Tag Archives: potato salad

Doctoring Store-Bought Food: Tailgating Recipes Edition

Gentle Readers, sometimes one has all the time in the world to create a culinary masterpiece, and sometimes one must PUNT! In the spirit of football season and tailgating parties, here are two recipes devised to save time and save face.

Speaking of saving face, looks like the crowd approves the side dishes. Or you took selfies with my phone.

Speaking of saving face, looks like the crowd approves the side dishes. Or you took selfies with my phone.

If you have to feed a crowd in a hurry, what better choices than baked beans and potato salad? But on a busy weekend during the school year, however much I may like to start from scratch, I will compromise and doctor store-bought. I even signed my name to one of them.

Mildly doctored blondies: wasn't blown away by this mix, better from scratch. But they are pretty.

Mildly doctored blondies: wasn’t blown away by this mix, better from scratch. But they are pretty.

Doctored Potato Salad Recipe

I bought this beauty from SuperTarget, selected for quantity, price, and not being overly mayo-filled or celery seed laced. I have evolved in my acceptance of celery over the years, but I am unyielding on those celery seeds. They are not delicious to me. I digress.

Specially doctored by The Practical Cook: SuperTarget Potato Salad!

Specially doctored by The Practical Cook: SuperTarget Potato Salad!

1 container of potato salad that meets your personal needs (size and flavor profile)
yellow mustard
sweet or dill relish, or  a combination
chopped parsley (optional)
dash of hot sauce
sliced cherry tomatoes

Now you have a decision to make–is the container large enough to stir in your add-ins, or do you need to mix in a separate bowl? I’ll wait while you sort this out. Now you also must decide whether you own the doctoring or go full out and pass it as your own in a nice bowl.

Regardless, stir in the yellow mustard (a healthy dose if you want to offset mayo), relish, parsley (will make it taste fresh, don’t overdo it), and a dash of hot sauce (like Tabasco, and I mean just a dash) until fully blended. Top with sliced cherry tomatoes. Serve with a smile on your face.

Beer and Bacon Baked Beans Recipe

I adapted this recipe from Beer-Can Chicken, an amazing little cookbook that I worked on promoting many years ago. It calls for ribs and a grill, but bacon and an over work just fine, too.

Beer and Bacon Baked Beans before the oven!

Beer and Bacon Baked Beans before the oven!

1 large can of pork-n-beans (yes, the ones with the fatback and tomato sauce that are crazy cheap and taste bad by themselves)
1 can each: black beans, pinto beans, dark red kidney beans–rinsed thoroughly
smoky meat: can be leftover ribs, a bit of ham, or my favorite, cooked bacon
1 small onion, diced
1/2 – 3/4 cup diced mixed peppers (the sweet kind, I use the frozen mixed ones)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup barbecue sauce (doesn’t have to be fancy, I use Kraft because it’s cheap)
2 healthy teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 of a beer, the rest is for the cook
Ground black pepper to taste
a shot of your favorite hot sauce, to taste

Mix it all up in a 9 by 13 glass dish (or aluminum one if you’re wanting to toss it later), heat in a grill or in a 375-400 degree oven until bubbling and reduced. Thank me later, but feel free to invite me to your tailgate party now.

Beer and Bacon Baked Beans Completed!

Beer and Bacon Baked Beans Completed!

What are your favorite things to buy and make better? Post a comment here or Tweet my way! Special thanks to #vGingerBeard and family for the invitation and the unsolicited thumbs up.

Send your good ideas, lucrative offers, and free chocolate samples to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up Sunday: Weekly Menus!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Punt!, Recipes

Three More of My Least Favorite Things, Summer Edition

**Apologies for the schedule change. A bit of operator error kept this from posting in sequence and on time. Do forgive me, especially as I’m going negative here.**

Though it pains her to go negative, Gentle Readers, sometimes the gloves have to come off. The Practical Cook is opening the confessional booth to share with you a few items that will drive her from any summer picnic, get together, or pool. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Three of My Least Favorite Things, Summer Edition

1. FroYo. There, I said it. I don’t understand frozen yogurt. Yes, I get that it’s a toppings vector, but why? I don’t care for the texture, the flavor, or the concept of what I’m eating. And the term “FroYo” makes my teeth itch, actually itch. I said it a few more times in my head just to rid myself of the sensation. I know, this is a controversial stance, but I had to come out with it.

2. Chillie Willies. Again, perhaps the name is as unpalatable as the frozen chemical aftertaste. I have hated these since childhood. I don’t like sucking them out of plastic tubes, turning colors, or the taste. They never were properly frozen, and I could go on. Yes, I was that kid. Homemade ice cream spoiled me forever. Or homemade freezer pops, which gave you the opportunity to extract the flavor and leave the ice.

3. Celery Seed. I bring this up in the context of potato salad. I love potato salad, all kinds of it. I will accept overdressed, too mayo-ey, and all nationalities. However, if you dump a carton of celery seeds in there, I am leaving town. I’ve just come to accept celery into my pantheon of vegetables, I do not want essence of wrecking my potato experience. Please, I beg you, use a gentle hand with these.

Thank you, I feel much better now. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comment box below. Or add to the list, confession is very soothing.

Send your complaints, your baseline agreement, and your chocolates to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Up next, Weekly Menus!

3 Comments

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy