Its Nearly Time – Cathedral Gorge Dutch Oven Cookoff

Final preparations are going on for me today.  Loading the trailer and taking inventory of camping gear and cooking utensils.  We are cooking in competition associated with out sister website TheDutchOvenCook.com and the facebook group Las Vegas Dutch Oven Enthusiasts

This coming weekend is the annual Cathedral Gorge Dutch Oven Cookoff (Saturday September 16th, 2017).  Sponsored by the Nevada State Park and surrounding businesses.  The weather is looking to be near perfect.

This cookoff is a big deal.  At least for the competitions we normally attend.  There are normally around 50 cooks, and some of those preparing multiple recipes.  We have seen crowds of people (250+) showing up to taste, vote on their favorite, and just plain enjoy the day.

If you are in the area, be sure to come out and support the event.  Enjoy the food, enter the raffle, and enjoy the beautiful Nevada State Park.

456 total views, no views today

DUTCH OVEN COMPETITION Cathedral Gorge Panaca, Nevada

It’s nearly that time of year again.  Camping and Dutch Oven Cooking Competition at Cathedral Gorge State Park near Panaca, Nevada.

Link to the official State Park information

Actual competition cooking is on Saturday September 16, 2017

A group of us camper/Dutch Oven cooks have been attending this event for years.  The rangers at this State Park make this the best we have ever competed in.  Aside from the awesome prizes they solicit from supporting businesses, they just make this plain fun.

Be prepared to arrive early and to stay until after dark.  The whole day can be taken up hiking early in the morning, then wandering around watching the cooks prepare the food that is judged and served to the public in the evening.

Many of us start arriving Thursday and Friday to also spend a few days camping.  Sites are first come first served.  Though the rangers have always made room for everyone even if it means “dry camping” off the edge of the pavement near the picnic area.

This time of year expect warm days and cool nights.  The Milky-way will blanket you in the sky above.  The coyote’s will sing you to sleep at night.

486 total views, no views today

Recipe: Cake Cherry Bundt done in a Dutch Oven

 Recipe & Photos: Rick Beach
This is a box cake version.  I have a “scratch’ recipe too.

12 inch Dutch Oven and Bundt Cake pan that fits inside.  A deep Dutch Oven helps.

Hot Coals for 350°F

Ingredients

1   Chocolate Cake Mix (Devils Food that calls for 1/3 cup oil & 3 eggs)

Zest of 1 orange

Juice of 1 orange           Combine juice and water to equal liquid

Water                               called for on cake mix

1/3 Cup Oil  (amount of oil called for on cake mix box

3 eggs           (called for on cake mix box)

½ Can   Cherry Pie filling chopped coarsely

1 Can of your favorite icing ( or prepare your own homemade) (I use Cream cheese Vanilla)

½ Can Cherry Pie Filling – leave cherries whole

Prepare cake mix (The type that on the box it indicates 1 Cup water, 1/3 Cup Oil, and 3 eggs.  Do not use the total water indicated.  Fresh squeezed Orange Juice is used in place of some of the water.

Dump the cake mix in a mixing bowl.  Zest the orange peel into the mix.  Squeeze the juice from the orange you just grated the peel.  Squeeze the juice into a measuring cup.  Add enough water to the juice to equal 1 cup total liquid (or whatever the total liquid is on the cake mix.  Pour this into the mixing bowl with the cake mix and zest.  Add the oil and 3 eggs.

Chop ½ the can of cherry pie filling until the cherries are in course pieces.   Add the chopped cherries to the mix and using a mixer beat the cake batter per the instructions on the cake mix.

Reserve the other ½ of can of filling for topping after the cake is baked.

Spray oil the bundt cake pan, then pour in the beaten batter.

Pre-heat the Dutch Oven and lid with coals for 350°

Once the Dutch Oven is hot place the bundt pan in, cover and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.  Gently raise the lid and test for doneness with a knife or tooth pick.  Mine normally take 35 minutes.  Bake and test every 5 minutes until tooth pick comes out clean.

Cool completely.  Ice the top and about ¼ the way down.  Spoon the remaining Cherry pie filling on top of the icing allowing it to ooze down the sides.  Serve

456 total views, no views today

OLD MORMON FORT DUTCH OVEN COOK-OFF FIRST PLACE

What wonderful weather for mid-March today (March 18, 2017).  Temps hit 90°F with clear blue skies in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I was happy to come away with a first place win in the “Main Dish” category.  Serving up BBQ Pulled Pork, to take home a trophy Plaque and a free annual pass to Nevada State Parks for the year.  That pass will certainly have some mileage put on it.

A group of us have competed in this annual cook-off for 3 or 4 years now.  We saw attendance go way up this year.  I came with 144 sandwich buns to serve the pulled pork on.  (12lbs of Pulled Pork).  I remember buying the buns and thinking I was practicing “over kill”.  When I saw the eating line start to form I started cutting buns in half.  Right before show time I started changing to 1/4 bun per serving.  I as well as many of the other cooks were wiped out.

The unofficial report I got this evening from someone connected with the fort put the headcount at 300.  A far cry from the 25-50 we had seen in previous years.

The 10lbs of coleslaw that never made it to the end.  It was just a bonus side dish to go with the BBQ.  Gone before the line finished passing the first time.

I also entered the dessert category with a double batch Cherry Chocolate Cake.  It didn’t even place with all the competition and great cooks.  Though it too was wiped out and only crumbs left.

Hopefully others that attended email me their photos for use on this site.  Also the winners for each category and the dish they served up.  Its tough when you cook, to find the time to take some photos or even sample all the great food.

I didn’t even have the time to enjoy the live music and fiddle players that were just out of ear shot.  Below is a portion of the cook set-ups.

Thanks goes out to Kathleen & Dave LeBlanc for serving up a Mountain Man breakfast for us early birds that were setting up at 7:30am.

Also thanks to those at the Fort that put this all together, then their task to get their park back to normal for the next business day.    There is lots of behind the scenes work and effort going into this event people never see.

468 total views, no views today

CHUCK BOX Toting your kitchen

Ever since covered wagons the Chuck Box has been a common term.  Before that, I am sure migrating people had a means to transport some of their precious spice items that were not easily obtained foraging natures surrounding supplies.

If you have camped many years you have probably changed out your own method of carrying your own staples.  Having your items with you, rather than being dependent on an inconvenient source to purchase (forage) your own items while camping.

My current method is below.  We hope people viewing our blog take the time to forward us photos of your own “tried and true” method. We want to add them to this article. So tell us a little about yours and about yourself.  Ours does not have the “coolness ” factor of a handcrafted wood Chuck Box, but ours is highly functional.  The boxes have been along on multi-day canoe trips, Dutch Oven Cooking events, and regular campground camping.  We have ours loaded so we are not wanting of anything.

We use 2 Stanley Fat Max plastic tool boxes.  They have a rubber seal, and latches.  We leave them on the picnic table at all times (unless in bear country) and have never had the critters get in them.  They also sit out getting rained on at times.  When we return home the used items are replenished and kept inside so they are always ready to go for the next trip.  Dry Ingredients such as flour, pancake mix, etc is rotated when we replenish.  We dump the unused portion out on foil. Refill the used portion from new supply in the house, then dump the older ingredient now on the foil, back in on top to fill our camp container.

The cooking ingredient box has individual screw lid containers that contain flour, sugar, coffee, etc arranged in the bottom. Cheap containers found at your local dollar store.  The tool tray sits on top of those and contains all the spices.  The larger containers in the bottom have all their lids labeled with what is inside.

The utensil box holds all of our cooking tools. Knives, Sifters, Mini Cutting Board, Mixing Bowls, Whisks, Serving Spoons.

Here is a list of items in my two boxes.  I cook with large groups and can cook or bake anything with what I carry.  Adjust your items to suit your needs.

Spice/Flour Box

(2) Containers of Flour

Sugar

Coffee

Brown Sugar

Vanilla Coffee Powder

Buttermilk powder

Oatmeal

Cornmeal

(8) 1/4 Cup containers of Crisco

Spray oil

Salt

Pepper

Cilantro Flakes

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Italian Seasoning

Paprika

Corn Starch

Baking Soda

Baking Powder

Nutmeg

Cinnamon

Ginger ground/powder

Nutmeg ground/powder

Clove ground/powder

Burger Seasoning

Chili Powder

Cumin Powder

Vanilla Extract

Sage

Dry Milk

Cayenne Pepper

Bay Leaves

Vegetable Oil

Dry Yeast

Recipes on index cards in a small plastic zip lock bag

Utensil Box

Mixing Bowl

Cutting Boards

Hand Mixer

Tongs

Serving Spoons

Several sets of Knife, Spoon, Fork

Oval Metal Plate

Butcher knife

Bread knife

Paring knife

Can opener

Wine/Bottle Opener

Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons

Whisk

Scissors

Pot holders

Ladles

Wooden Spoons

Spatula

Biscuit cutters

Rubber Batter Scrapers

Butane Lighter Sticks

Spare Lantern Mantels

Aluminum Foil

Plastic Wrap

Sifter

 

678 total views, 3 views today