Thursday, 2 December 2021

Food Glorious Food

I'm going to jump a bit all over the place with the next few blog posts, as I have both October and November to catch up on.

As usual, I like to try a new recipe each month and have decided that it would be nice to revisit an older recipe as well.  Add to that, we have discovered camp oven cooking and have been doing a bit of experimenting.

Let's see what we got up to over the last couple of months.

I'll start off with the camp oven.

I'd already mentioned here at the start of October how we cooked rock cakes and roast lamb in the camp oven.
As we now have both a 10 inch and 12 inch camp oven, the following week we decided to cook a two course meal.
The chicken dish is one we often make in the oven.  Simply put a layer of chopped up veges in the base of a pan, cover with chopped up chicken or drumsticks and then pour over a combined one can of cream of mushroom soup, half a cup of mayo and one teaspoon of curry powder.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake for an hour.  Too simple.  It is called "Busy Day Chicken".
Dessert would be Peach Cobbler.  This is apparently a popular scout camp recipe.  Drain a big tin of peaches, reserving the juice.  Get a packet of el cheapo vanilla cake mix.  Add some peach juice until it makes a cake batter consistancy and pour over the top of the peaches.  Also, too simple.
The chicken did not look appetising, but then it never does.  It is however, very tasty.
Oops, we may have been a tad too hot on top of the cobbler, but it was still quite edible.
The verdict.........  The chicken was as yummy as always.  Served with rice or couscous, the juices are soaked up.  An easy one pot wonder.  Just don't worry about the cheese on top. It didn't brown, but seemed to blend into the sauce.
The peach cobbler was yummy as well, served with cream.  I suppose the cake topping would be lighter if made with the egg and milk as the packet recommends, but as an easy camping meal with minimal ingredients it still worked really well.

Both courses would be ideal to take camping.  Have the chicken and veges cut up before leaving home and it would be a very easy meal to prepare.

So what next?  Yes, we used the camp oven the following weekend as well.
Lamb shanks.  You have to cook lamb shanks in the camp oven.  Perfect for slow cooking.
Look at that.  After four hours the meat was fairly falling off the bones.
Definitely another success.

But there's more.....we were definitely on a roll.
Finally, we roasted a chook.
Mmmm  Mmmm.  Definitely another success.  The chook was so lovely and moist and home made sage and onion stuffing is always so much nicer than the stuffing in a bought chook.  Once again, the veges don't crisp up like in an oven, but they cook through beautifully.  It is more like they are steamed.  There was even nice juices for making the gravy.
Our next meal was in November.  Pork loin marinated in herbs.
Yummo!  It was delicious.  No crackling, but with all the  marinade, I didn't expect it.  We really think the meat cooks nicer in the camp oven that in the normal oven. Everything is so lovely and moist, whereas the meat can tend to dry out normally.

And that is the sum total of the camp oven cooking.  We only made the one meal in November.  We'll blame the wet weather for quite a bit of it, but I'm sure we will get out there again.

Next, let's look at what new recipes we tried.

In October, it was pretty much all the camp oven cooking.  There were a couple of new recipes in there.
I did make an breakfast from the Coles magazine.  Strawberry and Rhubarb Porridge with Yoghurt.  It then had a dollop of  peanut butter as well.  It looked and sounded good in the magazine, but my effort was rather a "Pinterest Fail".  We won't bother again.

I had a much better result from a recipe in another of their magazines. Salmon Wellingtons.
Nice and simple to prepare.  A fillet of salmon with a spinach and cream cheese filling wrapped in puff pastry.
Looking good.
And tasting great.  Definitely will be making this one again.
Our next meal to try, also out of the Coles magazine, was chicken with a tarragon and orange salsa.  This featured currants, which I had on hand after the rock cakes, capers and tarragon.  Our tarragon is just coming good after its winter hibernation, so that was the main draw card.  It called for segmented oranges.  You know, that is something that I've never done before.  So simple, once you see how.  It was a lovely, light meal and one we will make again when we have tarragon available in the garden.
The next recipe I tried was one that was shared on Threadbare Creations blog.  They are Soul Cakes and were traditionally made on All Souls Day.  Rose shares the history on her post.  Anyway, they looked yummy and reminded me a bit of Eccles Cakes (which my friend Lou refers to as "Fly Cemeteries").  Also, it was another way to use those currants I have to hand.  Mine are not as pretty as Rose's and we aren't really into fiddly things like adding the currant crosses.  Despite that, they are really tasty.  We will make them again.  However, we will be slack and rather than roll out the dough and use a biscuit cutter, we will just roll them into balls and squish with a fork, then omitting the currant decorations, but still sprinkling with a little sugar.

And that then brings me to revisiting an old recipe.....

The Rock Cakes we made in October in the camp oven is an old favourite I hadn't made for ages. 

For November, it followed on from the Soul Cakes.  You see, the Soul Cakes recipe called for three egg yolks, which left me with three egg whites.
Friands were the natural use.  My recipe called for six egg whites, so we just halved it, making six friands.  It was a good opportunity to use a couple of our strawberries as well.  Normally, I have made friands after making lemon butter, but I haven't made them for ages.  I had to buy some fresh almond meal, so now I think I will finally have to have a go at making a whole orange cake, something I have been wanting to try for years, but never seem to get around to.
This is our favourite place to sit of an afternoon.  So hard to have coffee and cake on the front verandah.  All the neighbours wave as they go past.  Sometimes it is four o'clock, but on the days I work it is often closer to six o'clock.  They must think it is all we do.  

On that note, I must be off, to enjoy coffee and cake on the front verandah.


ButterZ said...

Oh I wish I lived closer to you so I could join you on the verandah. All your meals look delicious. I’ll be trying that easy creamy chicken dish. I don’t make cakes or biscuits because I’d be the one to eat the lot. Looks like you are having so much fun trying out the camp ovens.

Gail said...

All the yummy food! Looks like you enjoyed both the making and the eating!

Jenny said...

So interesting to read and drool over your cooking adventures. I occasionally buy Beef Wellington from the local butcher and love it, so was intrigued by the recipe for Salmon Welington, Robin not so much. But..... I think I'll give it a try anyway, and I know he will eat it when its served up to him.

Cheryll said...

Thanks for the oven recipes... I'll definitely try a few next camping trip...
Better go get me a cuppa...xox

kiwikid said...

Your recipes sound wonderful Janice and the camp oven meals look great. I do a similar one with chicken, but the chicken is cookied and pulled apart, then covered with a mix of cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry powder. Covered with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Easy and tastes wonderful, oops it also has broccoli mixed in too. I am with Jo, I wish I lived closer and could join in with afternoon tea.

Maria said...

A mouth watering post 😋

jude's page said...

They all look so yummy

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

Janice you don't know but this is my fourth year of IF, basically I skip breakfast so this was the most awesome mouthwatering post for me. The food just looks amazing and I will definitely be trying that chicken and soup recipe. But I've taken a photo of your post to refer back to because there are a couple of other things there we would also love. Thanks!!

loulee said...

Wow, you have been having fun in the kitchen and with the camp ovens. I could almost smell some of that food. I haven't made fly cemetery for a while......