Archive for October, 2015

Camp Fire Recipe: Chili Relleno Casserole

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

Nothing beats a casserole when it comes to camp cooking.  Most of the time, they are easy, do not take a whole bunch of time, and are delicious to boot.  This recipe is no exception.  The ingredients are easy to find and in a pinch, this recipe can be used to get rid of those little bits and slices of cheese that may be leftover from other recipes.

Camp Fire Recipe:  Chili Relleno Casserole

Ingredients

24 ounces of cottage cheese, type optional

6 eggs

Buttery crackers

4 ounces of canned chilies

2 cups of shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack or a combination of both to equal 2 cups

chili.relleno

Steps

  1. Build the fire.
  2. Grease a 10 inch Dutch oven with bacon grease or oil.
  3. Crush butter flavored crackers so that you have ¾ cup total.
  4. Chop the canned chilies.
  5. In a large bowl, crack and beat the eggs.
  6. To the eggs, add the cottage cheese, canned chilies, crushed, buttery crackers, and half of the shredded cheese.
  7. Pour the mixture into the Dutch oven.
  8. Take 10 coals from the fire and lay in a circle on a heat proof surface.
  9. Place Dutch oven on top of the coals.
  10. Place lid on Dutch oven and add 26 hot coals to the top.
  11. Cook for 25 minutes.
  12. Remove lid and add the remaining cheese.
  13. Replace lid and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.
  14. Remove the coals on the lid and take the Dutch oven off the coals.
  15. Wait 15 minutes before serving.

Boy, let me tell you this dish is wonderful for breakfast.  If you are one of those individuals that like to eat breakfast for dinner, give this dish a try.  But if you like it hot, consider adding another can of chilies.  Doing this will add the heat.   While the extra can does take the dish up a notch on the heat scale, I do not feel that it makes it too hot. 

If you really want to have steam come out your ears, combine the extra can of chilies with hot pepper jack cheese.  The combination of the added peppers from the canned chilies and the peppers in the cheese will not leave you feeling cold in the winter. 

While the recipe above is geared toward 4 to 6 servings, you can upsize it to your needs.  Just keep in mind though, that if you choose to do this make sure to check on the doneness of the eggs before serving.

Camp Fire Recipe: Pan Seared Corn on the Cob

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Oh my, corn is in season and I think I have cooked it every way but…….a way my grandmother used to cook it.  Pan searing the corn gives it a slight smoky flavor and is a little different compared to the other ways one could cook corn on an open fire or camp stove.  But before you run out to buy the corn, let’s talk about it.

To really sear the corn, you must have corn that will fit in your Dutch oven.  I know this sounds like a no-brainer but for some reason people never really think about this fact.  They buy corn and then try to sear ears of corn that are too big.  In doing so, take the time to measure the bottom of your Dutch oven prior to going to the store.  This simple step will make cooking this corn so much easier.

Camp Fire Recipe:  Pan Seared Corn on the Cob

Ingredients

3 Table spoons water

1 ½ teaspoons cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon oil

4 ears of corn

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine

2 cloves of garlic

2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, optional

Salt and pepper

pan.seared.corn

Steps

  1. Shuck the corn.
  2. Combine water and cider vinegar in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Chop the 2 cloves of garlic and set aside.
  4. Build the fire.
  5. Place the grilling rack on top of the hot fire and place the Dutch oven on top.
  6. Add the oil to the hot Dutch oven.
  7. Once the oil is hot, add the 4 ears of corn.
  8. Cook the corn in the Dutch oven for 5 to 7 minutes.  During this time, turn the corn over a few times.  What you are looking for at this stage is some browning of the kernels.
  9. Add the butter and garlic to the Dutch oven.
  10. Stir constantly for 30 seconds.
  11. Add the water and cider vinegar mixture to the Dutch oven.
  12. Stir and top the Dutch oven with the lid.
  13. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  14. Remove from the fire and top with salt, pepper, and some of the broth from the Dutch oven.

While you may be looking at this recipe and thinking the corn is just boiled, it really is not.  The searing adds that sweet, smoky flavor to the corn.  The liquid is just enough to steam the corn and not boil it.  In doing so, you are not left with tasteless, boiled corn but an ear of pure delight.

How to Know if Your Knife is Sharp

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

Have you ever got to camp, pulled out your knife and found it to be dull?  Well, I have and frankly it is a pain.  As you know, more injuries occur from knives that are dull verses sharp and this fact is very apparent when you are camping.  While you should always add checking your camp knife to your pre-camping To-Do list, the question remains how do you check the sharpness of your knife?  The answer is simple. It does not require expensive equipment and it is easy to do.  Read below to learn how to check the sharpness of your camp knife before your next outing.You can get the top 8 EDC knife guide from Knifedge.

Prior to reading this though, keep in mind that there are different beliefs on how to check the sharpness of a knife.  Some individuals do not like using paper because they believe that the testing itself will dull the knife.  Others like to use the fingernail in place of the paper but due to safety concerns, I will only describe the steps involved in the paper technique.

sharp.knifeTo begin this process, one will first need to gather one thing and that is a newspaper.  Yes, I said a newspaper.  Once you have your newspaper, separate the sheets so that you only have one sheet.  Next, take the sheet of newspaper in your hand and hold it up to shoulder level.  Place the knife blade on the top of the paper at a shallow angle.  A sharp knife will grab a hold of the paper and cleanly slice through it.  On the other hand, a dull knife will not grab the edge of the paper nor will it cut cleanly.  It will instead, simply tear the page.

The next test deals with how well the knife actually cuts.  To do this test, take another page of the newspaper and hold it vertically.  Place the knife on the top of the page and slice down.  A sharp knife will make a high pitch sound.  While a clean cut is very important, this test can also tell you if you have any burrs or nicks on the blade.  This can be indicated by any resistance that you may encounter when you cut the paper.

The last test is one that is very important especially if you are going to prepare food with it.  In this test, you will need to place a single sheet of paper on a hard surface.  Once the paper is on the hard surface, place the knife in the hand you normally do not cut with.  Hold the knife horizontally to the paper and gently guide it over the surface of the paper.  The goal of this test is to slice a very small layer of paper without cutting through the paper.  If this is achieved then you have a sharp knife.

While each test described above will indicate a sharp knife, each test actually tests a certain characteristic of a knife.  In doing so, to make sure your knife is in tiptop shape; make sure to do all the tests.