Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Kitchen

We are in for a long spell of heat.  So I have broken out the crock pots for porch cooking.  There is a tradition in the south of a "summer kitchen".   And with the help of the crock pots that is what I am going to do with my back porch.

Today I made 2 lbs of pinto beans in one crock pot, and green tomato chow-chow in a smaller one.  I will admit that the chow-chow was an experiment because I still had some green tomatoes in the freezer from last year.  And you know how I hate to waste anything.

I did cook the cornbread in the oven but it was only on for 30 minutes.

                             Tomato Chow Chow - I halved this recipe and it still seemed a little runny.

  2               cups  apple cider vinegar
  1                cup  sugar
  1         tablespoon  dry mustard
  1         tablespoon  turmeric
  1         tablespoon  mustard seeds
  1         tablespoon  celery seed
  1           teaspoon  cayenne pepper
  1              piece  ginger -- (1-inch) peeled, grated or chopped
  2             pounds  firm green heirloom tomatoes -- cut into quarters
  2             medium  onions -- diced

Combine everything in the crock pot and simmer for 3-4 hours on high. Allow to cool to room temperature. Place in a serving bowl and serve.
                           Beans and Cornbread

                        Bean Ingredients:
  4               cups  Pinto Beans ( one 2-lb bag of dried beans)
  1           Ham Hock
  1           teaspoon  Salt
  2          teaspoons  Ground Black Pepper
 1           jalapeno pepper, scored
4            Tablespoons  minced onion

 Cornbread Ingredients:
     1/4          cups  Shortening
  1                cup  Yellow Corn Meal
     1/2          cups  All-purpose Flour
  1           teaspoon  Salt
2            Tablespoons  sugar
  1                cup  Buttermilk or soured milk
     1/2          cups  Milk
  1              whole  Egg
  1         Tablespoon  Baking Powder
     1/2      teaspoon  Baking Soda

BEANS: wash beans and place in the crock pot with the ham hock, salt, pepper, jalapeno and minced onion.  Cover with water to 1" above the beans.  Turn to low and set to cook.  After 4 hours check the water level and add more if needed.  When the beans are tender, remove the ham hock and pick the meat off the bones and fat.  Return the meat to the pot.

CORNBREAD: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat shortening in an iron skillet.  Combine dry ingredients, whisking to combine.  Combine wet ingredients.  Pour wet into dry and mix.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.   Pour into hot pan, smoothing surface with spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

We ate the beans on top of the cornbread, garnished with the chow-chow and some diced vidalia onion.  It was very, very good.  And the house stayed cool.

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