Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Baked Beans

The basis for this recipe appears on p. 392 of our 1981 edition of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. Since SWMBO can not digest muscle protein, we do not put actual bacon in it, and we start with vegetarian pork & beans. Also, our proportions are a bit different. Here is what we did for Sunday brunch last weekend:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Put a heavy skillet on the stove to warm up.
  • Quarter & slice one medium red onion.
  • Sauté the onion in about 3 Tbsp. bacon lard at least until translucent if not until caramelized.
  • Stir together:
    • the onions,
    • 2 28 oz cans of Bush’s vegetarian baked beans,
    • ¼ c. ketchup,
    • ¼ c. brown sugar,
    • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, and
    • 2 Tbsp. prepared mustard.
  • Bake in a 9 x 13 pan for 90-105 minutes at 350°F.
  • If everyone can eat meat, this would be the time to cover with about ¾ lb. of crisped & crumbled bacon.
  • Let stand for a few minutes before serving.
This looks like a lot when you start, but I think that for seven adults and five kids we could have made even more.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Egg & Cheese Casserole

This recipe appeared in a Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church cookbook under the name “Jean Corey’s Egg Casserole” and with the recommendation that “this casserole has become a tradition and a favorite for the Thursday morning Women’s Bible Study spring brunch.” Here at the House of Chez Casa, for a large brunch we sometimes make two: one with breakfast meat (sausage, small ham cubes, vel sim.) and one vegetarian.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Beat 10 eggs in a large bowl & set aside.
  • Melt 1 stick (8 Tbsp, ½ c.) butter in a saucepan.
  • Stir in
    ½ c. flour
    1 tsp baking powder, and
    ½ tsp salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the eggs & mix well.
  • Add
    1 lb. shredded cheese (Jean’s recipe calls for Monterrey Jack; I prefer a very sharp cheddar),
    1 pt. small curd cottage cheese (I often have to make do with a 12 oz. container), and
    8 oz. large green chiles, drained, diced, seeded (Jean also rinses for a milder flavor; I often just open diced chiles, strain them & dump them in).
    • Optional breakfast meats (often a tube of breakfast sausage, scrambled up ahead of time) should also be added at this stage.
  • Pour into a 9 x 13 pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes. (Jean’s recipe calls for baking 30 minutes and no rest. I think her oven may run a bit on the hot side. We have made this in three different ovens, and all of them needed 40 minutes to set and then a rest.)
  • Serve with salsa.
That’s it. It’s always a crowd pleaser. And it’s even better with the sausage!

Michelle’s Meatloaf

This started as a simple recipe cut from a box of Quaker Oats. The Doctor has made a couple of changes, all for the better.
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Combine well in a large bowl:
    • 1 lb. ground beef (preferably ground chuck)
    • ½ lb. ground pork
    • ¾ c. uncooked oats
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • ¼ c. chopped onion
    • 1 c. salsa (look for something gluten free to make your friends happy)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  3. Press into a standard 8x4x2 loaf pan (ungreased)
  4. Top with the rest of the salsa (½ - 1 cup by measure (be careful; some salsas are jarred by weight instead of by volume))
    If you want a more BBQesque topping, mix the remainder of your salsa with ¼-½ c. brown sugar before spreading on top of the loaf.
  5. Bake at 350ºF for about one hour.
  6. Let stand/rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Enjoy!