Friday, August 19, 2011

How to Cook for 60 people with 2 Volcanos and Milk Cans

Milk Can Cooking on the Volcano
If I've heard it once.. Ive heard it 50,000 times. The Volcano is too small, unless you use a Dutch Oven and stack them, to cook for a big group. I say: Fiddlesticks.
And, tonight, (with help from my brother) I proved the naysayers wrong. :) 

Two 10 Gallon Milk cans
on two Volcano
Milk Can Cooking -
2 Volcano Collapsible Propanes
Two 10 gallon stainless steel milk cans.
Two 20lb Propane Bottles.
1 Pair of Heavy Duty Gloves
1 Pair Of Scissors
2 LARGE packages of Cheese Cloth
Long Tongs
A folding Colander That will fit through the throat of the milk can and expand to cover the bottom. Bed bath and beyond carries them. The ones at Walmart are too small.
Oven Mitts or Hot Pads

The Ingredients -
20 lbs of ham, (Water Added like Farmland) sliced into 1/3 lb slices. (I got the Deli at Walmart to do this for me.)
14 Lbs of Onions. (I used  a combination of Walla Walla and Candy, but you can use any white onion)
6 Lbs of Kielbasa
60 Fist Sized (Think Petite Womans Fist if you want them to cook more quickly)
4 Dozen ears of Corn.
Spices that you like. I used Trader Joe's Spices of the World 21 Seasoning Salute.

The Prep. This is where all the hard work comes in.
If you didn't have the Deli Do it, slice the Ham into 1/3 Lb slices. On a 5lb Ham, this works out to 15 slices per ham or a total of 60 slices. Put 30 Slices in one 2 gallon zip lock bag and the rest in another.
Slice the onions into at least quarters, if they are big, slice them into 1/8ths Divide the onions into two equally full big zip lock bags. (I used 2 gallon size)
Slice the Kielbasa ( I bought six 1lb Pkgs. so it was easy to divide them) into about 1/2 wide slices. Put 3lbs in one bag and 3 in the other.
Shuck the corn and break it in 1/2. Divide the corn 48 pieces for each can. 

Getting the Food into the Milk Cans
Put yourVolcanos on the ground. You will hate lifting full 10 gallon cans from height.
Get your Volcanos Started.
Put the Milk cans on the Volcanos
Put the Colanders in the bottom
Pour in about 16 oz. of water into the bottom of the milk can.

Cut the cheese cloth into about 3 foot long strips. The objective is to make a very loose bag. You have to bring the food out the same hole you put it down in. Put the potatoes on the cheese cloth and tie it, diaper style, so that you form a bag. (It should fit VERY loose) Put the potatoes down into the bottom of the Milk can. Repeat this for the 2nd.
Take your corn and place it on top of the Potatoes. There isn't any particular order. Repeat for the 2nd can.
Using the Cheese Cloth again, mix 1/2 of the ham and 1/2 of the kielbasa on the cheese cloth. Put your spice on the mix and then tie that into a bag, also and slip it into the milk can. Repeat for the 2nd can.
Using your cheese cloth, do the same thing for the onions. Don't add more spice.

Put the top on the milk can (We had to jiggle the cans a little bit to get it all to fit.) Wait.Pretty soon you will see steam coming out of  the top of the milk can. From that point it takes about 1 hour to cook. If the milk cans STOP steaming.. add more water if you dont think they are done or turn it off.

When the hour is up, turn the heat down on one of the milk cans, and turn the other one off. Take the lid off the one that you turned off. Put on your gloves. (Save you from Steam burns) And grab your tongs. Grab the cheese cloth in a thick spot, and pull out the onions. (Anything in a bag can take some finagaling to get out and/ or strong pulling) Put them in your serving platter (Sweet onions are pretty good this way) Repeat for the Ham/Kielbasa mix. With your tongs (Now you know why you wanted long) take out the corn and after that, take out the potatoes..
Let the people start to eat.. When you start to get low on food.. Repeat for the 2nd can... That way the food will stay hot.. and delicious.
Remember this is STEAMED food. That means at 5000 ft of elevation it comes out of the can at about 204 degrees. It cools of quickly. Don't lolligag in serving it.

Taste the corn.. All the flavor from the onions and ham and kielbasa should have filtered down on that and the potatoes. If the corn is delicious w/o any butter ... You did it right.. Likewise the potatoes.

Layout your cheese cloth and get ready to build a bag

Tie the cheese cloth into a bag. Sort of diaper style.
You have to feed them down into the milk can. They come out the same way. However, they were HOT and I was busy, so  I didnt take any pictures of that.
Ham and Kielbasa mixed. If you DONT use the water added ham, it will be really dry. Think shoe leather.
My Brother was worried that we wouldn't get enough heat with the Volcano. He was W R O N G.
You can see the steam if you look close
Looks delicious.. And it was..
Like Hungry Locusts, they came in swarms and it soon vanished.

mark infanger utah

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Recipe That Looked Tasty

Multi Pepper Flat Iron Steaks

I found (read stole) this great recipe for Flat Iron Steaks


    1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon brown sugar
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    2 pounds flat iron steaks


    Stir together the paprika, salt, sugar, chili powder, chipotle powder, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin in a small bowl until blended. Rub the seasoning mix all over the flat iron steaks, then wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. Marinate in the refrigerator 2 to 8 hours (the longer the better).
    Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.
    Cook the steaks on the preheated grill until cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Allow the steaks to rest for 5 minutes in a warm location before slicing.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dutch Oven Potatoes - WOW!

I was invited to a family reunion this past weekend. I usually dread family reunions. Outside of my own cousins and Uncles and Aunts, I dont know any of the rest of the crew.
Add on top of that that it was my mothers family and the paternal family of one of my Aunts, I thought there would be few people, outside those I mentioned, that I knew. 

The first nights activities started around 7pm and we didnt get there until about 8:30. we got leftovers. Mostly cookies, cake and junk. None of which looked too appealing to me. 

Someone said to me: Did you try the Dutch Oven Potatoes? I thought, Ho-hum BORING. However, when I tasted said food, I was delighted.

After talking to the Chef, Don Bird from Bear Lake, and a little cajoling, he gave me the basic recipe. I thought I would share it with you. 

In a 12" deep Dutch oven
Slice 20 lbs of potatoes. He used Idaho Bakers, I would try reds, also. He also took the skin off. When asked why, he said the spuds were about a year old, but normally he would not do that. 
1/2 lb Bacon
1 Big Yellow Onion
Carrots and Veggies to taste (Zucchini works well, but add it way late in the cook or it will turn to mush)
1 can of pickled Jalapenos (Fresh would work, but they would be more spicy)
1 Can of 7up Or Beer.
1/2 Cup Oil
1 Cube of butter. (NOT margarine)

Brown onions and bacon till onions carmelize.
Add the butter and melt it.
Add the oil - Use your discretion on the amount of oil.
Add the Potatoes
Add the Jalapenos (optional)
Add the Carrots
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Stir so that it is all well mixed together
Cook  with lid on DO for 30 minutes
Add 7up or beer
If you are using Zucchini this is about the time to add it in.
Also about the right time to put cheese on the top.
Cook about 15 more minutes and you are ready to go.
You can add cheese on top - Cheddar or Colby is the most common, but I was told a good pepper jack would work well, also. 

written by Mark Infanger Utah