Monday, April 7, 2008

Lessons and Inspiration from DO Dave

Sunday we attended a Dutch Oven demonstration at the Gander Mountain in Middleton, NY. Yeah it's 4 1/2 hours away but that's where the luna(tic) part of my name comes in. Actually it was a nice weekend. The husband and myself - no kids - no grandkids - just the 2 of us went down Saturday and spent the night to attend the demo in the morning. It was nice to get away even for that short time. We learned a lot from Dutch Oven Dave and enjoyed spending those few hours with him , his son, and his grandson. He explained a lot and cooked a mock cheese cake, biscuits, chicken pot pie, peach cobbler, and beef stew. It was a small class so we did plenty of sampling and shared with any passerby. It's amazing how a crowd will form when someone's handing out food.Though I've tried to teach myself the art of DO cooking it all makes so much more sense when you see how it works in person. The hubby, who had no background knowledge before attending the class, is ready to get into it. He's already decided we need another pot, maybe two. We came home with a lid lifter that is the best investment ever. No more lifting the lid with my little hook while steadying the lid with the other hand and having it tilt anyway and spill ashes into your food! This thing is great!! It's so secure and steady . We love it. So what do you do after a 4 1/2 hour drive to return home from a Dutch Oven Demonstration? Well you cook of course!! I'd already picked out a recipe and picked up the ingredients Friday. After re-seasoning the pot I looked for a recipe with bacon. Well this recipe has bacon!! I think I would cut back on the bacon next time. I might sprinkle some on the bottom and some on top and substitute ham for the rest of the layers. It was good but just too greasy!
This recipe was taken from the Southern California Chapter of the Dutch Oven Society - Sharing Our Favorites Cookbook. It's called Debbie Red Bear's Easy Breakfast (submitted by Rochelle Anderson)
1 1/2 lb. raw bacon or bulk sausage, cut into pieces
6 to 8 potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
mushrooms, sliced (optional)
garlic powder
black pepper
5 to 6 eggs, beaten (optional)

In a cold 12-inch Dutch Oven, place a layer of raw meat on bottom. Next, layer potato slices on top of the meat, then onion and mushrooms. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Continue to layer until you run out of layering ingredients. Scatter meat on top layer. Bake at least 50 minutes at 375 degrees (9-10 coals on bottom, 20 coals on top). Stir minimally.
If adding the beaten eggs- when the potatoes are done, make a cavity in the center of the layers and pour the eggs in the opening. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the eggs are done.
Easy breakfast is done when the top meat layer is browned and the potato slices melt in your mouth. Serves 6 people. For more or less people, figure 1 potato/egg per person, add/remove meat to preference.

Here's what we did- We opted for the mushrooms to the chagrin of my daughter and stepson. We opted not to add the eggs. We weren't making breakfast and just wanted a potato dish. We did not stir at all. We did not count the coals. Just put a ring around the bottom edge and the top edge. Maybe a little more on top, replenishing a few as they burnt down. Because we didn't add the eggs, we just wanted to brown the top once the potatoes were done. So we covered the entire top to brown the bacon. It smelled so good cooking! Though it was just too greasy we couldn't stop eating it! ; )


Mark Dutch Oven said...

I'm really enjoying reading your blog! Thanks for coming to mine and commenting, too, by the way!

I'm not the expert yet, either, but I've learned a few things. Some dishes are more forgiving than others when it comes to heat. Things like potatoes and soups you can be more flexible. When I do breads, I definitely count the coals!


Ruth said...

Well, I have not been brave enough to tackle bread yet. Even when counting coals you have variables such as weather conditions. One of these days I'll give it a try. oh, and I'm glad you are enjoying my blog. Thanks.