April 10, 2017

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

I love me some pinto beans. Throw some fatback or ham hocks in the pot, cook them low and slow then eat them up with some skillet cornbread and diced onion and I’m in heaven! I’ve eaten many a good pot of beans growing up here in South Carolina but I’ve got to tell ya… the best pinto beans I’ve had have come from Texas.

And the places in Texas I’ve had them (usually within a hundred miles of the Dallas area) are pretty serious about their pinto beans. I’ve always enjoyed some fresh diced onion with my pintos but I never expect them in a restaurant. That is, until I had them in Texas. Most places will serve them with a little bowl of diced onion. And a few places will give you some chowchow or other pickle relish to eat with them too. Man, DANG! That's alllll riggghhht.

I knew I wanted to make pinto beans this weekend so I thought I’d ask on the Facebook page for any tips my Texan friends might be able to give me on how to get those perfectly creamy, saucy, tender beans. All of the major concepts were in line with how I already cook pintos (or any dried bean) so I played close attention to the little details people were giving me and decided to try those out.

When I was done, I’m proud to say, I’d cooked the best batch of pinto beans I’d ever made! One thing I had working in my favor was my bag of Hurst’s dried pinto beans because they come with a little miracle packet of smoky seasoning that just takes the flavor over the top. I also managed to score some of the most beautiful ham hocks I’ve seen in forever so my beans had plenty of ham bits and layers of flavor too!

I didn’t (and rarely do) soak my beans overnight. I just threw everything in the crock pot and waited until they were mostly cooked before I seasoned them to keep the beans from getting tough (salt can make certain types of dried beans tough if you add it too soon). I also ladled out a few cups of beans and broth which I smashed into a silky smooth gravy with the back of a fork then added it back to the beans to make sure the sauce was thick and creamy.

If you can’t find Hurst’s Pinto Beans with Ham Flavor in your local grocery store, ask for them! My grocery store now carries all sorts of products they didn’t have before simply because I asked for them. Just ask the cashier who to talk to to request a product and s/he will point you in the right direction. My store has a list at the Customer Service desk where they notate products their customers' request.
Slow Cooker Pinto Beans. These beans cook up creamy and tender with a smoky, silky  sauce that's perfect with cornbread. Recipe for crock pot and stove top preparation.


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March 20, 2017

White Chicken Chili

If you live anywhere near me here in South Carolina, you already know that the weather has lost its dang mind. I didn’t put on my big coat all winter and now that we’ve spent a ton of time getting the yard ready, it’s finally time for the kids to start baseball and softball (WHOOP! WHOOP!), and I’ve officially done my spring cleaning, winter has decided to make an appearance! We went from running the A/C to firing up the fireplace! I didn’t have to defrost my windshield one single morning all winter and have had to do it the last two weeks. Lawzamercy, I don’t know what to do with this weather but I DO know what to fix for supper when it’s cold like this! CHILI!

Chili is sort of a hobby of mine (see below for a list of different recipes I’ve tried!). I love to experiment with new recipes so this weekend I made a white chicken chili. I cooked ‘er low and slow and served it all with a hot skillet of cornbread. It took the chill right off my bones AND I had enough left over to pop in the freezer for the next time I need to get warm and cozy.

If you can’t find Hurst’s Great Northern HamBeens in your local grocery store, ask for them! My grocery store now carries all sorts of products they didn’t have before simply because I asked for them. Just ask the cashier who to talk to to request a product and s/he will point you in the right direction. My store has a list at the Customer Service desk where they notate products their customers' request.

White Chicken Chili! Slow-cooked creamy great northern beans, tender chicken and tons of southwest flavor!


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February 27, 2017

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Oh my goodness, I do love me some lentils. They’re my new favorite play-thing when it comes to experimenting in the kitchen. We’ve been eating them instead of rice or potatoes as side dishes with supper because they’re soooooo much better for you (high fiber, high protein) and they cook up just as fast.

I usually cook up a big batch of something on Sunday that I can pack for lunches during the week and my all-time favorite is my Italian Lentil Soup with Sausage (seriously, if you haven’t made that one yet, put it on your bucket list). But since the weather’s been warming up and, again, I’m obsessed with lentils right now, I thought I’d try to make a lentil salad!

And I did!

And it was awesome!!

I figured I’d treat the lentils like pasta and make something similar to a pasta salad. And since I wanted to use my Hurst’s Garlic & Herb Lentils I decided to head in a Mediterranean direction which I’m so glad I did! I can’t wait to make this over the summer for pool parties and potlucks!

If you can’t find Hurst’s Garlic & Herb Lentils in your local grocery store, ask for them! My grocery store now carries all sorts of products they didn’t have before simply because I asked for them. Just ask the cashier who to talk to to request a product and s/he will point you in the right direction. My store has a list at the Customer Service desk where they notate products their customers' request.

Mediterranean Lentil Salad with an easy homemade vinaigrette (or use prepared) and fresh, crisp vegetables.


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