Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Black-eyed Boston Baked Beans, cabbage slaw, and butternut squash pasta

Got my cabbage and my black-eyed peas gobbled up today - it's going to be a good year!

Cobbled together the bean recipe so better write it down fast... this will need to be a New Year's tradition...

Used Joe's grandma's bean pot. Cool!

Reminder: according to people on the Internet, Boston baked beans are supposed to cook slllloooowwwwlllyyyy. You will bake at 250F for ~7 hours.

Soak 2 pounds of beans (used 1 pound of black-eyed peas and 1 pound of navy beans, which are a more traditional Boston baked beans choice) in a lot of water overnight. BTW, it appears that it's the molasses that makes it Boston baked beans. You learn something new...

Fry up some bacon in the Dutch oven, set the bacon aside on some paper towels (crumble the bacon when cool enough), pour out about 2/3 of the bacon fat, then sauté the onion until very brown. Drain the beans (reserve the liquid) and add the onion and bacon. Dump them in the bean pot with your meaty ham bone saved from that amazing bourbon crack ham from Christmas (recipe courtesy of Tasting Table - need to post!).

Preheat the oven to 250F.

Deglaze the Dutch oven with apple cider vinegar. Now add some of the soaking liquid, 1 cup of molasses (I used molasses and the end of a bottle of pomegranate molasses), 2 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp of dry mustard, 1/4 tsp of cloves, and salt & pepper to taste. Heat & whisk till combined and warm. Pour over your beans. Add soaking liquid till the beans are completely submerged. Put the lid on, stick it in the oven. Stir once an hour or so. In 7 hours the beans will be ready. Taste those black-eyed peas and be prepared for a year of good fortune.

For the cabbage: Lee Bros. lime cabbage slaw with roasted peanuts (or smoked almonds, if that's what you have). Got the recipe from Deb at Smitten Kitchen but now I have the cookbook and I don't think she changed much. I didn't have 2 hours to salt the cabbage and used a bag of cole slaw cabbage tossed with baby spinach, added the vinaigrette and then the almonds. Good. Limey. Most importantly, money money money...

Also served pasta with a butternut squash sauce, for the vegetarian at dinner. Saw a recipe for butternut squash sauce with caramelized mushrooms and very loosely adapted that (used the same ingredients). Took about 1/2 of an already-roasted, not too large butternut squash and combined with 1/2 a box of vegetable stock, grated nutmeg, and salt & pepper. Cooked for a while, added about 1/2 cup of heavy cream, pureed into a sauce. Sautéed a minced shallot in a bit of olive oil. Added 1/2 pkg of mushrooms (would have used more, but it's what I had) and about 5 chopped sage leaves. Cooked till the mushrooms were scrawny. Boiled some pasta. Mixed pasta & sauce, put mushrooms on top, and grated some parm. This was really quite good.

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