Posts Tagged With: mozzarella

Fantastic French Dip Sandwiches

This roast was fall-apart tender and soaked with juice and spices. The French dip sandwiches we made were so flavorful. It was hard not to go back and make a second sandwich, but I knew, if I did, I’d be groaning all afternoon.

In March, we were teaching outdoor cooking to adult volunteers at our annual Girl Scouts of Western Washington Outdoor Learning Weekend at Camp Robbinswold. Right after breakfast, we heated up a 12-inch deep Dutch oven on the propane stove, added some olive oil, and seared off the beef chuck roast. Then, we added all the spices and liquids, put on the lid, and set it on the fire.

I used my 12-inch deep because I wasn’t sure how much volume I was really going to have between the roast and the liquid. Our fire was a little hot and the deep oven allowed for some bubbling up room.

We let it simmer all morning. At lunchtime, I pulled it out and sliced it, but it really wasn’t necessary. I could have just pulled it apart in the Dutch oven. I returned the meat to the Dutch oven and the juice, and it was time to assemble our sandwiches. Because the meat is so juicy, I recommend a sturdy roll. If your roll is too soft, it will soak up all the juice and turn to mush. I would also recommend toasting the rolls on a grill or griddle. We did not, and I wish we had; it would have kicked it up yet another notch.

We split our rolls, piled on the juicy beef and topped the sandwiches with 2 slices of Provolone cheese. You could also layer on some sautéed onions, bell peppers, and/or mushrooms. You can ladle juice out of the Dutch oven for dipping, too, but we found it wasn’t necessary at all.

At home, you could make this in a slow cooker. Start it in the morning and just let it go all day on low. If you need to size up this recipe, just add a half pound of beef per extra person and then size up the other ingredients accordingly. I also wouldn’t worry too much about being exact. If you end up with a little more juice, who cares?!

Equipment
12-inch deep Dutch oven or a slow cooker

Ingredients
1 3-pound beef chuck roast
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cans (10.5 ounces each) beef consommé
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 cup Coca-Cola (or just add the whole can)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup onions, dried, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
1/4 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 tablespoon beef bouillon, granulated
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 French rolls or hoagie buns
12 slices Provolone cheese

Prep
In camp, in a hot Dutch oven or, at home, in a hot cast iron skillet, add a little olive oil, and sear the beef on all sides. If you’re making this at home in a slow cooker, transfer the beef to the slow cooker. Add all the liquids and spices, put the lid on and cook low and slow. There really isn’t much more than that. Super simple to make. After hours of simmering, slice or pull apart and serve on sturdy French rolls or hoagie rolls with Provolone cheese, and/or grilled onions, peppers, and/or mushrooms. If desired, ladle au jus into bowls for dipping.

Serves 6

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Categories: Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mozzarella Stuffed Pizza Bombs

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These are so good. When we made these for the first time, they disappeared in about 5 minutes. They are best hot out of the oven while the cheese is still gooey. I’m not sure how they taste cold or reheated because they never last that long. Make sure you serve them with warm marinara sauce. They are a hit all by themselves, but dipping them in warm marinara knocks them out of the park!

These would make a great pre-dinner appetizer or as a side dish or as part of an evening cracker barrel. If you’re making these for an evening cracker barrel and want easy clean up, you could foil line your Dutch oven, but be sure to liberally grease the foil.

If you made enough of these, they could even be a main dish. To make them even more pizza-like you could wrap the mozzarella in a slice of pepperoni or Canadian bacon before wrapping them in the pizza dough. I just might have to try that.

They are a bit messy to make. Your hands end up covered in the butter-garlic mixture. I would have some hot soapy water standing by or use disposable food serving gloves.

You can make these using fresh oregano and garlic cloves or you can use dried minced garlic and dried oregano. I use dried oregano and dried, minced garlic and hand mix it.

I make a single batch in my 10-inch Dutch oven in camp or in my cast-iron skillet at home (it’s about the same size). I have not tried larger batches yet, but I imagine that if you doubled it, you could squeeze them into a 12-inch Dutch oven. They’d be cozy but it’s okay if they touch. If you do and it works, let me know.

I wonder how many I could squeeze into my 16-inch Dutch oven?! Hmmmm….

Equipment
10-inch Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet.

Ingredients
8 cloves of garlic, fresh, or 2 teaspoons dried, minced
1 tablespoon oregano, fresh, or 1 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
9 ounces of pizza dough or 1 tube of refrigerated pizza dough
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
10 ounces of mozzarella, cut into ¾-inch cubes, or 8 mozzarella sticks, quartered
Extra olive oil and butter for greasing the Dutch oven or skillet
Marinara sauce for dipping, warmed

At home in a food processor, combine garlic cloves, oregano, melted butter, olive oil, and salt until well mixed. Load into a container for transport to camp in the cooler. You could do this in camp without the food processor by just mincing the garlic and herbs by hand or using dried, minced garlic and dried oregano.

In camp, using a mixture of olive oil and butter, liberally grease a Dutch oven (if making these at home, you could use a cast-iron skillet).

On a flat, floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into a 9-by-9-inch square that’s a ¼ inch thick. Brush with the melted garlic-butter mixture and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 equal-sized squares. Place one piece of mozzarella or ½ of a stick (2 quartered pieces) into the middle of each piece of dough. Wrap the mozzarella up in the dough and seal the edges completely. In the Dutch oven or skillet, arrange all the balls, seam side down, so they’re touching. Brush each dough ball thoroughly with the garlic-butter mixture.

Bake in a 375°F oven, using 16 coals on the lid and 7 underneath, for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up. Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Serves about 5 as an appetizer, 3-4 as a main dish (because we can’t eat just 3 or 4)

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

Breakfast Catastrophe Italian Style

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Our Boy Scout troop’s annual pioneering weekend is typically cold and often rainy so I always plan a menu with hot and hearty meals when I’m cooking for the Scoutmasters.

For breakfast on Sunday, I wanted to make a breakfast casserole (aka catastrophe), but wanted to make something a little different than the usual ones I make. I decided to make a catastrophe with an Italian flair. I’m not Italian, but I should be. I love cooking, and eating, Italian.

I knew the Scoutmasters could handle heat so, instead of the usual country sausage, I used a hot, spicy Italian sausage. I added garlic, a red bell pepper, and I swapped out the usual shredded cheddar cheese for mozzarella.

On a chilly autumn morning, it was a hot, hearty breakfast that warmed our tummies.

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Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven or 9×13 casserole dish

Ingredients
1 pound Italian sausage (I prefer hot, but mild or sweet also work)
1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
6 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 (20 ounce) bag frozen hash browns, thawed
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3 thinly sliced green onions

Prep
Either on coals or on a propane stove, heat the Dutch oven and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and red pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes until cooked. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the sausage. Brown the sausage, crumbling with a spoon as it cooks. Add the hash browns and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and black pepper until combined. Then add them to the Dutch oven, and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Cover and move to coals. Bake in a 375°F oven, using 18 coals on the lid and 9 underneath, for 1 hour. Refresh coals as needed.

If making at home, combine everything in a 9×13 casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the top of the potatoes begin to slightly brown. Remove and let the casserole rest for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with green onions and serve!

Serves 8

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

Meatball Sub Pull-Aparts

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Let me just say right up front, this is crazy good! Okay, now that we have that out of the way, we can continue.

This is a warm, hearty meal that tastes amazing. From the rich and flavorful Italian meatballs and marinara sauce to the velvety, gooey mozzarella cheese to the fluffy and crunchy bits of French bread, this was so yummy! Serve it with a fresh green Italian or Caesar salad and you have a winner dinner. Everyone loved this.

It is super simple to make. It only has 5 ingredients and it bakes in about 30 minutes. It really is just assemble and bake. I think all my scouting followers out there will really like this one. Even a patrol of young scouts could make this easily.

This recipe calls for store-bought meatballs, jarred marinara, and refrigerated French bread or you could make your own from scratch. In camp, you could bake this in a 12-inch Dutch oven or, at home, you could use a 9×13 casserole dish.

Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven or 9×13 casserole dish, large bowl, large spoon for mixing and serving, knife, cutting board.

Ingredients
½ bag of Italian meatballs or about 30 golf-ball sized meatballs if you’re making them from scratch
1½ cups marinara sauce
2 cups mozzarella, grated
¼ cup Parmesan, grated
1 tube refrigerated French bread, sliced into medallions and then halved

Prep
If you’re looking for easy clean up, you could foil line your Dutch oven for this one. Spray the foil or the casserole dish with cooking spray. Start 25 coals in a chimney.

Unwrap the refrigerated French bread loaf and slice into medallions about ½-inch thick and then cut each medallion in half. In a large bowl, add the meatballs, marinara sauce, French bread bits, and about half of the mozzarella and toss together like a salad until everything is coated with the marinara sauce. Pour it all into the Dutch oven. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan on top.

Bake in a 350°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for about 30 minutes or until it’s brown and bubbly.

Serves 6-8

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

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