Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Segue From a Cook (part 2)

Many people like pork/weiners-and-beans. It's a classic, down South American dish, great with bread of any sort, hot, sticks to your rips, and its damnably filling. It also only takes about ten minutes to make, all things considered. Any old bread is nice with this, plain or toasted, but needs fucking enormous hunks of butter spread into it. Cornbread is a really nice alternative, but its near impossible to find good stuff. I suggest either stealing some from your local Montana's when they bring you your bread basket, or to go get some for a buck fifty at Whole Foods (if there's one nearby). For hotdogs to use...just about anything will do, so long as it doesn't have any extra flavourings (what I mean is no "Cheesy'n'Hot Franks" or "Jalapeno-Dogs", or whatever). I personally tend to overdo it on the weiners a bit, but I just happen to really like them.

The one reason that I talk about this recipe is because mose people just chuck the beans into a pot and simmer them, then chuck some pieces of hotdog in, and let that it that. You can make them taste so much better with another three minutes work. And it WILL be an extra three or four minutes work.

Bard's Baked Beans
(warning: note that this recipe involves absolutly no baking what-so-ever)
1 can baked beans (typically I use Libby's or Heinz with Tomato Sauce, but with Pork or Mollasses works just as well)
1/2 of a white onion, rough dice (cut it into squares around the size of between your pinky nail and your thumnail and you're good to go)
1/2 of a green pepper, seeded, rough dice (same size of chop)
2-4 weiners, boiled, cut into 4-6 pieces each
2-3 tablespoons of mollasses or maple syrup (interchangeable, mollases works best, though)
2-3 tablespoons of ketchup

1. Chop up the onions and the green pepper. Throw them in a lightly oiled pan on a medium heat (around 5 or 6 on an electric oven), and start stirring. Stir, leave it alone for a minute or two, stir again. What you want to do is sweat the liquid off of them so that it gets into the beans. Sweat them off for about 4 or 5 minutes till the onions are starting to go translucent, and the green pepper has turned near neon green (but not going mushy).
2. Throw the weiners into a pot of water that just barely covers them, and set it to boil.
3. Throw in the can of beans and stir them together with the veggies. Now let it simmer for a couple minutes while the beans warm up. This will look kind of watery, don't worry, its supposed to do that. Just let it simmer.
4. Throw in the mollasses and the ketchup, stirring them into the beans. Reduce the heat to around 3-5, and let this simmer, stirring occasionally just to make sure stuff doesn't stick to the sides. You want to let it simmer till it starts looking goopy, not watery. If you don't have mollases, and a lot of people don't, use maple syrup, real or fake. Mollases just adds a nice color to the dish that you don't get with syrup.
5. Let the hotdogs boil for a minute or two, take them out, dry them, and cut each into 5-6 rough circles. Throw them in with the beans, increase the heat a bit, and let them simmer for another few minutes.
6. Remove from heat, plate. I suggest using a bowl, but I know people who like plates. The plates make it easier to scoop up with the broad, while the bowls are particularly good for dipping.

This goes really well with a big glass of milk. I have no idea what, if any, wine you would drink with beans and weiners. It just seems kind of hoity-toity to me.

For desert, if you have it, throw some Lyle's Golden Syrup on a piece of buttered bread. Lyle's is a brand of English sugar cane syrup that comes in a jar, is the same pure golden color as good whisky, and tastes fantastic. Its especially nice on white French or Italian crusty bread with a light coating of salted butter before the syrup goes on (otherwise it crystallizes to the bread). Be careful when using it that you clean the knife before putting it into the syrup, as the stuff will grab anything on the knife and keep it...so you end up with cloudy syrup with bread and butter flakes stuck in it (which doesn't hurt it...but the syrup's just such a beautiful color its a shame to ruin it).

And remember:

Eat good food. Enjoy good food. And at some point, cook good food.

(dear god, I have a culinary catchphrase...)


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