Beans are a standard with fried fish, same for slaw. Potato salad is optional but recommended.I bought one of the larger cans of baked beans and added pintos and black beans to them, along with brown sugar, ketchup, a sweet bbq sauce, dry mustard, onion powder, granulated garlic, dried onion flakes,and a bunch of veggies: onions, poblanos, red bells, and minced jalapenos.I was making a lot of beans so I used a lot of veggies. Sweat them down separately and then combine with the beans. I bake mine “for a while”. You want to reduce the liquids a bit. This batch cooked for an hour at 350 but they could’ve cooked longer. I filled a big plastic container and froze the rest. I hate running out of beans.
Tomatoes! So many! The weather has been playing havoc with the yields, it may have slowed but it hasn’t stopped them. Brings up the dilemma faced by most all tomato growers: What to do with them all.Everyone loves the BLTs, what we have here is a TLT. Tuna salad is a summer favorite of ours: Tuna, mayo, pickle relish, chopped celery, chopped egg, chopped green or red bell peppers, minced onion, and this one even has shredded cheddar.The classic summer salad of sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. I make a dressing of 2 parts water to 1 part rice vinegar, a splash of canola oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper. If you like you can add a bit of granulated garlic and a dried herb or 2, basil and thyme or oregano. It’s better the next day after an overnight in the fridge.Macaroni and tomatoes is one of those simple dishes that are so good you should make some right away. Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for a minute then transfer them into an ice water bath to take off the skins. Chop them up and simmer them for a half hour in a pot in which you have softened some minced garlic in a little oil. Garnish with fresh basil and eat hot or cold.Green beans boiled with potatoes in ham broth is another summer favorite. We use cured chunks of ham or smoked ham hocks. Boil the ham and a sliced sweet onion in chicken stock for a few hours then drop in the potatoes. We used fingerlings for this but any small potato will serve, or just cut bigger potatoes into smaller pieces. Give the potatoes a head start because they will take longer to cook through, then add the green beans. Don’t be afraid to cook the beans for an hour or more. Cornbread is the perfect side.I did the sous vide ribs thing again, worked great again. We ate gratin potatoes and baked beans with them this time. Mrs J declared this “a full meal deal”.The potatoes were easy enough: I sliced these with my mandoline with the skins on, then arranged them in a casserole alternating layers with sliced onions. Pour on a cheese sauce and bake, covered for 45 minutes or so, uncover for the last 10-15 so the top browns. I made this one with cheddar.This is a dish full of chicken and rice enchiladas in a tomatillo sauce. It doesn’t look like much but it was tasty.
These two bird spent about 5 hours in the electric smoker and turned out great. First 4 hours were at 225, I cranked it to 250 (max for this unit) as supper approached. Peach wood all the way. They both were rubbed with a dry mixture that I keep on hand. I make my own but can’t really provide a recipe because I’m always adding to it. Most any of these recipes will work fine.
We don’t have much info on Cleo, AKA Grumpy Kitty. She’s an older kitteh and hasn’t been at St Francis long.Stir fry chicken and broccoli is a favorite around here. This one has red bell peppers, red onions, and mushrooms in a brown sauce with noodles.I mentioned doing a brisket in the smoker and finishing it in the toaster oven set to slow cook. Here it is after a night in the fridge to firm it for slicing.I said the new counter top oven would fit a 10″ cast iron skillet, here it is with beans ready for baking. I use the same skillet for cornbread.This is a favorite here, a real comfort food platter. The beans may have come from that batch of beans in the photo above but I made two batches in as many days and I’m not quite sure. This is the same puppy we last saw with her head in a bag full of chicken. She is a chihuahua mix with what may be terrier of some sort.The local Kroger has sales on boneless rib eyes pretty often, not sure why that cut is featured above others but they can count on me to grab extra every time.We often buy frozen shrimp already butterflied and breaded but these I did myself. Dust the prepared shrimp with seasoned flour, dredge in beaten eggs, and then coat with bread crumbs – on these I used panko and they came out great after frying in 350 oil for about 2 minutes.This is Roma. She’s 4 months old, very affectionate, and would be thrilled to go home with you.
I just love these hotel pans, also known as steam table pans. This one is a 4 inch deep, half-sized pan. It measures, roughly, 12 inches by 10 inches. There is more info on the sizes available at the link.
Back to the beans: It doesn’t hurt to use canned “pork ‘n beans” of whichever brand you like as a base. They are probably going to be navy beans in a tomato-y type of sauce. I have a couple of cans of the house brand beans in the pan along with great northern beans, dark red kidney beans, and a bean that looks like a pinto bean but isn’t (I forgot to write the name down – it’s the pink-ish bean right next to the white northern beans).Add in plenty of chopped onions, and peppers of some kind, I have been using my jalapenos from the patio garden. I added smoked pork to my beans this time but bacon works fine, even ground beef. You can get creative with the sauce – ketchup, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, and a favorite bbq sauce are in this one.Stir everything together and place it into a 350 oven, uncovered, and bake it for about 2 hours, checking every half hour or so. I keep a crust from forming on the sides and bottom with a flat wooden scraper.It wants to be a tad loose still when you take it out, it will tend to firm up as it cools and you don’t want the beans to be too dry. You can eat them hot or cold and they are a great side dish for just about any meal.We fried some fish for dinner today and they were perfect with the slaw and potato salad. I experimented with the tartar sauce, it had sweet relish, lemon, horseradish, and dill in the mayo base. I wiped the little dish clean with the last bite of fish.