Stargazer gave us authorization to use some of their photos and info. The images and their story is lifted off their website. We would like to extend a huge thank you to Stargazer’s Luke Trovato for corresponding with us and authorizing the use of their images and text.
Also today I placed an order for one of their skillets. We will have a future article to let you readers know how this all went. We also intend to do some cooking as soon as it arrives. We will be putting the cast iron through its paces.
I personally am drawn to the Stargazer brand Cast Iron due to the fact this is made in USA. Secondly I own numerous vintage skillets such as Griswold, BSR and the like. Vintage pieces from back when the cooking surfaces were smooth, compared to other rough modern Cast Iron Cookware.
I am very curious to test out this surface. As a member of an active Dutch Oven Cooking group I often cook in competition. There isn’t an event that goes by that we aren’t discussing Cast Iron. The cooking surface is often a topic. All of use have wondered why no one was producing smooth cast iron cookware like the “old days”. We also all want USA made.
I just hope they start producing some Dutch Ovens too.
Check back for the rest of our story. The Cooking and the Testing. Most importantly the tasting!
The Stargazer Story:
In the cast iron marketplace, we’re the new kid on the block. Stargazer Cast Iron was founded in 2015 by three old friends with a shared vision: creating the best cast iron cookware around.
It started with an obsession. Peter Huntley, professional designer and hobby cook, went searching for the perfect skillet and came up empty-handed. Dissatisfied with the options on the market, he turned to vintage cookware to find the quality he was looking for. After nearly a year of collecting, restoring, and cooking with vintage cast iron, he saw the untapped potential and decided it was time for something new. He created a unique cast iron skillet from the ground up: reimagined, redesigned, and revitalized. Huntley enlisted the help of two friends to bring the vision to life and Stargazer Cast Iron was born.
Our cookware is made using the same proven materials and manufacturing processes that were used over one hundred years ago, now aided by CNC machining for unrivaled precision. Our designs are practical and our quality is second to none. We believe we have created the finest cast iron skillet available today, or anytime for that matter.
Click here for their Website.
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I was tired of not having a level camp stove when using a picnic table. Fabricate a leveler. Here is a simple, relatively inexpensive solution. It uses common materials. If you have a welder and a hack saw this is a couple hour project.
The idea for this leveler has been rattling around for some time. You may have to alter this to accommodate your stove.
(4) Sections of 1 inch x 1/8 angle iron
(4) 3/8 Coupling Nuts
(4) 3/8 x 2 1/2 Elevator Bolts.
While I buy my steel at a steel supplier, it is available at Home Depot or Loews. Just be prepared to pay double at the big box stores.
4 pieces of appropriate length 1 inch by 1/8 angle is used. The ends are cut at 45° angles and the length is made 1/4 inch longer on the inside measurement, than the outside dimensions of your stove. That gives a little bit of play (1/8 inch all around) in case something is slightly off. Be sure to square up each corner before welding. Also gap all weld joints to create your exact dimensional length measurement, before welding. Depending on your stove you may have to add a middle support(s) using 1 x 1/8 strap.
My 4 pieces that create a rectangular leveler frame, are clamped to a welding table upside down. The bottom of the 45° seam is welded. The vertical corner seam is welded. (DO NOT WELD THE INSIDE OF THESE SEAMS)
When all four corners of the leveler are complete. Grind your welds to your finished preference. Clamp the rectangular frame down to your welding table, top side up.
Weld your “coupling nuts” to the sides flush with the front edge. End of nut should be flush with the table top (and the finished bottom of the frame) Grind welds if needed.
Finish paint with high temp flat black.
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I was pleasantly surprised to see Lodge is once again producing the 8 inch, 2 qt, L8C03, Camp Dutch Oven.
I have 3 of these smaller camp style Dutch Ovens. One unmarked, and 2 Lodge marked. I had picked all of them up in the past. New then, they were selling for around $39.00. Then Lodge started revamping their foundry and these were suddenly discontinued.
As with anything you can’t get, someone is willing to pay to secure one. At the highest I saw them new in the box, listed on eBay for $125.00.
These smaller Lodge are some of my most coveted pieces of cookware. I normally solo camp. They are perfect for that, or for two people. I would even stretch and say they would accommodate cooking for 4.
Try our lasagna recipe that works perfect and fills it to the brim.
Do you need to only bake a half dozen homemade biscuits? How about a small cake, or deep dish apple pie? The L8C03 handles it with less food waste and fewer charcoal briquettes. Less space and weight for your vehicles or small camping trailers.
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This past weekend (September 16, 2017) had us at Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada.
Having some great fun Camping and Dutch Oven Cooking. For the full story follow the link to the full article on this 2017 Dutch Oven Cook-off.
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Final preparations are going on for me today. Loading the trailer and taking inventory of camping gear and cooking utensils.
This coming weekend is the annual Cathedral Gorge Dutch Oven Cookoff (September 16th, 2017) Sponsored by the Nevada State Park and surrounding businesses. The weather is looking to be near perfect.
This cookoff is a big deal. At least for the competitions we normally attend. There are normally around 50 cooks, and some of those preparing multiple recipes. We have seen crowds of people (250+) showing up to taste, vote on their favorite, and just plain enjoy the day.
If you are in the area, be sure to come out and support the event. Enjoy the food, enter the raffle, and enjoy the beautiful Nevada State Park.
Cathedral Gorge State Park Website
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Monterey Chicken Wraps
Recipe and Images courtesy of : Rick Beach
Note: This is one of my personal recipes
These can be prepared in a cast iron skillet, Dutch Oven bottom pot, standard skillet, or a wok. This recipe makes 12. But only expect that to feed 3 people. Perhaps 4 if you have some sides. These make excellent appetizers when cut in half after frying them.
Fry bacon until very crispy, then crumble. Set aside.
Pour off the bacon grease and use the pan with the remaining stuck on bacon drippings to cook the chicken breast. Roll the raw breast in the Montreal Steak seasoning before starting to cook. Using medium high heat quick sear the seasoned breast on all sides. Once all sides seared, lower heat to medium low and cook covered. Turn occasionally for about 20 minutes but avoid drying it out. Once thoroughly cooked dice into small pea size cubes.
Toss the Chopped Tomatoes, Cilantro, Onions, and Garlic to combine. Then stir in the cooked and diced chicken, and cooked crumbled bacon.
Lay out an Egg Wrap and spoon about a 1/4 - 1/2 Cup (fill as much of the wrap that it will hold) of the combine Tomato and Chicken mixture onto a wrap. Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top of that. Start rolling/wrapping from a corner diagonally. About half way through the rolling, tuck the two side corners toward the middle of the roll. Continue rolling to seal the roll. Set on a clean surface with the tail of the wrap on the bottom to prevent unrolling of the egg roll.
In a wok, skillet or pan, cover the bottom with vegetable oil and bring up to temperature using medium high heat.
Place the egg rolls in the hot oil with the wrap tail down until that surface is golden brown. Rotate the egg roll with tongs and brown all surfaces. Once browned remove from the hot oil and place on absorbent paper towels to remove excess oil.
Ranch Dressing by itself makes a wonderful dipping sauce. If you want to ramp it up a bit stir in very small amounts of Sriracha Sauce, taste testing as you go, until you get your desired taste. (Remember many don't care for spicy hot).
Though this recipe makes 12 Rolls. You will find 4 will be required per person if this is all you are serving. A side of seasoned rice and a nice salad may stretch this to 2 per person. But they are kind of addictive and I doubt 2 per person will be enough.
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Recipe courtesy of Rick Beach
This is a great side dish. Or for use in other recipes that call for "Spanish Rice"
Add an addition of 1lb ground beef (browned) to be used as a main dish.
This recipe makes about 3 to 4 Cups of Spanish Rice.
Heat oil in deep skillet. Saute uncooked rice, onion, bell pepper, until rice is brown and onions tender. Add minced garlic toward the end. Stir in and don't burn the garlic.
Stir in water, & tomatoes. Stir in all seasonings. Simmer for about 30 minutes covered. Or until rice is cooked and liquid absorbed.
To use the basic Spanish Rice recipe as a main dish. Add 1 lb of browned ground beef, browned ground chicken, or browned ground turkey.
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Banana Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
Banana Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins (Recipe and Image courtesy: Rick Beach)
In medium bowl combine the oats and milk and set aside to allow liquid to absorb.
In large bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and whisk to combine. The Nutmeg, Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Flour, Salt, and Cinnamon.
Stir the melted butter and whisked egg into the milk and oats. Stir in the Smashed Bananas, then the Blueberries.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until well moistened.
Line muffin pan with paper cupcake/muffin liners. Spray papers with spray oil such as Pam. Fill muffin cups 3/4 Full. Bake in preheated oven 425°F for 15 minutes and passes the toothpick test.
While many of you have been enjoying camping away the summer months, some of us have been getting “cabin fever”.
Most of the country gets “cabin fever” when cooped up during the winter months. Ironically those of us that live and camp in the desert southwest mostly “hole” up the hot summer months. Then start camping as the summer heat starts to wane into cooler temperature of the approaching Fall season.
So for some of us it is time to dust off the waffle dog maker, air out the sleeping bags and tents, and start prepping for prime camping season.
Does anyone have any tried and true recipes for use in a waffle dog maker? I need one for Corn Dogs, and another for Waffle Sausages.
Email us at : email@example.comWe will list your recipe(s) and credit your name.
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It’s nearly that time of year again. Camping and Dutch Oven Cooking Competition at Cathedral Gorge State Park near Panaca, Nevada.
Link to the official State Park information
Actual competition cooking is on Saturday September 16, 2017
A group of us camper/Dutch Oven cooks have been attending this event for years. The rangers at this State Park make this the best cooking competition we have ever competed in. Aside from the awesome prizes the rangers solicit from supporting businesses, they just make this plain fun.
This is not IDOS sanctioned and the rules are lax. Just plain old fun! Be prepared to come up against a lot of very good cooks. The competition is tough!
Be prepared to arrive early and to stay until after dark.
Even if you don’t participate in cooking. The whole day can be taken up hiking early in the morning, then wandering around watching the cooks prepare the food. Judging and serving food to the public, is early evening.
Buy your raffles tickets and take a chance on winning prizes and supporting a great event.
Many of us start arriving Thursday and Friday to also spend a few days camping. Sites are first come first served. Though the rangers have always made room for everyone even if it means “dry camping” off the edge of the pavement near the picnic area.
This time of year expect warm days and cool nights. The Milky-way will blanket you in the sky above. The coyote’s will sing you to sleep at night.
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