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Cookin' with Sal: Pretty good trifecta
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Cookin’ with Sal

Cookin' with Sal: Pretty good trifecta

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Eliza Cross has written several cookbooks, one exclusively about bacon and one exclusively about quinoa.

Yes, I liked one much more than the other.

Her newest is entitled, “Bacon Beans and Beer.” What is not to love about this?

As we enjoy the last full month of summer and hurtle headlong into tailgate season, these three ingredients are mainstays of many menus.

Many, many of the recipes contained in the tiny volume will be making their way to my table — er, tailgate — very soon, including but certainly not limited to “Beer-Glazed Peanuts,” which is four ingredients. And the “Bacon-Wrapped Beer Brats,” because why have one pork when you can have two?

We all have our favorite baked bean recipes, but here is one you might want to try. I offer two recipes from Eliza’s book, both of which have all of the big three ingredients.

Just remember, you can always have quinoa for breakfast if you feel super guilty.

Pork Lovers’ Maple Baked Beans

2 cups dried navy beans

1-½ cups water, plus extra for cooking beans

½ cup regular or nonalcoholic beer

½ cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

6 strips bacon, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 smoked ham hock

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Place the beans in a large pot, add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 30 minutes. Drain beans and discard cooking liquid.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups water, beer, syrup, mustard and salt.

Place the bacon in the bottom of a Dutch oven and spoon half of the beans and half of the onion evenly over the top. Add the ham hock and remaining beans and onion. Pour the syrup mixture over the beans and cover with a lid. Bake for 3 hours, or until beans are tender and the meat from the ham hock is pulling away from the bone. Add more water if necessary during baking time.

Remove from oven and remove the ham hock to a cutting board to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat, chop, and stir into the beans.

In a small bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Dot the beans with butter mixture and return to the oven, uncovered, and bake for 30 minutes.

Skillet Bacon and Beer Green Beans

1/3 pound sliced bacon, diced

1/2 cup beer

4 tablespoons butter

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons white vinegar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons grated onion

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels; set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the beer and butter and heat until mixture just starts to boil. Add the beans and stir. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove beans from the cooking liquid to a dish, cover, and keep warm.

Add the sugar, vinegar, cornstarch and onion to the cooking liquid and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Return beans to the pan and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and top with reserved bacon. Serves 6.

(Recipes courtesy of “Bacon Beans and Beer,” Eliza Cross, Gibbs Smith publisher, $14.99)

Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS

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Community news editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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