Some weeks just lack a little excitement
March 25, 2016
It’s been a singularly uninteresting week, culinarily. There was Chinese takeout one night. That was decent. There was a salad and soup lunch at Schlotszky’s, and that was OK. There were the cod cakes I made last night, which were meh, as the very best.
Only thing I’ve cooked worth a doggone all week has been Boston Baked Beans in the instant pot last Sunday. Now, THOSE were good.
We’d planned to grill burgers after church. So I made potato salad the night before, took ground beef out of the freezer to thaw, and put a half-pound of dry beans (Rancho Gordo alubia blanco) on to soak before I went to bed.
I had perused the Hip Hi Pressure Cooking website, where the first reader recipe for Boston Baked Beans came from my online friend Kris. Knowing Kris to be an excellent cook (I’ve liked everything of hers I’ve ever tried), I figured that was a good enough recipe, and stopped looking.
Sunday morning, I put the beans in the IP with a sauteed diced onion, a quarter cup of molasses, a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, a couple of teaspoons of Dijon mustard, a half-teaspoon of dry mustard, and three slices of bacon, cut up into lardons. Added enough water to cover beans by an inch. Cooked that 45 minutes at high pressure, then switched it over to slow cook while I was gone to church.
Came home and checked, and there was way too much liquid in the beans (although the taste was excellent). So I left the lid off and let it simmer for another hour or so, until it cooked down into a nice, thick sauce. Indeed very tasty.
Which the cod cakes last night, from the NYT recipe, were not. Granted, I did not have the Old Bay seasoning recommended, but that should not have caused the cakes to be tough and dry. Danged if I know what I did — perhaps poached the fish too long — but it was really not worth eating. So I didn’t. Nor did I eat the roasted Brussels sprouts, nor the wild rice. Just a bust all the way around.
Hoping to redeem myself with Easter dinner. The Honeybaked ham is in the fridge. I have asparagus, and sugar snaps, and the makings for corn casserole and mac and cheese. Scored key limes at the international market for $1.99 a bag, so we’ll have a key lime pie along with the pound cake and strawberries. Best of all, most of it can be made the day before.
A very happy Easter to you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em!