Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Spicy beans and greens

1 cup white beans, soaked 6-8 hours (or use a can)
2 cups chicken stock
2 T bacon grease (and a couple slices of bacon)
1/2 red bell diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper diced
1/2 poblano pepper (or jalapeno), diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups chopped greens (mustard, collard, kale, etc.)
5-7 cloves garlic, minced
crushed red pepper flakes, to desired heat level
Cover beans with unseasoned water and cook until tender, about 1 hour. If using a can of beans, omit this part. Drain any excess water and add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and let it cook on low while preparing veggies. Sauté peppers and onions in bacon grease just until softened. I just use the pan and grease leftover from cooking 12 oz. uncured bacon. Add to beans and keep simmering. Sauté garlic, red pepper flake and greens for about 10 minutes to allow the greens to absorb flavors (you may need a bit more grease or oil). Add to beans and keep simmering. At this point, it can be a soup to accompany cornbread, etc. If a side dish is desired, let simmer uncovered until it reaches a thick consistency. Keep in mind it gets spicier and saltier as it reduces. Taste often and season with S&P accordingly. Add crumbled bacon and fresh cilantro. Makes a great replacement for baked beans alongside sliders and coleslaw.  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Garlicky mushroom and shallot gravy with chicken and roast vegetables

3 T clarified butter, separated
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled
2-3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 T rendered chicken fat (from stock)
3 T oat flour (or most any flour)
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock

Sear chicken on both sides and set aside. Then slow cook whole garlic cloves in clarified butter until tender. Add mushrooms and shallots and sauté until just tender. For the gravy, make a roux by adding more clarified butter, chicken fat and flour and cook for a couple of minutes,then add white wine and fresh chicken stock. Season with S&P to taste and add chicken back in and simmer until done, about 10-15 min.


1 onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2-3 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 head garlic, cloves smashed and peeled

Pulse in food processor until finely minced and sauté until tender and lightly caramelized. Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool slightly

2 lbs ground beef
2-3 eggs
1/2 cup cracker meal or bread crumbs
1/2 cup marinara, pizza sauce, or salsa
1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup separated
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t steak seasoning
salt and pepper
1 onion, sliced

Mix all ingredients lightly and form into a loaf in an oiled cast iron skillet. Top with remaining ketchup and sliced onion and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Baste (onions) with juices half way through cooking.

Serve with your favorite roasted vegetables, lightly tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, baked at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Shown here are Brussels sprouts, fingerling potatoes, carrots, and shallots.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bacon Tomato Jam

3-5 T bacon grease
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 cup mixed sweet/spicy peppers, diced
1 head garlic, minced
1 c fresh tomato, diced
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch dried cumin
Pinch chipotle or ancho chile powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté all ingredients over low heat in bacon grease until tender, adding garlic and tomato the last 10-20 minutes. I used Anaheim and guajillo chiles.  Could easily go hot and spicy with jalapeños or your favorite hot chiles. Reduce until desired consistency. Season to your liking.

I used it as a base to a spectacular pizza...

Sometimes I just have to generate my own romance. I smoked/baked this pie on a cast iron griddle (smoked, using bamboo skewers in a little cast iron skillet). Sour dough multi grain crust (it sat in the fridge all week), BACON TOMATO JAM, aged provolone, garlicky greens, mushrooms, toasted fennel seed, red pepper flakes and Gorgonzola. And bacon...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Jerk Chicken Thighs

For 2-4 servings 

4 boneless skinless organic chicken thighs, halved
1 yellow onion, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c white wine vinegar
juice of one lime
juice of one orange
2 T soy sauce
1 T cayenne pepper (traditionally fresh scotch bonnet pepper)
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1 T sugar
1 t ground allspice
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t salt
pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Marinate chicken in half of mixture for 4 hours to overnight.  Grill 5-6 minutes each side, periodically basting with leftover marinade. Serve with black beans and rice and mango-pineapple salsa.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Autumn Minestrone

For 4-6 servings

2 T olive oil 
1 small onion, diced
1 cup mixed bell peppers, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, minced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped Tuscan kale
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 quart tomato juice
1 cup cooked beans/grains (I use Bob's Mill dried mix, cooked)
1 cup cooked short pasta
1 handful fresh herbs, minced
1 c cooked Italian sausage or sliced meatballs
1/2 - 1 t crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste 
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté first 6 ingredients until tender. Add remaining ingredients except cheese and simmer 20-30 minutes. Top with cheese and serve with garlic bread.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cheesy broccoli and mushroom soup

Makes 2-3 servings, easily increased

2-3 T olive oil
1 c mushrooms, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
3 T flour
2 c chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup milk
2 cups broccoli florets (bite size), steamed until almost tender, about 7-10 minutes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 T sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, etc)
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of half of a lemon

Sauté first 5 ingredients in oil over medium heat until tender, adding garlic during last few minutes. Add a little more oil if necessary. Add flour and stir make a thick paste/roux. Cook for two or three minutes while stirring. Add wine and cook for another two or three minutes, then add stock and milk and stir/whisk to incorporate well. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes to thicken. Reduce heat, add broccoli, sour cream, and cheese and cook on lowest heat setting for about 5 minutes, or until your desired consistency. Check and adjust for seasoning. I tend to add both salt and pepper with a heavy hand. Add lemon juice and mix in herbs just before serving, saving a bit for garnish. I throw in a Parmigiano Reggiano rind while cooking for extra flavor. Add a crusty multi-grain garlic crostini for the final touch.

Other serving suggestions: served over 1/2-1 c cooked pasta, grains, rice or a baked potato.