Saturday, February 14, 2009


I spent the whole day today in the kitchen.

We bought a new smoker last weekend and about 12 pounds of meat to cook last night.  We set up the brine bucket (when not in use for brine, it holds all my knitting stuff), and this morning I was up at 8 to rinse, dry, and put on dry rub.  I put the pork shoulder on, wrapped the ribs in plastic to season, and started on the beans.  Check this out:

Smoked Barbecue Beans

2 cans Bush's Maple beans

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup ketchup

1/2 T dry mustard

1 small can crushed pineapple

salt and pepper

1/2 onion

1 jalapeno

2 serranos

1/2 pound bacon

1. Cut bacon into 1/2" pieces and cook in a skillet until fat renders.

2. While bacon is cooking, dice onion and mince peppers.  Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl.

3. When bacon is done, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and add to beans.  Saute the onion and peppers in the bacon drippings until the onions are browned.

4. Remove onion and peppers with a slotted spoon and add to beans.  Stir everything together, pour into a deep 9" disposable square pan, and put in the smoker, uncovered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Remove to a 350 degree oven until very hot, 30 minutes to one hour.

When those went into the smoker, I added the ribs and started making a grocery list for the rest of the week.

This afternoon, I made an apple-raspberry pie with a vodka crust that was truly the best and easiest to roll out ever.  The vodka adds moisture without messing with gluten formation in the crust, so you can make a moister dough (read: easier to roll), and the crust still comes out flaky.

THEN I made a pot of braised collard greens with onions and bacon.

The only think I don't like about spending all day cooking is that by the time dinner is ready, I'm tired of food.  Good thing there will still be pie for breakfast.