Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Orleans Famous MUFFULETTA Sandwich ala MY YEAR ON THE GRILL

Hello foodies! The legendary MUFFULETTA ... It just sounds filling. And why not, three kinds of meat, 2 kinds of cheese and that incredible olive salad filling!

Oh, BTW, Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. The resident cook in training that you may recognize from OUR KRAZY KITCHEN. Today is an exciting day for me, and Min has agreed to let me do a guest spot on her blog in honor of my special day. You see, the suburbs of Kansas City is hip and happening in a far out way, last night, my neighborhood celebrated "Mardi Gras in the Cul de Sac"! Counting drinks, 13 menu items, to feed 10 people... Laissez les bons temps rouler indeed! I got to spend the day cooking, have fun with my friends, and my proposal to take part in the 24,24,24 FOODBUZZ challenge was accepted. I want to thank Min for letting me make an extra post to her readers to tell you all about an amazing CAJUN inspired sandwich, perfect for your Mardi Gras party, or if the gods are in alignment, perfect for your Superbowl party featuring the New Orleans SAINTS (as I write this, the Saints are one game away from a birth in the big game)!

I have been in love with all things Cajun, and the food of New Orleans for a very long time. This year, my wife and I vacationed in New Orleans, and we took full advantage of our opportunity to enjoy a "muff" (as the locals call it) straight from the original store that made 'em famous... The Central Grocery Company. It is an incredible old world store. I imagine the look has not changed in 50 years. And that is it's charm. Hey, in researching this post, look what I found... CENTRAL GROCERY has it's own wikipedia listing (click HERE). I have been wanting to try to replicate the sandwich ever since. Thanks to a recipe from Katherine from the SMOKEY MOUNTAIN CAFE blog which you can find by clicking HERE.

Here's Katherine's instructions...

New Orleanian cook and cookbook author Chiqui Collier was kind enough to share this recipe and says, "It is my pleasure to send you the recipe for the original muffletta sandwich that was created by the grandfather of a lady I worked with 28 years ago." (Presumably that was Signor Salvadore.)

"The recipe for the olive salad is the exact way it was given to me. It makes over a gallon! I'm sure if you’ve tasted it or when you taste it, you won't want to cut it down. It stores very well in the refrigerator for many months and makes great gifts along with the recipe for the sandwich.

  • For the olive salad:
  • 1 gallon large pimento stuffed green olives, slightly crushed and well drained
  • 1 quart jar pickled cauliflower, drained and sliced
  • 2 small jars capers, drained
  • 1 whole stalk celery, sliced diagonally
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 small jar celery seeds
  • 1 small jar oregano
  • 1 large head fresh garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jar pepperoncini, drained (small salad peppers) left whole
  • 1 pound large Greek black olives
  • 1 jar cocktail onions, drained

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or pot and mix well. Place in a large jar and cover with 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 Crisco oil. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Allow to marinate for at least 24 hours before using.

  • For the sandwich:
  • 1 round loaf Italian bread
  • 1/4 pound mortadella, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound ham, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound hard Genoa salami, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 pound Provolone cheese,sliced
  • 1 cup olive salad with oil

Split a muffuletta loaf or a loaf of Italian bread horizontally. Spread each half with equal parts of olive salad and oil. Place meats and cheeses evenly on bottom half and cover with top half of bread. Cut in quarters. Enjoy!

Serves four timid dieters or two hearty New Orleanians. We don’t do Pilates in New Orleans, but you knew that didn’t you?

I made one sandwich, sliced the sandwich into a dozen thin appetizer size pieces and served as a pre-appetizer when guests arrived to pick up their drinks.

It certainly was a lot of trouble to make the olive spread. As suggested, I have plenty left, and will be enjoying this for awhile (or possibly will run out during my Superbowl party). there are a couple of commercially available jars of the salad already prepared for you. Most larger grocery stores will have jars for sale. The actual sandwich only took a few minutes to assemble. With the store bought olive salad, a fast and easy way to make an authentic New Orleans original!

So, thanks Min for letting me hangout with your friends today. Start planning your Superbowl party or Mardi Gras event today. This Sandwich will be welcome at either!

BTW, if you would like to learn more about my trip to the CENTRAL GROCERY COMPANY and my taste of an authentic New Orleans original, come to my original blog posting... I'm off to see the MUFFULETTA Store, the Wonderful Muffuletta Store of New Orleans. Here's a picture of my wife digging into her half while we picnicked in Jackson Square!

And please come take a look at my site today. I will have plenty to post about all the different foods... Everything that worked great (and maybe a couple that I need to revisit later). And see you all Thursday over at OUR KRAZY KITCHEN!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. ..


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kristen's Banana Cake

When one my partners in crime over at Our Krazy Kitchen posted this recipe for Banana Cake, I just had to try it. Kristen, of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, hosts What Did You Bake Today every Friday.

She said that her mom used ripe bananas to make this cake instead of banana bread, and get this: She said you can FREEZE the whole cake! Frosting and all, just stick it in the freezer and pull it out when you need a quick dessert.

I am soooo there.

Of course on the day I decide to make this, town is having a blizzard so school was canceled and we've been at the ranch all day. I discover I only have 1 cup of brown sugar and no sour cream. I also discover that school will be canceled again tomorrow, so we won't be back to town until Monday, and these overripe bananas won't last that long. But this cowgirl is nothing if not innovative, so I substituted granulated sugar, molasses and plain yogurt. Yeehaw, back in business!

(If the cake batter is any indication, we are going to be loving this cake. I can't wait! I just wish I had more bananas so I could make another one and freeze it!)
This cake is so delicious! I had to bake mine about 15 extra minutes, but I have altitude issues, plus I didn't take out any liquid to compensate for the added molasses. Regardless it turned out perfectly. It tastes like a spice cake to me, you can't even really taste the bananas.

Banana Cake:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar (I was 1/2 cup short, so added 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons molasses)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream (I used plain yogurt)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
3 mashed bananas (I didn't mash, just tossed them right in)

Grease an 8x8" square pan; preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixer. Add the eggs, vanilla and sour cream and mix. Combine the dry ingredients and mix into the butter mixture. Add the bananas last and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (Note, this cake always falls a bit...don't worry if yours does)

When the cake is completely cooled, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tbsp butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Monday, January 18, 2010

Caesar Salad for Two

This will be the first course for our Valentine's dinner, from the pages of Everyday Food magazine. Caesar salad is one of our favorites, but we really don't have an amazing dressing recipe. Yet.

I'm excited to try out the dressing, because it seems similar to a Caesar dressing I made when I was briefly the "salad girl" at an amazing Italian restaurant in my hometown. I can't remember exactly what was in it, and one of the proprietor's sons was no help when I asked him for the recipe last year. Here's hoping it will measure up!

I couldn't wait for Valentine's day to try this I made it tonight, and doubled it for our family of four. I used a bit too much garlic, and just used a whole tin (2 ounces) of anchovies. I made croutons out of a couple slices of Artisan Bread (how did you guess?)

It was delicious! I think if I ease up on the garlic next time, it will be great. I still have one other Caesar recipe to try out one of these days.

For now, this is the dressing we'll be making. (I used a vegetable peeler to shave the Parm, in case you're wondering)

Note: the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of SALT to be added to the anchovies. I'm sure they were kidding...anchovies are plenty salty. I have left if out of the recipe below.

Caesar Salad for Two
Serves 2
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

If doubling this recipe, you can use a blender to make the dressing.

2 thick slices rustic white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 anchovy fillets, minced
1 large egg yolk or 1 tablespoon pasteurized egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small head romaine lettuce, cored, outer leaves discarded, and heart cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (there's no way I'm measuring the cheese!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss bread with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let croutons cool completely.

On a cutting board, combine garlic, and anchovies. Using a large knife, drag the blade at an angle across the mixture until a paste forms. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in egg yolk, mustard and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons oil. Season with pepper. Just before serving, add croutons and lettuce to dressing and toss; top with Parmesan.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shepherd's Pie AKA Hunting Rancher's Pie

I was looking for something new to do with our ground beef (we have a lot in the freezer right now), and was paging through the new (Feb. 2010) Martha Stewart Living when I ran across her recipe for Shepherd's Pie. I was intrigued by the use of parsnips and yogurt in the mashed potato topping, but not by the ground turkey or the weird chili powder in the filling. (chili powder? in shepherd's pie??) Not that I've ever had shepherd's pie, but chili powder just doesn't sound right to me.

I pulled out my American Classics cookbook, written by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine. You know, the people who test the daylights out of recipes to come up with the "Best" way to make them? So they suggested using diced lamb shoulder chops for the best flavor, which is probably true, but I've got ground beef. If I remember today I'll check the freezer in town for some lamb to add to the beef.

Then I remembered Shell's Shepherd Pie recipe that she posted back in November. It looks quite similar to the American Classics recipe, except doesn't call for wine. I like wine. The measurements are almost identical, but Shell's also adds corn. I like corn, too.

So this is what I decided. I'm going to use ground beef, and maybe some lamb. I'm going to use the Martha's topping and Shell's/American Classic's filling, with wine and Shell's corn. I won't even have to go to the store for this!

I think it will be the Best of Three Worlds. I guess we'll see. It doesn't sound very fast, but I'm still making it on a weeknight.


I couldn't find lamb in the town freezer, but I did grab a package of ground elk. Should be interesting. And delicious!

Okay. Had there not been excitement on the way home and subsequent emailing and reporting, I would have started this dish much earlier. Oh well. You can't eat on time every night, right?

I didn't really end up following any of the three recipes, except for ingredient lists, so we'll see how this goes. It's such a mishmash of ingredients and techniques and amounts, I believe I've changed more than enough to take credit for it now! It is smelling and looking delicious...but dinner was served almost an hour late. I could have left it in the oven for 5 more minutes to get just a bit more golden, but we were hungry!

And it IS delicious! I really like how it turned out, and ate too much. Number One and H-Bomb liked it too. Sawed Off wasn't really into eating tonight, but I'm sure he would have liked it, if he had tasted it. I guess technically with the elk and beef it should be called more of a Hunter's Pie or a Ranching Hunter's Pie, a Hunting Rancher's Pie? What do you think?

Min's Shepherd Pie
Inspired by Martha Stewart, American Classics, Shell & Alton Brown!

For the topping:
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces (I don't peel potatoes)
3 parsnips (6 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup plain yogurt
salt and freshly ground pepper

For the filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground elk (or lamb)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 medium onions, chopped coarse
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup full-bodied red wine
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon thyme leaves (dried, or chopped if fresh)
1 teaspoon rosemary (dried, or chopped if fresh)
1 cup peas (I used canned, drained; if frozen, thaw first)
1 cup corn (I used canned, drained; if frozen, thaw)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Make the topping: Place potatoes and parsnips in a medium saucepan, cover with water by 2 inches, and bring to a simmer. Cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, return to saucepan, add yogurt and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Mash and mix together; season with pepper.

Make the filling: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add meat and start cooking. Add onions and carrots, cook until vegetables are softened and meat is browned. Add garlic, flour and tomato paste and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the broth, wine and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until some of the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove from heat. Stir peas, corn, thyme and rosemary into meat mixture and check the seasonings. Pour the meat mixture evenly into a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish. With a large spoon, place the potato topping over the entire filling. Starting at the sides to ensure a tight seal, use a rubber spatula or a spoon to smooth out the potatoes and anchor them to the sides of the baking dish. (you should not see any filling).

Bake until the top turns golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

BGK: Celebrating Two Years of Fabulosity!

Today's the day! Can't believe it all started two years ago, over coffee and an IM with Shell..."what if I made a recipe blog, and we could get our friends to join and contribute?" The two of us began uploading recipes like crazy, making sure each recipe "category" was represented...from my Baked Fudge Cake to Shell's Cranberry BBQ Pork, it just grew and grew and now over 400 fabulous recipes live here!

We have grown to 24 members, 17 of whom have contributed recipes! We have over 40 followers on google, and our own facebook page with almost 100 fans!

I couldn't have done it without each and every one of you.
Thank you for your support and encouragement,
your friendship and your recipes!


It's never too late to join the fun! If you'd like to join us here on Bad Girl's Kitchen and contribute recipes of your own, just leave a comment with your email address and I'll send you an invitation! (read this post for more information)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Step-by-Step Cake Decorating: Bowling!

Our friend's dad is turning 90 tomorrow! When I was talking with my friend, his daughter-in-law, about the party to be held at the bowling alley, I offered to make a cake. Since our 90-year-old friend is an avid bowler, even plays on a league, of course I was aiming for a bowling theme. I considered buying a Wilton Sports Ball Pan, which would make a three-dimensional bowling ball, but it is quite small--only uses 1 cake mix--so although it would have looked cool, it just wouldn't have been enough cake.

After I thought about it a bit, and decided to use the pans I had: a round 10x3" for a bowling ball, and a 9x13" rectangle, to be made into a set of three bowling pins. It turns out that this was a good plan, because there are supposed to be around 50 guests! The 10x3" alone serves about 38 people, so we should be fine for cake.

I baked the 9x13" first, yesterday, and I'm quite embarrassed to show you how it turned out. I honestly don't know what happened, but it had a crevasse in the entire length of the cake. I planned to "fix" it with frosting, but then this morning there was another crack in the entire width of the cake. It was like the cake had been slashed in fourths. I debated just working with it, but I decided I would just bake another cake.

Incidentally, I bought some Wilton 19-by-13-Inch Cake Boards and 12-Inch Cake Circles so I wouldn't have to worry about getting my good cake board back, and our friends can just take any leftover cake home on the boards. These are made of corrugated cardboard, and I just don't think they're thick enough. If you're going to use these, they are handy, but you should tape two boards together before you cover them with aluminum foil. That's what I ended up doing.

I made two batches of Buttercream Frosting, one regular and one chocolate. I was going to decorate the bowling ball cake like our friend's bowling ball, which is red and black swirled. I split the white batch of frosting in half, and colored one half red. I split the chocolate batch in half, and colored one half black. This theme was actually easy, color-wise, just red, black, white and I decided on a brown background for the pins. Four colors is not bad at all. (although I will admit, my red is more pink and my black is more gray. oh well)

The Bowling Ball Cake~

Surprisingly, the 10x3" round cake, which uses 8 cups of cake batter (almost two cake mixes), turned out perfectly. It's the largest cake I've ever baked, so I'm very happy it came out well. I made cupcakes with the extra batter!

Here is the 10x3" with its crumb coat. If you don't recall what a crumb coat is, it is a thin layer of frosting to "seal in" the crumbs so they don't show up in the outer frosting later on. I use an angled spatula to apply to crumb coat, it goes on fairly quickly.

I started frosting the side of the cake. I put red/pink and black/gray frosting in the same decorating bag. I simply put a spoonful of red, then a spoonful of black, etc. until it was almost full. I used a big round #12 decorating tip and applied the frosting in swirls around the side, making sure I covered all the white crumb coat. I was going to smooth the frosting using a paper towel, the way my mom told me too, but I didn't like it, so I scraped off that part of frosting, put it on a cupcake and ate it. Then I started over.

For the finger holes in the bowling ball, I used upside-down Hershey's Kisses. I think they worked quite well. I actually sort of measured where the holes would be by pretending my fingers were in a bowling ball, then pressing them slightly into the cake to make an impression. I sunk the Kisses into the cake where the impressions were, and there were the "holes."

I did more, larger swirls on the top of the cake until it was all covered.

And then I freaked out a little. I thought it looked like crap! And it really didn't help when I asked my husband what he thought, and he said, "yeah, it looks awful." He seriously said that. And then he quickly left the room.

I decided I would try the smoothing technique again, because I didn't think I could make it look any worse. Honestly.

And I'm so glad I did. I think the frosting had dried a bit more, and it wasn't so difficult to smooth it--it didn't stick to the paper towel so much. So I folded a paper towel, gently placed it against the frosting, then patted it onto the frosting and quickly removed it. Then I moved it to the next area, overlapping so there were no paper towel lines. I did this all around the side, and on the top, and I also patted the edges.

Now, I'm happy with the cake! It looks so much better! (at least in person) While it's not the original red and black swirled ball like our friend's, it doesn't look so horrible. In fact it looks sort of good. I actually like it now. WHEW.

The Bowling Pins Cake~

I started the next morning with a fresh, crevasse-free 9x13" cake. Thank goodness! I decided on a chocolate crumb coat because I didn't want to run out of white frosting and I wanted a brown background.

I put more brown frosting on all the sides, smoothing it with the angled spatula, and then I added brown frosting on top, where the background would be visible. I smoothed the brown that will show, (below, right) but didn't worry about it being perfect.

I cut out my bowling pins template (enlarged from some clip art), then traced the pins onto the cake with a toothpick. I set the paper directly on the frosting to do this. Then, as usual, I piped on the black outline of the bowling pins with a smaller round tip (#7). and forgot to take a picture!

I had quite a gap around the base of the cake, so I used a larger star tip and zigzagged some black trim around the entire bottom.

Then I used a star tip, the usual for me, to fill in the white of the pins.

Some red stripes, and the bowling pins were complete!

I debated putting a red border around the top, but I decided it looks just fine (and probably better) without one. So, there it is, the bowling pin cake! When we get to the party I will add the 9-0 candles above the pins.

And hey, when you put that crazy bowling ball in context next to the pins, it looks better, don't you think? I do.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chicken Stroganoff

I thought this recipe sounded delicious. It's from Real Simple's website, where you can find numerous simple and great-tasting dishes. I also recommend subscribing to the Real Simple magazine, of course, it's one of my favorites.

While this is not a classic stroganoff, it's a bit tangier and just plain good. If you're looking for the classic, mild stroganoff flavors, I recommend steering clear of this one...

I'm not sure what world they were cooking their chicken in, but some of mine took well over 10 minutes to cook through. Perhaps mine was a bit thicker, I don't know. Just be sure your chicken is cooked through because there is no simmering at the finish of the recipe. With my two boys, I was nervous about the amount of hot sauce, so I used a scant teaspoon, and I upped the amount of sour cream from 1/2 to 1 cup. You can leave out the green peppers if you wish, I might do that next time. We served ours with rice.

Chicken Stroganoff
Serves 6

Hands-on Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1hour

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces (15 medium) button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 scant teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the green pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and the mushrooms. Continue cooking until the mushrooms give up their liquid, about 6 minutes, and are tender.

2. Place the vegetables in a colander, reserving both vegetables and liquid. You should have about 1/2 cup of liquid.

3. Return pan to heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season the chicken with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Cook the chicken in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add it to the vegetables.

4. Pour the wine, broth, and vegetable liquid into the pan and bring to a boil. With a wooden spoon, loosen any brown bits stuck to the pan and let cook in the sauce.

5. Add the barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, and hot sauce. Whisk until smooth. Boil until the liquid has reduced by half, to about 1 1/2 cups. The liquid should thicken slightly.

6. Reduce heat and whisk in the sour cream. Do not let the sauce boil. Return the vegetables and chicken to the pan and simmer until heated through. Serve over rice, pasta, or toast.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A New Bad Girl Endeavor!

Just after Christmas, this Bad Girl took on a new endeavor. After a Guest Host spot on OuR KrAzy kItChEn in early December, I was asked if I was interested in hosting a weekly post.

How could I resist? That, my friends, is how Try A New Recipe Day was born. Each Tuesday, I'll post a recipe over on OuR KrAzy kItChEn. It may be an old, beloved recipe, or something brand new, you never know (and neither do I!)

There are NINE different themes over there at the kItChEn, so there's something new almost every day!

So, go on over and:

BGKitchen button

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ham & Bean Soup

This is a tried and true recipe that I make several times a year, usually a few days after we've had a big ham for dinner! It's just good and warming and comforting and delicious. Be sure to start it ahead of time, because you never know how truly fresh your beans are (and how long they will take to cook!) I nearly always double the recipe, and I always add carrots to the mix.

It comes from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. There are many, many editions of this cookbook, mine was published in 1996, and it is an indispensable resource for basic recipes and tips.

**picture tomorrow, the beans aren't done yet!**

Ham & Bean Soup
Prep: 20 minutes
Soak: 1 hour
Cook: 1 1/4 hours
Makes about 8 cups (5 main-dish servings)

1 cup dry navy beans (or any small, white bean)
1 to 1 1/2 pounds meaty smoked pork hocks or one 1- to 1 1/2-pound meaty ham bone
1 1/2 cups diced celery (3 stalks)
about two carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf

1. Rinse beans. In a large saucepan combine beans and 4 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or, place beans in water in pan. Cover and let soak in a cool place for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.) Drain and rinse beans.

2. In the same pan combine beans, pork hocks or ham bone, celery, carrots, onion, thyme, pepper, bay leaf and 4 cups fresh water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1 hour or till beans are tender. Remove meat. When cool enough to handle, cut meat off bones; coarsely chop meat. Discard bones and bay leaf. Slightly mash beans in saucepan. Return meat to saucepan. Heat through.
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