Monday, February 25, 2013

Bacon Haricots Verts

THIS RECIPE IS A LIE! Well, not really, but I wanted to start off with something dramatic. I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and the fact that this is a vegetable recipe makes it seem untrustworthy to me. Damn vegetables and their damn vitamins and minerals. Damn them. Ever since I started shopping at Aldi, however, I find myself buying and eating more fruits and vegetables. This may have to do with Megan always adding them to our cart, but I can't be sure.

My grandmother was from Alabama. She had a certain way to cook green beans that was extremely southern. As in green beans + bacon = cooking them together all day. The result was very tasty, but mushy. This recipe keeps the bacon, but leaves you with crisp beans.

There is wisdom in cooking vegetables with bacon (or deep frying them, but that's another post) especially for people like me who are not of the vegetarian persuasion. If you asked me to eat a bowl of nails, I wouldn't do it, but if you told me they were cooked with bacon...I still wouldn't eat it, but I'd consider it. There it is. Bacon makes you eat healthier.


16 oz. fresh green beans ($1.39)
2 slices bacon diced ($2.99 for 16 oz.)
1/2 small onion diced ($0.99 for 2 lbs.)
1 tbs butter ($2.29 for 1 lbs.)
Salt and pepper to taste

First rinse off and prepare the green beans. By prepare them, I mean snap off both ends of the beans, and get rid of any that look like you might not want to eat them. One thing about Aldi produce is that it goes bad quickly. Do not expect to buy green beans and then cook them a month later. I have been assured by numerous people who have no background in agriculture whatsoever, that the fact that the produce does not last indefinitely is a good thing. I invite these people to go live on an organic farm and use ancient Chinese medicine that led to an average life expectancy of 40 and an infant mortality rate of  50%. I prefer my apples irradiated.

 Now, boil enough water to cover the beans, and set up a bowl big enough to fit all the beans with some ice water in it. You can boil the water in a pot, but if you do it in a large saucepan, you will have to clean fewer dishes later. Once the water is boiling, add the beans for 1 minute. Then drain the beans and put them in the ice water bath. Take them out of the bath once cooled and pat them dry with paper towels.

Next heat up that saucepan again over medium heat. Once hot, throw in the diced bacon. Cook until there is enough bacon grease to work with, we don't want the bacon crispy yet. Add the onions and 1 tbs butter as well as salt and pepper. Start cooking those onions until they start to brown stirring frequently.

Now, add the the beans. You will only need to cook the beans until they are heated through, a couple of minutes. You can add more salt and pepper if you like. Just make sure it tastes the way you like, unless you're making this for someone else, then make it taste the way you like anyway. They're getting a free meal and shouldn't complain.

 There you have it. Green beans with bacon and onion, or Bacon haricots verts if you're feeling fancy. Seriously, call it that and most people will think it's some superb French masterpiece, assuming of course you didn't screw up the recipe. If they don't think it's a superb French masterpiece, I blame you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lobster Rolls

Remember how I said I was going to post more, then disappeared off the face of the Earth. Remember that? That was fun.

Seeing as my last post was in the summer and all about shellfish, and it is now the dead of winter, this post is all about shellfish. For those of you who have not lived in the Northeast section of the U.S., they have this awesome thing called a lobster roll. It doesn't make up for the horribleness of winter, but it comes close.

Lobster rolls are basically tuna salad sandwiches, but instead of tuna you use lobster. I KNOW RIGHT?! They are extremely prevalent in Maine, where the residents begin lobster fishing at age fetus. Even the McDonald's up there have lobster rolls. How strange is that?

"What are you eating?"


"Where did you get it?"

"McDonald's . . . ewwww*"

*The ewwww is for when the other person's head exploded from hearing that you can get lobster at a damn McDonald's.


2 frozen Maine lobster tails ($12.99) or frozen whole lobster ($9.99)
3 Tbsp mayonnaise ($1.99 for 30 oz.)
1 stalk celery ($0.79 for bunch)
2 Tbsp butter ($2.29 for 16 oz.)
2 hoagies ($1.79 for 6) or hot dog buns ($0.79 for 8)
2 leaves romaine lettuce rinsed and dried ($1.99 for 3 hearts)
Salt and pepper to taste

First, cook up the lobster however it says on the package. Here is how to cook the whole lobster from an old post:

Boil enough water to cover the lobster. Just dump the lobster in the boiling water, mesh bag and all. return the water to boiling and boil 12-15 minutes. Remove the lobster from the boiling water. Get rid of the lobster water, it stinks. Now it's time to get all the meat out of the shell. Get 3 bowls. Put the cooked lobster in one, use one for the meat and the other for discarded shell. The majority of the meat will be in the claws and the tail. Your hands are the best tools, but a kitchen knife and a rolling pin are good to have as well. By the way, you should let the lobster cool before you shell it. If you are currently burned, then I suggest reading the entire recipe through before cooking anything. Really, instant gratification only works if you want to be instantly gratified, or burned by hot lobster juice.

Once you have all the meat out of the lobster shell, chop it and the single celery stalk up.

Do not dice the lobster, you want big lobster pieces. add the mayo, lobster and celery to a bowl and mix it up. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 Meanwhile, melt the butter and spread it on the open hoagies or hotdog buns. then, toast them butter side down on medium in a frying pan or in the oven under the broiler. If you use the broiler keep an eye on them as they will burn and cause firemen to come to your home. Not sexy firemen either, the kind who are pissed off you don't know how to use your broiler.

Line the now toasted (but not burnt) bread with the lettuce and shovel in the lobster mix. Now, shovel all this into your face.

If you want to change up the recipe a bit, add some hot sauce, or Dijon mustard, or an old tire (do not add that last one).