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Desserts / Country Apple Dumplings
« Last post by DeShawn on November 11, 2014, 09:56:24 am »
Hal Shearer contributed this recipe. He made it on Halloween for us at work. We didn't know if we should call these Apple Dewmplings or Mountain Dewmplings or what. This is simple and quite good.

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
  • 2 10-oz cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 12 fluid ounces Mountain Dew

Cut each apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in a 12-inch dutch oven.
Melt the butter and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew over the dumplings.
Bake with 10 briquettes bottom heat and 14-16 briquettes top heat for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Desserts / Turtle Cake
« Last post by DeShawn on November 07, 2014, 11:08:37 pm »
This is a great way to dress up a chocolate cake mix. It's rich moist, and delicious.

  • 1 18.25-ounce German Chocolate Cake Mix,
  • 14 oz individually-wrapped caramels
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 1-oz squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk

Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions. Pour a little less than half of the prepared cake mix into a well-oiled 12-inch dutch oven. Bake with 6-7 briquettes bottom heat and 14 briquettes top heat for about 15 minutes or until the top of the cake appears to be set.

While the cake is baking, stack a 10-inch dutch oven on top of the 12-inch oven. Add the caramels, evaporated milk, and 3/4 cup butter and stir until the caramels are melted and the mixture is well-blended.

Remove the 12-inch dutch oven from the heat and remove the lid from the 12-inch oven, retaining the briquettes in place on the lid. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and chopped pecans over the top of the cake. Pour the caramel mixture from the 10-inch dutch oven over the pecans and chocolate chips. Spread the remaining cake mix over the top of the caramel mixture. Place the lid back on the 12-inch dutch oven and continue baking for 20 minutes or until the cake is fully baked and springs back when lightly touched. Remove the oven from the heat and let cool with the lid off (or ajar if you're outdoors) while preparing the frosting.

To make the frosting, wipe the 10-inch oven clean with a paper towel. Place over a few briquettes and add the 2 Tablespoons butter and the unsweetened chocolate.  Stir until they are melted. Remove from the heat and add the corn syrup, vanilla, confectioner's sugar and milk. Mix until smooth.
Frost the top of the cake with the frosting and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Stirrin' the Pot / New York Times on Briquettes
« Last post by DeShawn on September 29, 2014, 07:30:23 am »
It's a good read.

I had always thought Henry Ford had invented charcoal briquettes, but apparently, he got the idea from the inventor, a scientist at the University of Oregon.
Stirrin' the Pot / DeShawn DOG
« Last post by DeShawn on September 21, 2014, 12:12:14 pm »
Yesterday was fun. I invited four other cast iron cooks to join me in the first ever DeShawn DOG. It will happen again. I'm keeping them small and low-key for now. Maybe I'll get brave enough to invite more participants in the future. Two of the cooks couldn't come, so we ended up with three of us who cooked five dishes, and all of them turned out very well.

Additionally, I re-seasoned my 12-inch deep dutch oven, which now has a deep black patina that is better than the one it had when I pulled it out of the box. l love seasoning cast iron on my grill outdoors. It works great and it doesn't smell up the whole house!
Tips and Tricks / Re: Cleaning a Dutch Oven
« Last post by DeShawn on September 21, 2014, 12:05:47 pm »
I'm pretty sure that I've been leaving too much oil on my ovens when I put them away. Not a LOT too much, but too much nonetheless.

This year, I have acquired two new Lodge cast iron skillets, and I'm been having a ball cooking with them indoors. We didn't have anywhere to store these two new pieces of "cast iron furniture" as Mary Ball Washington called them. I bought an Enclume rack (  to hang them on and I installed it in my pantry high above the door. It was wasted space anyway.

Then my wife noticed a drip or two on the pantry floor. Since then, when re-seasoning my cast iron skillets for storage, I'll clean them, wipe them with vegetable oil, and then I'll use dray paper towels to wipe off as much oil as I can. I've noticed that the seasoning on my skillets is becoming harder and smoother--a definite sign that I'm doing something right.

I believe that by leaving a tiny bit too much oil on my dutch ovens, I'm not encouraging this same harder, smoother patina to form. I'm not leaving enough oil to pool, but my ovens are a bit too shiny, and sometimes, had I not left a paper towel in the bottom of the oven, oil might have pooled. So recently, I've been doing the same thing to my dutch ovens that I have with my skillets, and I believe it's made a difference.
Main Dishes / Beef and Bean Chili
« Last post by DeShawn on September 19, 2014, 10:27:44 am »
Another chili recipe for your fall tailgating pleasure.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 lbs stew beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 16-oz cans hot chili beans
  • 2 16-oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 16-oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 6-oz can Italian seasoned tomato paste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp crushed oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat olive oil in a 12-inch dutch oven over a full spread of briquettes until it shimmers. Add half of the stew meat and sear until it is dark brown on all sides. Remove and brown the other half of the stew meat. Remove some of the briquettes if the oven is running too hot.

Return all of the meat to the oven and add the diced onion. Cook and stir until the onion begins to be translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients to the dutch oven and stir well.

Cover and simmer with 5-6 briquettes bottom heat and 8-10 briquettes top heat for 3-4 hours, refreshing briquettes every hour.

Serve with sour cream, grated cheese, freshly chopped onions, and any other desired toppings.
Main Dishes / Vegan Quinoa and Black Bean Chili
« Last post by DeShawn on August 18, 2014, 08:53:39 pm »
I know, I know. Vegan food in a dutch oven?? When I was cooking for a group at work, I felt bad that one team member could never join in, so I decided to find a recipe that this associate could eat. I cooked a vegan dish in my dutch oven and not only did the world NOT come to an end, but it was also very delicious!

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 19-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil over a full spread of briquettes in a 10-inch dutch oven. Cover and cook with 6 briquettes bottom heat and 10 briquettes top heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed. Set aside. (The quinoa can be pre-cooked and refrigerated until ready to use.)

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch dutch oven over 18-20 briquettes until the vegetable oil shimmers. Stir in the onion and saute until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook and stir about 1 minute to release the flavors. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, zucchini, jalapeno pepper, chipotle peppers, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook with 8 briquettes bottom heat and 10 briquettes top heat for 20 minutes.

Stir in the reserved quinoa and corn. Cook until the corn is heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro to serve.

"Vegan Chili"

Serves 8.
Main Dishes / Re: Sweet Onion Brisket
« Last post by DeShawn on July 27, 2014, 07:46:38 pm »
I made this for dinner tonight. I didn't have time to babysit charcoal all day today, so I browned the brisket in my cast iron skillet on the stove top, then put the brisket in my dutch oven, then put the dutch oven in my oven at about 200 degrees for a good chunk of the day. Then, about 2 hours before dinner, I added all of the other ingredients and finished this on charcoal.

It. Was. Amazing.

Make this. If you need to grow your own cow to do so, you still need to make this. For the love of all that is culinary, MAKE THIS.

It's that good.
Desserts / Re: S'More Cookie Bars
« Last post by DeShawn on July 26, 2014, 10:18:19 am »
For a 10-inch oven, because sometimes, a 12-inch oven just makes a little too much:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup caramel bits (or butterscotch chips)
  • 2/3 cup mini marshmallows
  • 2/3 of a 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

Prepare as directed above, using 8 briquettes bottom heat and 12 briquettes top heat.
Desserts / Re: Caramel Berry Peach Cobbler
« Last post by Darren on July 20, 2014, 01:33:37 pm »
Well, it's been a while, but I believe it was around 60 minutes. I would check around 40-45 minutes in to be sure. If it's close, monitor it. If it's still pretty liquid, then let it sit for 10-15 more.

Good luck - let me know how it turns out!

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