Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

I know, I know, this food has various names that aren't very complementary. Don't let that stop you from enjoying a fast, filling & cheap meal direct from your pantry.

Basically, all you have to do is make a nice cream sauce and add a couple packages of Dried Beef. Make up some toast to pour it over and you have a meal.

First slice up 2 Jars of dried beef (I've used Armour brand 2.25 oz jar) into strips, rinse it off with cool water in a colander. Set aside. I do this to get rid of some of the extra salt.

White sauce.
Make a roux. 3 TBSP Butter or oil + 3 TBSP Flour. Couple dashes of pepper if desired. Combine in a saucepan (I use a cast iron skillet) Cook over medium heat: stirring constantly with a whisk until the butter melts, the flour bubbles up and gets frothy. You want to cook the raw taste out of the flour. Don't let this brown!

Add 1 can evaporated milk (such as PET or Carnation) and 1 can water (or 2 1/2 cups fresh Milk)
Stir constantly, with a whisk, until thickened and bubbly. If sauce is too thick, add a couple tablespoons of milk or water. Add the meat and heat through. Serve ladled over hot toast.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Camp Chef Cast Iron Conditioner a Review

This rusty cast iron oven can restored to former usefulness!
Disclaimer: I have not been paid for this review.
I have castironitis and don't want to be cured!
I love my cast iron collection...Griswold, Lodge, Wagner and Camp Chef are all well-represented in it.
Over the past 30+ years I've tried all kinds of techniques & oils for seasoning my pans. Shortening to coat the surfaces, and then baking it to a nice black patina on the gas grill outside is my method of choice.
Well, until another cast iron collector sent me a tube of Cast Iron Conditioner by Camp Chef to try out. I had just picked up a couple of sorry- looking chicken fryers at an auction for next to nothing. All they needed was some TLC. 
After trying this product out, I hate to admit it, but it does a wonderful job! Much better than my stand-by shortening! It only took two coats to bring back a shiny, black patina to those pans. I believe it smokes less than other oils, too. I didn't have any problem with sticky spots or uneven coating.
Using this product is simple. Scrub and dry the pan thoroughly. Coat all surfaces with a thin layer of Cast Iron Conditioner. Place the pan, upside down, in an oven set at 400ºF. Bake for one hour. If the pan isn't a deep dark black color, repeat this step as many times as necessary. I prefer to do this outside on our gas grill. The pan will smoke a little, but not as bad as it did when I used shortening.
I would highly recommend this product for those cast iron enthusiasts who want to keep their pans in top condition.