Potluck Beans with Maple and Beer

Beer and Maple Beans

I’m sharing my latest activities in the kitchen today:   Potluck Beans with Maple and Beer!  We’re invited to a holiday get-together with family and friends tomorrow,  and I needed a side dish to go with barbecue tritip sandwiches.  During the holiday season I don’t have much time, so I used a recipe that calls for canned Cannellini beans (white kidney beans).   This recipe couldn’t be easier!

The Big Book of Sides

I was inspired by a recipe in Rick Rodgers’  The Big Book of Sides, a cookbook that I reviewed when it was first published.  I keep going back to this book when I need something special to go with a meal. The recipe in the book makes 10-12 servings,  and I needed to make a lot more for the party.  I tweaked the recipe a bit,  and the beans are crazy good!

Beer and Maple Beans
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Potluck Beans with Maple and Beer

Make a pot of these beans for a holiday potluck or a summer barbecue!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Mimi Holtz

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet onion peeled and chopped
  • 4 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 bottles dark beer I used Red Bridge Gluten-Free Sorghum Beer
  • Ten 15-ounce cans of Cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup ham bits

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat, until the bacon is almost crisp. Using a slotten spoon, move the cooked bacon to a paper towel and leave the bacon fat in the pan.
  • Over medium heat, cook the onions in the remaining bacon fat until they are golden brown.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, and beer and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the the beans, bacon, and ham.
  • Cover the Dutch oven and bake for one hour.
  • Uncover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  • If you aren't serving the beans immediately, cool the beans and refrigerate overnight. Stir in 1 cup of water and reheat covered in 350 degree oven, stirring occasionally.

Last weekend was the annual Meals On Wheels benefit concert.  As a member of the Coastal Communities Concert Band since 1998, I look forward to this event every year. Our band has been helping to raise funds to support the important work of Meals On Wheels for 22 years.  Here are a few photos from the 2016 Holiday Concert at the Carlsbad Community Church, in Carlsbad, Ca.!

Holiday Concert to Benefit Meals On Wheels

As a music director and teacher,  I start preparing for holiday performances months in advance.  It’s a little strange to be working on Christmas music in the heat of August and September,  but it’s so rewarding when we have our music prepared in time to inspire our families and friends during the holiday season.   I’m especially glad to have time in December to spend in the kitchen between concerts and church events.

What are you cooking up for the holidays?  I’d love to know about your family specialties or new recipes you are trying out!

Book Review: The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection by Robyn Webb

The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection

I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to a new cookbook that will be coming out this month: The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection by Robyn Webb.   Although it is written to help people with diabetes,  the recipes are appealing for anyone who wants to prepare foods with great flavor,  serve healthy meals, and simplify the process of meal planning.

The concept of the book is brilliant.   Just choose one  of the  nine basic recipes: stir fry, lasagna, meatloaf, burgers, tacos, chicken, soups, main dish salads, and pasta.  Follow the simple instructions to learn each technique. Then try a few of Robyn’s variations on the basic techniques. Continue reading

Mill Your Own Flour At Home With Your Mixer

Kitchen Aid flour mill attachment

Who Will Mill The Grain Into Flour?  I Will!

Mill your own flour at home – it is easier than you think!    This handy attachment for a KitchenAid mixer is so fun to use and offers the ability to make fresh flour from grains that aren’t always easy to find.  Fresh-milled flour ensures that all the nutrients will be available and the flavor is at its finest.  And it’s really fun to do!

MockMill

Wolfgang Mock Invented the MockMill

This flour mill attachment is the very first product launched by the Wolfgang Mock, Inc. which is the American subsidiary of the German company that has been building home mills since the 1970’s. Continue reading

Chocolate Pecan Cake: Queen of Hearts

 

Chocolate Pecan Cake

With Valentine’s Day coming up,  it’s time to follow through on my promise to share the recipe for this scrumptious chocolate pecan cake.  I found the recipe that inspired this cake in Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, a 2013 James Beard award-winner.   Last October I met both authors at the LDEI Conference in Charleston, SC.  and have been enjoying their book ever since.

The truly exciting part about this cake is the shape.  I love that the hearts come together to form a star in the middle!   The name of this pan Continue reading

Book Review: Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex

 

Enchiladas cookbook

Ever since I moved to California in the late 1970’s,  I have been wanting a really good cookbook for Mexican food.  I don’t mean just a few recipes, but a reference book that explains all the key ingredients of Mexican cuisine, like tomatillos, Mexican cheeses, and  fresh and dried chilies.  Who would expect that a book named simply “Enchiladas” would fulfill all these wishes?  This one does.

Cappy Lawton and Chris Waters Dunn have teamed  with chefs from some of San Antonio’s best Mexican restaurants to produce Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex, published by Trinity University Press.

ingredients

This isn’t just a book about enchiladas,  but a primer on all the basic techniques of the Mexican cochina,  including homemade tortillas, queso fresco, crema Mexicana, and chorizo.  This definitive cookbook explores the enchilada through the history of the Mexican people over thousands of years.

fundamentals

Not only are there sixty traditional and contemporary enchilada recipes, but there are recipes for salsas, salad, and sides to accompany them.   Ever wanted to make really tender pot beans or savory refried beans?  How about perfect Mexican rice,  six different ways?   This book explains how to prepare beautiful  slow-cooked  and perfectly seasoned meat fillings,  as well as  seafood and vegetable options.  Now we can try making corn tortillas from scratch, even the colorful flavor-infused ones!

This book captures the love of Mexican food,  with expertly crafted recipes,  beautiful photographs, and historical details.  Just what I have always wanted:  a book that teaches the essentials of Mexican cooking. There is plenty of good reading material and fabulous photos that make this a great coffee-table book.  The instructions and recipes are done in  simple and easy-to-follow detail, so that home cooks like me will be able to make homemade enchiladas with all the fixings for family dinners.

As a blogger who lives on an avocado farm,   I thought this book might be something my readers would also enjoy.  I love this book, and I’m pretty sure anyone who loves  avocados (and we all do, don’t we!) will love this book.  (Wouldn’t it be the perfect gift along with a box of fresh California avocados?)

Order directly from the book’s website http://www.enchiladasbook.com, and a portion of every sale will go to Lighthouse for the Blind, San Antonio.   I’ve never been to San Antonio,  but after visiting the websites for the authors’  restaurants,  I think it’s high time for a trip!

I have permission to share a recipe from the book with you, so I chose one of my favorite enchiladas:  Enchiladas Suizas.  This is the basic recipe from the book,  but there is also a second recipe for the La Fonda Enchilada Suizas that the authors serve in their three restaurants,  La Fonda on Main, Cappy’s, and Cappyccino’s in San Antonio, Texas.  I’m thrilled to share that recipe with you here as well!

Enchiladas Suizas  (from Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex)

Yields 12 enchiladas / Serves 4-6

 Enchiladas Suizas was invented in 1950 at Sanborn’s in the historic Casa de Aulejos (House of Tiles) in Mexico City, Suizas or “Swiss,” refers to the dairy in the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

For the sauce:

  • 1 pound (454 grams) tomatillos, husks removed, cored
  • 1-2 serrano chiles, destemmed
  • ½ medium white onion, peeled, coarsely chopped, and root end removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¾ bunch cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (237 ml) crema Mexicana
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the filling:

  • 2 cups (260 grams) poached and shredded chicken

For the assembly:

  • 12 white corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil as needed for softening tortillas
  • 2 cups (240 grams) queso asadero or queso Chihuahua, grated

For the garnish:

  • 1 cup (237 ml) crema Mexicana
  • White onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Cilantro leaves
La Fonda Suizas

The La Fonda On Main Enchiladas Suizas is garnished with a romaine salad!

Enchiladas Suizas, La Fonda on Main

Yields 12 enchiladas / Serves 4-6

 In La Fonda’s version of this classic enchilada recipe, pepitas add a nutty flavor to the sauce, and the enchiladas are topped with Swiss cheese and garnished with a refreshing Romaine Lettuce Salad.

INGREDIENTS

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (47 grams) white onion, diced
  • 2-3 cups serrano chiles, destemmed and chopped (see note)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup (65 grams) raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 pound (454 grams) tomatillos, husks removed, quartered
  • 1 cup (237 ml) crema Mexicana
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (14 grams) kosher salt, or to taste

For the filling:

  • 2 chicken breasts (approximately 1 pound, 454 grams), poached and shredded

For the assembly:

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil as needed for softening tortillas
  • 2 cups (240 grams) Swiss cheese, shredded (or substitute asadero or Chihuahua)

For the garnish:

  • Romaine Lettuce Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 large leaves romaine lettuce, ribs removed and shredded
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored, deseeded, and chopped
  • 1 small serrano chile, destemmed, deseeded, and minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • Cilantro sprigs to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vegetable juice
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Toss lettuce, tomatoes, serrano chile, green onions, and cilantro sprigs together. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  • Whisk the lime juice and oil together until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  • Just before serving the enchiladas, pour the lime juice and oil dressing over salad and toss to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Disclosure:  I’m grateful to to have received a signed complimentary copy of this book to review.

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