Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Multi Purpose Meatballs, for the Freezer

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 cup minced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper

Mix everything together. Bake on a baking sheet (lined with foil if you're into that) at 375 until browned and cooked through. Place a clean foil sheet on the pan to get rid of excess fat if you want and freeze for an hour. Transfer to a freezer bag.


Since I have a limited food budget these days I'm buying more things in bulk (well, bulk for a single guy anyway). This means freezing, since meat just doesn't keep that well in the cabinet. This recipe is easy enough to make in any size batch, you can always change the beef/pork ratio to 1-1 to make it easier. I just made them with weights I had on hand. Also, I didn't have bread crumbs so I made some out of an onion bagel. It was hard to get the bitty pieces I prefer for meatballs, but I really didn't notice in the end.

The reason for there being minimal seasonings is this way you can use them in all kinds of things, adding specific flavors by heating them up in sauces and letting them simmer for a bit. No prep shots since I made these at night, but this post about Italian sausage meatballs covers my method. You know, mix everything together. Form that into balls.

Now see? Meatballs. Cook them. I don't have a pic for that so just imagine the one above, but cooked through, brown and lovely. Or this one, but not frozen.
But that's it, except for putting the pan (once it's cooled of course) into the freezer. I usually use a fresh pan and foil since if you do it right you don't actually have to wash the second pan. Heh. This way those pools of fat don't freeze around the meatballs and as delicious as it is, it's really not needed.

But Bob, I hear you ask, what are we supposed to do with these little meatloaf tasting spheres of pleasure? Well, all kinds of things, you hear me respond. I've made the glaze from this recipe and reheated them in a small pan with some of it. Then they're much more like meatloaf, makes a great sandwich. Or toss them in a pot of tomato sauce, let them simmer for a while and they're perfectly good like that. And other things, I'm sure. I actually have a few ideas, you'll be seeing these again.

And since I was remiss in posting cats this past Sunday, here is what the real Bob was up to this weekend. That's pretty much what he does.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chipotle Jalapeno Beans

2 cups dry pinto beans
2 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup diced onion
1 clove diced garlic
1 tsp chipotle powder
1-2 jalapenos, sliced
salt and pepper

Rinse the beans, pick out any debris. In a good sized pot start the bacon for a minute or two then add the onion and pepper. Once they are tender add the garlic. Saute for ~30 seconds, then add the beans and enough water to cover them ~ 2". Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and let cook for about an hour. Add the jalapenos, black pepper and chipotle. Cover again and let cook til tender, checking the water level periodically. Don't let it get too low, but don't add too much, it should be thick. Salt to taste.

adapted from Spicy Beans by Pioneer Woman


Wow, I'm actually posting something I said I would and only several weeks late. Heh. So, like the recipe up top says, this is adapted from the legendary PW. Her recipe looked lovely (although I'm not sure why she added all the veggies raw in the middle of cooking, but I'm sure she has her reasons), but since I have to be me I changed it up. With bacon.Because I love bacon. I also wanted to cook at least the onions, garlic and peppers (my jalapenos were canned, so I figured whatever for them) because... well, because I wanted to. And since I'm the only one I'm cooking for I can do that, dammit. None of you can stop me! You don't even know my real name! Ha! Ahem. Excuse me.

So I don't have many prep shots, this was made before I got a table and this is what I had to work with. That's the most stable place for the cutting board (and the entirety of my counter space) and it still rocked back and forth. Hm, does the danger make this extreme cooking? Maybe I should be doing it in a moving vehicle of some sort...

Anyway, I did get a few shots, like this one. Note, everything is better when it comes from a Lord of the Rings glass. Studies have shown it although I'm far too busy to look them up right now. And here we are, ready to sit and simmer for hours, making my apartment smell awesome and my neighbors jealous. And this is the jalapenos. Since I'm cooking for just me I added lots and left in the seeds and ribs. It was almost too spicy actually, but it tasted like... freedom of choice. Heh. So, here it is all done. Not too pretty, really. Looks ways better when you spoon it over some corn bread, even if the corn bread is crap from a grocery store. Might as well be yellow cake with cornmeal in it, stupid jerk bread. But! The beans are still awesome and they freeze really well. So I suggest you make some, you can make mine or PW's or create your own. They're beans, do what you want to do. Just make sure there's some pork fat in there, beans aren't the same without it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Dulce de Leche Banana Bread Bundt Cake

Or something like that. It's banana bread, but I baked it in a bundt pan since I have no idea where my bread pan is. I know, once again I know I've promised beans and am posting something else. But when I mentioned I made this to my sister she threatened me with stern retribution if it wasn't the next thing I posted about. So in the interest of family togetherness, here it is.

The recipe is simple, it's the same one I've always used and I didn't even make my own dulce de leche, so I'm afraid my sister is going to be a bit disappointed that it's nothing new. Oh and the next person who tells me to open a can of ddl and "pour it" is going to get a dope slap. I glooped it with a spoon and then tried to swirl. Mostly I got pockets, but really it's not something to complain about.

But! I now have a table, which means prep space which means not just cooking, but also more pictures since the table is right in front of a window. Nice. Of course this is all assuming I can convince a certain someone that the table is mine, not his. I think just keeping him off it while food is on will be the goal. Heh.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sometimes It's Story Time

Ok, I know I promised a bean recipe this week, but it's been a strange one and I haven't had much energy for writing. But here is an odd story about a brisket.

This brisket. I made it with the usual oven method that I've been using since I got the cookbook it's in. But it never got tender. Ever. I cooked it for hours, it tasted great, but it was, well, hard. I wound up cutting it in cubes and braising it with some beans and bbq sauce but it never achieved that fork tender thing you want brisket to do. What's up with that? I am going to suggest that the brisket was a jerk and was trying to start with me. Fortunately, being a brisket it was without movement, so I won. Locomotion, ftw!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Cats #86

Ugh, I know. I haven't posted food for a while. But I promise, this week I have something for you. And it's beans! Beans with bacon, so you know it's good. Not tomorrow though, I'm moving some crap tomorrow. Probably Wednesday.

But in the meantime, lounging. Also, chilling.He seems quite relaxed these days. Heh.


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