Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon



Thinking this would be a nice side for my continuous "thanksgiving", I bought the goods. And while I didn't intend to deviate from the original recipe, I did. There was supposed to be a cider vinegar addition at the end but I got discombobulated after adding the bacon too early.

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon
from Cooking Club, Oct/Nov 2010
click to print

8 bacon slices (8 oz.), chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
4 c sliced onions (2-3 large)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lb fresh green beans

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently. Drain on paper towels.


Discard drippings from skillet; wipe clean with paper towels.

Heat oil in same skillet over medium heat until hot.


Cook onions, salt and pepper, covered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat as necessary. Uncover, cook 5 minutes or until light golden brown and very tender, stirring frequently.

I started the onions and cooked them covered for 10 minutes, then added the salt and pepper before cooking continued another 5 minutes.

Cook beans in large pot of lightly salted water 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well.

My beans were cooked in a 4.5-quart saucepan.

Just before serving, heat onions, and beans in large skillet over medium-high heat until heated through, stirring frequently.


Transfer to a platter and serve.



This was good even though I didn't do the recipe exactly as written. But if you think about it, onions and bacon with crisp-tender green beans? How could that be bad? It wasn't bad, but it still wasn't as good as the Green Beans with Shallots and Walnut Oil. I couldn't help make the comparison. Maybe if I'd used the cider vinegar it would've been as good? Maybe one day we'll find out.

Cost:
  • bacon: $1.42
  • olive oil: $0.44
  • onions: $0.93
  • fresh green beans: $3.06
Total: $5.85 or about $0.73 for each of 8 servings.

Chicken Spoonbread



Part of the reason why I opted to do the Honey-Roasted Chicken was because of the recipes which use the leftovers; this is one of them. I'll be honest, you won't find the other one on this blog ever because I can't imagine eating a pancake made out of dressing. I just can't.

Chicken Spoonbread
adapted from Cooking Club, Oct/Nov 2010
click to print

1 c milk
1 3/4 c Cornbread-Sausage Dressing
8 oz. (1 1/2 c) shredded Honey-Roasted Chicken
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Bring milk to a simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat.

This took about 3 minutes.

Stir in dressing and cook 2 minutes or until thick.


Remove from heat; stir in chicken, cheddar cheese, and 2 eggs.


Pour into a greased 8-inch square baking dish; top with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Call me hideous, but I used the same dish the chicken was originally stored in to bake the spoonbread. It was already greasy, so hey, optimize!

Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes or until browned.

Waiting for browning, I settled for hotness at 26 minutes. I was hungry!


Certainly not the most beautiful dish nor the most marvelous thing I've ever eaten, I do appreciate it for what it is. I mean, wth, leftover stuffing and chicken are combined to make a new dish! Including meat, my brain calculates this to be a main course. I had a quarter of the spoonbread with some yams and green beans; yes, I was satisfied.

Cost:
  • milk: $0.24
  • Cornbread-Sausage Dressing: $1.24
  • Honey-Roasted Chicken: $3.05
  • shredded cheddar cheese: $2.49
  • eggs: $0.65
Total: $7.67 or about $1.92 for each of four giant servings or $0.96 for each of eight small servings.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sprouts Bulk Steel-Cut Oats


The bowls are for the next three mornings; the measuring cup is for breakfast today.

I bought some steel-cut oats from the bulk section at Sprouts. Since there isn't a bag with directions, I snapped a pic of the directions on the bulk container with my crappy phone.


Bring four cups of water to a boil; add 1 cup of steel-cut oats.


And then I deviated, following the process I used for Bob's Steel-Cut Oats.

Allow the mixture to come back to a simmer, remove from heat and cover.


If you feel like it, stir the thickened mixture before you go to bed.


In the morning, or about 10 hours later, stir again.


Distribute serving portions of oats across four bowls/containers.


Add toppings; store in the refrigerator. Reheat each serving in the microwave 1-2 minutes.


While steel-cut oats reign supreme in the oat world, I will say there is a difference between brands. The Sprouts oats are cut into smaller pieces than the Bob's Red Mill oats. Even though more water is called for with the Sprout's oats, the Bob's oats came out with a texture I preferred: the oat chunks were chunkier but overall there was greater creaminess.

Cost:
I paid $1.47 for $2.99 lbs of oats, and with 1356.741g/lb, and 176 g/cup, and 1/4 cup per serving, that makes each serving about $0.05. Feel free to check my math, do some stoichiometricalish math.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Apple-Sweet Potato Casserole



I found this recipe in a magazine and thought it would go well with my chicken. A lot of sweet potato/yam dishes for thanksgiving are loaded with marshmallows which, to me, is sort of gross. The idea of adding in apples and a topping with what is essentially praline instead sounded really good.

Apple-Sweet Potato Casserole
adapted from Cooking Club, Oct/Nov 2010
click to print

4  lb. sweet potatoes
2 c sliced peeled apples, such as Braeburn or Gala (1-2 apples)
1/2 c water
1/3 c butter, melted
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c raisins
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 11x7-inch glass baking dish with oil.

Microwave sweet potatoes, in batches if necessary, 4-6 minutes or until almost tender but not mushy.


Let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel; cut into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange in baking dish.


Bring apples and water to a boil, covered, in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 4-6 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Holy crap, I overcooked my apples. Err toward half of the lower end of these directions.

Arrange over sweet potatoes.


Combine all remaining ingredients in small bowl.


Spread over potatoes and apples.


Bake 30 minutes or until potatoes and apples are tender.


Cut and serve.



While I thought the topping on this would be much too sweet and buttery, it turned out perfectly. The ratios were spot on. Apparently 1/3 cup brown sugar is spectacularly suitable for four pounds of yams. The nuts were so delicious, essentially candied, I wished there were more, unusual for me. Raisins, generally something I tolerate, went unnoticed. The apples, overcooked, were only a hint.

Overall, a definite winner, one I'd gladly make to accompany a turkey at Thanksgiving or a chicken anytime.

Cost:
  • sweet potatoes: $2.18
  • apples: $0.49
  • butter: $0.27
  • brown sugar: $0.14
  • raisins: $0.82
  • pecans: free from Mom
Total: $3.90 or about $0.49 for each of 8 servings.