When You’re Sick of Green Beans

My dad stopped by for dinner. When he left all the green beans were gone, and EVERYONE ate them (the roasted potatoes too, but that's not exactly a hard sell). Here's the recipe. Feel free to sub another Asian supermarket selection. We've rarely met one we didn't like (if it's spicy, add with care).

1 pound-ish green beans, ends trimmed

2-ish teaspoons hoisin sauce

Couple big pinches garlic powder

Tablespoon-ish sesame seeds

Veg oil

In large skillet add 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add green beans, stirring for a couple of minutes. Add hoisin sauce & garlic powder, stir it up. Add maybe 2 tablespoons water to steam beans. Put a lid on it for 2-3 minutes. Remove lid and raise heat if necessary to get rid of excess liquid. Add sesame seeds and finish cooking beans to taste.

The whole thing takes less time to make than explain.

Eat – B

Btw chopped fresh ginger is a great add in, fresh garlic too – unless you're lazy 🙂

 

Picking the Dessert…with guidance

Back to the potluck pasta of the other night. We needed a dessert. I let my guy pick the dessert…with guidance.

Spinning through recipes over Sunday toast I offered up a choice. German Apple cake, apple pandowdy or apple cranberry oat crumble cake. I personally was sold by the high proportion of crust to filling. He probably just heard most of the same ingredients he eats in his daily granola.

Either way, I will get to the first two recipes without question. That's because “Rustic Fruit Desserts” has never let me down. And it never will. It's like a baking bible for seasonal fruit. But click here for the third recipe, the apple cranberry oat cobbler.

Set this one aside for Thanksgiving! The topping calls for melted butter, making it super simple to assemble and/or make ahead to keep in fridge or freezer. Put it in the oven when you take the turkey out. It will save you the trouble of making pie.

Eat, a la mode if you wish – B

 

No Regrets Potluck Pasta

You know what's better than Sunday night dinner? Sunday night potluck with friends and family! It spreads the work and increases the company. (Also I now have leftover open wine – good for a weekday glass or two!)

Speaking of friends, I met Andrew Carmellini when he visited my radio show. Nicest guy and a very talented chef. I enjoy his restaurants in New York, Locanda Verde and Lafayette among them. But if you can't get to NYC, he shares the same spirit in “Urban Italian”.

Here I share his lamb ragu. (Click here for the recipe). It's NOT an all day cooking affair, but you do need to set aside a couple of hours to be at home. Serve day of, or make ahead!

 

Eat – B

 

Chili…Inside & Out

For my baby boy – not the dogs who I call baby boy, but the real one. He loves chili and so do I. Plus it's just spicy stew so it takes little effort from me. This one is based on a recipe from the mom of my oldest friend. She's from Brazil although I don't think that's why she adds a bottle of beer. I think she just likes beer.

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef or small cubes of beef

1 can or jar of beans, your choice, rinsed. I used cannelini.

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Bottle of lager

2 tablespoons red chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon cornmeal

1/2 tablespoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Bay leaf

Salt & pepper

Veg or olive oil

Drizzle oil in tall sided pot (stock or otherwise) over medium heat. Brown beef (5-10 minutes). Remove beef. Soften onion & garlic with several pinches of salt. Add tomato paste, cook a minute or two. Add beef, beans, beer & spices. Bring to a boil – simmer at least 45 minutes to an hour. Longer is better.

Good with rice, tortillas, sour cream & avocado. Really good on pasta my Cincinnati friends 🙂 minus the cinnamon.

Eat – B

Soup-er & Simple

 

So, I was looking for colorful legumes to use as vase filler (long story) and I bought a 14 ingredient bean soup mix to fit the bill. But it didn't, as I discovered upon opening the bag. Turns out some of its beans and grains were minuscule.

Not to worry – I could actually use it for it's intended purpose – soup. Nothing is easier than soup. Some savory, some solid, some liquid = soup.

Use what you got – I did and now have soup for 50! (Maybe an exaggeration).

Ingredients

17 ounce mixed dried beans with lentils & barley

Large onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

14 -ish oz can chopped or cherry tomatoes

Olive oil

Bay leaf

Salt & pepper

8 cups water or stock

Heat 1-2 tablespoons oil in large stockpot. Soften onion 3-5, add carrots, celery and garlic. Soften 3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes, bean mix, bay leaf and at least 6 cups of water. Being to a boil and simmer for at least 2-3 hours, adjusting salt & pepper & adding water along the way. Mine took 4 hours for the beans to get good & soft with about 8 cups of water. Still, I finished the laundry! Remove bay leaf.

Eat – B

 

Halloween Midday Madness

I made the kids cake for Halloween!

Actually I made myself cake, but I gave some to them too. I needed cake. Knowing Halloween and all its Twix goodness was coming couldn't deter me. I actually went out of my way to buy the mayo to make this cake from Bon Appetit. (Click here for the recipe)

At least I didn't make the chocolate caramel frosting…yet. (I did add chips to the cake though – judiciously, it's a thin batter.)

Eat – B

Tip – I don't use baking spray. I do use butter and cocoa powder instead of flour for chocolate cake.