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France, Boston, the West...great bean traditions.

France's cassoulet and Boston's baked beans are both fine dishes, but the West has its own great baked-bean tradition--baked pinto beans. As with its European and New England counterparts, the Western bean dish allows for considerable variation in proportions and ingredients. As traditional accompaniment to barbecues (whole ox or otherwise), baked pintos usually contain ham or bacon, tomato in some form, and chili sauce or powder. John Prince's Extra-Hearty Pinto Beans (which could also be called Industrial-Strength Pinto Beans) contain many ingredients, and a goodly quantity of each. Our tasters thought the result justified the effort. You won't forget these beans.

Extra-Hearty Pinto Beans 1 large package (2 lb., or 4-2/3 cups) dry pinto beans 4 pounds ham hocks, rinsed Water 1 can (12 oz.) beer 2 medium-size onions, chopped 5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 2 tablespoons salad oil 3 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce 3 beef bouillon cubes 1 tablespoon cilantro (coriander) or parsley 2-1/2 tablespoons chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin Salt and cayenne

Sort beans and discard debris; rinse beans. Place beans in a 6- to 8-quart pan; add ham hocks, 2 quarts water, and beer. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are almost tender to bite, about 2-1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, cook onions and garlic in oil, stirring often, until onions are limp, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, bouillon cubes, cilantro, chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil over high heatf turn heat to medium-low and simmer sauce, uncovered, until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes.

Stir tomato mixture into beans. Cover and continue to cook until beans are tender to bite and meat pulls easily from shank bones, about 45 minutes more (about 3-1/4 hours total). Lift out ham hocks; discard bones and fat and return meat to bean mixture. Season to taste with salt and cayenne. Makes about 4 quarts; allow 1 to 1-1/2 cups for a serving. Santa Cruz, Calif. As the Grand Canyon's strata bespeak the eons of geological time, so do the heavy-laden stacks of Richard Geer's Grilled Breakfast Sandwiches recapitulate the evolution of breakfast. Maple syrup, as topmost event in this historic sequence, may sound excessive--but don't knock the combination befor you try it.

Grilled Breakfast Sandwiches 4 slices cinnamon-raisin bread 2 slices (about 1 oz. each) cooked ham 2 slices (about 1 oz. each) sharp cheddar cheese 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 2 large eggs Warm maple syrup

Lightly toast bread. Make two sandwiches, using 1 slice ham and 1 slice cheese in each. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add sandwiches and cook, turning as needed, until bread is browned and cheese melts.

Lift out sandwiches and keep warm. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in frying pan, break eggs into pan, and fry until done to your liking. Top each sandwich with an egg. Offer warm maple syrup to pour over the sandwiches. Makes 2 servings. Strawberry Springs, Colo.

"Yet another chowder?" That is what our tasters asked as they ladled out cups of thick, creamy soup sprinkled with a constellation of bacon bits. They were close, but not close enough. The fare to be sampled was Danish Barley and Cheese Soup. The milk, onions, and bacon of a traditional chowder are present in this comforting soup, but barley replaces the potatoes and cheese the seafood.

Pearl barley, with mutton and vegetables, is the stuff of Scotch broth; Russians combine it with mushrooms in one of their classic soups. Chilly northerners, it seems, know the value of a rib-sticking soup in the raw days of late winter.

Danish Barley and Cheese Soup 1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed 3 cups water 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1 small onion, chopped 2 cups milk 1/8 teaspoon ground mace 1 jar (2 oz.) diced pimiento, drained 1/2 pound havarti or jack cheese, shredded Salt and pepper 4 slices crisply cooked bacon, drained and crumbled

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine barley and water; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until barley is very tender to bite, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium heat; add onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is limp, about 10 minutes. Turn heat to low and stir in milk, mace, and pimiento.

Drain barley and add to milk mixture. Stirring, add cheese to the milk mixture; mix until cheese is melted and blended through the soup.

Season soup to taste with salt and pepper; ladle into individual bowls and sprinkle with bacon. Makes 4 servings, each about 1-1/4-cup size. Ridgefield, Wash.

Chic-Choke-Chew, a simplified version of Chicken Jerusalem, is extremely easy to prepare, though it looks otherwise. It is reasonably lean, and the sour cream is optional--Jack Sprats can pass it up.

Chic-Choke-Chew 3 whole chicken breasts, about 1 pound each 1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine 1/4 pound mushrooms, rinsed and thinly sliced 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce 1/2 teaspoon each dry basil, dry oregano leaves, and ground turmeric Paprika Sour cream

Cut chicken breasts in half and discard skin, fat, and bones. Arrange chicken in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and tuck artichokes between chicken pieces.

Melt butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan; drizzle half over the chicken. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 [deg.] oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add mushrooms to frying pan; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until limp. Add garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce, basil, oregano, and turmeric.

Pour the mushroom-tomato sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with paprika. Continue to bake until chicken breasts are no longer pink in center (cut to test), 10 to 15 minutes longer. Offer sour cream to spoon onto individual portions. Serves 6. Plains, Mont.

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Hill, fond grandparents, try to oblige their grandchildren. When the latter, envious of Jack Horner's exploits, asked why they couldn't pull out plums, Chef Hill set to work devising an entree with prunes to satisfy this perfectly understandable request.

The result is Port in Port with Prunes. As a variation, veal cubes can substitute for the pork. The dish loses a lot in alliteration, but still pleases plum pullers.

Pork in Port with Prunes 2 pounds lean boneless pork shoulder 1 tablespoon each butter or margarine and olive oil or salad oil 2 medium-size onions, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 teaspoon ground sage or poultry seasoning 3 whole allspice 6 unpitted prunes 3 tablespoons sliced pimiento-stuffed Spanish-style green olives 1/2 cup port 1 cup regular-strength chicken broth 1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts, drained 1/2 cup whipping cream 1 tablespoon cornstarch 2 tablespoons water

Trim and discard excess fat from meat; cut meat into 1-inch cubes. Melt butter in oil over medium-high heat in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan. Add meat, about half at a time, and stir as needed until browned on all sides. Lift browned meat from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add onions and garlic to pan and cook, stirring often, until onions are limp and golden, about 10 minutes. Return meat to pan and stir in the sage and allspice.

Slit 1 side of each prune to the pit; add prunes and all but about 1/3 of the olives to the meat, along with port and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, about 45 minutes. Discard allspice and prune pits. Stir in water chestnuts and cream.

Blend cornstarch with water and stir into meat mixture. Stir over medium-high heat until boiling. Serve garnished with reserved olives. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Long Beach, Calif.
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Date:Mar 1, 1986
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