Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for March 10th, 2012

Red beans & rice

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The Eldest suggested this recipe:

Goes so nicely with a side of collards cooked with vinegar and some onions and red peppers!  Oooh, and cornbread!

2 lbs. smoked ham hocks
4 c. cooked red beans or kidney beans (larger than true red beans)
1 c. water
2 TBSP onion, very finely minced
2 TBSP celery, very finely minced
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 c. hot converted rice, cooked

Render the fat from the ham hocks by placing them in a deep pan, covered with foil, and cooking in a 275 degree oven for 4 to 5 hours.  Discard the hocks or save them to flavor a stew, reserving the drippings.

Combine the drippings (up to 1/4 c.) with all the remaining ingredients except the rice. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Use a potato masher to mash about half of the beans into a paste. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Serve over the rice.  Makes four servings.

The shanks are now in the oven, about 1 hr 20 minutes into total cooking time. The Eldest says to cook them until you feel like eating the whole stove they smell so good. And even now the fragrance is wonderful.

Instead of deep pan with foil cover, I used my 2-qt Staub Dutch oven. Two shanks, 1 lb each, fit very nicely. I also added a little ground white pepper to the stew, The Eldest advising that white pepper works better in red beans & rice than black.

It occurs to me that substituting EVOO for the shank fat would make it a vegetarian—even vegan—dish.

UPDATE: Roasting temperature as shown—275º F—is correct: two-seven-five.

UPDATE 2: Note important emendations by Seamus in the comments.

UPDATE 3: Just made second batch, adding the minced green pepper along with onions and celery, and also about 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Instead of the butter, I used the fat rendered from the smoked ham shank (along with some of the meat, minced).

And, having used up the small red beans I’d had on hand, I got another pound at the bulk bins at Whole Foods on Sunday.

Not only did it taste terrific, I discovered again that it’s unwise to keep dried beans on hand too long: those in the first batch never did cook to creaminess—just too old, I bet. (I’ve been in this apartment 20 years, but I would guess that those beans were only a few years old.) The new batch quite quickly cooked to creamy smoothness when chewed and mashed easily to thicken the dish.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2012 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes & Cooking

Excellent WWII documentary: Memphis Belle

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Memphis Belle is well worth watching if you’re at all interested in technical details of US Army Air Corps bombing missions over Germany in WWII—in fact an excellent complement to the episode “Plan of Attack” in the series Foyle’s War (Season 5). Memphis Belle is an impressive movie.

UPDATE: It occurs to me that male readers in the age range 18-24 might be especially interested in the documentary since it shows what some guys your age were doing in WWII: should be easy to empathize since you can readily put yourself in their shoes: same age as you. So you can think about your doing the things depicted in the documentary.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2012 at 10:13 am

Posted in Military, Movies & TV

Otoko Organics & the Weber

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A pleasant and smooth shave. MR GLO, followed by a really terrific lather from the Otoko Organics soap and the Rod Neep brush. Three passes of the Weber holding a previously used Feather, a little of the Proraso styptic gel on a small nick on the upper lip from the XTG pass (works fine), and a splash of Parma di Acqua.

Today a trip to the grocery store at last.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2012 at 9:04 am

Posted in Shaving

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