Sunday, May 25, 2008

The OTHER baked beans

And I promise one will care you didn't soak those damn beans for an hour.

Third time this week. I have to take beans somewhere. And I am just beaned out so here...Bachelor Guy...for you. Beans to make everyone happy.

Best Easy Baked Beans
1 restaurant size can baked beans...doesn't matter what brand
1 package frozen seasoning blend (onions, bell pepper and celery)
1/2 package smoky bacon
1 can beer
Your favorite barbecue sauce

Pour the beans into a colander and rinse off all the boughten sauce. Chop the bacon, put it in a big pan and cook it crisp. Add the seasoning blend, stir, cover and cook for ten minutes. Pour in the rinsed beans, the beer and enough barbecue sauce to taste. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I LOVE Cattlemen's Barbecue Sauce. Traditional.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Can I really do baked beans?

There are only two or three nights a week we come home from school and...get to stay here. So on those nights, I sort of make an attempt to keep everyone happy and what makes people happier than hotdogs on the grill with homemade baked beans, eaten outdoors?

This recipe, as happens so often, started out as Emeril's. But while Emeril gets to have people buy him what he needs, I tend to make do with what's here. And oh, people, this made-do very well!

Homemade Baked Beans
1 pound white beans
2 slices smoked bacon
6 ounces Harpers country cured ham pieces
1 package frozen seasoning blend (onion, green pepper and celery)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup brewed coffee
1/2 to 1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cone piloncillo sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon Tabasco
Pepper to taste
8 cups water

Rinse the beans, put them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit for an hour. Drain. Snip the bacon into small pieces and saute in a cast iron Dutch oven until crisp. Finely chop ham pieces and add them to the rendered bacon...cook until crisp. Add the frozen seasoning blend and garlic, cover and cook ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans, thyme, celery seed, coffee, barbecue sauce (I love Cattleman's) piloncillo, mustard, molasses and hot sauce. Add pepper and water. Stir well and bring to a boil. Place Dutch oven in a 300 degree oven for two hours, undisturbed. Remove the pot from the oven, uncover and stir the beans. Recover and bake one hour. When the beans are tender, remove the cover and cook until you have a thick, sauce-like consistency. Adjust the seasonings and serve warm or room temperature. (An adjustment: when I made them again the next day, for a picnic, I added 1/4 cup brown sugar and a large can of tomato sauce. Because.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Leftover Barbecue=Barbecue Quesadillas

The leftover Boston Butt was supposed to be barbecue sandwiches. It was, after all, a FIVE POUND roast. But alas, between the really good Schreiber seasoning and the really good butt rub and six hours in a low oven and an hour on the grill...there's not enough meat left for sandwiches. I hate it when that happens.

A mom-friend told me about this a couple of years ago and I was...skeptical. This doesn't sound right. She had found it in Southern Living, and swore by it. I just sort of blew it off; but then last year, it turned up in the best of the best of all-time recipes so...why not? It is a hit. The kids love it, The Big Boy loves it and it's easy. Doesn't get any better than that.

Barbecue Quesadillas
1 pound pork barbecue
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
Chopped fresh cilantro
Grated cheese...your choice
1 package flour tortillas
Heat a griddle over medium heat...I use a cast iron skillet. You can spray it with Pam, but we like to brush melted butter on the flour tortillas. Mix the pork with the barbecue sauce, and spread half a flour tortilla with the meat. Sprinkle with cilantro and cheese and fold over. Grill on each side until lightly browned. Because I can't keep up with the appetites, I go ahead and make all the quesadillas and hold them in a warm oven. That way, I get to eat.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sconcigli who?

The high end grocery store in this town is...a WalMart. And I HATE me a WalMart. But they opened an Aldi here last year and while I can't do it...I just don't get the diggin' around mentality...The Big Boy loves going to Aldi. So on Saturdays, while he's chauffeuring small children round and about, he usually makes an Aldi stop. And he finds some really cool stuff...stuff I could have sworn wasn't even in the store. And one of his finds this weekend was an Italian pasta called sconcigli. "A tricolor blend of tomato, spinach and traditional pasta." The pastas look like a cross between a cornucopia and a nautilus shell...imagine that. Which means the ends will hold sauce well.

So for supper tonight, we're going to use the recipe on the box as a starting point and have Crawfish Sconcigli.

4 tablespoons butter
1 package frozen seasoning blend (onions, celery & green pepper)
Finely chopped taste
1 can diced tomatoes
7 ounces crawfish meat (I buy it frozen in bags)
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh thyme

Melt the butter, add the seasoning blend and garlic and let it sweat for about ten minutes. Add the tomatoes (use whichever size can suits you...we like tomatoes so I use a big can, with a squirt or two of tomato paste) and the sugar and simmer another five minutes. Add the thawed crawfish and simmer just until cooked through, then stir in the chopped fresh thyme. Cook the pasta according to the package; serve the pasta with the tomato sauce and crawfish and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Tomato and basil biscuits

One of the nice things about this weekend was brunch with friends Saturday morning. My friend Mary recently remodeled her house, to the tune of "Let's see how wonderful we can make this." It is the perfect house/kitchen for entertaining. So we went to Whole Foods Friday night and then Saturday morning, had fruits and cheeses and steaks with red pepper/feta omelets and these biscuits. Oh, and I drank an entire bottle of champagne because my phone died. But that's another blog.

Mary's Tomato and Basil Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour (if you live here, it better be White Lily)
1/4 cup butter
2/3 to 3/4 cup cream
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Cut the butter into the flour until you have coarse crumbs, then add the cream to form a soft dough. Fold in the tomato and basil. We couldn't find a biscuit cutter so Mary just patted out the dough into a rectangle and we cut them into squares. You have NO IDEA how good these were.