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Cookbook review: 'Beginners Dutch Oven Cookbook' shares techniques, tools and recipes

Posted August 30

"BEGINNER'S DUTCH OVEN COOKBOOK," by Mark Hansen and Matt Pelton, Cedar Fort, $12.99, 160 pages (nf)

Dutch oven cooking can be a wonderful method for preparing food and inviting different tastes to the common meal. Sadly, many miss the appetizing foods from the Dutch oven because they are afraid it will be to hard or time-consuming.

In their new book “Beginner’s Dutch Oven Cookbook,” Mark Hansen and Matt Pelton have gathered all the information necessary to jump into the art of Dutch oven cooking.

Starting with the selection of your first Dutch oven (a 12-inch shallow is recommended for newbies), the authors guide readers through the process of gathering tools, seasoning new ovens, starting coals for cooking and other steps necessary for success. Many will find this book to be a handy resource for figuring out all the ways they can have success in their newfound hobby.

When it comes to the actual cooking, Hansen and Pelton have not left their readers wanting. They take two recipes — a main dish and a dessert — and walk new Dutch oven chefs step by step through each part of the process.

Beginning with a recipe for Dutch Oven Chicken and Potatoes, the authors share 80 recipes for main courses, side dishes and desserts perfected over their years of practice. Each recipe includes a rating (from beginner to expert), a list of all the ingredients necessary, baking time, the method to use and suggestions for the number of coals needed for the bake. Photos are available with a handful of the recipes. The authors note which ones were in their previous cookbooks (Hansen's "Black Pot for Beginners" and Pelton's "The Cast Iron Gourmet") and which ones are new to this one.

These helps will be just enough for the new/intermediate chef to practice and develop necessary skills.

Hansen lives in Eagle Mountain and blogs about Dutch oven cooking at marksblackpot.com. Pelton lives in Provo with his family and has won two international Dutch oven world championships.

***

CHICKEN ALFREDO

Level: Beginner

This is not Alfredo from a can! The texture and flavor are completely over the top. I like to serve it over freshly made fettuccine noodles, but any type of bow noodles will work if you don’t have the time to make noodles from scratch.

2–3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

6 cloves roasted garlic, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper

8 tablespoons real butter

8 tablespoons flour

4 cups whole (vitamin D) milk

4 cups heavy cream

1 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Sea salt to taste

Begin by sautéing the chicken, garlic and pepper in the butter until cooked through in a 10-inch Dutch oven with 12 coals on the bottom. Stir in the flour until it is completely saturated. Add the milk, stirring slowly. Make sure to scrape the bottom so it doesn’t burn.

When the milk has thickened and begun to boil, add the cream and remove the oven from heat. Slowly stir in the Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese until it has dissolved in the sauce.

Method: Stewing

Completion time: 45 minutes

Dutch oven placement (10-inch Dutch oven): Approximately 12 coals

— new from Matt Pelton for "Beginner's Dutch Oven" by Mark Hansen and Matt Pelton

Mike Whitmer lives in West Valley City and can be reached at grundelwalken@gmail.com.

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