Earlier this spring I planted lots of flowers around our yard, including these potted flowers on our deck.
Unfortunately, this little a-hole has taking a rather fond liking to these flowers.
In fact, he finds them quite deliciously nom-able.
He’s been caught in the act many times over this past week. I’m afraid my attempts to scare him away were only short-lived, as my flowers are now petal-less.
Meanwhile, this jerkface has been lurking around our yard every evening, feeding on the fresh, tender shoots of new grass we planted earlier this spring. Evil!
Clearly, there is only one solution: beer.
Actually just kidding. Beer doesn’t solve the problem at all.
Well, it might make me forget about the terrorist rodents in my backyard for a while, but it won’t repel them, so far as I know.
But it did help me make some beans last weekend.
This is the first time I have ever cooked with dried beans! I soaked one pound of dried pinto beans in water overnight.
The next day, I drained and rinsed the dried beans, placed them in a crock pot, and added chunks of onion, carrot, and celery, and a tied bunch of fresh thyme.
And here’s where the beer came into play: I also added one bottle of dark beer, in this case Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, to the crock pot.
While the stout adds a touch of smokiness to the beans, I also added six slices of diced bacon to the pot for LOTS of salty smokiness. I then topped off the pot with enough water to cover everything by one inch. I later determined that I added too much water, since my final product was a bit watery. If I ever prepare crock pot beans again, I’ll add much less water.
Ten hours on low heat later, I removed the chunks of veggies, and ended up with these Drunken Pinto Beans.
And, I couldn’t even eat them yet! (Okay, I added lots of salt and pepper at this point, and did taste them to test the seasoning.) After cooling at room temperature for a good 30-60 minutes, I placed the crock pot liner, filled with the beans, into the fridge for the next night’s dinner. Letting the beans refrigerate over night allows all the flavors to meld, and all that jazz.
The following night, I prepared the main course, while gently reheating the beans on the stovetop.
Unfortunately I bought bone-in pork chops instead of boneless, which didn’t really allow me to pound them to 1/8” thickness as required by the recipe. So, I just used the pork chops as is, dipped them in the egg and milk mixture, and then coated them in a parsley breadcrumb mixture
Kind of like a slightly classier version of Shake ‘n’ Bake, I suppose? I browned the pork chops in a skillet for several minutes on each side.
The pork “schnitzel” turned out just okay in the way I prepared it, but I didn’t love it. It just reinforced the fact that I am not a fan of pork chops, and also that I need to more closely read food labels before I buy items. I bet these would be tastier, and more tender, when prepared using Cooking Light’s suggested method of pounding them to 1/8” thickness prior to cooking.
The best part of this meal was actually the creamy buttermilk dill sauce served atop the pork chops. Yum!
The Drunken Pinto Beans made a nice side dish for both the Pork Schnitzel, and also to grilled Biercamp Brats the following evening.
The Drunken Pinto Beans (recipe from the Grill Master cookbook) were good, but I think the recipe needs a few tweaks, like maybe less beer (the stout flavor was so strong!), more salt and other seasonings, less liquid, and maybe maintaining some onion in the dish, rather than removing all of the vegetables prior to serving.
While I don’t think the Drunken Pinto Beans recipe is of high enough caliber to share, I still thought it might be interesting to share the methods I employed while preparing it. Most often I read food blogs not necessarily to find new recipes, but to read about and learn from others’ methods for preparing food. Hope you enjoyed!