Wednesday, April 18, 2012

pork 'n beans circa 2012

According to Wikipedia, regarding pork 'n beans - Although the time and place of the dish's invention is unclear, it was well established in the American diet by the mid-19th century. The 1832 cookbook The American Frugal Housewife lists only three ingredients for this dish: a quart of beans, a pound of salt pork, and pepper. According to the 1975 Better Homes and Garden Heritage Cookbook, canned pork and beans was the first convenience food.
Pork 'n beans just got a makeover.
Meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, pork 'n beans - classic American dishes that are constantly being redesigned and infused with new flavors. Here is my spin on a traditional dish (with some Martha Stewart inspiration).
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash diced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
  3 to 4 well-trimmed bone-in pork chops (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
Peel and cube 1 zucchini, 1 squash, chop 1 small onion and half about 3/4 cup of cherry tomatoes.
Over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons EVOO to Dutch oven. Sautee/sear each pork chop, until just cooked through (about 2 minutes per side). Season well with S&P, remove and allow to rest.

Any white bean will do -
cannellini, navy, great northern...
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion first - when softened, add squash and zucchini and tomatoes, and thyme; season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together broth and tomato paste. Pour mixture into Dutch oven; stir in beans and mix with zucchini & squash. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are coated evenly and sauce is thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Return pork chops to dish to finish cooking. Pair with a salad and crusty bread or serve this dish over couscous.

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