Many folks are re-discovering the culinary delights of Dutch oven cooking. My family loves to cook in our cast iron Dutch ovens both while camping as well as at home. With summer heat upon us, any cooking done outdoors can help to keep our homes cool, and so this is a perfect time to dig out your Dutch ovens and get them re-seasoned and ready to go.
When using your Dutch oven at home, you can go to a camping-supply type store and purchase some fancy equipment to use with your Dutch oven, or you can improvise: A metal oil pan (such as you would use to drain the oil from a vehicle) works great to use as a base for cooking. Metal tongs from the 'dollar store' work just as great as the more expensive version, and you can afford two, so you have a back-up pair! (used for transferring coals) Your old 'hibachi' or cheapie charcoal grill is a great place to start your coals, making the chimneys available in the store un-necessary, although, if you were to make any purchase of new equipment, I would recommend the chimney for two reasons.
First, you can eliminate the use of lighter fluid when using a chimney, by using crumpled newspaper to start your charcoal (this is also environmentally sound). Second, these gadgets are not too pricey, and have a handle which makes transferring the charcoal to your cooking area, safer and easier. I prefer to use the "3 up, 3 down = 325 degrees F" formula recommended by Lodge Manufacturing when cooking with charcoal. This formula is based on the oven's diameter and the use of full-size charcoal briquettes. The diameter plus 3 equals the number of briquettes required for top heat. The diameter minus 3 equals the number of briquettes needed for bottom heat. This heats the oven to 325 degrees F. A table using this method can be found on my website. The following recipe is written for using a 12 inch Dutch oven.
Dutch Oven Chicken Enchiladas
Recipe By : Real Food for Real People
Serving Size : 12
Shred both cheeses together. In a large bowl, mix chicken, cheeses, green pepper, onions, mushrooms, olives, chilies, soups, salsa and sour cream. In a 12 inch Dutch oven, place a layer of corn tortillas on the bottom and then a layer of flour tortillas. Next add a thin layer of the mixed ingredients. Repeat flour tortillas and mixed ingredients in layers until the top layer. Place a flour tortilla on top and then a layer of corn tortillas. Using 8 - 10 charcoal briquettes on the bottom, and 13 - 15 charcoal briquettes on the top, cook for about 30 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked. Great served with chips and salsa.
Source: "adapted from original recipe by Carlena Simon-Miller"
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