Dash of Class: Greg Milby is 'One of Hardin County's Finest Cooks'

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

This month’s “One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks” and Labor Day recipes coincide. Even though today’s column is after Labor Day, there is still plenty of time for camping or cooking out.

Greg Milby, director of programming for WQXE in Elizabethtown, is this month’s honoree. After doing a radio spot for my “Mama and Me” buffet, I was intrigued by his interest in cooking as he told me about his expertise in grilling and cooking out meals while family and friends camp.

His wife, Jennifer, and morning show “side kick,” Hollie Sexton, helped pull off this surprise recognition for Greg.

Greg and Jennifer have two boys, Gavin, 11, and Garrett, 7. Greg lived in Green County until he was 9 and then moved to Louisville, where he lived until he and his family moved to Hardin County this summer.

“Greg has always been known for his incredible juicy teriyaki grilled chicken by family, friends and co-workers, but in July 2008, when we purchased a camper, his cooking skills flourished with a Dutch oven and Weber grill,” Jennifer said. “After only a few outings with some wonderful friends and discovering great Dutch oven recipes like Mountain Man Breakfast, Cheesy Potatoes and Triple Chocolate Cake, “Camp-Eat-A-Lotta” was born. He and his partner in cooking crime, Scott Shake, can have at any one time three Weber grills and three Dutch ovens fired up with coals and amazing fixings in them.”

Many friends and family members come together for Saturday night dinners at camp to enjoy the delicious food, she said.

Greg also is known for his pancakes, homemade ice cream and fried drop biscuits, which he has “down to a science, even with several anxious children around the table to help,” Jennifer said.

“Greg loves cooking at camp and grilling (and) smoking at home. Our stomachs are definitely blessed to have him around,” she said.

Asked about Greg’s interest in cooking as he grew up, Jennifer said he did not cook as a teen or a newlywed other than grilling. They would laugh about spaghetti being his specialty. But, growing up, good food was always around. His father always grilled and his mother is a great cook, too.

“He also often talks about every Sunday, as a kid, the whole family gathering and eating his grandmother’s homemade fried chicken,” Jennifer said. “His other grandma, his mamaw, also make yummy homemade biscuits.”

Congratulations, Greg, on being “One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks.” I want to hear more about this teriyaki grilled chicken and homemade ice cream. Maybe we can have those recipes in our end of the month feature.

Editor’s Note:Ten Cup Cookies were featured in the Aug. 28 Dash of Class. The recipe was mislabled.

Mountain Man Breakfast

2 pounds sausage

2 pounds frozen hash brown potatoes

8 eggs, beaten with ¼ c. water

2 c. cheese, grated

In a 12-inch camp Dutch oven over a full bed of hot coals, fry and crumble sausage. Remove cooked sausage and drain on paper towels. Using the sausage drippings in the pan, brown potatoes and spread them evenly in bottom of camp oven. Place cooked sausage over potatoes. Pour eggs over sausage layer. Sprinkle top with cheese. Cook with 8 coals underneath and 16 on top for 20 to 25 minutes, until eggs are cooked.

Dutch Oven Potatoes

1large potato per person

½ yellow onion per person

1 to 1 ½ pounds of bacon

1 pound shredded medium cheddar cheese

Salt or seasoning salt, pepper

Cut the bacon into small squares and line the bottom of your 12-inch camp Dutch oven with them. Cook bacon until about half done and then add the onions and potatoes. Potatoes should be sliced evenly to about bite-sized and about 1/4-inch thick so that they will break up during cooking. If you want maximum potatoes per pot, heap them to the brim, as they will cook down. Salt or use a seasoning salt, such as Lawry’s, and pepper, using more than you think is enough. If you like the flavor oil gives; you can add a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil. Put on the lid and place oven on a full bed of gray coals. When pot ingredients have heated up, pull a third of coals from bottom and place coals on top around edge of lid. Check the ingredients every 20 minutes or so to insure that you have at least a 1/4-inch of water in the bottom to preclude burning. Use a baster to reduce water level if needed, as too much water makes for mushy potatoes. After each check, rotate pot one half turn clockwise and the lid one half turn counter clockwise. You can turn the ingredients once or twice with a pancake turner to even all cooking and taste. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, usually about 45 minutes. If you wish, when potatoes and all are cooked, cover ingredients with shredded cheese, replace lid and set the pot off the coals for a few minutes until cheese is melted.

Easy Triple Chocolate Delight

1 chocolate cake mix plus eggs, oil and water as package directions dictate

1 12 oz. package chocolate chips

1 can chocolate frosting

Mix cake per box instructions. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Line cast iron Dutch oven with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Pour batter into oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate lid and oven every 10 minutes to prevent burning. Bake on medium heat using 6 coals on the bottom and 10 on top. Allow to cool and frost. Serves 8 to 10. Serve with ice cream; make it chocolate for a Quad Chocolate Delight.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,”is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.