Tag-Archive for ◊ pork ◊

02 Aug 2013 Beans!

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I am so excited about this recipe!  It’s a paradigm shift recipe!  It’s not a recipe in the true sense of the word, it’s more of a road map to a particular destination.   A road map allows for more flexibility than a recipe, a road map allows the cook to make adjustments based upon personal preferences, taste, time, and what’s in the pantry.  I think most people have a road map for a few good dishes.  I have a road map for spaghetti sauce, chicken soup, stir-fry and hamburgers.  You might have a road map for meatloaf, burritos and rice bowls.  Most people have road maps for sandwiches and salads. A road map means there are guidelines, easy ones, usually ones that can be memorized, and that can always be adapted as the situation requires.

So here it is, a guideline for a pot of beans, in the crockpot no less!  Crockpot cooking is great for summer, the kitchen doesn’t get heated up, and a pot of beans pairs well with almost everything that can be BBQ’d.  In the winter months, a bowl of beans with some cornbread or tortillas is almost the definition of comfort food. Another plus, crockpot cooking is fuss free, so toss everything in the pot and then go sit in the sun or shovel snow.

Many thanks to Mark Bittman of the New York Times for this road map. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

BTW…, for years I have been looking for a good baked beans recipe, so that’s what I make with this recipe:  meaty, slightly sweet Boston-style beans.  YUM! They go with everything and I have  a serious love for leftover beans on toast (I’m English).  My son mastered this recipe in one take and he makes killer spicy teriyaki beans with chicken.  I can see others going for more of a Mexican style bean. What sort of beans do you like? Make them!

The House Special Beans

  • 1 lb of dried beans, any kind, I like small white and pinquitos but black, pintos, garbanzos, kidney, or a combination of different kinds of beans can also be used.  Don’t have a full pound of beans?  Add in some split peas or lentils to make up the difference.  Remember these are dried beans (about $1.25 for a pound bag) we are not using canned beans here (and there is no need to soak the beans first).
  • 4 cups of liquid, any kind.  Find a mixture that appeals to you. I start with a bottle of beer, then I add in about 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a squirt of mustard, using molasses instead of maple syrup and brown sugar would be good too. If my Dad were here I’d stir in 1/4 cup of bourbon. Then I add water, broth (any kind), or cold coffee to make the 4 cups (too much coffee will make the beans a bit bitter, so stick to less than 1 cup of cold coffee).  My son adds BBQ sauce, sriracha, honey, teriyaki or soy sauce along with beer and coffee.  Don’t like beer?  Use some leftover wine. Don’t drink at all, stick to broth and water.   Health nut?  Stir in carrot juice and some of that green liquid you’re so fond of !
  • Seasonings, any kind.  Start with a healthy amount of salt and pepper, then add in what appeals to you.  I add in 2 t. salt, 1 t. black pepper, 1 t. cumin, 2 t. chili powder, minced garlic, and 2 bay leaves.  Other options include oregano, basil, coriander, red pepper, curry powder, ginger, paprika, liquid smoke, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme…
  • 1 lb meat, any kind, a bit more or a bit less is fine.  I like beef, and I buy something on sale, beef shanks, top sirloin, stew meat, steak, anything.  Throw in a pork chop or two, or some ground meat (brown it first and drain off the fat), chicken (with or without the bones, but boneless chicken does tend to get a bit overcooked), sausage, ham, cooked bacon…, or go for a combo.  Sausage and chicken? Beef and bacon? Or leave out the meat all together if  you’d rather.
  • 2 lbs finely minced or grated veggies, any kind.  I always add diced onion, grated carrots, and minced celery.  Then I might add some shredded zucchini, turnip, cabbage, spinach or kale, whatever I have on hand. Throw in some potatoes. Lots of folk like bell peppers, dice some up and throw them in.  Leeks are yummy. A few diced jalapenos would spice things up. Even canned pumpkin works. The only veggie I don’t add is tomatoes. I heard once that tomatoes interfere with the cooking process of dried beans, so I leave them out (I also don’t use tomato juice as a liquid, but I do stir in a bit of ketchup, and have had no problem with that).

Directions:

  1. Put the dried beans in the bottom of the crock-pot.
  2. Get out a 4-cup measure.  Combine your liquids.  When you have 4 cups, pour it over the beans in the bottom of the crock-pot.
  3. On top of the beans and liquid, add the meat.  I add the meat as is, then remove the fat and bones, and shred the meat after cooking.  You can do the same, or you can add cubes of boneless, skinless meat.
  4. Sprinkle desired seasonings on top of the meat.  (If you add bay leaves, count them so you know how many to remove before serving!)
  5. Finely mince, dice, or shred the veggies.  Add the veggies on top of the meat. (The liquid will not cover the veggies, yet).
  6. With a spatula or a spoon, press on the ingredients to lightly pack.
  7. Put the lid on the slow cooker, plug it in, turn on high, and go out and play! If you are around, check the beans after a few hours.  If the beans look dry add a bit more water, stock, beer, or wine (don’t stir, just pour it on top).
  8. Let beans cook for 6-8 hours.  Turn off.
  9. After the beans have cooled for a bit, taste them.  Needs more salt?  More maple syrup? More heat? Add it now.  If you added large hunks of meat with bones, remove bones and shred the meat. Remove the bay leaves, if you used them.
  10. If you want to add in extras, do it now.  You could stir in some diced tomatoes now, if you’d like, they won’t do any harm at this point (let cook for an additional 30 minutes or so).  Sometimes I stir cooked bacon at this point.  You could stir in frozen corn, if you’d like. Adding chopped parsley, cilantro, or green onion makes the beans look pretty and brightens them up a bit for a pretty presentation.
  11. Remember, beans seem to taste better the day after they are made, so don’t be afraid of letting them rest in the refrigerator for a bit.

Soooo, do you have the road map memorized?  1 lb beans, 1 lb meat, 2 lbs veggies, 1 qt (4 cups) liquid. Seasonings. Crock-pot. High. 6-8 hours, while you go out and play 🙂

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  Go ahead now, make some beans! Let me know what you used and how they turn out 🙂 I can’t stop my son from making these beans! We’re drowning in beans…, but we’re not broke! Beans we can afford 🙂

20 Apr 2012 Ham Bone Bean Soup

I love Honeybaked ham.  Love it, love it, love it; but have you heard the definition of eternity? Two people and a ham!  Thank goodness I have a panini press for grilled ham and Swiss sandwiches.  Thank goodness I know how to make and enjoy ham and pineapple pizza. Finally, the last of the ham appeared, the bone,  and now it’s time for Ham Bone Soup.

I could NOT find a recipe on the Internet that I liked.  I knowwww, shocking!  So I took a bit from this and a bit from that and came up with this recipe.  It tastes good,  looks good, and is fibrously good for you with lentils, split peas, yellow peas, 4 kinds of beans, tomatoes, onions, celery and carrots plus chicken broth and ham broth. The spices came from a soup on the Honeybaked Ham website, cinnamon, cumin and thyme. I knowwww, sounds odd, but it’s what gives this soup it’s depth.

Enjoy.  (BTW, The new definition of eternity?  One person and a vat of Ham Bone Soup!) This makes a LOT of soup, about 6 quarts. “Fortunately” a friend of mine broke her ankle, so I was able to take one-third of it over to her.  Now I  should check my Facebook to see if anyone has had a baby lately*

Ham Bone Bean Soup

  • 4 cups chopped ham from the ham bone
  • one ham bone plus assorted root veggies and peelings, covered with water
  • 1/4 cup lentils
  • 1/4 cup split peas
  • 1/4 cup yellow peas
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 large onion, diced ( approx. 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (approx.)
  • 2 cups diced celery (include some leaves)
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 4-5 carrots, peeled and sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 3-4 quarts broth (mixture of ham bone broth and chicken broth)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2  teaspoon black pepper
  • salt, to taste (depends on saltiness of chicken broth) maybe about 1 teaspoonful
  • 4 or 5 16 oz. cans beans (use your favorites, of course)  I used 2 cans white beans plus one can each black beans, pinto beans, and pinquito beans (all my favorites)
  1.  First off, cut the meat off the hambone, so that you have 4 cups diced ham, set aside.
  2. Now make some stock from the ham bone. Put the ham bone in a large pot, cover with water and add a whole quartered onion (peel and all), a handful of carrots (or the peelings), some coarsely chopped celery, and any other extra veggie you have on hand.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 4 hours.  When cooked, strain the broth. Discard the bone and veggies.  Keep the broth. (The broth can be made one or two days in advance, just refrigerate cooled broth until ready to use)
  3. In another pan, boil the lentils, split peas, and yellow peas (or all lentils, or all split peas) in about 2 cups of water until very soft, about 45 minutes.  Add more water to pan if necessary.  Let cool, and then blend into a liquid.  This puree will thicken the soup (and hide the “icky dried stuff” from picky family members).
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add in chopped onion.  Gently sautee until onion is cooked through and slightly caramelized.  Stir in chopped celery and sliced leek, saute for an additional 3 minutes or so.
  5. In a large soup pot, pour in the ham bone broth and enough chicken broth to equal about 3 quarts.  Stir in crushed tomatoes and lentil/split pea puree and spices (cinnamon, cumin, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper). Bring to a boil. Stir in carrots. Simmer until carrots are almost tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Drain and rise the canned beans.  Add to simmering broth.  If soup seems too thick, stir in up to one additional quart of chicken broth.  Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.  Remove bay leaves.  Let soup cool, then refrigerate overnight (if possible, soup always tastes better if refrigerated overnight).
  7. When ready to serve, reheat soup, add diced ham, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.  Taste broth.  If necessary add more salt, pepper, and cinnamon.  Serve hot with some nice bread, foccacia, or cornbread.

Hope you like this. Hope it was just the soup you were looking for but couldn’t find anywhere else on the Internet.

*Update:  Woke this morning to find the empty soup pot on the kitchen counter and three dirty soup bowls stacked in the sink along and dredges of sourdough toast everywhere.   Looks like my son and two friends had a late night snack after I went to bed.  They emptied the pan; there’s no more Ham Bone Soup left.  Should I put a happy face icon after this update, or a sad face icon?!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

 

 

15 Nov 2010 Glazed Pork Chop for One

My nineteen year old daughter whipped this up for her dinner–over high heat–in her on-campus apartment over the weekend.  The firefighters came to call, in their big red truck, with the sirens blaring.  She set off the smoke alarm.  With one pork chop! The recipe is good, and it does deserve some fanfare, but let’s save the firefighters another trip out.  When you make this recipe, deglaze the pan over a not-too-high heat!  BTW, she ate the pork chop after the firefighters left and said it was “GREAT”!

I found this recipe a few years ago in an  NPR newsletter.  I was so excited because I was expecting all my kids to move out. I was going to be HOME ALONE for the first time in my life.  I was going to enjoy cooking for one, and this recipe for One Glazed Pork Chop was poised to be a staple. Well, life has a strange way of working out.  My last two kids at home moved out to college dorms, but my older daughter moved back, and she came back with a baby!  My kids were leaving one-by-one, but coming back in twos!

Finally, in March this year my daughter and grandson moved out, and my younger son and daughter are still away at college so the pork chop recipe is now front and center. I’ve never had the firefighters come to call while I am making this, sadly…

If you still  have family at home, my friend Kayte makes “Glazed Pork Chops for Three” using this recipe, so feel free to double and triple the quantities below.

One Glazed Pork Chop

  • 2 tablespoons jam, any flavor (marmalade does not work, the bits get burned)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard, preferably Dijon or any stone-ground mustard
  • 1 center-cut, bone-in pork chop, about 3/4-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vinegar, preferably white-wine (plain white vinegar, cider vinegar or sherry vinegar would all be fine)
    1. Mix the jam and mustard in a small bowl, with a fork. Season the pork chop with salt and pepper on both sides.
    2. Preheat a small, heavy skillet over high heat until it is hot enough to make a droplet of water dance or evaporate on contact. Add the oil, swirl around to coat, and immediately add the pork chop. With the heat still on high, brown on one side, about 3 to 5 minutes, and turn over. Spoon the jam-mustard mixture onto the browned side of the pork chop. Lower the heat to medium and cover with a plate or lid while the second side browns, another 4 or 5 minutes.
    3. Remove the lid, raise the heat to high, and turn the pork chop a few times to coat evenly. (Since cooking times can vary widely with pork chops, you may want to cut into it with the tip of a knife to check; the meat may be pink but not rosy; moist but not soft).
    4. Remove the pork chop to a plate. Scrape jam mixture off although it’s fine if a bit of glaze clings to it. With the heat on low to medium, keep cooking down the jam and mustard a little more, scraping with a wooden spoon, until the mix is very dark and concentrated and quite dry. If it burns a little, that’s fine.
    5. Lower the heat to medium, add the vinegar, and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to release any delicious brown bits. You may need to add a little more vinegar to achieve a heavy, smooth sweet glaze.
    6. Put the pork chop, along with any collected juices, back in the pan and raise the heat to high (gently, unless you too want the firefighters to stop by…)while you turn the chop with a fork to finish glazing it.

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today, and thank YOU, firefighters,

    for stopping by my daughter’s kitchen yesterday.  She’s going to be dropping off some thank you treats soon.  Not to worry! I’ll send her some no-bake recipes!

    05 Sep 2010 Blasted Sausages

    Holy Moly, this recipe delivers in both taste and presentation. The original recipe stated this is a traditional Tuscan harvest dish, but I know I have never run across anything like this before (not that I have ever been to Tuscany…).  I found this recipe in “150 Best American Recipes”, but I changed it up a bit to suit my taste (and reduced the quantities to serve a small crowd, rather than a whole village).  Now’s the time to make this recipe.  The grape harvest is in.

    My son came home from college last night for a quick 36 hour visit.  I almost fainted when he asked me to teach him to cook something while he was here.  Did he REALLY say that?  Be still my heart! Lucky for him, I had been wanting to make this recipe and had all the ingredients on hand.  This is an easy-easy recipe, a great one for newbie 19 year old cooks (and stretched-to-the-max parents of small children, and older folk who are tired of cooking but still want to eat well…)

    I just had to give my son the MamaBear warnings about how HOT pans are after being in a 500 degree oven.  I’ll remind you, too.  Use thick pot holders. Be careful. Have fun with this.  It’s truly delicious.  If I had a Bistro, this would definitely be on the menu.

    Blasted Sausages and Grapes

    1 1/2 lbs Sweet Italian Sausages (usually 6)
    1 can beer (or water)
    3 T. butter,melted
    1 lb red seedless grapes, stemmed
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

    Rustic mashed potatoes (recipe summary included in body of recipe)

    Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

    In a large saucepan over medium-high heat cover the sausages with beer or water and parboil for 8 minutes to rid sausages of excess fat. Drain.

    Pour melted butter into a baking pan (or a large ovenproof skillet). Add the grapes to the pan and toss to coat with the melted butter. Place the sausages in the pan with the grapes and butter.  Push the sausages down into the grapes.

    Put the roasting pan or skillet with the grapes and sausages into 500 degrees for 12 minutes. Turn sausages over, and roast for an additional 12 minutes. (While the sausages are cooking, make some Rustic Mashed Potatoes.  Cube one russet potato for each guest, do not peel.  Put cubed potatoes in a pan of salted water and bring to a boil.  Boil for approx 20 minutes (could be longer if your potato cubes are larger).  When potatoes are soft, drain and place in large mixing bowl.  Add 1T of butter to mixing bowl for each potato.  Whip potatoes and butter lightly together with an electric mixer. Pour in 1T. milk, cream or sour cream for each potato.  Whip again.  Rustic Mashed Potatoes should remain a bit lumpy. Taste, then add as much salt and pepper as needed.)

    With a slotted spoon remove sausages to serving platter.  Top or surround the sausages with the cooked grapes. Retain the pan juices in the bottom of the pan and move to a small saucepan.  Stir in  2 tablespoons of good balsamic vinegar.  Cook juices and vinegar over medium-high heat until the mixture is thick and syrupy. Drizzle the sauce over the sausages and serve immediately with the Rustic Mashed Potatoes.

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  Your visits help lift my spirits, as did the weather. I am always glad to open the door to you and close the door on summer. It’s going to be Fall soon, my very, very, very favorite season of the year. Enjoying a plate of Blasted Sausages and Roasted Grapes is a great way to celebrate.

    02 Feb 2010 Bacon Asparagus Rolls

    I found this recipe on the Internet this morning. I ran out to buy some asparagus to try it…, then hemmed and hawed about posting the link, the recipe, and my pictures. I wasn’t sure the recipe was “all that”, so I kept tasting and trying to figure it out. Post? Don’t post? Bacon and Asparagus? Is that going to be a hit? Is this a GREAT recipe? Taste, think, taste some more, mmm, one more taste, maybe, let me try that again. It slowly dawned on me, I was positively addicted to these. I was guilty of over thinking the post!
    This recipe is from Anamaris on her blog “Chef it Yourself“.

    Bacon Asparagus Rolls

    For each roll you’ll need:
    1 slice of thick bacon (I used applewood smoked)
    4 asparagus spears

    Trim the bottom of the asparagus spears so all four are of equal length. Peel the lower part of the stem, optional, but no one is going to want to bite into a stringy piece of asparagus–use a potato peeler. Roll, yes, roll (with a rolling pin) the slice of bacon until it is at 50% – 75% longer than it was before you started. Gather the four asparagus spears together. Starting at the tip end, tightly wrap the bacon around all four spears. Season generously with freshly grated black pepper. Place bundle in frying pan. Cook over medium high heat, turning often, until bacon is well browned and crisp, and the asparagus is cooked. (See picture below.) Remove bundle from the pan, and slice into bite-sized pieces.(See picture above) Discard any bottom stems not covered with bacon. Each bundle will result in 3 or 4 bite-sized sushi-like pieces. Serve warm, but good at room temperature, too.

    Thanks for coming by,
    Polly

    22 Jan 2010 Spicy Glazed Bacon
     |  Category: Breakfast & Brunch  | Tags: ,  | 2 Comments

    It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s spicy….we’re talking some serious yumminess here. Take a good quality, thick-sliced bacon, sprinkle it with light brown sugar, cayenne and black pepper, bake until sizzling hot, crispy and sticky…ohmyYYY. My friend Jamie said, “It was like candy in bacon form. I thought I was dreamin’ ….”

    Spicy Glazed Bacon

    8 slices thick-sliced good quality bacon (I use the Applewood smoked bacon from Costco)
    3 T. light brown sugar
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, I use a heaping 1/4 tsp)
    1/4 tsp black pepper (or more)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay bacon on a rack on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. While bacon is baking, mix brown sugar with cayenne and black pepper. Make sure peppers are evenly distributed in the brown sugar. Remove bacon from oven. Sprinkle each slice with 2 tsp of the brown sugar/peppers mix. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Turn bacon over, sprinkle with any leftover sugar mixture (if desired) and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until crisp. Watch bacon carefully–the bacon can quickly overheat and burn. Cooking times are all approximate…the thickness of your bacon will make a big difference in the cooking times…use your best judgment and keep your eye on it for the last few minutes.

    This recipe was adapted from a one published in “The 150 Best American Recipes”

    Thank you for being a fan,

    Polly