Baked Beans

Sun, Oct 12 • 1

The other day, I discovered yet another item that takes a long time to cook, and the results aren’t all that much better than the stuff you can buy in a can. Baked beans. While the 16 hours it took to make the beans were by no means labor intensive, they still took a large amount of preplanning that I figure most people won’t go through unless the payoff is huge. The beans ended up being just ok. Maybe you can tell me where I went wrong?

I soaked a pound of an heirloom bean I found called “Yellow Indian Woman” in a bowl of water for about 8 hours in the fridge. Then I drained them, and put them in a pot with more water, some ground black pepper, a bay leaf, and a whole onion, cut into eighths, and boiled them, covered, for an hour. I drained off all the remaining water, but I reserved it, and added back 12 ounces, along with a half a cup of brown sugar, a half a cup of maple syrup, a half a cup of ketchup, a tablespoon of mustard powder, a tablespoon of fresh grated ginger, salt and pepper. I also sliced up 5 thick slices of bacon, stirring half the bacon throughout, and half scattered on the top. Then I tightly lidded the pan, and put it in a slow oven (250°) for 6 hours.

I probably should have checked it towards the end, because the liquid was pretty much gone after 6 hours, and I probably could have improved the consistency by adding in some of the reserved cooking liquid from before.

They had good flavor — no complaints about that. And they made the apartment smell good. They tasted great on the side of a couple of trout fillets that I pan fried in butter, too. I just think they didn’t taste any better than a $2 tin of beans from the grocery store, is all. Ingredient list after the break.

Keep reading…

Stuffed Zucchini

Sat, Aug 23 • 0

Still a work in progress…

I tried a recipe a few months back from Ellie Krieger, that involved zucchini, sliced very thin, and grilled on a grill pan, and then a dollop of goat cheese and a basil leaf was placed on each one, and rolled up. I thought they were delicious. The grilling of the zucchini, even for only a couple of minutes, was enough to provide a nice smoky flavor, and the creaminess of the goat cheese, paired with the jolt of the basil leaf.

Unfortunately, my wife wasn’t as enamored as I was, and so I tried to come up with an alternative when I made dinner tonight. I was pretty good, but I think I need to figure out a way to cook the zucchini a little more.

3 small zucchini
small package of goat cheese
3-4 T greek style yogurt (plain)
salt, pepper
parisian herb mix
1small onion, sliced thin
1 small russet potato, shredded

Preheat the oven to 375. Slice of the tail and the stem end of the zucchini, and peel the green skin. Slice it in half, lengthwise. With a melon baller (or a spoon) remove the seedy interior, so that it looks like a dugout canoe. Salt and drizzle with a little oil, and place in a baking pan. In a frying pan, sautee the onion and the potato until lightly golden, and set aside to cool. In a bowl, break up the goat cheese and mix it with the yogurt until creamy. Add the spices and the herbs. Mix in the cooled onion/potatos, and with a spoon, fill in the wells of the zucchini. Bake for 10 minutes, until heated through.

(Note : Parisian herb mix is a prepared blend of dried shallots, garlic powder, tarragon … but you can use any herbs, fresh or dried, that you favor.)

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