
4-quart pot or 10-inch Dutch oven, cutting board, knife, colander, tablespoon, stirring/serving spoon.

Ingredients
1 pound ground beef (or protein of choice)
2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (15 ounce) cans beans, drained and rinsed (black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, or a combination)
1 small white onion, diced
2 tablespoons chili powder

Prep
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, sauté the onions in a little bit of butter and then brown the ground beef, stirring frequently. Drain any excess grease. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the onion is cooked and softened to your liking. Serve with shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, cilantro, etc. Serves 4-6.

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Categories: Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, Meals in 30 Minutes, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baking in the New Year

cheese_scone_IMG_1302_690pxWhat are your plans for upping your cooking game in 2016? Is there a specific dish you’d like to perfect? A technique you’d like to master? A culinary style you’d like to try?

This year, my cooking resolution is to master the art of scones or biscuits. For me, the terms are interchangeable. Because of our genealogy, our family is heavily influenced by England, Scotland, and Ireland. For my husband, that’s nearly all of his genetic makeup. For me, that’s nearly half with my other half being Scandinavian. So, we tend to call them scones.

There are two possible pronunciations of the word scone: the first rhymes with gone and the second rhymes with tone. In US English, the pronunciation rhyming with tone is more common. In British English, the two pronunciations traditionally have different regional and class associations, with the first pronunciation associated with the north of England and the northern working class, while the second is associated with the south and the middle class.

However you pronounce it, I feel a strong genetic tug to make scones, which I have ignored for far too long.

You have to admit that there’s just nothing like a fresh baked biscuit with breakfast or dinner, and what would biscuits and gravy be without biscuits? So, in the coming months, you can expect some scone recipes to appear in the blog. I hope that excites you as much as it excites me.

Scones or biscuits are a great way to get fresh bread into your camp menu. They are relatively easy to make without all the fuss of yeast bread. They can easily be made by hand, requiring no fancy equipment.

And, everyone loves a good biscuit. While a plain biscuit is hugely popular, you can also pack them with all kinds of goodies from cheeses to meats to fruits. Depending on what else you are serving, your scone can be savory or sweet.

I decided to start with a savory, cheese scone. This is a great recipe and you can subtly alter the flavor of the scone by the type of cheese you choose to use. From sharp Cheddar to Parmesan to Swiss to Gorgonzola, choose your favorite cheese and try making a scone with it. This would be a great scone to serve with breakfast or dinner. Can you imagine serving a hot and hearty stew with a warm, cheesy scone? Yum!

Equipment
Mixing bowl, clean work surface (cutting board, tabletop), pastry cutter, a fork for mixing, measuring cups and spoons, a Dutch oven or a box oven.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
⅓ cup unsalted butter, chilled
⅓ cup milk
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water for glaze (optional)

Prep
Preheat your oven or start your coals. Lightly butter the center of a baking sheet or the Dutch oven.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the cheese. Cut the butter into little cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

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In a small bowl, stir together the milk and 2 eggs. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined (a fork works well for this). At some point, the fork will become useless, so you might as well just pick it up with your hands and mush it together into a ball, sponging up all the little dry bits with the dough ball.

Shape into a disc with your hands, then spread the dough into an 8-inch diameter circle in the center of the prepared baking sheet or Dutch oven. (The first time I made them, I actually got a ruler and measured; now I just eyeball it using my hand.) If desired, brush the egg mixture over the top of the dough. Cut into 8 wedges.

Using a home oven, Dutch oven, or box oven, bake at 400°F for 15-17 minutes or until the top is lightly brown (emphasis on lightly), and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Try not to overcook it. If you overcook a scone, it dries out and starts to become a brick.

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Categories: Dutch Oven, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Broccoli, Ham and Cheese Frittata

Broccoli-Ham-Cheese_Frittata-IMG_1209-690pxIt was late October and it was cold. We were teaching outdoor cooking to a group of scouting adults and youth at Camp River Ranch. The Dutch ovens were immensely successful. The sticks and pie irons, not so much, but we were cooking gluten free and pie irons just beg for some kind of dough whether its pizza dough, pie dough, or bread dough. Besides, we’d decided we need more practice with sticks and pie irons.

For lunch on Saturday, we were feeding 20 and we made 2 batches of the Taco Cobbler in 2 12-inch Dutch ovens. In the 10-inch Dutch oven, we made a half batch that was vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free and it actually turned out really well.

For dinner Saturday night, we were feeding 16 and we made 2 broccoli, cheddar, and ham frittatas in 2 12-inch Dutch ovens and they were amazing.

A frittata is simply a quiche with no crust or an omelet that you bake. It makes a great main dish for breakfast or dinner. It was hot. The eggs were fluffy. The broccoli, ham, and cheese were yummy.

This is a fast and easy dish to make in camp because a lot of the prep can be done at home. All the dicing, shredding and mincing can be done at home, and then, in camp, it’s only some assembly required.

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Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven, mixing bowl, whisk, cutting board, knife.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup green onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 head broccoli (fresh or frozen), diced
2 cups ham, diced
1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
salt and pepper to taste

Prep
At home or in camp, mince the garlic; dice the green onion, broccoli, and ham; and shred the cheese.

In camp, line a 12-inch Dutch oven with foil and apply a light coating of non-stick spray or oil. Start 25 coals in your chimney.

In the Dutch oven, melt the butter and add the ham, broccoli, garlic, and green onion.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until well mixed. Add the milk, and cheese and stir once more. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the ham mixture and lightly stir to make sure that the egg mixture is evenly distributed.

Bake at 350°F, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for 30-35 minutes or until the egg is cooked and the top is golden brown.

Makes about 8 servings

 

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Categories: Breakfasts, Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Three-Apple Salad is Sweet and Savory

3_Apple_Salad_IMG_0865_600pxI absolutely love this salad and I’m not a big salad fan so that’s saying a lot. We made it just a couple weeks ago while teaching outdoor cooking to a group of Girl Scout adult volunteers. We served it with a hearty, spicy potato chowder and it was the perfect side dish. The salad was light, tart, sweet and savory. It was like a little party in your mouth.

I love the different colors and flavors of the apples. We used a sweet red Gala, a yellow Golden Delicious, and a tart green Granny Smith. Instead of the Gala, you could use a Fuji. Of the variations below, we used cheddar cheese (I chose sharp for its bold flavor), dried cherries, and crunchy walnuts. Instead of the frozen apple juice concentrate, we used regular apple juice. The dressing is creamy and tangy and doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. The green onion adds just a little bite.

This recipe has great flavors and is very kid friendly. It’s just yummy!

To prep at home, you could mix the dressing, toast the nuts (which I forgot to do) and even dice the cheese and celery and slice the green onions. I would dice the apples in camp right before assembly. Because we were teaching, we had our “students” prep everything in camp and it didn’t take long at all. Below is a picture of everything in the bowl before we added the dressing. This is a double batch. Isn’t it pretty?!

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Because of its light and fresh flavors and the cooling properties of the dressing, this salad would pair perfectly with anything that is heavy and/or spicy.

 

Equipment

Medium-size mixing bowl, small-size mixing bowl, knife, cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, rubber spatula.

 

Ingredients

3 apples (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green) diced (½-inch) to measure 2 cups

3 ounces Swiss, Cheddar or Gouda cheese, diced ½-inch to measure ¾ cup

½ cup celery, diced (½-inch)

½ cup dried cherries or cranberries

1 tablespoon green onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)

½ cup plain fat-free yogurt

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon frozen apple juice concentrate or straight apple juice

1 teaspoon lemon juice

 

Prep

In medium bowl, combine apples, cheese, celery, cherries, green onion and nuts.

For dressing, in small bowl stir together yogurt, mayonnaise, apple juice concentrate and the lemon juice. Toss gently with salad. Serve on lettuce leaves if desired.

Serves 8 as a side dish.

To toast nuts, spread nuts on baking sheet and bake in a 325°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring twice, until nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. If you want to toast these in camp, you could use a box oven with 13 briquettes or a Dutch oven. To determine the number of coals needed for the size of your Dutch oven, reference the Dutch Oven Temperature Chart on the Soup to Nuts page.

 

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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