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!!!