La What Now?

Since the 1960s, baseball teams and players have been publishing cookbooks. I collect them and try out some of the recipes that major leaguers have shared with their fans over the years. Photos, recipes and comments included.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Calico Beans - Rusty Kuntz (Outfielder)


1 large can baked beans
2 large cans kidney beans
1 can lima beans (drained)
1 cup butter beans
1 lb. bacon (drained)
3/4 lb. hamburger
1 pkg. sweet Italian sausage
1 onion
1 cup catsup
4 tbls. vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. regular mustard

Fry bacon, onion, hamburger and sausage together.  Add rest of ingredients in casserole dish.  Combine all.  Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Serve warm.
Eagle-eyed observers will note that Russell "Rusty" Kuntz continues to be spotted on Major League Baseball fields to this very day.  He presently serves as the first base coach for the Kansas City Royals, continuing a career-long circuit through the AL Central.
The AL Central didn't exist back in Kuntz's playing days, but he never strayed far from the midwest.  He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox and made his debut with them in 1979.  He was on the roster as a back up outfielder and started the 1983 season as a member of the White Sox.  That June, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins, thus missing out on being part of the Sox team that went to the post-season.
After finishing the '83 season in Minnesota, Kuntz was traded in the off-season to the Detroit Tigers.  Where he missed out in '83, Kuntz hit the jackpot as a member of the '84 World Series Champion Detroit Tigers.  He played sparingly for one more season, then was released.
This is one of those recipes that I skipped over for the longest time, never taking much interest in the name or the long list of legumes involved.  What a mistake!
When I finally got around to making this dish one lazy weekend, I was blown away by the result.  Sure, basically it's a bean and meat stew, less liquidy than chili but very similar in the ingredients.
The difference maker is the dry mustard.  I don't use it often enough to be overly familiar with how it blends with other food items, and found that it really stands out here.  The aroma that it adds to this dish made me glad for the crazy long list of beans involved.  If you use everything listed above, you end up with a large casserole dish full of fragrant goodness.  I stowed entire containers of the stuff in the freezer and went through it in small quantities.
FINAL SCORE - I can't wait to make this one again!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pork Chops and Brown Rice - LaMarr Hoyt (Pitcher)


4 or 5 pork chops, medium, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup green pepper, diced
1 cup uncooked rice
1 can beef consomme
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Brown chops lightly in 10" to 12" skillet.  Remove chops and pour off grease.  Pour onions, peppers, rice, water, consomme and salt and pepper into skillet and let come to a boil.  Return chops to skillet and cover.  Cook in oven 40-50 minutes, stirring once.  Serves 4 to 5. 

Everyone raves about this one!

It's another throwback Sunday for the White Sox today.  Kids get a free 1983 jersey, but even more exciting than that: both Tony LaRussa and LaMarr Hoyt will be on hand at the game.

Hoyt's 1983 season with the White Sox was nothing short of spectacular.  He went 24-10 with 148 K's and only 31 walks.  His K-to-Walk ratio was a league-leading 4.77.  He helped the Sox to their first post-season appearance since 1959, and he won the Cy Young Award along the way.

So in honour of the big man's return to the southside, here is another of his recipes from the 1983 White Sox cookbook.

We've already been dazzled by Hoyt's Shrimp Creole earlier this season, and this pork chops and rice dish presents another classic southern offering.

Season the chops however you like.  I have a garlicky-peppery spice blend that I like to use. Actually it came from Chicago too - it's the Back of the Yards Butcher's Rub from The Spice House.  I love it.  Love The Spice House too - they have all sorts of spices available, as well as local-neighbourhood-themed spice blends, and they do mail order!

Got way off track there, sorry.  Back to the pork chops.  A quick browning, then put them over the rest of the ingredients and pop everything into the oven.  If you use smaller chops like I did, the oven time can be reduced to keep the chops juicier.  You will indeed rave about this one.

FINAL SCORE - a big, delicious dish from the big man on the mound.  Welcome back, LaMarr!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Chocolate Peppermint Frosties - Vance Law (Infielder)


1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Milk Mate
1 cup peppermint ice cream

In blender combine all ingredients.  Cover and blend until smooth.  One serving.

Vance Law made a return to the Chicago White Sox bench last night, filling in as a coach during Robin Ventura's temporary absence from the club (daughter's graduation).  He will remain in the dugout for another couple of games.

It's great to see another member of the 1983 White Sox still playing an active role with the club.  There were quite a few longtime fans geeking out on Twitter about it.

To mark Law's temporary return, here's another of his recipes from the 1983 White Sox cookbook.

Probably everyone and their dog has made a smoothie in their lifetime, so this is likely the easiest recipe in the book.  I'm not sure if they still make Milk Mate, but any sort of chocolate milk mixer will do.

The result: a minty-chocolatey smoothie.  It went down fast, and well.

FINAL SCORE - Another solid hit from Good Ol' Vance Law!