A plain ol’ country dinner; beans and sweet potato.

There has not been much in the way of cooking going on at Chez Brockwell of late, in large part because I have been working. This is a Good Thing, as it means I get paid, and given that I had to drop $1,400 on my car last week, getting paid is a doubly Good Thing.

But cooking has just not been a big priority, it seems.

Above is one dinner I’ve cooked. Doesn’t get much more basic, much more country, or much easier than this. Beans and a baked sweet potato; I had leftover ham, which I could not be troubled to get out of the refrigerator.

The beans are Rancho Gordo mayacoba beans; I threw a half-pound of them into the Instant Pot, along with some sauteed onion and a little garlic and a bay leaf, hit the “bean” button (no presoaking), and walked away. Came back to beans that were cooked tender, some 40 minutes later; I took a potato masher to them, because I like a creamy bowl of beans, added salt and pepper, and let them simmer along on low for another two or three hours.

No fat at all in these beans. I intended to put a spoonful of bacon grease in them to start out with, and just forgot it. They didn’t miss it. I do love the intense “beany” taste of Rancho Gordo beans. You’ll pay more than what you will in the store. You’ll get it back in taste. I recommend ’em.

The sweet potato went in the CSO for an hour at 400 on the steam bake setting. Perfect.

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Gardening season!

April 17, 2016

The promise of veggies tocome. Flower bed to be home of squash and cucumbers.

The promise of veggies to come. Flower bed to be home of squash and cucumbers.

Today, I bought a hoe.

This is significant.

You see, back in the Dark Ages when I was a kid, my parents had a massive garden. About an acre and a half. Plus fruit trees, plus a pasture with cows, plus, for a while, a hog pen. And a truck patch. One must never forget the truck patch. I’m not sure why one calls it a truck patch, but it was basically a late garden, planted in a low-lying, damp spot in midsummer so it could yield in the late summer and early fall when everything else had, sensibly, quit.

We didn’t eat much we didn’t grow.

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Some kinda soup

January 3, 2016

NOTE: This post has been hanging around in the “drafts” folder for a few weeks, at least since sometime before Christmas. You’re getting it today because I see little prospect of cooking anything today. Truth be told, I feel so rotten I see little prospect of eating anything today. Damn a sinus infection, anyway.

Soup. Good, solid, healthy, tasty bean soup.

Soup. Good, solid, healthy, tasty bean soup.

I can see the Instant Pot is going to enable even further my tendency to start out with a dish with no real idea where I’m going to end up.

I had been baking all day, and thus sampling and nibbling sweet stuff. I wanted savory. I wanted something that would stick to my ribs. I wanted something that would enable me to create a little room in the fridge.

I wanted soup.

I had beans in the fridge, the last of the Ojo de Cabra as well as a combo of Alubia Blanca and Domingo Rojo I’d cooked up for a salad that never got made. That would make a good start. Where to from there?

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Much more than just beans

December 13, 2015

Oh, yeah. Rice and beans to a new level.

Oh, yeah. Rice and beans to a new level.

Yes, Virginia, premium ingredients do make a difference.

And the damned Instant Pot is costing me money.

I decided, since I now have the ability to pressure-cook things, that I would splurge and order myself some Rancho Gordo heirloom beans, which are supposed to be all that and a bag of chips. At three times the price point of grocery store beans, they ought to be.

So I went to the Rancho Gordo website, where I was confronted with an astonishing array of all kinds of beans. Big ones, little ones, white ones, red ones, purple ones. And they all looked so fascinating that I — well, I ordered a package each of eight different beans. Plus a bag of wild rice.

I have yellow-eye beans. I have scarlet runner beans. I have eye-of-the-goat beans.

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