30 March 2010

2010 IDOS World Championship Cook Off

It's been just over a week since Brian & Lisa Blodgett won the 2010 IDOS World Championship Cook Off with their Bacon-Herb Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, raspberry Pineapple Sweet Bread, and Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping. I'm here to tell ya friends, that was some good eatin. And, their competitors weren't far behind with some stick-to-yer-ribs dishes. If I'm not mistaken there were only a couple of points between 1st and 2nd and 5 points between 1st and last. That should tell ya how good these cooks really are. Oh, that shady lookin' hombre in the picture with Brian and Lisa has been identified as Ranes Carter, this years (and last's) WCCO organizer. What a great job he did. Much of the WCCO succes goes to Ranes.  He can trail with my outfit anytime. For more pics of the finalists and their dishes check out: WCCO Finalists and their Dishes.
Here are the pics of Brian & Lisa's winning dishes.

Now, if yer a wantin' to see a dynamite photo show take a look at this one: 2010 IDOS DUTCH OVEN Cook-Off created by Dee McMillan. Thanks Dee!

OK, it's that time again. After looking at all those terrific dishes and thumbing through the WCCO cookbook I decided to share something simple that I remembered from scouting.

For a fun and tasty dinner, try this dish that uses onions as the cooking container. And don't wait until you go camping; you can cook this at home in the coals from your living room fireplace.
You'll need the following ingredients and supplies:
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) of dry mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Place the ground beef, egg, mustard and salt and pepper to taste in a large mixing bowl. On a cutting board, slice the onions in half horizontally. Coax the center sections out of the onion, leaving each half with two to three outer layers, or about 1/2-inch (13-millimeter) thickness, intact. Set these shells aside; they'll be your baking dishes. On the cutting board, chop the onion centers and add them to the other ingredients in the mixing bowl. Work these ingredients together until they're well-mixed.
Spoon the hamburger mix into the bottom half of each pair, mounding the mixture into a rounded ball above the edge. Cover the hamburger mound with the other half of the onion. 

Now, I first learned this as a foil dinner meal and wrapped the finished onion in foil and threw the thing in the camp fire. For the DO try skewering the two onion half's with toothpicks. 
Place each pair of onion halves in the Dutch oven. Bake at a medium heat for about 30 minutes. The temperature at the center of the concoction should not be less than 155 degrees. Remove the onions from the oven and allow to cool until they can be handled. The onion half's might still be hot so be careful when separating. As always, experiment with spices and different ground meats. 

29 March 2010

Way too Busy & too Far Away from Home

Well pards, yet again my day-time job has interfered with my real passion, specifically, subjecting all ya'll to my ramblin's but a few of ya to my trail grub. So, what have I been up to?

My job took me to Alexandria, VA for 3 weeks of excruciating management training. I will say it was valuable, just long. So, while I was at the Learning Tree training facility I had the privilege to meet two lovely ladies who run the facility who also have a passion for cooking. We got to talking and, of course, I brought up the subject of Dutch ovens. I kind of got a blank stare. Well, what an opening for me. They probably got more info about DO's then they really cared for. But, I did turn them on to the IDOS site and ordered them the IDOS World Championship Cook Off cookbooks.

While I was there I had the opportunity to frequent the local pizzeria, Pizzeria Venti, for a long-neck and some pretty dadgum good meatballs. I was also introduced to the owner as a Dutch oven cook from Utah and she mistook that too mean she had a chef in her presence. Well, I corrected that misconception quickly indicating that I was just an 'ol simple chuck wagon cook and I don't have any of that fancification training.   It turns out that this same eatery delivered our lunch to us during the training. Val, the owner, is a wonderful lady who runs the place with her hubby. Can't believe I didn't get a picture with her. Well, being the wonderful magnanimous guy that I am (heh!) I jotted down a recipe on the back of the lunch order that was faxed over. I learned she'd be processing the orders. Well, that turned into an exchange of 3 recipes during the last week. So, work didn't take the cookin' part away totally.

Now, if these ladies are watching here's a heads up. I'll be back in July and I just might have a surprise fer ya'll.

So, recipe time. Here's some grub recommended by my friends in Texas

Armadillo Eggs

2 Eggs
6-oz pkg Pork "Shake and Bake"
½ lb pork sausage (Crumbled)
1 cup (8-oz) grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cup Bisquick mix
1 cup (8-oz) Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 26-oz can seeded jalapeños, whole

Preheat your DO (or kitchen oven) to 350º F
Beat the eggs and put aside.   Place the pork-coating mix in a small bowl and set aside.
Fry up the sausage and crumble.  (Wait till it cools a bit before you crumble it, hot sausage will burn your fingers.)
Mix the cheddar cheese, sausage, and Bisquick together.  Using a rolling pin, flatten the mixture until its about ¾ of an inch thick.
Stuff the Monterey Jack cheese into the jalapeño peppers.  Wrap each pepper in the Bisquick mixture.  Using your hands, roll each pepper into and egg shape.  Dip each armadillo egg into the beaten eggs, then roll in the pork-coating mix.
Arrange the armadillo eggs in the DO (or on a cookie sheet if in your kitchen oven) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp.