Friday, July 24, 2009

A Day in the Kitchen :>)

Actually, I hardly used the kitchen at all for the cooking--just for prep. It's amazing what you can do with a barbecue grill (with a side burner) and a crock pot. I started the baked beans (below) for dinner and then set to work on two salads for friend Shirley. They're hosting a rehearsal dinner at their house this evening and I wanted to help out. I knew she'd have a houseful of helping hands and so I figured this was the best way to give. I made an Herbed Orzo and Summer Squash Salad and a Tomato Herb Salad, two of our favorites.

Here's the Amber Ale Baked Beans recipe from Cooking Light:

Amber Ale Baked Beans

Just a little bacon gives a lot of flavor to this classic barbecue side, especially when you add it to sweet caramelized onions and a bottle of slightly fruity and malty ale.

2 cups water
4 (16-ounce) cans low-sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 bay leaves
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 bacon slices (uncooked), chopped
2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 2 medium)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 cup no salt-added ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) bottle amber ale (such as Redhook)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 300°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Drain over a large bowl; reserve cooking liquid. Discard onion and bay leaves.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; set bacon aside. Add chopped onion to drippings in pan; cook 10 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized, stirring frequently. Add garlic and chili powder to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add ketchup and next 5 ingredients (through ale) and 1/2 cup reserved bean liquid to pan; bring to a boil. Add beans and bacon. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thick. Transfer to a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 300° for 45 minutes or until thick.

Yield: 9 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)


smc said...

Your recipes all look delicious. I'm particularly intrigued by the tomato herb salad as it looks like we might have a bumper crop of tomotoes coming in our garden this year. Can't wait to try it!

KandN said...

I think the first time we heard of bread salad or panzanella was on the food network, but it was the recipe on Caprial and John's site that we wanted to try.
It's so good and relatively easy--if you don't burn the croutons I usually do.