Friday, February 15, 2008

Help ME!

Okay, people, I need some help here, so lissenup.

Sometime this spring, probably in April sometime, I’m going to push myself and my culinary skills by stepping up to the pot. I’ve been imagining a challenge and I want to take it on. Here’s what I’m thinking.

I want to choose a Saturday and cook a meal and invite some friends over to eat. Not just any old one-pot dish, mind you, I’m talking a full-course gourmet meal. And I want to cook it ALL in my dutch ovens in one day. Well, maybe two, but it will be all dutch oven (except maybe the salad…)

I’m talking about an appetizer (maybe a soup), bread, a meat entrée, veggies and/or a salad, and a desert. Work the whole thing out in advance, buy the stuff, make it and have friends over that evening.

Why do I want to do this? To show off, of course! Well, that and just to push my limits and see if I can do it.

So, how can you help, dear readers?

I need ideas. What should I cook? I need suggestions and/or recipes/links for each of the courses. I’ll credit you here in the Black Pot with a link, if I use it! Just comment below and let’s see what we can come up with!


  1. I made this in my 12in on Saturday.Looks good and tastes great. DO Salmon and Asparagus. Oil the bottom of your oven then cover with Bread crumbs. Place Salmon filets in oven then top with Fresh Asparagus, Repeat layers them cover with a bottle or 2 of Sweet Vandalia Onion Vinegret dressing,put it on thick. Bake @ 350 for 45 min serve with Wild Rice. I had 6 filets so serves 6

  2. McCormick makes an AWESOME chicken wing spice. Do chicken wings as the appetizer with homemade bleu cheese dressing... I have a good recipe at home.

    Ribs would be the main course, dry rubbed with barbeque spice and basted with sauce. DO scalloped ranch potatoes... ranch dressing powder mix, milk, a little butter- verrrry tasty.

    Make brownies for dessert, and homemade ice cream. You can use a 1 gal paint can inside a 5 gallon bucket to make the ice cream.

  3. P.S. What time is dinner?

    I'm always game for cooking 'old school.


  4. Here are a couple of Soup ideas that I have tried and liked:

    Italian Wedding Soup

    1 pound of ground beef, pork, chicken, turkey (or combination)
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    1 cup of bread crumbs
    1 teaspoon of garlic powder
    1 teaspoon of dried parsley
    2 teaspoons of dried basil
    2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, (optional)
    2 tablespoons of olive oil
    6 cups of chicken broth
    2 cups of water
    1 1/2 Cups of pastina, or other small pasta (or large pasta broken up)
    1 (10 oz) package of frozen ; chopped spinach, thawed and drained

    Combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, spices and cheese (optional) in medium sized bowl. Mix well. Shape into small meatballs ( use about 1 teaspoon of mixture per meatball ). Heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Sauté meatballs over medium-high heat, turning often, until just done. (about 5 minutes) Do not overcook as the meatballs will get further cooking in soup. Set aside.

    Bring broth and water to boil in Dutch oven. Reduce heat to low. Add meatballs, pasta and spinach. Cover and simmer until pasta is done. (about 10 minutes).

    Makes four servings.

    Chicken Corn Chowder

    12 Inch or 12 inch Deep Dutch Oven

    2 family-size cans cream of chicken soup
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 small jar (2 oz.) Diced pimentos
    4 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4 - 1 inch cubes
    2 cans pre-cut chicken (12.5 oz.), mixed or breast
    1 can cream style corn
    1 whole kernel corn
    2 cups milk
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon celery salt
    Other desired seasonings
    mild cheddar cheese, grated
    Put all ingredients into Dutch oven. Cook until potatoes are cooked through and tender.
    Serve with grated cheese on top.

  5. I love doing different vegetables in the Dutch Oven. These both are very good:

    Brussels Sprouts & Artichoke Hearts
    2 (10 oz.) bags frozen Brussels sprouts, cooked as directed
    1 (14 oz.) jar artichoke hearts
    1 small jar pimentos, chopped
    2/3 cup mayonnaise
    1/4 cup margarine
    8 oz. sour cream
    2 tsp. lemon juice
    1/4 cup sliced almonds
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

    Enjoy! Pat

    Combine first 7 ingredients and pour into 10" Dutch oven. Top with almonds and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 degrees (18 coals on top; 9 on bottom) for 10 minutes.

    Orange Glazed Beets

    1/2 cup orange juice
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 Tbsp. butter, melted
    4 lbs. cooked beets, peeled and cut into wedges
    1 Tbsp. orange zest

    In 10" Dutch oven, over medium heat, bring orange juice, sugar and butter to a boil. Add beets, cook, stirring frequently about 15 minutes or until the beets are well glazed. Stir in the orange zest.

  6. This is one of my family's favorites:

    Baked Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
    Serves: 4
    • 1 (3-or-4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 40 large, meaty garlic cloves, unpeeled
    • 1-3/4 cups unsweetened white grape juice
    • 4 thyme sprigs or 1/4 teaspoon dried
    • 8 garlic croutons
    • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
    1. Remove the skin from the chicken pieces.
    2. Heat the oil over medium heat 12 Inch Deep Dutch oven. Add the chicken, and salt and pepper lightly. Saute for 5 minutes, then turn over and saute another 5 minutes. If the bottom of the pan scorches a little, don't worry, it won't affect the flavor of the dish. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot.
    3. Add the garlic and saute, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, until beginning to brown. Again, don't worry about scorching. Spread the cloves in a single layer and return the chicken pieces to the pot. Add the juice, thyme, and rosemary and cover and bake for 45 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, make the garlic croutons.
    5. After 45 minutes, check the chicken. It should be tender and fragrant. If it isn't quite cooked through or very tender, bake another 15 minutes.
    6. Taste the sauce in the pot, adjust seasonings, and sprinkle with parsley.
    7. To serve, place a couple of croutons on each plate, a piece of chicken or two, topped with some of the sauce in the pan, and several garlic cloves, which your guests should squeeze out onto the croutons.

  7. Wow. These are all incredible ideas! Thanks so much!


  8. Mark,
    Head over to castironitis and check out my menu for a competition I stole first place in! Paella, sourdough beer bread and the dessert called "sin on a stick" a smores variation that will cure any chocolate addiction!



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