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[personal profile] v_greyson
On a semi-regular basis, various DC events conspire to keep bf & I cooped up in the apartment - hurricanes, hurriquakes, Inaugurations, etc. A few hurricanes ago, bf & I started throwing random things into the cast iron pan to make something we dubbed "Hurricane Beans" and we still eat it on a semi-regular basis for several reasons. Number one, it's made almost entirely out of stuff we usually have in the pantry. Number two, it's pretty quick and easy. Number three, it's very flexible, because it's basically "pile stuff in pan, make stuff hot, eat it." Number four, OM NOM DELICIOUS.

Today we have been hiding from the inaugural crowds, so I made a version i'm calling "Inauguration Casserole." Recipe/instruction type things are below the cut.

The basic theory of Hurricane Beans is:
-Take random beans from pantry.
-Put in hot pan with things that taste good.
-Bake with something crunchy or melty on top, if desired.
-Eat it and congratulate yourself for being a badass cook.

We usually make it out of these things:
-Some bacon
-Garlic (or garlic powder, that's cool too)
-Canned Tomato Product (sauce, paste, crushed, whole if you wanna crush 'em yourself)
-Stock or broth, if using tomato paste
-Smoked sausage
-Beans (whatever kind! Mixing two types is awesome for this. If you wanna make your own from dried, go for it. I use canned beans because this is random pantry cooking.)
-Many things from the spice rack:
--thyme (leaves, preferably)
--paprika (smoked if you got it)
--something spicy if you are so inclined (cayenne, red pepper, chili powder)
--celery salt (if you have it, I never do)
--hmm, I think that's it, but anything you look at and are like "that would be good," put that in.
-If you look at that list and you're like, DUDE, that's basically cajun seasoning...yes. You are correct. So you can just use cajun seasoning if you'd like!
-Salt & pepper, ofc
-Cheese (hard cheese, like Parmesan)

So what do you do with this stuff?

1. Put your bacon in a oven-safe pan. I use a cast iron because I <3 my cast iron. Turn the pan on to mediumish and fry that bacony goodness up. Staring with a cold pan will help prevent your bacon from getting super wrinkly.

2. While your bacon is becoming delicious, chop an onion. If you have any bell peppers, chop those suckers up too.

3. Take your crispy bacon out and drain it (paper towel on a plate works fine, I use a baking rack over the sink), turn your pan down a tad, and throw in your veg.

4. Make your garlic into tiny cubes of goodness and throw them in after the onions have started to get soft.

5. Chop your smoked sausage into rounds. There are a couple ways to do this next step, depending on how crispy you like your sausage. You can either take your veg out of the pan, turn it up, and sear the sausage before adding the veg back in, or just throw it in the pan and heat it up with the veg over medium heat. Choose your own sausage adventure.

6. TIME FOR FLAVORS. I don't really "measure" spices so much as throw them into the pan until it looks about right, but I'd estimate that I do about a 3/4 tablespoon of everything except the tarragon, which is probably closer to a 1/2 tablespoon. Anyway, throw some flavors in there.

7. Now add your Canned Tomato Product. If you used tomato paste, you'll probably want to add some stock to thin it out. You want to have a saucy consistency.

8. Stir it around and add your beans. If you're using canned beans, make sure you rinse them first so they taste less like can.

9. While that's getting hot, chop up your bacon and grate some cheese. Once your sauce is bubbling and your beans are hot, sprinkle breadcrumbs and the chopped bacon over the top and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes until you get a crusty delicious topping. Then put your cheese on top and melt that real quick.


Before topping:

Fresh from the oven:

Variation: Inaugural Casserole

This is basically the same, except:
-No sausage, MOAR BACON. Make extra bacon and put it in with the beans.
-Use roasted or sun dried tomatoes in addition to the Canned Tomato Whatever.
-Too lazy for breadcrumb crust, lulz.

Aaaand you eat it over kale!

1. Rince your kale, cut the tough stems out, and chop it into random chunks.

2. Drain some of your bacon grease into a deep pan and turn it to high heat.

3. Put your kale in the pan, add some stock (like a 1/4-1/2 cup), stir it around a little, and cover it.

4. After five minutes, uncover and stir until the liquid is gone.

5. Sprinkle some delicious champagne or white wine vinegar over it (red wine is okay too) to taste. I like vinegar so I go to town.

6. Throw some salt on there too.

Then put that in the bottom of a bowl, put your beans on top, and grate some Parmesan on top of it. I would take a picture but we already ate it all.
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