Everything has been a bit crazy since we got back from our ill fated Pecos River trip. I've spent a bit of time moping, a little bit of grumbling , and just overall a poor outlook on things thanks to the constant reminders of all that was lost. So I decided to forget all the kayak/canoe/fishing stuff for a few days and get back to my black pots.
It's been a really long time since i've cooked anything in the dutch ovens. Over the past 12-24 months, I have for some reason quit most of the cooking I had done for so long. I used to enjoy it, but it started to become a chore thanks to work. I wasn't getting out of work early enough to do much, and if I did, we wouldn't eat until after 9pm. Try telling that to the kids. Yeah, not gonna work. So it slowly started to become farther and farther between heating the coals until it had been months between cook outs.
Well, I finally did the other night. And let me tell you, it felt great. The smell of charcoal, hot iron, and then the ever intoxicating aroma of the best food in the world being cooked right under those heavy lids.
On the menu tonight was a somewhat healthy rendition of Stuffed Bell Peppers. And as a side, the not quite as healthy Roasted Red Potatoes with Bacon and Cheese. What a couple of easy and tasty recipes to get me moving back toward the cast iron way of cooking things.
Both recipes came from Everyday Dutch Oven. She has some of the best recipes and is my "goto" site when I need something quick. Here are the recipes....
Sisters on the Fly Stuffed Bell Peppers
14 soda crackers (Saltines), crushed into fine pieces
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (***I used ground turkey***)
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 large red, green, orange, or yellow bell peppers
2 cups water
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated ( I use shredded Mozzarella)
Lightly oil or spray a 14 inch dutch oven. (***I used my 12 inch with no problems***)
In a large bowl, mix together the soda crackers, ground beef,
onion, celery, and half the tomato sauce. Add the eggs and garlic and
Cut off the top of the peppers and clean out the insides. Stuff
the peppers with the meat mixture and place them in your dutch oven.
Add 2 cups of water to the bottom of the oven and steam the peppers for
an hour using approximately 12 charcoal briquettes on the bottom and
15-20 on the lid.
When the peppers are tender and cooked, pour the remaining tomato
sauce over the peppers and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cook for a
few more minutes or until cheese is melted.
Roasted Red Potatoes with Bacon and Cheese
1/2 cup bottled Ranch OR Bacon Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan OR Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Real Bacon Bits
2 lb. small red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley
Lightly oil or spray dutch oven. (***I used a 12 inch***)
Mix dressing, cheese, scallions and Bacon Bits in medium bowl.
Add potatoes; toss lightly.
Spoon potatoes in single layer in prepared oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until tender and browned.
Makes 4-6 servings.
As you can see, we broke out the fine china.
This was an amazing meal. The taters were absolutely perfect as well as the peppers. This will get put down in the "repeat" recipe file. Quick, easy, tasted awesome! The whole family loved them.
Thanks for coming along,