Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Dutch Oven

Welcome to another edition of Camping Gluten Free. It is my turn this week and I have a treat for you. Dutch ovens are considered standard camping gear for many people, myself included, and I wanted to share some easy updated recipes. We will just pretend that the pictures are over a fire or camp stove when they are really taken inside my camper. Here in Central Illinois we have been hot and dry for weeks, so there is a no burn order in effect until further notice. I was going to cook outside and get some lovely pictures for you but the wind kept blowing out the burner on my camp stove. So I cooked inside but it works out all the same.
My Dutch ovens are the old cast iron ones; one has a lid and the other does not. If you do not have a lid for your Dutch oven you can use foil unless you are baking. In these recipes I use the Dutch oven as a cooking vessel over open flame or on your camp stove. You can use a Dutch oven for baking and then you want enough coals for the top and bottom of your Dutch oven to create equal heat. Now the good stuff!

Breakfast scramble
What you need:
Dehydrated potatoes (dehydrated) or parboiled potatoes
Salt and Pepper

Chop the bacon into small pieces and saute with the onion until the bacon is crisp. Add the potatoes into the pan and cook till desired colored is reached. Make a hole in the center of the pan and add the eggs in. Scramble the eggs and mix everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is great the way it is or you can use it as a breakfast burrito stuffing.

Another idea is to use your freezer meals that are already made. This way you can pull them from the freezer and pack them straight into the cooler. As they thaw you can use them for the next meal and have more space in the cooler.
A great one from Angela is beef and butternut squash stew, this one is on my cooking rotation.
I also use my ground beef stroganoff recipe because it is an easy hearty meal.

Ground Beef Stroganoff
What you need:
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
This is what it looks like thawed.
3 T gluten free flour blend
1 1/2 c beef stock
2 tsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

When you serve:
1 cup sour cream (or dairy free alternative)
Noodles, Rice, or Potatoes


Brown the ground beef and onion in a large pot. When the ground beef is cooked through, remove the cooked ground beef and onion. Add the gluten free flour blend of choice and wisk to combine with the rendered fat left in the pan. Once the flour is mixed in smooth and is starting to bubble, slowly add the beef stock constantly stirring. It is important to stir well so you do not get lumps. With the beef stock added, add the garlic, Italian seasoning, red wine vinegar, the cooked ground beef and onion mixture to the pot. Here is where I cool the stroganoff base and freeze it.
To Serve:
Thaw the stroganoff and warm over medium low heat. While the stroganoff is warming cook desired noodles, rice or potatoes according to package directions. When warm stir in the sour cream (or dairy free alternative) and top with parsley when fully heated.

See how yummy it looks.

White Chicken Chili is another freezer recipe that works great in the Dutch oven.
 To make it extra special you can add the cornmeal dumplings that follow.
Chicken Chili with dumplings and cheese.

White Chicken Chili
What you need:

1 medium onion, chopped
1 4oz can of diced green chilies 
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups chicken broth
2 (15.5 ounce) cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken


In a large pot combine the oil, garlic, green chilies and onion and saute until the onion is soft. Next add the broth, beans, cilantro, lime juice, cumin and cooked chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. If freezing let cool and freeze in zip top bags or jars.

To Serve:
Thaw the white chicken chili and warm over medium low heat in a large pot. You can stir in sour cream, radishes, salsa or raw onion if desired. It is also wonderful with the cornmeal dumplings.

Cornmeal dumplings
What you need:

1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread mix
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water

Very stiff dough!

Add them in.
Mix together the cornbread mix and the salt in a large glass bowl. Carefully add in the boiling water and stir until a firm dough starts to come together. You will need to kneed the dough with your hands to work in the last of the cornbread mix. It will all absorb in to make a very stiff dough. Next take the dough and roll into quarter size balls. When you have all the dough rolled into balls carefully add them one at a time into the simmering chicken chili. Cover with a tight fighting lid and let cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Do not open the lid while they are cooking except to check how they are cooking after 15 minutes have passed. They make the chili nice and thick and round out the meal nicely.

All done simmering.

My Dutch oven will be making another appearance in August when I show you how to make campers doughnuts! What is your favorite topping?