Culinary Musings

Easy Dutch Oven Recipes, Healthy Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes & More


by Mike
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Thai Coconut Curried Noodles

Thai Coconut Curried Noodles
Chef: 
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Thai rice noodles and fresh vegetables simmered in coconut milk, curry, and sweet chili sauce makes a delicious vegetarian meal.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb firm tofu, cut into ½" slabs
  • 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce, low sodium
  • 2 cups broccoli cut into florets
  • 2 cups carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 1 lb rice noodles
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • ½ cup scallions, bias cut
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1½ cups fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can “lite”coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Thai curry paste (red or green)
  • ⅔ cup sweet chile sauce
  • Garnish
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  2. While water is heating, brown slabs of tofu on both sides. Remove from heat and cube. Toss cubes with 2 Tbsp of soy sauce.
  3. Blanch broccoli and carrots for 1 minute. Strain and reserve hot water. Cool vegetables in ice water.
  4. Return hot water to a boil. When boiling, turn off heat. Add rice noodles and stir to separate strands. Let noodles cook 5 minutes off the heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. While noodles cook, place large sauté pan over high heat. Add canola oil and sautéed mushrooms until lightly golden.
  6. Add the following ingredients to sauté pan in order, allowing 1 minute between additions:
  7. - coconut milk, Thai curry paste, and tofu
  8. - carrots and broccoli
  9. - Red bell peppers
  10. - scallion and ginger
  11. - sweet chile sauce and noodles
  12. Toss once or twice to coat all ingredients well with sauce. Place on serving platter. Provide sesame seeds and shredded coconut for garnish.
Notes
You can use a variety of vegetables - pick whatever is in season. Cut the pieces fairly small so that they cook quickly and can take advantage of the delicious sauce.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6

 


by Mike
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Jamacian-style Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew

Jamacian-style Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew
Chef: 
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This is a rich, spicy vegan stew with a Jamaican flair. Excellent served over rice as a stew or pureed and served as a thick soup. Serves 4-6. Cooked in a 12" or larger dutch oven.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds of sweet potatoes (three medium or two large), peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, 1 inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2" dice)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced fine
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water in a pinch)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 15 oz can vegetarian black beans, with liquid
  • Optional:
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 4 cups water
Instructions
  1. In a 12" Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and bell pepper. Saute for a couple of minutes, then add the sweet potatoes, jalapeno, and garlic.
  3. Stir to coat and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
  4. Add the spices (chili powder, cumin, and ancho) then cover the pot and cook for 7-8 more minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.
  5. De-glaze the pot with the broth, then add the tomatoes and black beans.
  6. (Note: if serving over rice, start the rice water now....)
  7. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower heat and cook over medium-low heat for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  8. Serve over rice as a stew, or...
  9. Using a blender, puree the stew in batches, a couple of cups at a time, until smooth. Serve hot or cold.
  10. Variations:
  11. Substitute pinto beans for the black beans
  12. For an Asian feel, Add 1 Tbs fresh-grated ginger with the other spices and sprinkle a few tsp of shredded coconut on top when serving.

 


by Mike
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Cast Iron Skillet Dutch Baby

Cast Iron Skillet Dutch Baby
Chef: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-6
 
A Dutch Baby is a hybrid of a popover and a pancake. They are delicious for breakfast, or can be served as a desert anytime.
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • ½ T butter (melted in pan)
Instructions
  1. The above ingredients are for one serving. For a 12" CI skillet I mix up 4 or 5 servings, but one can adjust the pan size to fit the crowd size.
  2. Preheat oven to 450. Put skillet in the oven while it preheats so the pan is very hot. Once oven and pan are up to temperature, add butter to pan to melt.
  3. Mix ingredients in blender. Remove pan from oven, pour melted butter into batter, give a quick blend, then pour batter back into pan and place back in the oven. Cooking time is about 20-25 minutes or until top is "golden brown and delicious" as Alton Brown says.
Notes
Tips: - Mix up the batter only right before baking. - Use room temp (or slightly warmer) ingredients. - Hot oven, hot pan before starting. - Pouring in melted butter and incorporating into batter eliminates any oily sheen from the top of the dutch baby.

Dutch Baby cooked in a 12


by Mike
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Dutch Oven Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice
Chef: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 12" Dutch Oven or deep saute pan
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups rice (rinsed or unrinsed)*
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in dutch oven. Add onions and saute until translucent.
  2. Add garlic part way through.
  3. Add rice and cumin and saute until translucent.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed.
  5. * If you like your Mexican Rice more fluffy and less sticky, start by putting the raw rice in a strainer and rinsing for about 2 minutes under running water to remove some of the starch from the outside of the rice.

 


by Mike
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18 Hour Crusty “Slow Bread” Cooked in a Dutch Oven

18 Hour Crusty "Slow Bread" Cooked in a Dutch Oven
Chef: 
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
This is the antithesis of a "quick bread" taking 18 hours or so to make, but with very little effort and the wait is worth it. The bread comes out crusty with a chewy interior and a slight sourdough flavor. Mix up this no-knead dough after dinner and bake it for breakfast or start it at bedtime and bake it for lunch or dinner. This is a simple, rustic bread with a hard crunchy crust that is perfect for sandwiches or dunking into soups and stews.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups unbleached AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or iodized salt
  • ½ teaspoon active or instant rise yeast
  • 2 cups water
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add water and mix with a wooden spoon until combined into a rough stiff dough. Get all the flour combined but don't worry about how bad it looks.
  2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap (I like Press-n-Seal) and set aside in a warm place for 12-18 hours. Overnight works great.
  3. Set oven temperature to 450 degrees. While still cool, place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the oven and pot/lid for 30 minutes.
  4. While oven and pot are heating, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface, punch down with fingertips, and shape into a ball. Roll ball loosely between well-floured hands to smooth the surface of the dough ball.
  5. Cover with flour-powdered plastic wrap and leave on countertop while oven heats.
  6. Remove hot dutch oven from the oven and drop in the dough. Replace lid and return to oven for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

 


by Carrie H.
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Easy Caesar Salad Dressing No Anchovies No Eggs Recipe

I LOVE caesar salad.  It’s one of my favorites, and generally my choice if it is a choice when eating out.  I also love to have Caesar Salad at home, but some bottled dressings are just a little too heavy on the Anchovy.

ceasar salad dressing

I make my own dressing without anchovies and it’s perfect.  I make this up every few days, it’s not something that can keep forever because of the mayo – but it’s so tasty you’ll wonder why you never made your own before this!

Easy Caesar Salad No Anchovies No Eggs Recipe
Chef: 
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4*6
 
This recipe gets it's "egg" component from the Mayonnaise. Mayo is a good substitute because it's pasteurized and shelf stable. You should refrigerate this dressing - and only keep it a few days.
Ingredients
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ ts. dry mustard (I use Colemans)
  • 2½ - 3 tbs red wine vinegar, to your taste
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup light olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a blender combine all of the ingredients but the olive oil.
  2. Blend well - you may need to add a tsp or two of water to help with the blending
  3. with your blender on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the hole in the lid until the whole recipe comes together and is imulsified

 


by Carrie H.
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180 Heat-Busting No-Bake Desserts from Around the Internet

I have a pinboard and a bookmarks folder full of dinner and dessert ideas that are perfect when it’s 90 degrees out.  Yesterday was our first 90-degree day – and I was miserable.

180 no bake desserts cm sm

I started digging through my board & Bookmarks for some dinner ideas and realized my bookmark was gone.  Oh the tragedy!  I was so sad.  I started from scratch and found some great posts that have a lot of ideas in them.  But I wanted somewhere better to keep them.  Well, why not a blog post that is saved forever on a blog – never to disappear in a browser mishap?  Great idea!

There are way too many recipes to put them all in one post, so I’ll break them down.  Today let’s do desserts!

Below find links to 180 of my favorite no-bake dessert posts from around the internet!

sixsistersstuff Friday Fun List: 50 Easy & Delicious No Bake Desserts – From SixSistersStuff.com.  This is a great blog for easy to make and fun recipes.  I go to them many times when I’m looking for something that looks great but is really simple to make.  Their no bake desserts include the iconic No Bake Cookies as well as Muddy Buddies and Peanut Butter bars.  Definitely a great resource!
cooking light logo 16 No Bake Desserts from Cooking Light. - When I first started seriously cooking – about 10 years ago – I had a subscription to this magazine. Their recipes are great, they cut some caloric corners, and they’re generally easy to make and have ingredients that are easy to find.  My favorites on this list are Last Minute Tropical Sherbet and the Limoncello Freeze.  Definitely a keeper!
all you logo Easy No-Bake Dessert Recipes from AllYou.com – Love these 14 quick and easy desserts.  I imagine if you like pudding (I’m not a fan) then you’d like the Lemon Graham Icebox Cake.  My favorites are the Watermelon Limeade Slushie and the Ice Cream Bon Bons.
everyday w RR logo EasyRecipes: No-Bake Desserts from RachelRayMag.com – This is a list of 40 no bake dessert ideas, not necessarily “recipes” but do you need a recipe for everything?  Her ideas for Fruit Sushi and Unbaked Alaska are great.  Also the Amaretto Sour Slushie is FABULOUS – I only use Gozio Amaretto!
thekitchn logo Sweets Without Heat: 25 Cool & Scrumptious No-Bake Summer Desserts from TheKitchn.com - Fabulous compilation of recipes here.  Also presented in an easy to find and print format.  My favorites?  The Boozy Campari Citrus Pops (think about the variations on this you could make!) as well as the Strawberry Yogurt Popcicles for those times I cannot drink my dessert :)
girl who ate everything logo No Bake Desserts from The Girl Who Ate Everything Blog – I love this blog – not only is the writer witty and very easy to read, her recipes are very fun and easy.  She has 28 great recipes here, but the top prize goes to the Ice Cream Sandwich Cake.  This is a pretty impressive and tasty dessert for family or entertaining as long as you can keep it in the freezer – It cant travel very well.  Her Grammie’s recipe will blow you away as well!
pauladeen logo No Bake Desserts from Paula Deen – 7 Tasty Treats here! I know there are a lot out there who don’t like Paula – but I love her, I kinda wish she was my gramma. Of course, we’d both be on Diabetes medicine if she were – because my love of butter and bacon and her enabling would ruin me forever. Big winners on her list are Low Country Cookies and Bobby’s Rice Pudding.

180 no-bake desserts roundup


by Carrie H.
0 comments

Easy BBQ Ham Recipe

I am a big fan of the pig.  His tasty bits from ham to bacon are welcome on my table anytime.  During holidays I stock up on Ham while it’s on sale and keep them nestled in the freezer for a rainy day, or a warm one at that.

This easy BBQ ham recipe is better on an overcast day, because we use the oven.  If you have the patience, and the propane, you could do this entire ham on the grill.  I’d cook it in an aluminum pan, covered tightly, for about 1 1/2 hours at around 300 degrees – then follow the rest of the steps outlined below!  You wont be sorry!

bbq ham collage

Here are the steps in pictures, the printable recipe will follow!

First, Score your ham in a criss cross pattern with a sharp knife, this allows flavors to penetrate the fat layer.  Once you’ve scored it, coat the outside in yellow mustard.  You can use dijon for a kick if you like.  It will look like this

BBQ Ham Step 1

Once you’ve coated in mustard, press the brown sugar all over the ham and rub it into the scored cracks really well!  it will look like this:

_MG_0586

Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 2 hours at 325 degrees.  NOTE: this is a fully cooked ham, technically it just needs to be heated through.

_MG_0589

Once the ham comes out of the oven, place it on a medium hot grill and start basting on your BBQ sauce.  I baste about every 15 minutes, being sure to get all sides EXCEPT the one I chose to be the “down” side.  Because ham is fatty, it will burn – and the sugary BBQ sauce doesn’t help.  The thick layer of skin and fat on one side of a shank ham can protect the meat nicely, I usually place this piece “down” on the grill and just let that bit burn and spin the ham around to baste it.

IMG_1025

This is our porcine friend with 1 coat of BBQ Sauce just after I put him on the grill.    After baking you can really see the scoring you did before you slid him in the oven.  Keep basting and turning him on the grill.  I roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and baby artichokes while I painted on Mr. Oink’s tasty bbq sauce.

When you have a nice bark on the outside, and your side dishes are done, Mr. Oink is ready for the table.  I try to keep him on the grill for about an hour if possible.  Here he is right before I took him inside and we devoured him!

IMG_1028

So that’s the process!  Here’s the recipe!  Enjoy!

Easy BBQ Ham Recipe
Chef: 
Recipe type: Main Dish, Grill
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 1 shank portion or butt portion ham. I use city ham, not sure this would work with country ham
  • ½ C. prepared yellow mustard
  • ¼ to ½ C. brown sugar
  • 1 C. BBQ Sauce of your choice
Instructions
  1. Score your ham in a diamond hatch pattern all over to allow the flavor to penetrate the fat layer
  2. Brush on the mustard liberally, get it in all the cracks and crannies
  3. Coat with brown sugar, same as the mustard - use your hands to get it all in the cracks and crannies of the ham
  4. Place in a baking pan with sides and cover tightly with foil
  5. Bake at 325 for 2 hours - or place covered on a 300 degree grill for about 2 hours.
  6. Once the ham is done baking, remove from pan and place, skin or thick fat layer down directly on your medium grill rack - you want the temp to run around 400 degrees for this.
  7. Rotate and coat with your favorite homemade or store bought BBQ sauce. Brush more sauce on every 15 minutes or so for about an hour.
  8. Remove from the grill, trim the burnt fat layer off, slice, and serve.


by Carrie H.
0 comments

Best BBQ Ribs Cooking Technique – Oven or Grill!

I love ribs – a lot – but finding a way to cook them that resulted in 1) tender ribs; and 2) a manageable mess to clean up was difficult.

I read a lot, watched a lot of cooking shows, and finally developed some techniques that are tried and true now – no fuss, no muss, and completely worth it.  The first version below is for ribs on the grill, which is the best way to have them in my opinion.  You can also do this over coals if you’re camping.

Best BBQ Ribs Recipe & Technique - CulinaryMusings.com

The second recipe is for the oven.  Oven baked ribs are good, but are definitely a winter undertaking, because they heat your kitchen up to a temperature that would have the devil asking for a glass of ice water.

Give this a try – you wont be sorry!

Best BBQ Ribs Cooking Technique - G2rill!
Chef: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Measurements here are arbitrary - just make sure your dry rub covers the ribs really well and rub it in with your fingers.
Ingredients
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • pepper
  • Favorite BBQ Sauce
Instructions
  1. Lay your ribs out on a double wide, double thick piece of foil - you want enough to wrap them up tight
  2. Sprinkle the rub ingredients liberally all over - you don't really need to measure - just make sure things are covered. Then rub the spices around really well into all the nooks and crannies
  3. Wrap the ribs up tight in the foil
  4. Heat your grill medium/low (about 325 deg)
  5. Place the ribs, foil and all, in the middle of your grill and flip them every 15 minutes for about an hour - you don't want them to burn, but you want them to cook through.
  6. When the ribs look cooked through (use your meat thermometer and cook them to 165 degrees) remove them from the foil and place them directly on the grill grate for 10 minutes on each side.
  7. At the end of the last 10 minutes, use a brush or BBQ Mop to baste on your favorite BBQ Sauce.
  8. First baste the top and let cook, that side up for about 5 minutes, then flip and baste the next side and cook for 5 minutes - depending upon your time, you can do this a few times to build layers of flavor. If you don't have time, that's ok.

Best BBQ Ribs Recipe - Oven Method
Great ribs in the oven

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients:
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Favorite BBQ Sauce
Instructions:
Lay your ribs out on a double wide piece of foil - you want enough to wrap them up tight Sprinkle the rub ingredients liberally all over - you don't really need to measure - just make sure things are covered. Then rub the spices around really well into all the nooks and crannies Wrap the ribs up tight in the foil heat your oven to 350 deg Cover a large cookie sheet with foil and place your wrapped up ribs on the cookie sheet. Put them in the oven, foil and all - for about an hour - you don't want them to burn, but you want them to cook through. When the ribs look cooked through (use your meat thermometer and cook them to 165 degrees) remove them from the foil and place them directly on the foil wrapped cookie sheet. Increase oven temp to 400 degrees and cook them for 10-15 minutes on each side. At the end of the last 10 minutes, use a brush or BBQ Mop to baste on your favorite BBQ Sauce. First baste the top and let cook, that side up for about 5 minutes, then flip and baste the next side and cook for 5 minutes - depending upon your time, you can do this a few times to build layers of flavor. If you don't have time, that's ok.


by Carrie H.
0 comments

Fast & Easy Potato Salad

I went to a potluck last weekend.  I brought Margaritas….someone else brought potato salad.

Well, that’s what they called it.  It was mashed potato salad, with lots of vinegar…it was awful.

I’m from Minnesota – our potato salad is made with salad dressing (Miracle Whip) and mustard, it has celery and eggs and potatoes and onion.  It is not warm (unless you’re German, I’m Norwegian – we don’t do that,) it isn’t made with mashed potatoes (shudder) and it’s on every church or community potluck table you will find across the state.

Fast & Easy Potato Salad Recipe - CulinaryMusings.com

I realized that not many people grow up with potato salad in their summertime diet.  I did.  My mom makes wonderful potato salad, and I’m lucky enough to have learned from her.  Hers tastes better, probably because she made it – doesn’t all food made by mom taste better?

I’m sharing my easy recipe here, this takes about 20 minutes max to put together, you should chill for a bit in the fridge if you can.

Fast & Easy Potato Salad
Chef: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
You can absolutely double this recipe or even triple if you're feeding a crowd. Use potatoes you peel and boil if you have time, this is my shortcut recipe!
Ingredients
  • 2 packages small potatoes - the kind that are packaged for steaming in the microwave - find them in the produce section
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 green onions, diced/sliced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 1 C. Miracle Whip
  • 3 Tbsp Mustard
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • ½ Tsp Paprika
  • ½ Tsp minced parsley or dill (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the eggs in a small pan of cold water, cover and put on med/lo heat on the stove
  2. Place the potatoes in the microwave on full power for about 8 minutes - read your package directions because size of spud matters here
  3. While eggs and potatoes are cooking, dice onions & celery and put in a large bowl
  4. Once eggs come to a boil, reduce to a simmer and set a timer for 9 minutes
  5. When 9 minutes is up, dump off hot water, run under cold water for 2 minutes, fill up the pan, and add 2 C of ice cubes. Let sit
  6. When potatoes are done, dump into a colander and rinse with cold water. You can put these in an icewater bath with the eggs if you like.
  7. While eggs and potatoes cool, mix up dressing by combining Miracle Whip, Mustard, Salt & Pepper in a small bowl.
  8. Dice cooled potatoes and add to the celery and onions
  9. Peel your eggs, save one out that looks the best and dice the rest up and add to your potatoes
  10. Pour the dressing over the top and stir gently, but well
  11. Put into your serving bowl and top with your extra egg, sliced
  12. Sprinkle lightly with paprika
  13. Top with herbs if you like, this just adds some interest to the top of the salad
  14. Enjoy