Yes, We Have Beans

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.

Tidbits

20160626_164853(1600x1200)Mrs J is from a small town a stone throw from the Mighty Mississippi and she grew up eating fish from those waters.  She won’t go long without demanding fried fish for dinner.  These are cod fillets instead of catfish but she was satisfied nonetheless.  The tartar sauce has a ton of dill in it.DSC03588(1600x1200)Someone found this old dog astray down by the county line and brought it in to St Francis.  Poor dog looks to be half starved.  I’m sure the good folks at the shelter will have him bulked up faster than you can say Chris Christie.DSC_5907 (2) (1600x1200)I took this one of Toby and Bea a few years ago and ran across it while browsing through my archives.  The original was in color but I’ve run it through an editing program to convert it to B&W and added some film grain with an appropriate filter.  I like it better this way.20160629_131759(1600x1200)Moar sammich!  I always make what looks like way too much salad garnish for these things but I manage to eat it all – I keep adding back what falls off so every bite has plenty of crunch.DSC03602(1600x1200)Kittehs!  Mrs J says she is just the sweetest little thing.  They’ve named her Socks.  She’s about eight weeks old.  She likes to reach out and pat you with her cute little paw.  Peeking out from atop the other shoulder of the volunteer is a little gray and white boy kitteh, Fraggle.  He’s a tad younger that Socks.DSC03603(1600x1200)This little calico is named Lizzie.  She’s ten weeks old.  Mrs J doesn’t have any info on the other kitty.  They are snuggled together in one of the kitteh beds she makes

Mmm… Baked Beans

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. 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).20160626_123156(1600x1200)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.20160626_150518(1600x1200)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.20160626_164853(1600x1200)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.

Onion Rings

DSC_8412 (1600x1060)I spent most of the day mowing and running errands so dinner was rushed a bit.  I had a Vidalia onion I needed to use up because they don’t keep very well.  I remembered the trick of battering them with pancake batter so I pulled out an envelope of the “just add water” style instant mix.  I gave the cut rings a dusting with regular flour before dipping them into the batter in an effort to get the batter to stick well.  That seemed to work well enough.  The slaw was made with one of the copycat KFC slaw recipes that abound on the web, I did use some creme fraiche today in lieu of the milk and buttermilk.  Also on the plate tonight are fried cod pieces that were floured and then dipped in egg and then floured again before frying.

Fried bass and bluegill filets

We have a couple of small ponds on the property, probably both combined make less than an acre.  They are stocked with pan fish and black (largemouth) bass.  We have both bluegill and redear sunfish.  One of the ponds was stocked initially with catfish but they have all been caught out and we never restocked them.  Catfish don’t reproduce well in small ponds but the bass and panfish do.  And how!  They will overpopulate if not thinned regularly.  We rarely wet a line but we have friends and neighbors that fish them fairly often. The fish we fried today were caught and cleaned and presented to us in a large plastic bag earlier this summer.  Talk about good neighbors!

Mmm…fish sammich with dilled tartar sauce

I was so pleased with the garlic bread I just had to use it right away.  The fish fillets were already thawed so I used it for fish sammiches.  Tilapia make good eating, these were deep fried with a simple commercial breading mixture-Andy’s is the brand name.  I did take a little time with the tartar sauce:  Some minced capers, dill pickles, a dab of horseradish, some finely chopped green onions-the white parts, some minced Spanish olives with the pimentos, and a sprinkle of dill weed.  With the dill pickle slices on the sandwich the fish were definitely dilled.

Some Sammiches

Haven’t been much into laying on a huge dinner lately but I would be remiss not to mention a few things about the sandwiches we’ve been dining upon.  Made some cheeseburgers the other day.  Just your basic cheeseburgers and hardly worth mentioning except for the Goya adobo seasoning.  I’m a sucker for dry rubs and seasoning mixes and am always wiling to try things that catch my eye.  I saw this adobo seasoning a while back and decided to give it a try on these burgers.  Adobo has a familiar sound to it.  South of the border it’s a tomato type sauce with various peppers mixed in.  This stuff isn’t that at all.  I decided to go to Wikipedia to see what it could tell me about adobo and discovered that the seasoning mix I bought was a Puerto Rican specialty.

Puerto Rican-style adobo

Adobo is a seasoned salt that is generously sprinkled or rubbed on meats and seafood prior to grilling, sauteing, or frying. Supermarkets sell prepared blends like Goya. There are two types of adobo on the island. One is a wet rub called adobo mojado. It consists of crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper, dry or fresh orégano brujo, citrus juice or vinegar or a mix of both citrus with vinegar. More widely used on the island is a dry mix, adobo seco. It is easier to prepare and has a long shelf life. Adobo seco consists of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, dry orégano brujo, and sometimes dried citrus zest.

Mrs J thought the burgers I sprinkled this on were “spicy”-said in that tone of voice that means “do that to me again at your peril”.  I have to admit that I dosed the raw patties heavily with the stuff.  Next time I’ll use it more sparingly.  LOL  [“you better” she mumbled-Eds.]

Today the Missus decided that fried fish would be just right.  I had made some slaw earlier and that put her in mind to eat fish.  The classic fried fish dinner sides being baked beans, slaw, and hush puppies.  Mission accomplished.

Enjoy!

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