Monday, July 25, 2011

BBQ Ranch Chicken Rolls

Here is another simple but easy recipe.  I made these for my kiddos for lunch a while ago and the loved them!  It would make a great camping meal since you can use all prepared ingredients.  I made everything from scratch, but you could easily use refrigerated pizza dough, Lloyd's BBQ Chicken and prepared ranch dressing.

BBQ Ranch Chicken Rolls
14" dutch oven

3 cups flour
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. oil
1 cup warm water
1 Tbs. instant yeast
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 cup prepared ranch dressing
2 cups shredded BBQ chicken  (I cooked and shredded 2 large chicken breasts, shredded them and mixed with BBQ sauce)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a mixing bowl until a soft dough forms.  Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes, then roll into a rectangle.  Don't roll it too thin or it will tear when you try to roll it up with the chicken inside.  Spread the ranch dressing over the dough, then top with the chicken, green onions and cheese.  Starting at the long end, roll into a log shape like you would for cinnamon rolls.  Using a sharp knife or dental floss, cut it into 1" slices and place in a greased dutch oven.  Bake at 350° for 20-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serve with ranch dressing for dipping.  Serves about 10.

The Finished Product

The Review

I wish the picture looked as good as it tasted.  My kiddos love these!  I have to admit, I'm a sucker for BBQ chicken so I ate more than my fair share of these.  Next time I'll add more cheese, and I'll leave the dough a little bit thicker.  I rolled it so thin that it tore as I was trying to roll them up.  So watch out for that.  This would be a great camping meal.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy Days of '47!!

I hope you all have a great weekend!  Its the Days of '47 or Pioneer Day in Utah.  Its when we celebrate the Mormon pioneers arrival into the Salt Lake valley.  Some of my ancestors were among them.  We celebrate with parades, BBQs and fireworks.  I'm looking forward to some time with my fam.  I'll be back next week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mini Focaccia

Today's recipe is one of those quick and easy, almost at the last minute kind of things.  I needed a bread to go with the lasagna I made for dinner, so I came up with this.  Its simple and easy to make and would go great with all kinds of pasta dishes or soups.  It starts with pizza dough.  You could even use a tube of refrigerated pizza dough if you wanted to.

Mini Focaccia
14" dutch oven

3 cups flour
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. oil
1 cup warm water
1 Tbs. yeast
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp. olive oil
1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2-3 Tbs. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Mix all pizza dough ingredients together, except the flour. Add flour and knead for a few minutes.  On an oiled surface, roll out the dough into about a 10 x 14 in rectangle.  Then roll the dough up as if you are making cinnamon rolls.  Using dental floss cut the dough into 1 inch thick slices.  They should look like unfilled cinnamon rolls.  Gently pan each roll flat and place in a greased dutch oven.  Spread olive oil on top of the rolls and sprinkle with seasoning and Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 400° for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Use 2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.

The Finished Product

The Review

These little rolls were super easy and went great with my lasagna.  The prep work was minimal and I had plenty of time to have them ready while the lasagna cooked.  They ended up soft and slightly chewy but very delicious!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Little Help?

Okay, I need a little help from all of you.  I get to cook a dutch oven dinner for 30 people from our church and I have absolutely no idea what to make.  It really shouldn't be that hard, its not like I don't have a million recipes, but I'm having a major brain cramp and I can't come up with anything.  We want it to be nice, but not too expensive and there will be about 15 8-11 year old girls there, so it has to be kid friendly.  I'll take any suggestions you've got!  Thanks and I love you all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Baked Risotto

Risotto is one of those things I never make.  Who has 45 minutes to stand around and stir rice?  Not me!  So I was excited to see this baked risotto at Cook's Country.  I was pleasantly surprised by the results and there is a ton of things you could do to make this recipe your own.  Adding sauteed asparagus or cooked broccoli or carrots.  As it was, the Parmesan cheese and parsley were perfect with the Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf I made for dinner.

Some notes about this recipe.  I've made enough recipes from Cook's Country to know that every step has a purpose and will effect the finished dish, so I made this exactly as the recipe said.  At one point you need to cover the rice/broth with foil.  When you do this, don't let the foil hang out of the dutch oven, just roll the foil down so it is all inside your pot. 

This was really good, so give it a try!

Baked Risotto
10" dutch oven

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (Yes, use low sodium or it will be too salty)
1/2 cup water
2 bay leaves
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups Arborio rice (Not long grain or instant)
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chicken broth)
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

In a 10" dutch oven, bring the broth, water and bay leaves to simmer over a full spread of coals.  When almost boiling, put the lid on the pot and remove from the heat.

In another 10" dutch oven, melt the butter over a full spread of coals.  (You can use the same coals you used to heat the broth.)  Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until lightly browned.  Stir in the rice and cook until the edges begin to turn translucent.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add the wine (or broth) and cook until completely absorbed.

Pour the warm broth over the rice.  Cover the dutch oven with a sheet of aluminum foil, making sure it rests on top of the broth.  Cover and bake at 400° until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Discard bay leaves.  Stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 6-8.

The Finished Product

The Review

This wasn't quite as creamy as other risotto I've had, but it was delish.  I'm going to have to experiment with it a little bit more, but the family thought it was a keeper.  It has nice flavor, but if you don't use low sodium broth it will be too salty by the time you add the Parmesan cheese.  I've made other baked risotto recipes, but this one has turned out the best so far.  I'll be making this again for sure.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Black Bean Salsa in Won Ton Cups

You'll have to forgive me for going a little Martha Stewart on you today.  With such a large family meal time is generally a cook and eat affair.  But once in a while I try to get a little creative and do something cute and fun.  This was one of those days.  It also helps my kiddos to try new foods if its in a fun package.  That's where these little won ton cups come in.  All they are is won ton wrappers gently pressed into muffin cups and baked until they're crispy.

Now to make these in the dutch oven I had to get a little creative.  My muffin pan is too big to fit into my 14" DO.  So I used the foil muffin cups made by Reynolds.  (I usually find them in the foil and plastic wrap section of the grocery store.)  I love them because they can stand up by themselves instead of needing the support of the muffin pan.  I found that the easiest way to make these is to put the foil liners in a muffin pan and then gently put the won ton wrappers into the liners.  I had to work with them a little bit to get them just right.  Then transfer the foil liners to my dutch oven and bake.  Easy Peasey!!

Black Bean Salsa in Won Ton Cups

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz. frozen corn, thawed
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 medium sized avocado, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
A dash or two of cayenne

Mix all the ingredients except the avocado and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.  Add more lime juice, salt and pepper if needed.  Carefully mix in avocado, spoon into won ton cups and serve.

Won Ton Cups
DO size depends on how many you make. I fit 12 of them easily in a 14" DO

Won ton wrappers
Foil muffin cup liners

Place foil liners in the cups of a muffin pan.  Carefully place the won ton wrappers inside the liners forming a cup.  Transfer the foil liners to a dutch  oven and bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until the won ton wrappers are golden brown and crispy.  Fill with Black Bean Salsa and serve immediately.

Source:  This is an original recipe

The Finished Product

The Review

This was really good if I do say so myself.  I count it as a total triumph that all of my kiddos except the black bean hating 8 year old liked it.  I'm looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch today since its even better after everything has marinated a while.  Grade A.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pesto Breadsticks

Hi everyone!  I've been on vacation for a couple of weeks and it was wonderful.  I spent my days swimming with the kiddos or lounging by the pool, taking walks along the riverbank and enjoying perfect weather and great company.  Who knew Reno, Nevada could be so relaxing.  There is really more there than casinos. 

But now I'm home and still have no oven, so I've been giving my dutch ovens a real workout.  I had hoped to be working on some fun and different DO dishes, but necessity has forced me to cook the conventional dinner dishes and breads.  We even cook fish sticks for lunch in the big black pots!  I have never been so grateful that I spent last year learning to cook outdoors!

Today's recipe is a twist on my all time favorite bread stick recipe.  I have been obsessed with pesto lately, and I've been looking for excuses to add it to everything I can think of.  I've used it for everything from a pasta sauce to sandwich spread to grilled cheese sandwiches.  My family is starting to wonder if I'm going a little nutty.  On the upside of my new obsession, I came up with this yummy recipe!

Pesto Bread Sticks
2- 12 inch dutch ovens

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbs. instant yeast
2 Tbs. sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. butter
 Prepared Pesto  (I used a beautiful sun-dried tomato pesto.  I found it in the canned tomato section of the grocery store.  Regular basil pesto can usually be found in the deli section near the gourmet cheeses.)

Mix all the ingredients except the butter and the pesto in a mixing bowl and mix well until a soft dough forms.  Knead for about 3 minutes.  Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.  Place 3 Tbs. of butter in each dutch oven and melt the butter over about 6 coals.  You don't want to heat the pots too much, just enough to melt the butter.  Remove the pots from the heat. 

Roll out the bread stick dough into a rectangle until it is about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Spread the pesto on half of the long side of the dough.  I used quite a lot of pesto, probably over 1/2 cup because I love it so much.  The amount of pesto is up to you.  If you love it, really slather it on, if you aren't so sure, use less.  After the pesto is evenly spread, fold the plain section of dough over the pesto.  So you will end up with the dough folded in half lengthwise and pesto in the middle.  (Am I making any sense at all?)

Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips about 1 inch wide.  Twist slightly and place in your pots.  This makes about 22-24 bread sticks, so split them between the 2 pots.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes.  Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Use 1 1/2 rings + a couple of coals on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Remove from heat and spread with melted butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

The Finished Product

As you can tell, I didn't split my bread sticks up into two pots.  I was running low on charcoal so I tried to cram them all into my 14" oven.  Not a great idea since they were terrible to try to get apart in one piece.  Use two pots to make it easier.

The Review

I've tried several variations on these bread sticks, but this one is my favorite.  The bread is soft and delicious, my kiddos thought the pesto made them taste like pizza.  And anything that tastes like pizza is a hit at my house.  I think these are a great way to introduce new flavors to kids in a form that they will love.  Grade A.

Recipe Source:  Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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