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Easy Delicious Dutch Oven Burritos May 24, 2010

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

We had a family in my former pack that were some of the nicest people you could meet. Along with being wonderful people, they were awesome outdoor cooks! They were so good that I would do whatever I could to make sure my campsite was next to theirs, so I could mooch food. And yes, it got so bad that I even abused my position as Outdoors Chair to get my campsite next to their campsite. I’m not proud of it, but I’d do it again! We would exchange food when we camped, but I have a feeling they got the short end of the deal, as their food was so much better than my cooking.

One of my favorite recipes they made was their Easy Dutch Oven Burritos. This recipe was so easy to make, and tasted so, so good. I am so glad they gave this recipe to me! It’s so good, in fact, that we make it at home (we half the recipe listed below).

The recipe below will serve around 10 – 12, making 20 – 22 burritos (depending on how much you stuff them). A 10″ or 12″ Dutch oven would work for this recipe.

  • Ingredients
  • 1lb bulk sausage
  • 1lb ground beef
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 medium onions (sliced fine)
  • 1 bell pepper (sliced)
  • 2 cans pinto or black beans (drained)
  • 2 small cans chicken broth
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 3 cups (1 small box) Minute Rice (white or brown)
  • Vegetable oil (a couple of tablespoons)
  • 20 – 22 flour tortillas
  • Shredded cheese
  • Your favorite salsa
  • Optional: sliced avocado and cilantro

If you have a legless Dutch oven like I do, you can do this on your stove. Or you can prepare around 9 to 10 coals and do this in your Dutch oven stand (and have a few extra coals ready if needed). You can even cook this on a small stock pot on your stove – but where’s the fun in that :-)

Spread out a little oil in the bottom of your hot Dutch oven. Add the onion and sweat them until they are translucent. Add the meat and a pinch or two of salt and chop/crumble the meat with your spoon and brown the meat, stirring as needed. As the meat is just about finished, add the bell peppers. If your beef or sausage produces a lot of juice, you can use some tongs and paper towels to sop up some of this (this isn’t required, though).

When the meat is cooked add the beans, chicken broth, taco seasoning, and the corn. Bring to a high simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (add a few more coals if you’re not getting a good simmer). After 5 minutes of simmering, stir in the rice, cover with the lid, and remove from heat. Let sit around 10 minutes, or until the rice is soft and most of the moisture is absorbed. (If it’s cold or windy, add a couple of coals on the top and bottom to keep the Dutch oven warm).

Once the filling is done and the moisture has been absorbed, spoon on to your tortilla, and add some cheese and your favorite salsa. If you want extra goodness, add slices of avocado or cilantro, or whatever else you like to add to your burritos (sour cream, olives, or whatever gives you your perfect burrito!)

[Please note that the image I used for this blog post was an image I pulled from the Internet, and not fully reflective of this recipes' results]

This is not some generic recipe out of a book that I’ve posted. This is one I’ve eaten at campouts, and I’ve cooked at home. And it’s so good that even my teenage picky eater loves it! Try it and you’ll see why I picked campsites close to my friends!

Enjoy!

In Scouting,

- Scouter Jeff <><

Little Smokies in Biscuits Recipe October 23, 2009

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,LittleSmokies

If you are looking for an easy-to-make and great tasting Dutch oven dinner for your Scouts, consider Little Smokies in a biscuit! You and your boys will love them!

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 tube of refrigerator biscuits (makes 10). Use the smaller biscuits, not the “Grand” biscuits.
  • 10 “Lit’l Smokies” cocktail links per biscuit tube (one link for each biscuit)
  • 10 slices of cheddar cheese per biscuit tube (the slices can be cut before the campout. They need to be about the same size as the Little Smokie link. I used mild cheddar, but you can use whatever grade of cheddar you like).
  • Dipping sauce (I like BBQ sauce, but my boys like ketchup)

These are so easy to make! Just separate the biscuit dough and slightly flatten each biscuit out. Take a Little Smokie link and a slice of cheddar, put them in the middle of your biscuit, and fold up the sides of your biscuit and pinch it completely closed. (You shouldn’t see the link or cheese when you are done).  Put them in your Dutch oven so that the “seam” is facing up (that way if they open up the cheese won’t run out).

Since the link is pre-cooked, all you really need to do is bake the biscuit (using the directions on the can). If your biscuits bake at 350° F, then use around 23 – 24 coals to bake the biscuits. Since biscuits can easily burn, I would use only 9 coals on the bottom, and the rest on top. And make sure you remember to rotate the Dutch oven and the lid every 15 minutes to control any hot spots.

A pair of tongs would be useful to get them out, but you can use a spatula and a spoon as well (a spatula will come in handy either way, in case the biscuit sticks to the bottom of the Dutch oven). You should be able to cook the entire tube of refrigerator biscuits in one 12″ Dutch oven – just make sure that you don’t crowd them too much.

Since these are small (and taste great), it would be a good idea to double this recipe and have two Dutch ovens going at a time. And if your crowd is large or your boys are extra hungry, you can quadruple the recipe and cook a second set of them while the boys are eating the first set (you would probably need fresh coals for this second baking). Since a 16 oz. package of links contains about 45 links, you can easily quadruple this recipe if needed.

A note about the Little Smokies – a package of these are pretty expensive. I usually see them over $5.00 per 16 oz. package. But they do go on sale, so keep an eye out for that. The last package I bought was around $3.50 on sale, and considering you get around 45 links, that was a pretty good buy in my opinion.

If you are looking for an easy and great tasting meal for your campout, try Little Smokies in a biscuit. Boys love food they can dip, so they should really enjoy them. But be warned! You might need to make a good amount of them. They taste so good the boys (and any adults nearby) will probably devour them quickly!

Enjoy!

In Scouting,

 – Scouter Jeff <><

BBQ Grill Using My Dutch Oven Equipment August 10, 2009

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Hello fellow Scouters,

I learned a great campout cooking technique from our former Grill1Cubmaster years ago that I’d like to pass on to you. I love to barbeque, but if the campground I am going to doesn’t have a grill, I can make my own out of my existing Dutch oven equipment and enjoy burgers or steaks!

As I’ve blogged about in my Getting Started With Dutch Ovens post, IGrill2 use aluminum oil pans to start my coals and to place my Dutch ovens in. Since I’ve already brought oil pans and charcoal to the campout, all I need for my own barbeque grill is an adjustable grill rack. I found a Grillpro adjustable grill rack at my local Walmart for under $20, but you can find them on Amazon or any grill site on the web – just Google “BBQ Adjustable Grill Rack”.

A couple of words of warning when it comes to making your own campsite barbeque. When barbequing this way, your food is much closer to the coals than your barbeque at home, so you have to watch your food carefully. Also, the clean up on this grill rack is a pain, so bring a barbeque brush to brush it while it’s still hot. And with all outdoor cooking, keep an eye on winds. A wind block is always good if the winds are blowing.

Now the neat thing about this is not that I have a small barbeque grill at the campout. You can buy a small portable barbeque grill and accomplish the same results. What’s good about this is that with just one more small accessory, the adjustable grill, I was able to increase my cooking options and as a result expand my campout menu choices. So look at the equipment you bring to your campout and see what other uses you can make out of your equipment.

If you’re like me and you love the taste of barbeque, this is a great way to do some grilling at your campout.

Enjoy!

In Scouting,

 – Scouter Jeff <><

Dutch Oven Chicken Pot Pie August 2, 2009

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Hello fellow Scouters,

My wife makes an incredible chicken pot pie. A few years ago, I ChickenPotPie1converted it to a Dutch oven recipe, so I could have it at campouts. So here’s an easy chicken pot pie recipe you can make at your next campout. The beauty of this recipe, besides the great taste, is that much of it can be made at home before the campout.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (store-bought rotisserie works well)
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 “deep dish” pre-made pie crusts (the kind that come in a tin are what I always used. Be warned, though: they can be damaged easy and take up a lot of room in the cooler)
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Seasoning: garlic powder, salt, pepper, thyme, or whatever seasoning you like

 Equipment Needed At The Campout:

  • Sauce Pan
  • Cooking Spoon
  • Spatula
  • Knife
  • Fork
  • Small Bowl or Cup
  • Pastry Brush
  • 12″ or 14″ Dutch Oven
  • Tin Foil (heavy duty)

Before the Campout:

  • Steam frozen vegetables, then drain fully if wet (do not over-cook).
  • Mix vegetables, cream of chicken soup, and chicken in sauce pan over low-to-medium heat (fold ingredients together; do not over-stir).
  • Season to taste (seasoning is important. You don’t want the mixture to taste bland).
  • Add milk to thin mixture (be careful not to let it get “watery”).
  • Store in a gallon freezer bag.

At the Campout:

  • Re-heat the mixture – be careful not to over-cook. Add milk if thinning is needed.
  • Use one pie crust-in-tin for the base. Pour mixture into base (you will have extra mixture).
  • Remove second pie crust from tin and use as top of pie. Pinch around the edges.
  • Scramble egg in small bowl and brush on top.
  • Poke a few holes with a knife for venting.
  • Set in a pre-heated Dutch oven cradled in tin foil. (It’s OK to let each side of the tin foil drape on the outside of the Dutch oven – you will use the tin foil to set the pie into the oven to begin baking and lift it out of the oven when it’s done).
  • Bake at 350º for 45 to 60 minutes, or until top is golden brown. (See Dutch oven notes below).
  • Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Serves 5 or 6.

Dutch Oven Notes:

Since barbeque coals burn around 15º degrees each, you will need around 24 coals to cook this. When I made this, I put 9 coals on the bottom and the rest on top. Since this needs to cook at full temperature the full baking time, you will need to pre-heat the Dutch oven, by placing the coals before you start preparing the ingredients. And plan on doing a full coal replacement half-way through the baking, to keep the proper heat level.

You need to let this sit for a few minutes before serving. If it’s cold or windy at your campout, you can let it rest in the Dutch oven you cooked it – just remove all the coals first. Or if you have a second oven you can place it in that while your pie rests.

If you plan on trying this at a campout, I would suggest you make it at home in your own oven first, so you know how it should come out. Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe.

Finally, are you new to Dutch ovens? Here are some tips to help you get started with this wonderful way to cook in the outdoors:

Getting Started With Dutch Ovens

Enjoy!

In Scouting,

 – Scouter Jeff <><

Teaching Cubs to Cook June 23, 2009

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

This past weekend, I made a cake with my son, who’s CakeMixenjoying his first year in Boy Scouts. We got a delicious Dr. Pepper and cake mix recipe from Scoutmaster Cleary, and since it had several ingredients my son loved (including his favorite soda), it was easy to talk him into making it together. This was a dutch oven cake, but we made it at home in our oven, and while we made it we discussed how to make it in a dutch oven. It tasted so good!

But I had ulterior motives when I asked him to make it with me. Sure, I wanted a cake. I always want dessert! But more importantly I wanted to give him something that he could make on a troop campout.

As scout leaders, our boys will benefit if we teach them to cook. Each Cub rank has some kind of cooking requirement (Tiger electives 24 and 25; Wolf achievements 8c,d, and e; Bear achievement 9a-g; and Webelos Outdoorsman 8). We could easily dismiss that and say that “that could be done at home”, but we would miss teaching our boys an important campout and life skill – basic cooking.

There is an old cliche that Boy Scouts survive on ramen noodles and cereal on a campout. I don’t know if this is true or not. But a boy that knows some basic recipes, knows how to use a camp stove, and knows how to use a dutch oven is going to have a great campout.

And these lessons can begin at the Cub Scout level. Start with the cooking requirements in the Cub books. Or have a camping cooking meeting that doesn’t necessarily meet a Cub requirement. Or have a den picnic in a park, and make something easy and hot for lunch. And when you are Webelos, take the boys and their parents on a den campout, and pull the boys aside as their own patrol to make their meals. When these boys enter boy scouts they might not be cooking experts, but they will bring an important skill to their patrols on a campout.

Now my son has a new tool in his camping “tool kit”. He has a delicious, easy to make dutch oven cake. So when he and his patrol plans their next campout, and someone suggests bringing cookies for a dessert, he has something to up the ante and help make a memorable campout.

And don’t forget to click on the “Scouting Outdoors” page for some dutch oven helps and recipes:

http://thetrainerscorner.wordpress.com/scouting-outdoors/

In Scouting,
– Scouter Jeff <><

Dutch Oven Breakfast Recipe June 19, 2009

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Hello fellow Scouters,

I had a real positive response to my dutch oven dessert recipe, so I DutchOvenBreakfastthought I’d share one more. Our Cub Scout den’s favorite breakfast was a breakfast one-pot casserole. A portion of it was prepared at home, so it was easy to make at a campout. It was so good we would double the recipe you see below and make two batches and cook it in two dutch ovens. We served this with my wife’s salsa (which is so, so good, and a closely-guarded secret) and we could empty out a dutch oven in no time. The boys and the adults liked this recipe!

-

Pre-cook 1lb bulk sausage and 1lb shredded hash browns at home. 

Put cooked sausage and potatoes in the dutch oven first.

Next beat 18 eggs and mix w/ 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (if you don’t mix the cheese and the eggs it will burn).

Pour egg and cheese mix over sausage and potatoes and then top with can of refridgerator biscuits.

Coals are usually placed 4 on top and 4 on bottom of a 12″ dutch oven, but adjust as you need to keep from burning. Takes about an hour.

-

The biscuits are right at the top, so it’s easy to burn them if you’re not careful.

Since I won’t divulge my wife’s salsa recipe, you can use whatever salsa or hot sauce you like to spice it up. A good salsa really compliments this breakfast dish.

Enjoy!

In Scouting,

 – Scouter Jeff <><

Dutch Oven Cobbler Recipe June 5, 2009

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Hello fellow Scouters,

One of my favorite camping activities is dutch oven cooking.  We DutchOvenDessertconverted one of my favorite desserts to make in a dutch oven. It’s a fruit cobbler dump cake that is easy to make and comes out great! When I was a Cub leader I was able to impress the Boy Scouts with this dessert on a campout! Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of cherry pie filling
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple
  • 1 box  of yellow cake mix (not the pudding-type)
  • 1 cube butter
  • 1 small package of chopped walnuts

Directions:

  • Dump both cans of fruit on the bottom of a foil-lined 12″ dutch oven (spray with pam cooking spray before lining with tin foil).
  • Spread the yellow cake mix evenly on top of the filling (just pour it right out of the package).
  • Dice the cube of butter in small chunks and drop it as evenly as possible on top of the cake mix.
  • Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top of the mix.
  • Cover and bake around 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes – you want the top of the cobbler brown and bubbly, and not too dark. (I use 22-23 briquettes, with around 9 underneath the oven. I don’t replace them during cooking).
  • Rotate the oven AND the lid every 15 minutes.

The butter melts into the cake mix and it comes out so good. As you can see it’s a very easy dessert to make. While it’s baking the scent of pineapple and cherry starts to flow around you. I think I’ve had a request to make this at every campout I’ve been on.

Instead of cherry pie filling you could add a can of blackberries – it tastes good with them too. And you can try different fruits to suit your taste, even fresh fruits. (If you use fresh fruit you should mix them with a little sugar first.)

Top it off with some whip cream and you are set for the evening! And if you can smuggle some vanilla ice cream to the campout, this is great a-la-mode.

As I’ve blogged about before, you can make pretty much anything you bake in an oven at home. Here is a link for getting started with dutch oven cooking:

Getting Started With Dutch Ovens

Enjoy!

In Scouting,

 – Scouter Jeff <><

Getting Started with Dutch Ovens December 10, 2008

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Hello fellow Scouters,

Whether through Scouting or personal camping, dutch oven cooking is a great way to prepare meals in the outdoors. But many don’t knowdutchovengear how to get started cooking. It can be intimidating at first. If you are interested in cooking with dutch ovens, but don’t know how to start, I have one thing to say to you – don’t be afraid! Cooking with dutch ovens is easy to learn and makes your campout meals so much better! To get started, here are a couple of things to consider.

What you can cook – anything! I used to comb through dutch oven cook books looking for fun and new recipes, but anymore I just cook what we cook at home. Although it’s fun to get new recipe ideas, there’s nothing wrong with cooking your favorite casserole or roast on your campout. Anything you can cook in your oven at home you can cook in your dutch oven. (Please check out MacScouter’s dutch oven section for good recipes and info.)

What you need to get started – first you need a dutch oven. A good one to start with is a cast iron 12″ (6 quart), with feet. I would highly recommend buying pre-seasoned for your first one. Lodge makes great ovens, and a good place to buy your first one. Next, you need something to cook on, to keep heat off the ground and to contain your coals. You can buy a dutch oven cooking stand, but I use galvanized steel car oil drain pans (which can be ordered from a car parts store if they no longer stock them). I use dual pans when cooking, to help protect the ground from scorching. And I use heat pans to prepare the coals in, and separate heat pans to cook in. You should also have a charcoal chimney, to start the coals. I used to wad up newspaper and start the coals that way, but I’ve gotten lazy and now I just put the coal chimney on my stove and use that to get the coals going. Your dutch oven supplies should also include: a lid lifter, a lid stand, long tongs for handling coals, and leather heat-resistant gloves.

Practice – I started cooking in my back yard. I made mistakes and burnt a few things (but actually not that many). It’s the perfect place to practice and not go hungry.

Coals – each coal heats up to around 15 degrees, so if you need to cook something at 350 degrees, you will need around 23 coals. You split the coals between underneath the dutch oven and on the lid (I usually put a few more on the lid than underneath). And you want to avoid the self-lighting coals. They have lighter fluid in the coals and will keep flaming up. I let the coals heat up until the edges are white.

Cooking – while cooking, you should rotate the dutch oven 1/4 turn every 15 minutes, to keep the hot spots moving, and separately rotate the lid 1/4 turn every 15 minutes. Also, you should bring in fresh coals while cooking. Coals loose their heat, so your temperature will drop throughout your cooking time. New coals help maintain your ideal temperature.

A note on desserts – I line my dutch oven with heavy duty aluminum foil before cooking anything with sugar. Sugar can burn into a dutch oven, and it’s hard to get out. I doubt this would be a problem on a well-seasoned dutch oven, but I don’t want to find out. If you use aluminum foil, make sure you lay it down in one section, not two pieces folded together (which can leak – I found that out the hard way). I use the widest foil you can buy. Also, you should spray the dutch oven with Pam non-stick cooking spray before putting in the foil, so it doesn’t stick (old sugar on the dutch oven can heat up and get sticky). Without Pam, you could be scraping tin foil out of the dutch oven.

After camping – when I get home, one of the first things I clean up is the dutch oven. You don’t want to let moisture linger, or you could get rust. So I clean them with boiling water in my kitchen, then let them dry out. I then put a light coat of cooking oil on them for storage (you don’t want too much oil, as it can turn rancid. Some people don’t even coat their ovens with oil for storage). I put a section of paper towl in the oven when I store to help absorb moisture. Then store it in a dry place.

I am by no means a dutch oven expert, but I love cooking outdoors with them. If you have any tips you want to share, please leave them in the comments.

In Scouting,

-Scouter Jeff <><

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