Ham & Butterbeans

These were InstaPotted limas but they spent a good long time on slow cook after the lid was lifted.  Basic cornbread muffins on the side – I dithered about adding a sprinkle of cheese in the batter and ended up going without that flourish.

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Sautéed Spinach with Bacon

I owe you guys not only a puppy update, but also a real recipe thread. We got hit by a cold snap this week and for whatever reason, it just zapped me of all my energy to do anything extra. I worried a lot about the ducks, since I had to keep them cooped while it was sub-twenties. And of course the dogs (along with me) had cabin fever. We did get a good walk in today. I still have to walk them separately, Scout is not ready for that just yet.

This next week promises to be much warmer. Good thing, because I am ready to start cleaning my bed and get ready for gardening.

I was sitting on the couch just now, with the dogs snuggled up, watching the sunset. I am still amazed at the beautiful view I have…thanks to some awesome tree trimmers. That helps tide me over until spring finally arrives.

Cute duck story – I have a box of corn flakes, mostly for them, and I toss a few out for treats. The other day I decided to have a bowl for lunch. When I sat down at the table, there were the ducks, sitting on the steps, looking in the window. I have no idea how they heard me…they were happily playing across the yard before that. Silly ducks.

Pictured above is my quick dinner of BBQ chicken, cast iron cornbread (I cheat and use Krusteaz after a friend recommended it) and spinach with bacon. I’m not big on cooked spinach, but a friend loves it and never had it with bacon, so I had to make it.

Spinach with Bacon

  • 4 strips of thick sliced bacon, sliced into small pieces
  • 10 oz of fresh spinach, washed and dried
  • water
  • salt, pepper and vinegar

skillet

Add bacon to cold skillet and cook on medium heat. Fry until bacon is crisp (your desired texture, I like it still a bit chewy). Add the spinach, toss with bacon grease, add about 1/4 cup of water to create steam and cover. Cook until spinach is slightly limp. Remove lid and toss with salt, pepper and dash of vinegar (I like malt vinegar, but balsamic, white or red wine vinegar works well, too).

Serve immediately.



 

Butter Beans

These went from dry to done in just a couple of hours thanks to the Instant Pot pressure cooker.  It probably could have been done quicker but I was a little leery of the cooking tables.  I have a vague memory of being disappointed in some pintos I cooked following their data.  I decided to simmer them for an hour then give them an hour in the cooker.  They cooked in chicken stock with a chopped onion, bay leaves, pepper, salt, dried thyme, and a couple chunks of cured ham.

Green Beans and Ham

Don’t let anyone talk you into undercooking the beans when you make this, it’s not a stir fry.

The cornbread has chopped jalapenos and shredded cheddar and it works for me as an accompaniment for the beans.

Tidbits

20161120_1003181600x1200We are fast approaching Thanksgiving and we’ve had our second hard freeze.  The first time I carted the vulnerable jalapenos into the garage overnight but I didn’t this time.  I combed through the wilting foliage for the last harvest.  The cornbread cubes are drying in anticipation of making a dressing.  I baked a loaf of plain white bread earlier and dried them in a low oven.img_20161119_112743_processedHere’s another treatment of the picture of Bea among the habaneros, it’s done with the “mosaic” filter in the Prisma app.  It most effective when there are a lot of discrete elements within the photo like the leaves and peppers in this one.20161120_1635431600x1200Sammich pr0n!  This is a cod fillet that had been dredged one time in a commercial fish breading that I added some coarser cornmeal to.  I made a very busy tartar sauce of mayo, onions, chives, horseradish, jalapeno, lemon juice, salt and pepper – and topped that with slaw.20161118_1649221600x1200Here’s a chicken breast that was slow cooked in the toaster oven with my (current) favorite hot sides of fried potatoes and sauteed Brussels sprouts.20161119_1643391600x1200Just your basic cheeseburger – pickles, onions, mustard.img_20161119_112949_processedHere’s that mosaic filter again. The algorithm that draws in the tiles has trouble with the motion blurred background.  And that tongue!  LOL20161116_1225541600x1200I had the stub end of a loaf of Italian bread left over from making garlic bread to go with a small lasagna I made the other day.  The lasagna was pretty good but I served it right out of the oven and the layers slipped and slid all over the plate in the bechamel/tomato sauce.  Served it in a bowl, I could have called it soup.  Ha Ha I meant to do that!

Southern Style Green Beans

20161104_1127471600x1200These are cooked for a long time over low heat – that’s what the “Southern Style” is all about.  This dish today was cooked with a cured ham hock, one of those we travel an hour or so north to get from a meat processor there.20161104_0921201600x1200This is part of one, it’s been simmering in water and stock with an onion for a couple of hours.  I didn’t see any of these out on display the last trip and asked for a couple.  They brought out two humongous hocks and my eyes nearly bugged out.  The guy asked, helpfully, if I wanted them cut up some?  I nodded yes and he took them to the saw and cut them each into three parts.20161104_1127161600x1200You have to make cornbread to eat with these beans – It Is Written.  To cook these it’s not so much a recipe as much as a method.  I start the hock early, then set it out to cool and add the beans to the water and chicken stock it simmered in.  Bring them to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for a couple of hours.  After the hock cools, remove the bones and skin and cut it up to add back, add potatoes a little later.  Those little baby potatoes I used take about 45 minutes to cook at a simmer.  I used salt, fresh ground black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and granulated garlic to season these.

Mmm… Butterbeans and Cornbread

20160920_1853301600x1200Nothing special about these, I will note that I used the “boil for a minute and let sit, covered, for an hour” method rather than soaking overnight.  It worked fine.  You drain the beans after the hour and then cook to your regular recipe.  These are cooked in chicken stock with carrots, celery, and onions that were sauteed briefly.  I like to add a Creole/Cajun seasoning to mine, and a couple of bay leaves.  These have ham chunks that simmered in stock while the beans soaked to get a head start.20160920_1220001600x1200The cornbread isn’t anything fancy, just the back of the box recipe.