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Stirrin' the Pot / Rest in Peace, my brother.
« Last post by Darren on June 09, 2023, 08:25:04 pm »
I know that this site does not get a lot of traffic. But for any of you who come to this site, I am saddened to tell you that my brother, DeShawn Smith, passed away in the early hours of the morning on May 8, 2023.

I am planning on keeping this online for those who wish to remember all of the good times they had with him cooking and learning about food and his favorite methods of cooking.
Main Dishes / Nacho Pot Pie
« Last post by DeShawn on October 24, 2021, 05:02:16 am »
This was the perfect meal to cook in a dutch oven on a cool, rainy fall day.

I got together with my friend Nathan and we tried this new recipe along with some cornbread and Butter Pecan Apple Crisp. Comfort food all around.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 (1 oz) packages Old El Paso taco seasoning
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 12 oz frozen corn
  • 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups tortilla chips
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Toppings for serving: sour cream, chopped tomatoes, sliced green onions, sliced olives, etc.

In a 12-inch dutch oven, brown hamburger and onion over a full spread of briquettes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Drain any excess fat. Add one package of taco seasoning and 1/3 cup water and cook and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the dutch oven and set aside.

Melt the butter in the same dutch oven. Add the remaining package of taco seasoning and stir until combined. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper, and cook and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the beef broth and milk and stir/whisk until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Stir in the reserved meat mixture, corn, and beans.

Top with tortilla chips and sprinkle cheese on top. Remove all but 5 briquettes from underneath the oven and top the oven with a full spread of briquettes. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted to your satisfaction.

Serve hot with toppings as desired.
Main Dishes / Country Style Ribs with Red German Cabbage
« Last post by DeShawn on March 10, 2020, 05:13:40 pm »
My wife's family is of German descent and I was introduced to German red cabbage at my first Sunday supper with her family nearly 30 years ago. I still love that sweet and sour flavor among the deep purple cabbage. This recipe allows the cabbage and the meat to cook together! It's delicious!

  • 2-3 pounds country style pork ribs
  • 1/2 lb bacon slices, diced
  • 1 head red cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a 12-inch dutch oven, brown bacon over a full spread of briquettes. Remove bacon from the dutch oven.

Season ribs generously with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in the bacon fat, working in batches to get a nice brown color. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the ribs are browning, mix cabbage, apple, water, brown sugar, vinegar, and bacon together in a large bowl.

Stir the cabbage mixture into the pan drippings. Lay the pork ribs on top of the cabbage.

Cover and bake with 10 briquettes bottom heat and 14 briquettes top heat for an hour or until the pork and cabbage are tender, refreshing briquettes as necessary.
Main Dishes / Hungarian Goulash
« Last post by DeShawn on August 05, 2018, 10:13:41 pm »
Previously, I had a recipe on this site called "Hungarian Goulash." Yesterday, I learned about authentic Hungarian goulash. I changed the name of the other recipe to "American Goulash."  :D

Hungarian goulash is a simple dish of meat and various vegetables with a base of onions and Hungarian sweet paprika. My friend Jeffrey, who lived in Hungary for a couple of years, pointed me to this recipe and provided me with the paprika, believing that this would work very well in a dutch oven. He was SO right.

Although I enjoy the Americanized version, the authentic Hungarian goulash is comfort food at its finest. It has a depth of flavor that hamburger in a tomato-y sauce will never have.

It's important to use imported Hungarian sweet paprika for this recipe. I was able to find it on Amazon. Click Here The "Pride of Szeged" is Jeffrey's preferred brand. While you're buying sweet paprika, you might consider buying a tin of hot paprika as well. People can sprinkle it on their own serving of goulash to give it some "kick."

  • 3 Tbsp pork lard or butter
  • 1 1/2 lbs yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup imported sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cut the beef into 1/2-inch cubes. The beef is diced smaller than you will find in beef stews. Dice the onions, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes as well.

Melt the lard or butter in a 12-inch dutch oven over a full spread of briquettes. Add the onions and cook until they are just beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the paprika.  Add the beef and garlic, return to the heat, and cook until the beef is no longer pink.

Add the peppers and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until they are just starting to soften. Add the carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, beef broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer with 12 briquettes bottom heat and 14-16 briquettes top heat for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add salt to taste.

Serve with hot paprika and/or crushed red pepper for heat and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Don't substitute green bell peppers for the red and yellow peppers in this recipe. They don't have the right flavor for this goulash.

Be careful not to scorch the paprika. The beef will release enough moisture to simmer without burning the paprika.

If you use a tougher cut of beef, the beef, onions, and paprika can be simmered alone for 40-60 minutes before adding the vegetables and continuing as above.
Main Dishes / Re: Curry Chicken Pot Pie
« Last post by DeShawn on June 14, 2018, 03:55:01 pm »
This chicken pot pie is probably my favorite chicken pot pie I've eaten. The first time I tried it was during a "camp comfort food" class I was teaching as part of the Community Education program at Utah Valley University. The little bit of curry adds a LOT of flavor. The crescent roll topping was good, but didn't reheat well at all. I'm going to try it again with biscuits for the topping. If that's better, I'll change the recipe.
Main Dishes / Unstuffed Pasta Shells
« Last post by DeShawn on June 08, 2018, 09:14:22 pm »
This is SO much easier than actually trying to stuff pasta shells and it tastes just as good! If you want to make it SUPER easy, do most of the preparation at home and show up with two gallon-sized ziplock bags--one with the pre-cooked pasta shells in the cheese mixture and the other with the pre-cooked meat sauce. When it's time to cook, spread the pre-cooked ingredients in the dutch oven in the order given in the instructions and bake! It will take a bit longer to cook because the ingredients will be cold, but the preparation time is almost nothing!

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 24-oz jar spaghetti sauce
  • 4 cups medium or large pasta shells, uncooked
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.

Heat a 12-inch dutch oven with 22-24 briquettes bottom heat. Brown the ground beef and drain. Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.

Add the pasta sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove half of the meat sauce from the dutch oven and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, ricotta, parmesan cheese, basil, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined. Stir in the cooked pasta shells.

Layer the pasta shell mixture on top of the meat sauce that remains in the dutch oven. Spread the reserved meat sauce over the pasta shell mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Cover and bake with 10 briquettes bottom heat and 14 briquettes top heat for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the meat sauce is bubbly. Sprinkle more fresh basil on top for garnish if desired.
Main Dishes / Curry Chicken Pot Pie
« Last post by DeShawn on June 08, 2018, 09:08:14 pm »
This is adapted from Alton Brown's curry chicken pot pie. I use crescent roll dough instead of puff pastry because puff pastry doesn't really like to puff in the steam filled interior of a camp dutch oven.

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 4 cups frozen vegetable mix, peas, carrots
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 package refrigerated crescent rolls

Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a 12-inch dutch oven with 22-24 briquettes bottom heat. Sauté the onion and celery until soft. Add 2 Tbsp of butter and once melted, add the flour and curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the milk and chicken broth and cook, stirring constantly, until boiling and thickened. Add the parsley, salt, and pepper. Add the frozen vegetables and the chicken and stir well.

Unroll the crescent roll dough and layer evenly on top of the chicken mixture.

Cover and bake with 10-12 briquettes bottom heat and 16-18 briquettes top heat for 30 minutes or until the crescent rolls are browned and the mixture is hot and bubbly.
Main Dishes / Graveyard Chicken
« Last post by DeShawn on April 30, 2018, 09:46:27 pm »
Graveyard chicken   

This is the original recipe from Nathan Mower. I realized I've become a little bit TOO snobbish about cream soups when I tried this with my modifications and it just wasn't nearly as good. So here it is, back in its unadulterated form, cream of chicken soup and all.

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can chicken gumbo soup
  • 1 soup can full of water
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 package Lipton onion soup mix
  • 3-4 lbs. chicken thighs and drumsticks (bone in for the full graveyard effect!)

Mix the soups, water, and rice in a 12-inch Dutch oven. Sprinkle half of the dry onion soup mix over the mixture. Press the chicken onto the mixture. Sprinkle the other half of the onion soup over the chicken. Cover and cook with 10 briquettes bottom heat and 14 briquettes top heat for one hour, or until the rice is tender and the chicken is done through.
Stirrin' the Pot / Re: Traveling with Dutch Ovens
« Last post by DeShawn on June 14, 2016, 04:52:34 am »
Good grief! I forgot to post that a couple of years ago, I took a dutch oven on a multi-day canoe trip down the Green River in Utah. We were who-knows-how-far from civilization, and yet we were feasting like kings. A hearty meal from a black pot tastes better and better the farther you get from the daily rat race.
Desserts / Death By Chocolate
« Last post by DeShawn on June 14, 2016, 04:47:57 am »
Wow. This is my new favorite chocolate dessert in a dutch oven. It rich, decadent, and pretty easy to put together. I modified the recipe a little bit--the original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules and a dash of cayenne pepper. I don't use coffee, so I omitted that, and I forgot the cayenne. Even without those two ingredients, this was killer.

The best part is the nice crunch of the heath bar on top. Gooey, chocolaty with a caramel-toffee crunch on top? Yes please!

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix.
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 small (3.9 oz) box chocolate fudge instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 jar (12-oz) hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 6 full-sized Heath bars, crushed

Mix together the cake mix, oil, eggs, and water. Stir in the instant pudding mix, half of the chocolate chips, and the crushed pecans.

Pour into a greased 12-inch dutch oven. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top of the unbaked mix. Cover and bake with 10 briquettes bottom heat and 14 briquettes top heat for 40 minutes or until the cake is set and springs back when touched lightly. Rotate the oven and lid 90 degrees in opposite directions every 10-15 minutes.

Remove the lid and let the cake cool for 5 minutes. While the cake is cooling, heat the hot fudge sauce until the sauce is runny. Poke holes in the top of the cake with chopsticks or with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour the hot fudge sauce onto the cake and spread it evenly. Sprinkle with the crushed Heath bars.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Serves 10.
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