PERFECT SIZE FOR TWO

How many of you have multiple pieces of Cast Iron Cookware? I certainly have way too big of a collection. Probably borderline hoarder? Actually, no “probably” about it. LOL!

From Skillets to Dutch Ovens, to other iron in between. They are meant to be used and not just sit on the shelf. I try to put many of them to real use from time to time.

Often times I find myself returning to my #8 Cast Iron Dutch Ovens. I have three of the more modern Lodge in this size.

I find them perfectly sized when cooking for two people….perhaps even large enough for four depending on what you cook or bake. No need to waste expensive charcoal. Most things can be baked or cooked with 15-16 properly arranged briquets.

See our thoughts on Heat Management or Coal Counting.

I find the 8 inch Dutch Ovens especially ideal for camping. While their larger cousins are great for competition cooking, large pot-luck’s, or cooking/baking for more people or a larger than two family. My go to Dutch Oven for camping trips is my 8 inch. The smaller size makes their weight insignificant.

These are great for a small batch of morning biscuits or pastries. Able to produce those hot and fresh goodies while waking up to some fresh coffee. If you want a full blown breakfast, bake up a Dutch Oven Mountain Man Breakfast.

Our Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Our Homemade Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

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Cinnamon Rolls from scratch

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Cinnamon Rolls from scratch

Recipe & Photos: Rick Beach

Sweet Dough Recipe (Makes 24 or a Double batch)
You can bake all or Refrigerate or Freeze half this batch)
Or cut this recipe in half
For this Double batch you need (2) 11x15 glass baking dishes or (2) 12 inch Dutch Ovens

Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes

Servings
Rolls


Ingredients

Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes

Servings
Rolls


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Making the Dough

  2. Bring egg to room temperature by placing it in a bowl of warm water while getting ingredients together.

  3. Never mix your salt & yeast together in the liquids. Doing so will kill your yeast.

  4. In its own large bowl whisk together 4 of the 4 1/2 Cups of Flour and the salt. Set this Flour and salt mix aside. (Reserve the 1/2 cup of plain flour)

  5. In a second bowl add the Warm Milk. The non-technical way of checking the temperature is to test on your wrist. Make it baby bottle warm. If you are the type that needs to use a thermometer the temperature should be on the yeast container, or you can find it on line. Many places state 110-115°F. Whisk Warm Milk, Agave, and Yeast together. Allow that is sit about 10-15 minutes to let the yeast "bloom".

  6. Next crack the room temperature warmed raw egg into a third bowl and whisk well. Once well whisked, slowly pour the whisked egg into the Milk, Agave, Yeast mixture while whisking it in.

  7. Lastly whisk the melted butter into the Milk mixture.

  8. In a large bowl mix half the flour salt mix with the entire warmed milk yeast mixture. At this point you can use an electric mixer to help the dough along. This will be thin enough since only half the flour mixture is being blended in this step. You can also use the old fashion way of mixing it in the bowl by hand. A Kitchenaid with a dough hook is even better.

  9. Or a Bread machine with the "Dough only option" could be used.

  10. Using a bread machine you could set it to "Dough" and "Quick Bread" (since we are using rapid rise yeast) and dump all the Flour/Salt mix, and the mixed liquids together, turn the machine on, and walk away. Most machines that have a program cycle for quick dough will produce the dough in about 45 minutes. Complete with the first "raise". Ready to roll out and add the filling. Then raise the 2nd time.

  11. For those using a more traditional methods read on.

  12. Once the really thin mixture (Half the flour salt and all the liquids) have been mixed, slowly start adding the remaining flour/salt mix Toward the end, use that reserves ½ cup of the flour and adjust dough to proper consistency.

  13. Kneading the Dough

  14. Turn out on a floured board and knead and fold until proper dough consistency. Not sticky. And not dry and stiff. But stretchy and beginning to show signs of air bubbles. Some describe it as soft as a baby's bare bottom. The dough in this stage needs to be very well kneaded. It takes some time and work if doing it by hand.

  15. First "Rise"

  16. Coat the well kneaded dough lightly with oil or butter (Pam or spray cooking oil is easiest), place in large warm raising bowl (a warmed heavy/thick glass or ceramic bowl works best). Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place for about 45 minutes. Dough should double. Punch down.

  17. Adding the Sugar & Cinnamon Filling

  18. Cut dough in half and work one half of the dough at a time to make rolls. On a floured board roll out dough, or work it by hand to about ¼ - ½ inch thick, in a rectangle about 16X20 inches. Spread with half the soft butter. Sprinkle with half the dough filling sugar mixture. Roll the dough up long ways so you have a log 20 inches long. Pinch the seam the length of the log. Slice across the log to make 12 equally wide rolls. Place the rolls in a warmed greased 11x15 baking dish. Or a greased warmed 12 inch Dutch Oven. Remember this is a double batch so you will need two baking dishes or two Dutch Ovens. Spray the tops lightly with Pam or other spray cooking oil.

  19. Second "Rise"Cover and keep in warm area for about 45-60 minutes or until doubled.

  20. Preheat oven to 350° and Bake for 15-20 minutes are until slightly golden brown on the top. Properly baked they are soft but not under cooked and doughy. With a Dutch Oven and coals for 350° start checking them at 15 minutes, and then every 5 minutes until done.

  21. Mix up the icing while the rolls are baking. Let rolls cool slightly, but while still warm spread half the mixture over each half batch of rolls.


Recipe Notes


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Dutch Oven Cook-Off Mormon Fort 2020

Calling all Cooks, eaters, and spectators to visit the Mormon Fort.

If you are a Las Vegas visitor. Or new to the area. Many never realize this State Park is in the center of Las Vegas. There is a ton of frontier history to go along with this fun cooking and eating event.

This is a preliminary post so that you may mark your 2020 Calendars.

This State Park, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Has scheduled their 2020 Dutch Oven Cook-off for Saturday March, 28, 2020.

Check back often for additional detail.

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WHITE BREAD Old Fashion (Agave & Coconut Milk)

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WHITE BREAD Old Fashion (Agave & Coconut)

The taste of this bread is that of old fashioned white bread. There is no coconut taste in the finished bread. Organic Blue Agave is used since it is a low Hypoglycemic organic sweetener. A friend (Kathleen Leblanc) gave me a bread recipe using Agave Syrup in place of sugar. Starting my quest of using Agave.

The version shown here is my tweaked version to suit my tastes. I use Coconut Milk rather than regular milk , other milks, or water.

Adding extra Agave to sweeten the dough and this also makes excellent Cinnamon Roll dough.

I often bake this in a Dutch Oven. Free form loaves could be used. Or small loaf pans. Use a large, tall, Dutch Oven and coals for 375°. I prefer to use one standard bread loaf pan. I place a wire rack in the Dutch Oven to elevate the loaf pan slightly.

Prep Time 90 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Passive Time 5 Minutes

Servings
Loaf


Ingredients

Prep Time 90 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Passive Time 5 Minutes

Servings
Loaf


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. SET BREAD MACHINE to “Quick”, “Dough” Start so pre-heat is going.

  2. PLACE Flour in bread machine. Make a hole in the flour pile with your finger (Volcano looking) and pour the salt into the hole in the flour, then cover the hole.

  3. COMBINE in a separate bowl the Warm Coconut Milk, warm Agave, and Yeast. Whisk and allow to "grow" 5 to 15 minutes.

  4. COMBINE in yet another separate bowl the whisked warm raw Egg, and melted but only warmed Butter. Whisk to combine. {DO NOT heat the butter so hot, it cooks the egg when they are combined)

  5. COMBINE the Milk/Agave/Yeast mixture with the Egg/Butter mixture and whisk to combine all the liquids.

  6. POUR combined liquid mixture gently around the edges of the flour/salt volcano in the bread machine.

    Let the bread machine starting running through Quick, Dough, cycle (Mix & Rise normally about 45 Minutes) This is normally a manual override setting on most bread machines. (A mixer and dough hook could be used. Or the old fashioned method of kneading on a bread board.

  7. After the machine runs through its dough cycle ( about 45 minutes). Pull the dough out and place on a floured bread board. Knead and add extra flour if needed to get to proper consistency (just beyond sticky). Stretch and pat dough to about 1 in thick. Then Roll up and pinch seal the long seam, and tuck the two ends under to form your loaf. Pinch sealing the fold under also.

  8. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F. Grease Bread Pans. The warmed stove top will become the area to raise the loaves. Put a thin layer of olive oil on all exposed surfaces of your dough loaf. Place the dough loaf in your greased bread pan with the sealed edges down. Cover the loaf/pan with a floured towel and place on your warm stove top. Just not directly above any oven vent that may get overly hot.

  9. Let the loaf raise until doubled. About 45 minutes.

  10. Gently place the raised loaf in the preheated 375° oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. When finished baked loaf is tapped, it sounds kind of hollow if everything went well.

  11. While hot remove from the loaf pan. Carefully to avoid collapsing the top. For a soft crust rub butter on all surfaces of the loaf while still hot.

    Cover with a towel until cooled. Once cooled completely. The loaf can be sealed in a bread bag.


Recipe Notes

You can make the dough without using a bread machine using traditional methods and arm power.


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SUN DRIED TOMATO Topping for fish

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SUN DRIED TOMATO

Recipe & Photo Submitted by: Rick Beach

Enough for 2 pieces of freshly Grilled Salmon (Salt & Pepper to taste) Great on grilled Swordfish too. Multiply as needed.

Servings
Servings


Ingredients

Servings
Servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Using a Non Stick frying/saute pan heat oil on medium high

  2. Add and quickly saute the Celery and Garlic (stir constantly to avoid burning-Don't let Garlic turn dark)

  3. Add all the remaining ingredients except the Grated Parmesan Cheese & Chopped Basil leaves

  4. Hold the Parmesan Cheese & Chopped Basil leaves until the end.

  5. Continue cooking the tomato ingredients on medium high heat, constantly stirring and folding over until liquid is gone. Blackened in places is perfect....but don't over do it. Cook all the liquid out of the mixture until it is thick enough to pile and not flatten out or leach liquid.

  6. Just prior to serving on freshly grilled salmon, add the Grated Parmesan Cheese & Chopped Fresh Basil. Keep over heat and stir into the mixture for about 1 minute to wilt the chopped Basil. Immediately pile a generous portion on each serving of freshly grilled Salmon. Top with a fresh sprig of Basil


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SALMON Cedar Plank Grilled


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SALMON Cedar Plank Grilled
Recipe and Photo submitted by Rick Beach Image ©2013 Rick Beach This is a family favorite. Cedar "Planked" Salmon. Also see our favorite Sun Dried Tomato & Basil topping recipe. Don't wait for summer to be over before you try this recipe. Though cedar is what we prefer, other species of wood are available. We use Cedar specifically sold for cooking on. We find ours at Home Depot in the BBQ area. While some cooks write you can reuse the boards, we never-ever do. In some places the planks are only available seasonally. Don't try native wood or wood that may have been exposed to chemicals. It's worth the price to pay to get what is specifically made for this. This recipe takes advanced prep. The planks need soaked in water for a minimum of 1 hour. I often times soak them for 3+ hours or overnight. Use a rectangular glass casserole dish and fill high enough with water to completely submerge the planks. Fill a large glass or glass measuring cup with water. Place the filled glass or glasses on top of the planks to weigh them down enough to stay submerged. I use a 3 burner BBQ grill with a lid. These can be done on any BBQ grill, charcoal grill, or a campfire bed of coals as long as you can cover them to retain the heat and cook at a temperature around 375°. The whole concept is you need to try it and get used to your own cooking method. With the 3 burner arrangement I turn on all burners to high to pre-heat. Then I turn the center to low and the 2 ends to medium high. My under the lid temps range from 350° to 400° The soaked planks with the Salmon are placed over the center (lower heat). It is common for the planks to smoke and even burn around the edge some. I keep a spray bottle of water handy and check at 10 minutes, and 15 minutes. I spray soak the edges that might catch fire. Keep the spray water off the fillets. (My total grilling time on my grill is perfect at 20 minutes)
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Make cross cut knife cuts about 1/4 the way through the filets, cutting the slice at 45°
  2. Place the fillet in a flat glass dish. Mix all the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl (Holding the lemon slices in reserve to grill). Pour half the mixture on the fillet and rub it into the cut marks. Get some of the garlic and dill into those cuts. Then pour the remaining mixture over the fillet and gently lift the fillet to allow the bottom to get coated with the Olive oil mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and Marinate in the fridge a minimum of 1 hour.
  3. Preheat your grill as previously mentioned.
  4. Place the marinated Fillet on the water soaked Cedar planks. Place the planks in the center of the grill and cover. At 10 minutes, check and spray soak any part of the plank that may have flared up. Check again at 15. At the total of 15 minutes your fillet may be done. Mine takes 20 minutes. Don't forget to start grilling your lemon slices about 5 minutes before done time. Flip the lemon slices once to get grill marks on both sides.
  5. Those with a cooler grill may take longer. Don't overcook! There should be juice that starts bubbling out the top of the fillet. When that juice turns white (meaning the top heat cooked the juice bubbling out) the fillet is normally cooked to perfection. But again...you may have to try this once for yourself before attempting to impress your friends. Know your grill. They will remember the taste and ask you when you will be doing this one again!
  6. The last 5 minutes of cook time brush the lemon slices with olive oil. Place on hot grill to get good grill marks. Serve as a garnish with the final grilled salmon
  7. Optionally Top with our favorite Sun Dried Tomato and Basil topping.
  8. Send us some pictures of yours, or let us know how you like this recipe! Thanks and happy grilling!
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OCTO-PIE or Octopus Blueberry Pie


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OCTO-PIE or Octopus Blueberry Pie
I wish I could take credit for this idea, or even the name someone pegged this with. Both were found floating around on Facebook. I can only take credit for baking one of these in a Dutch Oven using charcoal. For all I know that has already been done. The pie I happened to see before attempting this only had a photo and no recipe. So I set off to try and produce the pie. I also wanted my own photo of the trophy…dish… in this case. Blueberries were used to create the desired contrast for the photo. Any fruit pie would work. The one I saw, I assume had used blueberries for the eyes. I happened to have a partial left over jar of Maraschino Cherries. The remainder of a jar left over from baking a Pineapple upside down cake in a Dutch Oven. The recipe I provide here was done in a Dutch Oven as well. This pie was baked in a glass 9 inch pie dish, raised up off the bottom of a 12 inch, deep style, Cast Iron Dutch oven, via an inverted second pie tin. Several layers of aluminum foil were put in on top of the pie tin prior to placing the glass pie plate containing the raw pie. The foil left long enough to go up the sides. The foil can be folded over in case the top starts browning too fast, but is mostly to assist in lifting out the pie once baking is complete. Enough coals to create 400° heat. In our case, 9 coals on the bottom, and 19 on the top lid. All coals arranged at the far perimeter of the bottom, and the lid.
Course DESSERT, PASTRY
Prep Time 30 Minutes
Cook Time 40 Minutes
Passive Time 1 Hour
Servings
Pie
Ingredients
Pie (Crust & Filling)
Egg Wash
Course DESSERT, PASTRY
Prep Time 30 Minutes
Cook Time 40 Minutes
Passive Time 1 Hour
Servings
Pie
Ingredients
Pie (Crust & Filling)
Egg Wash
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat Dutch Oven or Kitchen Oven to 400°
  2. Brush both sides of one uncooked pie crust with the egg wash mixture. Lightly grease Pie plate. Place the one Pie crust in the pie plate, up the sides, and trim off excess. (Save all trimmed pieces)
  3. Spread the Pie filling evenly over the bottom crust. Next spread the fresh blueberries over the filling (remember to save back 2 for the eyes, and about 10 for the brains 🙁 . If you are using Cherries for the eyes and brains, spread all the fresh blueberries on the filling.
  4. Brush both sides of the second uncooked pie crust and lay out on cutting board. Cut an upper main body with short tentacles. Cut a 2nd main body without tentacles. Using these dough 2 parts, sandwich cherries (or some of the fresh blueberries) to in effect become brains, as well as creating fill to form a raised 3D head. Seal the bottom dough to the top dough around the edge using the egg white solution. The tentacle half, is the top. Save back 2 cherries or 2 fresh blueberries to create the eyes. With a circle of dough larger than the cherry/blueberry fold the dough over the berry and lightly pinch to create an eye. Use egg wash to attach these eyes to the head. Keep this whole head/eye unit on the cutting board.
  5. Using other dough scraps, cut long tentacles, and snip along one long side (Or use pinking shears). Arrange these with a twist to make interesting looking Octopus tentacles that start somewhere in the, to be, head area. Extend them down to the very edge of the pie surface. Once those legs are in place use a spatula to gently lift head unit off the cutting board and into position on the pie. The head should cover the upper ends of the in place tentacles.
  6. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes and then check the browning. Cover with foil if excessive browning of the upper crust is occurring. Then bake another 10 minutes for a total bake time of 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Oh yeah!!
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A Biscuit kind of morning

Some cold mornings you just have to reach for the buttermilk, real butter, and just be Bad!

Real old fashioned biscuit making is a lost art in many families. A generation away it was common. “Canned” biscuits are something more recent.

If you have never had real homemade biscuits you are really missing a delightful breakfast addition. Fresh and warm just out of your oven, they can’t be beat.

Its even more fun if you have vintage biscuit cutters and bake these in a cast iron Dutch Oven using charcoal or wood coals.

Click this Link for Recipe and helpful techniques.

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