La Niña, the pintos and Santa Maria!

In hopes of placating La Niña, who has been a windy bitch lately, I spent the afternoon simmering a pot of pintos in chipotle.

While that was going on I made a quick red chile sauce, browned a bit of Ranch Foods Direct’s mild Italian sausage with a handful of diced onion and assembled a smallish baking dish of rolled enchiladas, each containing a couple tablespoons of sausage sprinkled with extra-sharp cheddar. I slathered the lot with the chile, covered the dish with foil and slid the sucker into the oven.

After 20 minutes at 350 I withdrew the dish, sprinkled the enchiladas with a generous handful of Monterey Jack and returned them to the oven, this time uncovered and under the broiler, to brown and crisp the cheese.

By the time the enchiladas were toasty the beans were done. There was some leftover posole in the ’fridge but I said to hell with that and went with a side of shredded red-leaf lettuce and diced tomatoes slathered in olive oil with a little salt and pepper.

No football was harmed in the making of this meal. In fact, no football was involved. Who the hell watches football when he can watch beans and enchiladas?

21 Responses to “La Niña, the pintos and Santa Maria!”

  1. Sharon Says:

    That sounds really yummy. Can’t quite match that Patrick, but we did have a healthy slab of salmon and a fresh salad. Not any salad mind you, it had fresh Spring onions and fresh Sunflower sprouts. The onions were from the backyard garden and the sprouts were the result of a little indoor gardening experiment. I had really gotten tired of not being able to find sprouts at our local market. So last Sunday, I planted 1 tablespoon of organic Sunflower seeds in a 4-cup measuring bowl. I put them in a sunny spot on kitchen counter, watered them thoroughly through the week and Viola, fresh sprouts!It’s the little things in life sometimes that make me smile the most.
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=2757483569282&set=a.1882577497177.2100741.1023526465&type=1&theater

  2. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Sharon, your dinner sounds delicious. I don’t cook fish all that often, and we don’t have a garden, so I can’t keep up with you there.

    Herself loves sprouts, though, so I’ll pass on your tip to her.

    Homegrown onions and tomatoes are hard to beat. My step-grandfather used to keep a huge garden out back of his place in Sioux City, Iowa — carrots, tomatoes, rhubarb, onions, the works.

    The old railroader used to give me the occasional hit off his cigar and a sip of beer. A taste of the finer things, don’t you know. I’ve gotten past the tobacco part, but I still like a taste of the hops.

  3. High Plains Drifters Says:

    Football? Thought that was over, back when they played the Doritos Baked Not Fried Bowl, where the #7 team from the Mid-South-Easterly Mountain Conference played the #11 team from the Big Ten (or was it the #13 team from the Big 12?).

  4. bromasi Says:

    I just put on two pounds reading this post.

  5. Larry T. Says:

    Sunday afternoon here in Sicily was 40+ kms of cycling, a bit short because the skies clouded up after we got started, followed by a classic bruschetta al pomodoro antipasto. Next was another Tuscan (yes, I know we’re not there but we can’t have Sicilian food ALL the time!) specialty, ribollita – a rich vegetable soup literally reboiled to make it better (other than fish soups, are there any that are not better the following day?) and full of cavolo nero (don’t ask me what this is in English but Swiss chard works OK) and chunks of stale bread (thoseTuscans rarely throw anything away) to the point where a spoon stands straight up. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper, it’s amazingly good. We finished up with a classic bistecca fiorentina, the thick beef steak seared on the outside and almost raw on the inside, washed down with a syrah from Spadafora here in Sicily. Yes it was Tuscan-style food but Sicilian vino. We wandered out to the San Sebastiano festival in the evening to see Seby’s likeness carried through the streets, complete with arrows sticking out of him, then paused for pistacchio pastries at a bar in the piazza before heading home. And there WAS football, as one of the Italian channels showed the AFC championship game that evening, though we went to bed after the first half – I love it when the announcer says “primo down” and “dieci yards”.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Larry, is there any way to send an Aroma-Gram® from Sicily?

      • Larry T. Says:

        Where’s that tek-nalw-a-gee when ya need it? I don’t even try to smuggle salami into the US anymore after being nabbed years ago and whacked with a hefty fine. The real insult was having to toss the prosciutto, cinghiale salami, mortadella, etc. into the bin where you just KNEW the customs guys were going to fish it out and enjoy a nice feast later! Now in the ‘states we get the Fra’ Mani stuff from Whole Paycheck when our cravings get to the point we’re willing to pay NorCal prices for something so simple. Based on what we enjoy eating I truly believe our living costs are lower in Italy even with the pathetic exchange rate – in Iowa we pay $3-4 for fresh fennel and the same for a decent ciabatta….here in Sicily they’re each about $1…and if you don’t like the quality of one guy’s stuff, there are plenty of others you can buy from.

  6. Derek Says:

    You should make the distinction that no American Football was harmed. That way the Euro folk don’t get riled up thinking you might have messed with Football er I meant soccer.

  7. Ira Says:

    On an entirely other note, you just can’t make this stuff up. Just when you think the sport is getting cleaner http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/french-rider-positive-for-12-substances

    I can just here the excuses now, “I was just riding along when I crashed into a pharmaceutical plant …”

  8. Larry T. Says:

    The only things missing were henbane and eye of newt (not the Gingrich kind) – the guy should have been unbeatable!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I had three or four substances going on once — maybe five if you count the beer — at a May Days concert at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley back in the Seventies. But they definitely weren’t performance-enhancing.

  9. BenS Says:

    I lead a simpler life here as a transplanted northeasterner. A beef stew slow cooked for 5 hours followed by a couple of hours on the ski trail with friends and the active 12 year old lab.

    A nice red and the heat pad for the lower back rounded out the day.

    What’s football?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Man, I would love to do some XC skiing. But I won’t drive, and we haven’t the snow, so today I went for a run. Seemed chilly at the outset, but by the end I was carrying a tuque, gloves and a jacket. It’s hard to bitch about a sunny, 48-degree day in late January.

  10. Grumbly Says:

    After working all Sunday in the bikeshop, I peddaled home in a light drizzle. Cold tired greasy and a bit frustrated with the microcephalic woman wearing the “Sarah Palin for president 2012” sweat shirt who did not understand why repairing her Magna mtn bike would cost more than what she paid for it, I quickly browned a minced onion in olive oil. I added some crushed canned tomato from this summer’s abundance, a healthy slug of “2 buck chuck” and assorted frozen seafood from the back of the freezer- squid, mussels, scallops, shrimp and fish chunks, a bit of roasted garlic and crushed red chili from the ristra. A good green salad, crusty bread and a small glass of the two buck chuck and I was in heaven with the silence and a good book for dessert. All the frustrations of the day have evaporated, leaving behind a pleasant glow of contentment that has remained until this morning. Life can be very good.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Grumbly, I like that. You ever read Martha Rose Shulman’s “Recipes for Health” in the NYT? She’s mostly about cooking simply from the pantry, the farmers’ market, the garden and the back of the ‘fridge. You can catch her act without the NYT paywall here.

  11. swell Says:

    We were going to finally get the CC skis out and head to Devil’s Lake State Park yesterday, since we finally got enough white stuff to float the boards, and then it started raining. Jezus. So we tried out the latest brewpub, run by Sprecher’s Brewing out of Milwaukee and had a very good taco dish with a glass of their IPA. The weather has been mild so far, my brand new snowshoes are still hanging in the garage!

  12. Grumbly Says:

    I still appreciate Escondido based Stone Brewing’s snarky attitude, the problem is my low tolerance for ethanol in my blood and the rapidly increasing width of my posterior no matter how many miles I crank the pedals. Oh! The joy of of rapidly approaching 60 years old with a slowing metabolism

    . How can I be “old”? I still have trouble to get into…

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