Common Grill Black Bean Soup; Brussels sprouts – 30 January 2018

To use up what was about 6.4 oz but should (per the recipe) have been 8 oz of remaining Niman Ranch ham – from a 3/4″ or so thick round slice that was a pound – well, I said I’ll just freeze it, but D said no let’s go ahead and make the Common Grill soup, which had been the plan before he left on the 23rd. So I made the soup, but first, he had to buy more black beans, b/c the soup required 1 lb, not 1 cup like some others. After sorting the beans and rinsing really well, I did the “quick soak” technique, then drained and rinsed again, covered in 6 cups water and started to cook. I had 7 half-strips of bacon from a frozen cut-in-half-package of Niman Ranch apple-smoked, and the recipe called for 3 strips, so rather than refreeze the extra half-strip, I just included it – cut the strips crosswise and then in half, but it would have been more sensible to start by halving the bacon lengthwise (but I wasn’t intending to at that point). Cut the hard outer “shell” off the ham and split the slice into two maybe 3/8″ slices, then diced perhaps 1/4″ or so. Cut up two celery ribs, “one small onion” which was actually the last of a yellow and a white onion, and likely a bit on the short side, and some garlic*. The veggies are cooked briefly in the bacon fat (I poured off a bit of this) and then 1 1/2 tsp cayenne and 1 Tbsp salt are added and cooked for a minute (pic is at this point), and finally 1 Tbsp of cornstarch and the diced ham are added and cooked another minute. All this is added to the beans and they cook together until the beans are done, which took more than the prescribed hour.

Meanwhile, I trimmed and split into 4ths or 6ths or whatever, several Brussels sprouts, which I eventually boiled 3 minutes, drained, and reheated in butter with S&P.

D bought us an Acme sourdough baguette for both lunch, with cheese, and dinner, and we ate most of it. The rest D suggested cutting into croutons (lots of sourdough baguette pieces already in the freezer) and letting them dry, so I did that.

Tried out the Bocelli Sangiovese that I re-bought at Costco, based on the “well, not bad” sort of review on this blog back in December. Decided it is fine, but not delicious – no real need to re-buy, though we have one more bottle.

R&E’s anniversary, and they brought over 1/3 of a cream cheese/Nutella cake, with toasted hazelnuts on top and some sort of crumbly crust that was delicious. This was when they cane to see the 90-year-old quilt that L sent to R, as a direct descendant of the quilter. Wow. Anyway, the cake was quite yummy – not spectacular, but a good dessert. We had 1/3 of this piece, split between us, for dessert.


I cut 1/3 off the Costco Cambozola chunk and set it in the oblique, winter sunlight on the kitchen counter by the sink to warm for less than an hour. D bought an Acme sourdough baguette and we had that, along with three skinny ribs of celery, sliced and cooked in butter (and oversalted), and the rest of D’s radicchio and endive fettucine from the 28th, when he arrived home not terribly hungry. Microwaved that. It was fine, but pasta always loses something in the reheating. Reheating in oil would have been preferable b/c of the walnuts. Amazing to think of the canned spaghetti dinners we used to have sometimes as kids…

I thought the cheese looked rather elegant as it warmed up:

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