Monday, December 31, 2012

Black Eye Peas, starring Bacon-I-Love

The end of the year is upon us, I got off work "early" today, so I only worked 6:30-2 a decent day.  And with the snow falling I headed home, then decided to go to the grocery store.  After all I do have a nice newer SUV that gets around great in this stuff!  While walking around the store contemplating what we should eat for our last dinner this year, and whatever other snacky stuff would be nice I discovered that there was:
#1 a run on milk, and I wish I had gotten a picture, but the shelves were almost completely bare!  I guess if congress doesn't pass the farm bill then milk will basically double in price... luckily i did find some milk so I can make ham bone soup tomorrow....but that is another blog. And...
#2 a "shortage" of black eyed peas, which if you are superstitious are supposed to bring good luck in the new year...and as luck would have it, I found A can stashed on a I am making some tonight!  I found a recipe online, several in fact, but only one had bacon in it...can you guess which one I'm making?

And being even more lucky this new years eve, I did have all the ingredients I needed at home...lucky part was not finding the recipe till I came home...and still having everything I needed!  Even if I did have to do a scavenger hunt for the diced tomatoes and chilis (it was in can #7)
(a leftover prank from my wedding, thanks to my brother and sister-in-law)
The recipe was simple, start with bacon...

brown and remove...then add onions.

then dump in the peas (after draining and rinsing)

and then the tomatoes, and water and stir all together, you also add the chili powder, black pepper and I had some chipotle bacon can never have too much bacon!

Cook for 45 minutes to an hour...then serve with bacon on top!

Happy New Years!  From my family, to yours!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Almost the last meal of the year

The weather is officially cold, and most of the time the house is too.  At least I think it is!  Today I decided to make gumbo.  I used to make this all the time, when I used a box mix...tee hee.  Several years ago a friend gave me an authentic New Orleans recipe.  So now I only make this once or twice a year, it takes a long time to prep, and make.  Seriously, prepare to stand in the kitchen chopping for half an hour, and over the stove stirring for an hour, and then you are still not done...I didn't follow the recipe exactly, I never do!  And I realize that I have blogged this before, but it is so fun!

Prep the chicken, season and stick in the refrigerator

Then prep the vegetables and sausage, topping with the seasonings that belong with each step, garlic with the onions, and salt and peppers with the sausage and bay.

Then it's time to start the roux, this takes the longest!
Oil and flour in a pot


when it's brown like chocolate (20-30 minutes later) 

add the vegetables! (watch for the steam!!!!)

Cook for 4 minutes

Then....add the sausage, salt, seasonings and bay leaf

Another 3 minutes

then time to add the water and whisk like crazy to get the roux dissolved!

Bring to a boil then reduce to medium low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally!

Once the hour is up, you can add the chicken, and cook for another 2 hours then skim off any fat that has come to the surface.  Remove the bay leaf.  In the meantime, chop the green onion and parsley.

Remove from heat and stir in the file, parsley, green onion and okra (if you are using this, and oh yes I am!)

You also add the shrimp right now...otherwise it can overcook...Cover, and in 7 minutes this is ready to serve over rice! You can also add some hot sauce if it doesn't already have enough kick!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Baby, it’s cold outside!

The weather took a turn for the colder this week.  So tonight I decided to make a hearty andsmoky beef merlot stew.  Althoug I don’t know if I can really call it a merlot stew, because I used a cabernet saviginon.  I don’t usually drink red wine, but I do love cooking with it!

And of course you can never go wrong with a recipe that starts with “chop and brown bacon”

Cutting the beef chuck roast took the longest, but it was cheaper than buying stew meat pre-cut.

After the bacon is nice and crispy spoon it out of the pot and set it aside.  I know the recipe says to do the beef and bacon in a secondary pot, but why do more dishes than necessary!!

Brown the beef in the bacon fat.

Sprinkle with Spice Agent Smoky Durango Sea Salt, pepper and about 2T of flour and stir to coat…

Then add the water, wine, thyme, and garlic.  I also added some beef bullion, because I love the beefy taste!

Cover and cook over low for 1 hour…yeah one hour…

While the beef is stewing, the onions need a quick 3 minute bath in boiling water so they are easier to peel.

Also, it's a good idea to go ahead and chop the rest of the veggies...the carrots and mushrooms that is...

Add the pearl onions and cook for 20 minutes,

Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread for dipping!!!


Friday, November 23, 2012

More pie?

Last year I found out (finally) that my DH's favorite pie is PECAN!  He's not much on sweets anyway, so this was a suprise.  He pointed out today that his favorite pie is made of mostly sugar..funny how that works!  This year for dinner at the in-laws house I decided to make a different pecan pie than I did last year..

Of course with my mom not here to help me...I cheated again and used a pre-made pie crust!

First whisk the eggs, and not quite as vigorously as I was whisking the gravy last night...

Then add the light brown sugar

and the dark brown sugar

whisk again

Add the next 5 ingredients

finally stir in the chopped pecans and bake at 350 for 55 minutes (and don't forget to set the timer like I did!!!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

The big day is upon us!

Happy Turkey day!!  It's almost 9 am...and the coffee is brewing!  Time to make a quick breakfast for my DH then I'm going to start on the prep work for the Stuffing. If I had more room in my refrigerator I would have done some last night...cause this is gonna take a lot of work!!!

Ok, in re-reading the recipe for the I should have gotten up at 7...oh well no turning back time...let's dive in...

Cube the sourdough,

Chop 6 cups of onion

Chop 2 cups of celery

3 pounds of granny smith apples (peeled cored and cubed of course)

2 pounds of parsnips peeled and cubed

Now to start cooking everything!

Toast the bread in the oven, cook the sausage, saute the veggies, then saute the apples, and then more butter and the parsnips...more butter and the fresh sage!  Then mix it all together!

Stuff the turkey (after patting it dry, and finding the giblet bag...SO THAT's where it is! hee hee)

Put the rest in a buttered dish (glad I have another dinner to go to...cause this made a LOT!)

Then we started the gravy,

and the turkey glaze!

While that was cooking I finished up the cranberry relish!  My dad says it's just like what his mom used to make!  Best compliment ever!!!

Then before we knew it an hour had passed and it was time to glaze the turkey!

And then it's time for a short break....when we return it will be time for prepping the cauliflower, carrots and potatoes!

Of course during that little break my mom took Fergus on a walk...and while she was gone the turkey was done...heee I got to chopping again and got the cauliflower

Salt, pepper and the garlic with rosemary all mixed together!

And the carrots going

And of course I forgot to start the potatoes...

Luckily I always cube my potatoes instead of just they were ready a lot faster than we thought!  And then there was the "we forgot the rolls" moment...but mom got those rolled out and rising!

Once everything was in the oven I started the gravy with the all important Applejack Brandy...and had a bit of an accident...lets just say that roux burns really badly when you splash it (think hot marshmallows that doesn't come off) on your face, chest and hand...a quick douse in the sink, and a bit of first aid from my DH and I was back to cooking.   

All in all it was a long, wonderful day in the kitchen!
I did THIS!!!

Happy Thanksgiving, from my family, to yours!