Friday, November 2, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect...Fawn's Pork and Beans with Apples and Onions



I don't claim to be an excellent cook. I cook more than most, but not as much as some! I get better because I practice alot! I consider cooking/food a hobby. I read cookbooks for ideas and inspiration, and I've gotten to the point of rarely using a recipe. As long as I know the technique and the ingredients, I don't need to follow, exactly, measurements.

I don't mind repetition, I guess that's how and why I developed my own style of KB training based on repetition! But, I learn to get good at something by repeating it over and over until it becomes 2nd nature. That's how I cook. I will prepare a meal that I like, at least once a week, until I know it by heart.

So...when I was so lucky to spend time in Fawn Friday's kitchen, a couple of weeks ago, I took notes, came home, and quickly started practicing some new things that I learned. One of her "secrets" was her favorite kitchen tool....the pressure cooker!

I own a pressure cooker, but had never used it! Kind of scary! But, after seeing the advantages of learning to use one, I knew I had to force myself to dig it out (thank God the instruction manuel was inside!) and start cooking!

I started out with her recipe for Pork and Beans. The picture above is my second attempt. Of course it's not exactly the same as Fawn's, but it doesn't have to be, but basically the same.

The first time I tried (last week), I added too much apple cider, used a larger bean, and overcooked it by about 10 min. (which is alot in a pressure cooker), but it still tasted fine, in fact really good, but there was room for improvement. This time I used less cider, used a smaller bean, added more apple and onions and cooked it for a shorter amount of time...all things you learn by praticing. I was 90% satisfied with this version...still room for improvement! But good enough that I'm comfortable.

Next week, Pot Roast in the pressure cooker. I'm committed to using it once a week...how exciting!

Fawn's Pork and Beans with Apples, Onions, and Beets (basically)

Pork shoulder roast (4 lbs)
apple cider (1-2 c.)
red beans (1 1/2 c.)
water
apples (1-2), lg dice
onions/leek (1-2), lg dice
beets (1-2), lg dice (I didn't use any)
salt

How awesome is it to control the quality of your food by cooking and preparing it yourself? All organic when possible, and fresh!

Home cooking is good!

8 comments:

Lisa said...

You said it's scary that you hadn't used your pressure cooker. Well using one is scary. I tried to take the lid off before letting it release steam. And there was a mini explosion. Red beet juice sprayed all over the kitchen. Maybe I should have read the instruction manual too, lol.

Sara Cheatham said...

"Oragnic and fresh."
Can I get an amen?!?!

Howie Brewer said...

Pressure cooker huh? Wouldn't even know where to start with that. We have in the last year started cooking with the Crock Pot. Perfect for Fall cooking!

Tracy said...

Lisa,

That's what I meant, using one can be scary, lol!

Tracy said...

Sara,

Love the new picture!

Tracy said...

Howie,

Pressure cooker, crock pot...two opposite ends. One cooks everything in about 30 min. the other, all day!

I can honestly say, I've never used a crock pot!

fawn said...

Nice Tracy! Your Pork and Beans look awesome! Pressure cookers are great for cooking beans! Tracy you are an inspiration for my KB training as well as my cooking!

Tracy said...

Fawn,

Since I don't eat beans much, it never had an appeal before, but I love the "one pot" meal idea of beans and meat!

Of course I serve my pork and beans over kale or chard. (uncooked and thinly cut across the leaf)