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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

yet another use for the cast iron loaf pan

I discovered yet another use for the cast iron loaf pan.

Have you ever had a frozen boneless turkey roast? The kind that comes in an aluminum loaf pan, and cooks in its own gravy.

It's recommended you put it on a baking sheet, so the gravy doesn't spill over in the oven.

Last night I found that it slips right into a cast iron loaf pan, like a glove.

Not to mention because of the heat retention, it will cook slightly faster that way.


Monday, March 28, 2011

I entered a contest!

As if I need any more cast iron.

There's a contest going on right now on facebook: Whoever submits the best recipe for a camp oven, wins a free 6 quart camp oven.

The recipe must include carrots.

I decided to enter the contest with the following recipe, modified from a recipe I posted last october:

Heat up your camp oven over coals. Melt 2 tbsp butter.

Brown slices of flank steak in the butter.

Add canned potatoes and carrots. You can use raw cut up potatoes and carrots, but it will take longer to cook. You can also add mushrooms.

Mix 1 or 2 cans of cream of onion soup in milk, and pour over.

Put the lid on, put the coals on top and simmer for a few hours until done.

I don't know if I'll win or not, but if I do, I'll have another camp oven.

***UPDATE: here was the winning recipe:

Meatloaf Flower Dinner
4 lbs. extra lean ground beef 1 tsp. oregano
1 large yellow onion; diced 1 tsp. rosemary
2 cups bread cubes 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup milk 1/8 tsp. cumin
3 eggs 2 tsp. salt
1 small carrot; shredded 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup catsup 6-8 carrots
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese 6 medium potatoes
2 tsp. thyme 10-20 asparagus spears
2 tsp. marjoram additional catsup as needed

In a small bowl add bread cubes and pack down. Add milk to bread cubes and allow to absorb.

To a large mixing bowl add beef, onions, bread and milk, eggs, grated carrot, catsup, cheese, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly. Place mixture in a 12" deep Dutch oven and spread it into a ring against the sides of the oven leaving a cavity in the center for vegetables. Cover the top of the meatloaf ring evenly with catsup.

Cut the carrots into halves lengthwise and the potatoes into quarters lengthwise. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus. Line the inside of the mealoaf ring with carrot halves. Inside the carrots stand potato quarters in a ring. Stand the asparagus spears in the center.

Roast using 12-14 briquettes top and bottom for 90 minutes. Rotate the Dutch oven and lid every 15 minutes.

an experimental chicken breast recipe

As I've said before, chicken breasts aren't my favorite thing.

Tonight I had two more to use up, so I tried an experimental recipe: marinated in worcestershire sauce, onion powder and garlic powder.

Hey, it works for steak, so why not chicken?

Put them in a skillet, with a lid so they wouldn't dry out in the oven.

Baked at 325 until done.

It was pretty good... for chicken breast.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Can crescent rolls be baked in a vienna bread pan?

This is a vienna bread pan.

Vienna bread pans are used for making... vienna bread!

I wondered if I could make crescent rolls (you know, the kind that come in a can) in the vienna bread pan.

Why? Can't you just use a cookie sheet?

Well, yes, but the vienna bread pan is specially shaped for making vienna rolls, which are very similar to crescent rolls.

The shape allows for better air circulation, than just laying them flat on a cookie sheet.

So I tried it tonight, and was happy with the results. They were rounded on the bottom instead of flat, and didn't overcook on the bottom.

Granted, the rolls were straight instead of curved, but who cares?

I've never actually made vienna bread. One day I will, I promise.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Do a little number on your chicken tonight

Chicken breasts aren't my favorite thing, but they are easy.

So I'm always looking for different ways to flavor them.

This time, I marinated them with Heinz 57 sauce.

Baked in the oven at 325 on a cast iron griddle.

Yes, it was that easy.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

my first experience with enameled cast iron

Pictured above is an enameled cast iron pot.

I had written this article comparing enameled cast iron to regular cast iron.

Today was my first time using an enameled pot; I finally found one cheap enough to justify trying out.

I used it to slow cook beef brisket in the oven.

One thing I will say: It was fairly convenient to be able to put the pot directly into the fridge for overnight storage.

Usually I transfer the food to a bowl; You shouldn't store food overnight in regular cast iron.

Then the next day, I didn't have to transfer food from the bowl back into the pot, for reheating in the oven; It went directly from the refrigerator to the oven.

So, that did skip a few steps, since I didn't have to wash the pot or the bowl either.

I still stand by my regular cast iron, but I can see how enameled can be more convenient.