Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pantry/freezer challenge 2017: modifying a recipe

Today finds me snowed in, about 6 1/2 inches have fallen, more continues to fall, with a forecasted total of 18 inches. Plows can't keep up. Glad to be at home. : )

Today's Crock Pot meal is a modified version of a family favorite: Calico beans.

I started by gathering my ingredients:

 Brown sugar, a 28 oz can of prepared baked beans, my last can of low sodium beans (still plenty of dried and some home cooked from dried and frozen on hand), cider vinegar, 2 baggies with home cooked from dried and frozen black beans (automatically no salt! and super cheap), a tub of l/o baked beans, a container with 1/2 of an open onion, black pepper (in mini grinder) and the dregs of a ketchup bottle (I had already decanted the remaining ketchup as much as I could, so I rinsed the dregs out with some water, adding this tomato water to the Crock Pot. The bottle is now recycled, along with the cap).
 As I chopped the onion, I realized that I have no salt pork, no cooked bacon or pork breakfast sausage and I didn't want to cook any just for some beans.
 I modified the recipe further by frying off the onion in some reserved bacon fat, figuring that this was an easy way to import some bacon flavor, without the bacon. The jar of "bacon fat" actually contains a mix of bacon, pork sausage and ham fat, so I probably should call it "pork fat."

Now blended, the Calico beans will cook away all day, to be served with a choice of Yurling beer brats from the freezer (bought for 99 cents! at Aldis a few month's back) and a small, Eckrich kielbasa bought on sale plus big coupon, I think I spent about $1.50 on it. I had 2, but used the other one within the past month.

Keeping it simple, cleaning out the freezer and pantry as we move forward on the Pantry and  Freezer challenge this month. The leftover beans will be served for some upcoming lunches but soem will also be frozen for a future meal.


CT Bargain Mom said...

Looks tasty!!

Busy Bee said...

That looks delicious!

I'm envious of your snow. We have a lot of wind and colder temps moving in, but no snow in the forecast.

Belinda said...

That looks so good. Good idea on using the bacon grease to season with. My Mom and Grandmother always did this for beans when I was growing up. Stay warm in all that snow. :)