Monday, January 23, 2012

well, that worked out pretty well

Sunday: Braised White Beans; sauteed greens; bread. Apple Sharlotka for dessert.

I made all the recipes pretty much as-written.

For the braised beans: It took about 45 minutes on medium-high before I was satisfied with the beans' caramelization. They smelled amazing - the finished recipe was good, but wasn't quite able to live up to their initial aroma. I added about 1.5 Tbsp strong Dijon mustard, lots of salt, a bit of better-than-bouillon (chicken flavor), and a bunch of pepper. I ended up simmering the beans for just under two hours (I started with the saddest looking bag of discount beans from the grocery store, but then soaked them for two days. YMMV.)

The greens were a bunch of semi-random greenery that had been floating around the fridge - a half-bag of Trader Joe's prewashed greens that I picked up in a moment of panic on Christmas Day and a bag of greens from last week's farmer's market excursion. I cut up a single strip of bacon, fried it 'til crispy, and then cooked two garlic cloves a bit before adding the greens, some smoked paprika, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. I added some water to steam, and kept cooking 'til we were ready to eat.

Because we decided (somewhat last minute) to have someone over for dinner, I made Smitten Kitchen's Apple Sharlotka as well. I LOVE this recipe, and I don't even know if I cooked it enough. Was it really supposed to be creamy in the center and crisp around the edges? Does it matter? It was delicious, and I'll definitely be making this again. But for the time it takes to cut up the apples, it's very low-effort, and the ingredients are minimal.

I can't speak for my dinner companions, but for me, this meal was a total success.

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