Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A dish for a cold spring day

This recipe - Victor's grandmother's - is one of the most beloved and oldest in my original orange binder. It's written on the back of a Dean's List letter from my college days and shows its pre-binder origins in the large grease stain that covers much of the writing. I'm not sure how many the casserole is supposed to serve, but it disappears with a speed that probably isn't terribly healthy. I did serve it with a green salad, though.

Eleanor's Bean Casserole
  • 1 can B&M beans
  • 1 can pork & beans
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can lima beans, drained & rinsed (if you can't find these, just use an extra can of butter beans)
  • 1 can butter beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 lb bacon, either thinly sliced before cooking or crumbled afterward
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 C chopped onions
  • 1 tsp mustard (whether this should be "prepared" mustard or the ground mustard is a matter of much debate - the recipe tastes good with either)
  • 2/3 C packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar (I usually use apple cider or white)
  • 1/2 C ketchup
  • 1/3 C molasses

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the beef and onions in the bacon fat; drain off excess liquid. Mix the remaining ingredients with the beef, onions, and bacon in a large casserole dish. Cook, covered, in a 325 F oven for one hour; remove lid and cook an additional hour.  (If you save a tiny bit of the cooked bacon and crumble on top, it will be very very slightly fancier...)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Glazed Sausages

Made this recipe from the kitchn for glazed sausages with cabbage last night. I made it as written (though we used pork sausages), and it was delicious.

One note for the future: any extra glaze is delicious mixed into the cabbage. Oh, and I made it with mashed potatoes.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Saucy Lamb

This was rather a lot of work, but very very tasty. We had it over rice. (Also, I made it a month or two ago and somehow never hit "publish" on this post...)

Cashew Lamb with a Coconut Milk Sauce 
adapted from 660 Curries

  • 1/2 C raw cashews
  • 1/3 C water
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 lb boneless leg of lam, trimmed, cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom seeds (from white or green pods)
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and diced or finely grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, diced or finely grated
  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 C unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 C distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
Combine the cashews, water, and salt in a blender jar or mini-prep bowl. Puree to make a smooth marinade. Put the lamb in a gallon size ziploc bag, add the marinade, and stir or toss (with a sealed bag, of course!) to coat lamb with mixture. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (can also be done the day before).

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry until caramel brown, 8-10 min.

Meanwhile, combine the seeds and cloves in a spice grinder or a mini-prep and grind until the texture resembles that of ground pepper. Set aside.

Add the lamb and as much of the marinade as possible to the onions and cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 8-10 min. The sauce should absorb into the meat.

Add the ground spices and the turmeric, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the water and stir to deglaze. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is fork tender, 18-20 min.

Stir in the coconut milk, vinegar, and cayenne and simmer for an additional 2-4 minutes so the flavors can mingle a bit. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
serves 4

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Banana-Coconut Muffins

I've been making banana bread the same way for over a decade. It's one of the first things I ever baked (which for me means college-age, not preschool....), and I've dallied with other banana bread recipes since, but I always come back. I've been making it a lot again recently, though in muffin form (I want to eat it over several days versus gobbling it up in a day or two, and I think muffins keep a bit better). I was inspired to add some coconut recently, and I think I've come up with a new favorite. It's on the sweet side - I think it would make a good cupcake with the addition of some cream cheese frosting - but that's how I roll. You could probably cut the brown sugar back to 1/2 C without changing the texture too much.

Banana-Coconut Muffins
loosely adapted from 1001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes

  • 1/4 C coconut butter (aka creamed coconut)
  • 1/4 C applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 C shredded unsweetened coconut, soaked in 1/4 C skim milk (soak overnight if possible) - could use coconut milk here, too
  • 3/4 C packed light brown sugar
  • 1 C mashed banana (2-3 bananas)
  • 1 3/4 C AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

Put coconut oil, applesauce, eggs, soaked coconut mixture, and brown sugar in large mixer bowl and beat until smooth. Add banana and blend at low speed to combine; beat at high speed 1 to 2 minutes.

Combine remaining ingredients in small bowl; mix well. Mix into batter.

Pour batter into muffin tins (which will be pretty full). Bake until golden (the toothpick test is useful here), about 20-25 min.
makes 12 muffins