So, I’ve been struggling with what to cook at the Eagle Mountain Pony Express Days Cookoff. I finally settled on some recipes, and last Sunday, I did a trial run. The cookoff is for three dishes: A bread, an entrée, and a dessert. I finally decided on the braided bread with an orange and brown sugar glaze, a blackened salmon on a bed of rice and veggies, and the paradise pie knockoff recipe I did a while back. I had to work out a schedule, that was pretty tight, to be able to deliver the three dishes on time.
Then I started on the paradise pie. I got that made and on the coals.
Next I started on the spice mix for the salmon and the veggies for the rice. Here’s that recipe:
Mark’s Dutch Oven Blackened Salmon on Veggie Rice
2x 12” Dutch Ovens
20+ coals beneath each one
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp crushed coriander
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp thyme
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 4-6 salmon fillets
First, I mixed all the spices in a ziplock bag. Then I cut the skin away from the salmon filets and cut them into chunks about two inches wide. I put the fillets into the bag, closed it, and shook it all up to really coat the salmon. Then I pulled the salmon out and put them into another bag, letting them sit and absorb the spices for about an hour.
About this time, the Paradise Pie was done, and I pulled it off the coals. I left it in the 10”, thinking that I’d reheat it later. The bread was ready, too, so I punched it down, and stretched it into three long ropes and braided them. I placed that back into a dutch oven, in a circle, and set that aside to proof (the second raise).
Then I started on the rice. I started by chopping up all the veggies.
- 2 sweet peppers (I used half each of red, yellow, orange, and green, for color)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- ¼ lb smoked sausage, thin sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 2 lemons
- salt and pepper
Once the veggies were all chopped, I put the onions, garlic, and sausage on the coals to brown. Once those were ready, I put in the veggies, the rice, and the stock. Then I added the lemon stuff and the seasoning. I covered it and left it on the coals (I transferred some to the top) for about 20 minutes, until the rice was done.
While the rice was cooking, and the bread was cooking, I did the salmon. I put a lot of coals under a 12” oven with some oil in the bottom. I let it heat up a lot. I actually put a thermometer in the dutch oven, and heated it up to 300 degrees. Then I took the salmon fillets and put them into the oil and let them sizzle for about two minutes before I turned them over. The seasoning was good and black, and man, it smelled GREAT! After another two minutes, I pulled it off the coals, covered it with the dutch oven lid, and let the residual heat cook the fish the rest of the way through.
Just before the bread was done, I added the orange glaze to the top. It was made of:
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Juice from half an orange
- Zest from one full orange
- Liberal shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg
When the bread came out it was yummy! A bit too done on top, but the glaze tasted wonderful. I heated up the
It really tasted good. I have to say, though, that these last few experiences where I’m cooking lots of dishes all at once are really tiring. That, and I find that I can’t pay enough attention to one dish to really make it the best I can. Once these cookoff adventures are over, I’m gonna go back to just cooking up one thing and learning how to really do one thing really well.