Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Camping Food

We went camping over the weekend and made a super yummy dinner. No burnt hot dogs for us!
I made some shish-kabobs ahead of time and had them marinating in the cooler. I also chopped up the potatoes and onion ahead of time and had them in a bag with all the seasonings ready to go. It was too dark by the time we ate so I couldn't take a picture, but trust me it was good. Here are the original recipes and I will tell you my modifications at then end. I know these ingredients might shock yall that I would buy so much pre-packaged stuff, but hey I was camping. I even ate cheese from a can the next day.

Dutch Oven Potatoes
1 pkg. bacon, cut into fourths (low sodium)
10-12 large potatoes (scrubbed, rinsed, and sliced into circles)
Seasoning Salt ("Spike" or "Johnny's" seasoning salt work great!)
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 can cream of chicken
3-4 c. shredded cheddar cheese

When the dutch oven is good and hot add the bacon and heat until fully cooked. Drain about half of the bacon grease then add the potatoes. stir in about 3 Tbsp. of the seasoning salt (or to taste) and all of the garlic powder. Cover and cook about 30 minutes stirring occasionally (or until potatoes are no longer crunchy, but do NOT overcook). Add cream of chicken. When the cream of chicken is evenly distibuted and hot, add cheese. When cheese is melted, remove from heat and serve.

*These taste best when served with ranch dressing on the side*

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler
2 (29oz) cans peaches, in heavy syrup (or 1 can peaches, 1 can peach pie filling)
2 boxes yellow cake mix (DRY, not prepared)
1 cube butter
brown sugar and cinnamon (to taste)

Pour peaches into hot dutch oven (if using the canned peaches, drain some of the liquid out so your cobbler isn't too runny). Add cake mix over the top. Slice thin slices of butter over the top of the cake mix, then top with brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover and cook for 45 minutes or until the cake mix starts turning golden brown and is cooked through. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

My notes:
With the potatoes I halved the recipe and quarted the cheese. I think honestly it would be just fine without the can of soup. I used Tony Chachere's for the seasoning but I think a ranch packet would be good too. I also added a quarter of the onion with the potatoes. I chopped the potatoes but you could get away with those little red potatoes if you can find them small enough.

With the cobbler I also halved the recipe. Next time I will do two cans of peaches with one box of cake mix. I still used one stick of butter.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tapioca Pudding

I got this recipe from Simply Recipes and it's very good. It's far from healthy and takes along time stirring but well worth it!

Tapioca Pudding
Look at the instructions on the package of tapioca that you buy. Some small pearl tapioca requires overnight soaking in water. If your package has that requirement, reduce the milk in the recipe to 2 1/2 cups from 3 cups.

1/2 cup small pearl tapioca (you can usually find it in the baking section of the grocery store, do not use instant tapioca)
3 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

1 Combine tapioca, milk, and salt in 1 1/2 quart pan on medium high heat. Stir until boiling. Simmer 5 minutes, uncovered at the lowest possible heat, adding sugar gradually.

2 Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Mix in some of the hot tapioca very slowly to equalize the temperature of the two mixtures to avoid curdling. (Alton Brown taught me this is called tempuring, yall probably already knew that though)

3 Return eggs to pan with tapioca. Slowly bring mixture barely to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and stir several minutes at a low simmer, stirring constantly until you get a nice thick pudding consistency. Cool 15 minutes. Add vanilla. Serve either warm or chilled.

Note: If you want to make a more light and fluffy, but still rich, tapioca pudding, separate the eggs. Use the egg yolks to stir in first to the pan with the tapioca. Once the pudding has become nice and thick, beat the egg whites in a separate bowl to soft peaks. Remove the pan of tapioca pudding from the stove, fold in the beaten egg whites into the pudding.

Serves 4-6.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Slow Cooker Tuesday - Curried Chicken

This recipe was heaven, and I am not even a huge fan of curry. I've been super busy with lessons, practices, etc. and so I've been relying a little more heavily on the crockpot for support lately. It's been a good relationship, but it was getting a little boring. I decided to spice things up a little with a curry recipe. Well worth it, I tell you!

This recipe comes from the Rival Crock Pot Recipes: Flavors from Around the World collection. There are a few more I'll try out and share, soon I'm sure.

Slow Simmered Curried Chicken

1 1/2 cups chopped onion (I just sliced mine into strips)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (I didn't use this, kids aren't fans)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup medium salsa
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger (I totally didn't have fresh ginger, powder worked fine)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (we all know I LOVE cilantro)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. curry powder
3/4 tsp. salt
Hot cooked rice (I used brown)

1. Place onions and bell pepper in bottom of the crock pot. Top with chicken. Combine salsa, ginger, garlic powder and pepper flakes in a small bowl; spoon over the chicken. Cover; cook on LOW 5-6 hours or on HIGH 2-3 hours or until chicken is done.

2. Combine the cilantro, sugar, curry powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir mixture into crock pot. Cover; cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until hot. Serve over rice.

**NOTE** I didn't wait to put the additional ingredients in, I knew I wouldn't have time before we needed to eat. It worked fine, really well in fact.