Bean Zapped

pintoThe Red Sausage needed something to go with it. Later, the flounder Janet cooked in salsa, en papillote, did too. We have been cooking the pantry down to late Hurricane Season levels, so a sauce for the mix of 1 can Pinto and 1 can Cannellini beans had to be built from scratch. The idea is to make just enough to coat and marinate the beans for a couple of hours before heating and serving. Bean Zap takes:

  • 2-3 Tablespoons Ketchup*
  • 3 Teaspoons Agave Nectar
  • 2 Teaspoons minced roasted garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Red Chili powder to taste
  • Heavy Splash red wine vinegar
  • Heavy Splash Soy Sauce

Whisk until blended, taste and adjust and fine tune, fold into the drained, rinsed beans. Chill for a couple of hours, refold the mixture a couple of times to bring the sauce up in the container. Works for a cold bean salad as well.


*If you use sun-dried tomato ketchup, you won’t need the red wine vinegar.

Red Sausage in the Sunset

RedsausageLately we have purchased some expensive sausage that had an unpleasant texture (twice) and underwhelming spicing (several times). So, we decided to make some bulk from scratch. The first test batch (1 lb) turned out well. This is easy, no harder than making meatballs or burgers.

For 1 Pound of ground meat (we used pork butt — about 80% lean)

Mix “Red Sausage Spice” with a whisk or spice grinder (this is enough mixture for 2.75 pounds of meat)

  • 2 tablespoons sweet or smoked (or a blend thereof) paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds — fresh ground
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 tablespoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper +/-
  • 3/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine 2 tablespoons Red Sausage Spice with:

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped — we used 3 teaspoons minced roasted from a jar.
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro paste or chopped fresh cilantro
  • [Leave out what you don’t care for. Basil (or mint with lamb) subs pretty well for cilantro.]

Spread the ground meat by gently patting it out flat like pizza dough. Spread the admixture across half the meat and then fold the meat in half and then half again. Spread it again and fold three or four more times, or until paprika color is uniformly distributed. Form into a ball, place in a bowl and and cover closely with clear wrap. Let sit for 3 to 24 hours. The folding approach reduces the likelihood you will toughen the meat through too much handling. Cook as you please. Grills* well.

Makes six nice patties and three to four generous burgers. Leftover grilled patties were delicious chopped and added to scrambled eggs with sesame-soy** ciabatta and Fortnum & Mason Marmalade (thanks Harriet & Skip)

*Grilling hint. We have found the following technique to improve the flavor and tenderness of grilled meats. Meat sticks less where grill marked as well.

  1. Transfer prepared meats to the grill on a sheet of non-stick foil allow to cook for 1/3 time.

  2. Transfer meat to grill bars for 1/3 time.

  3. Flip and grill for remaining 1/3 time. Let rest in warm covered dish for 3-5 mins.

**Sesame-Soy Ciabatta = add 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted optional) + 1 teaspoon sesame oil to Soybatta recipe >> Here.



Waiting for Erika — with Peanuts

TropQuesSpent 4.5 hours yesterday getting the boat ready for the various forms Erika might take when if it gets here. Watching the forecast on TV we ran out of the Chesapeake Crab Snack Peanuts brought by friends Linda and Joe.  (trumpets) To the rescue >>>>>>

1 pound lightly salted Peanuts
2 Teaspoons Wye River Red Seasoning
2 Teaspoons Chipofi* Spice
Shake, shake, shake.

Even better as the days go by if they last.


7 Badia Redfish Blackening Spice + 1 oregano + 1 ginger + 1 basil +1/4 cayenne


More spice experiments.
2 Silk Road Spice
2 Curry powder
3/4 Allspice powder
1/8-3/8 Chili Red Powder
Olive oil
Soy sauce
Non-beef protein. (Poultry. Fish. Lamb. Pork. Tofu)

Units above depend on how much protein you are cooking. Using Teaspoons above will do 5 chicken thighs.

Dry toast Silk Road Spice Blend (below), Curry, Allspice Powder & Chili Powder in sauté pan. Transfer to glass mixing dish. Make a paste with olive oil and spices. Thin the paste with a little soy sauce.

Wipe the bottom of a suitable bowl some of the paste. Pat a protein serving dry. Place on paste and coat top with more paste. Continue to layer servings and paste. Make sure top layer is completely coated.

Cover with plastic wrap tight against surface of protein, then cover bowl. Refrigerate for at least three hours.

After cooking let rest 5 minutes (except Tofu).

After cooking, drippings are excellent for dipping bread.

Silk Road Spice Label

Tastebud Wake-up Call

Silk Road Spice LabelSome of the meats out there have nice texture but not much taste. Some of that is because of the meat and some is because the taste buds are not prepared to handle it. Usually the taste buds are warmed up by the sense of smell. Preparation of the meat prepares all the senses (even touch if you burn yourself). All to often, in modern restaurants, the preparation aroma is inaccessible. The following mixture WAKES UP THE TASTEBUDS!

  • Agave nectar (syrup)
  • Soy sauce
  • Rose’s Lime Juice
  • Light olive oil
  • Sesame oil (go easy)
  • Silk Road Spice (see graphic for proportions)
  • Minced roasted garlic
  • Ginger powder or paste
  • Chipotle powder
  • Fish sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Port or red wine for red meat.

PROPORTIONS TO TASTE. Use as marinade or a thin sauce. Thicken with a bit of roux for a sauce that will turn you off the bottled stuff (meat sauce that is)

Left Over Baked Beans Head East

ChiefCurryThe other night we had lamb vindaloo. Janet made sabsi (Afghan garlic spinach), and I took some left over baked beans and. . .

1.75 cups beans (1 can) +
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 clove garlic, minced (used jarred roasted)
1/3 tsp powdered ginger (fresh would have been just that much better)
1 + 1/3 tsp curry powder (from Trinidad via cruising friends)
1/4 tsp cumin

Sauteed onions in olive oil until browning just started.
Added them to beans along with garlic.
Mixed dry spices and quick toasted them in still hot saute pan — 5 seconds or so.
Transferred spices to beans.
Deglazed saute with a couple of dashes of soy sauce and added result to beans.
Folded all together for quite a few strokes to insure good mix.
Pressed plastic wrap onto surface of beans to control curry odor in reefer.
Covered bowl with foil.
Allowed mix to sit for three hours.

Curry flavor was subtle and delicious. Ginger-heat was balanced by the sweetness in the beans.