August 27, 2014

Southern Style Baked Beans

You know how you lay slices of bacon on top of baked beans and they cook up all glorious? Except that they shrink up so much that when the beans are done only the center of your dish has bacon. And you’ll have like 5 slices but it’s impossible to cut them with the serving spoon so only 5 people actually get the bacon.

And the other people are walking around mumbling under their breath like, “That heifer just had to get that last slice of bacon.” And, “He was all ‘ooops, didn't mean to snag that bacon but oh well!’ knowing he hooked it with his thumb.” And “That youngin ain't got no raisin’ taking that bacon like that. His mama should teach him better. Bless her heart.”

And then there are the recipes that call for cooking the bacon first and crumbling it on top. But, as I've said many, many times around here, ain't nobody got time for that.

So here’s what I do! I mix up my very favorite baked beans then top the them with a gozillion nuggets of bacon that crisp up and work their magic while the beans are cooking. End result? Bacon for everyone!


Southern Style Baked Beans
2 28-oz. cans cheap-o pork n’ beans*
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
A few drops Liquid Smoke (optional)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5-6 slices thick-cut bacon

Combine ketchup, barbeque sauce, brown sugar, mustard, worchestershire sauce, Liquid Smoke, garlic and pepper in a medium-sized bowl and mix well; set aside.

Open each can of beans and pour off all the standing liquid in the top of the can. Discard liquid and add beans to the ketchup mixture. Mix beans gently with the ketchup mixture until thoroughly combined then pour into a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces then place pieces evenly in a single layer on top of beans. I like to kinda crumple each piece a bit instead of laying them flat – like little inchworms. The cute ride-on toys from the 80’s not actual worms because that’s gross. Bake beans, uncovered, at 350 degrees for one hour or until bacon is cooked through and starting to crisp. Enjoy!

*Not “baked beans” or “barbeque beans” or anything fancy like that as they’re already jazzed up. You just want plain jane, inexpensive "pork n' beans". I usually buy Van Camp’s (Libby’s in Canada). ALSO, be sure to keep the cans upright until you’re ready to cook. You want all the liquid to settle on top so you can pour it off.

While sharing links to South Your Mouth © 2011 is welcomed and encouraged (please and thank you!), do not copy/paste full recipes to any social media (Facebook, etc.), blogs or websites without express written consent. Unauthorized use of content and photos from South Your Mouth © 2011 is a violation of both the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and copyright law.

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August 26, 2014

Chipotle Shrimp Tostada Bites

Sometimes I look back on my adventure with Food Network and I think did that really happen to me? Did I really get to be a cast member on America’s Best Cook? Did I really ditch everything and fly up to New York to take my chances? Did I really get to work with chefs I've admired for years and years? Like Michael Symon and Alex Guarnaschelli and Cat Cora? Cat-frickin-Cora, man. I mean, come on?!  Did that happen to me?

If I get to thinking about it lying in bed at night, my heart starts pumping and that adrenaline kicks in and the next thing I know I’m WIDE AWAKE with zero chance of getting back to sleep any time soon.

There were hundreds of little moments that are emblazoned in my memory that I will cherish forever. Walking through Chelsea Market to the undisclosed location of the studios every day. Spending my last night in an Irish pub in Manhattan with new friends, many of whom are now my forever friends. Cooking for an Iron Chef in Kitchen Stadium. And her telling me my food was cooked perfectly; that it was delicious. And that she’d love to spend a day in my kitchen cooking with me. Did that happen?

Ugh. What a journey. What an amazing journey.

[blebbbrubdpah... shaking it off before my heart rate gets up again and I can’t sleep tonight]

Anywho, I’d been wanting to cook the shrimp I made for Cat again so when I saw gulf shrimp at the market yesterday I pounced on them. And I didn't have to rip the heads off of these either, thankyouverymuch Food Network.

I decided to make these into an appetizer since I was really just cooking them for fun. I whipped them up, poured myself a beer and let myself take a stroll back down memory lane.

These are super easy and delicious! It only takes a minute or two to assemble the tostadas once you have the shrimp cooked. These would make a beautiful appetizer at any event or party. I can’t wait to make these for football season!

Minus the marinade time I can assure you this can be made in under 30 minutes because I've done it. With 87 cameras in my face. Running for ingredients and equipment like a 3-legged cat running for dirt. Oh no, it won't be anything at all like Chopped. Not at all. Right.



Chipotle Shrimp Tostada Bites
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp (approximately 45-55)
1 7-oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup brown sugar
Juice of one lime
1 8-oz. package prepared guacamole* (I use Kroger’s PeakFection)
1 bag bite-sized round tortilla chips**
chopped cilantro
finely diced red onion
coarse-grain sea salt or kosher salt

Peel and devein shrimp; set aside.

Combine chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, garlic, brown sugar and lime juice in a large bowl and mix well. If you want yours spicy, chop open the peppers to release the seeds, if not, leave them whole. Add shrimp and gently stir to combine ingredients. Cover bowl and refrigerate shrimp for 4-6 hours to marinate. Don’t marinate the shrimp longer than that or the acid from the lime juice will start to react with the protein in the shrimp.

Cook shrimp on the grill, in a grill pan or in a large skillet (grease whichever you use with oil or cooking spray) over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes on each side or until shrimp are cooked through. If cooking in a pan or skillet, cook in several batches to ensure the shrimp aren't overcrowded. Set cooked shrimp aside until ready to serve. The tostadas are perfectly delicious served at room temperature so feel free to prepare the shrimp ahead of time.

To assemble, spread a dollop of guacamole onto each tortilla chip (about a teaspoon). Place one shrimp on top of guacamole then arrange tostadas on a serving platter or cutting board. Sprinkle tostadas with cilantro, diced red onion and sea salt. Serve within one hour of assembling.

*Feel free to make your own or make my Quick & Easy Chunky Guacamole but seriously, I think the prepared kind is perfect for this! Easy, peesy, bo-deezy!

**you might want to buy two of these or get the family-size in case there are lots of broken chips (you just never know, ya know?) and you’ll need as many chips as you have shrimp.

While sharing links to South Your Mouth © 2011 is welcomed and encouraged (please and thank you!), do not copy/paste full recipes to any social media (Facebook, etc.), blogs or websites without express written consent. Unauthorized use of content and photos from South Your Mouth © 2011 is a violation of both the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and copyright law.

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