Category Archives: Supper

2nd Day Black Bean Soup

Black eyed peas are suppose to be eaten on New Years day to bring good luck for the coming year.  But since I didn’t have black eyed peas I decided to go another route and do black beans instead.  This particular soup thickens and becomes more flavorful if you wait a bit to eat it. So I recommend making it a couple days before you plan to serve it to amp up the flavors.

2nd Day Black Bean Soup

Adapted from Cuban Black Beans by Nigella Lawson

2 cups dry black beans
2 yellow onions, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
11/2 quarts chicken stock
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons dried chili flake
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 can diced tomatoes

1 bay leaf, optional

Toast cumin seed and chili flakes in a small shallow fry pan until you can smell the spices coming up. Pour the mixture into a mortar and pestle and add the garlic and salt, grind into a rough powder.

Sauté peppers and onions until translucent and pop in the aromatics. The kitchen in smelling pretty amazing now.

About now you can pull out the slow cooker if you have one. If not, a cast iron Dutch oven works as well. Toss in beans, no need to soak, stock, tomatoes and your sautéed mixture, set the controls to low for 8 hours and you’re  out of the kitchen for the rest of the day.

Homina, Homina…Hominy: Pork Pozole

Hominy? What’s hominy, come on you’ve never heard of hominy? Hominy is essentially just dried maize that is then soaked in water and lye. Think masa for tamales.  See, you’ve had it and didn’t even know it.

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Pork Pozole

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Pork Pozole

3 cups cooked cubed pork butt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 whole roasted head of garlic
16 ounces chicken stock
1 15-ounce can of whole green chilis, diced
1 large jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon oregano, fresh chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 30-ounce can hominy
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt

To top at the end
1 lime, cut into wedges
⅓ cup cilantro leaves
In a medium sized cast iron Dutch oven heat oil and sauté onion until tender then add the roasted garlic. Pop in the pork and coat thoroughly. The rest of the ingredients can be added at this point. Simmer for 1-2 hours on low heat. The meat Is already cooked so you don’t really need to slow cook for very long but the longer it simmers the better it gets.
Ladle into bowls and top with a squeeze of lime and a spoonful of cilantro.

White Wine Pizza Dough Recipe, for Cracker Thin Crust

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love pizza! Not everyone is lucky enough to have a pizza oven in their backyard and I have an awesome one by Fontana. The ovens are made in Italy and my model is on wheels so I have the ability to move it! The oven is wood fueled and gets up to 700 degrees, so baking a pizza takes only minutes.

The recipe that follows is my version of a Neopolitan Style pizza crust, super thin and deliciously crisp!

White Wine Pizza Dough

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Wine in the crust and a little to drink with it!

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Super crispy.

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Cracker Crust Pizza Dough

3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Bench flour for rolling out dough

In a microwaveable bowl combine the wine and the water, microwave for 30 seconds just enough to warm it. If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast when you add it.

Stir in the yeast and the sugar, let set for 5 minutes or so, and allow the yeast and sugar to mingle. Then stir in you olive oil.

Next add flour and salt, knead mixture into a smooth dough. Divide into four pieces coat in olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Each piece rolled out will make one 12″ thin cracker crust.

If you don’t need all the crusts at the same time. Roll them each out, layer onto parchment paper and wrap in cling wrap and freeze flat. These will keep frozen well for a couple of weeks.

When you’re ready for a pizza simply remove for the freezer. Cover a pizza peel with corn meal and lay the frozen crust on it. Allow the crust to defrost for about 5 minutes. Top and bake as you normally would.

Green Eggs and Ham, Braised Beet Greens with Eggs

 

Some times you just need to take inspiration where you can get it. Otherwise known as leftovers from making roasted beets.  Just like Sam I Am, of Dr. Seuss lore. Some people have a hard time getting their head around eating their greens.  But by adding something as simple as, ham and bacon fat, surprise greens are delicious!


Green Eggs and Ham

Beet greens from 2 bunches of beets, chopped

3 tablespoons bacon fat, or butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 oz. honey cured ham

salt and pepper

4 eggs

Red pepper flake to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

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Beautiful color, who could just throw these out!

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Sauté chopped beet greens and garlic in bacon fat for about 15 to 20 minutes, then add the sliced ham.  Allow the greens to become thoroughly wilted.

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Turn the greens mixture into to two greased ramekins. Create a small well and crack two eggs into each dish and top with red pepper flake.

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Lunch is ready!

Bake for 15-20 minutes until eggs are set and serve warm from the oven with a nice slice of sour dough toast for dipping.

 

French Baguette

I have a new kitchen.  I have a new oven that is very nice. But….the new oven vents directly into the kitchen. So need less to say it doesn’t allow any steam to accumulate for baking baguettes, baguettes have to have steam to get their beautiful crisp crust.  This unfortunately isn’t possible with my new oven.  Enter Emile Henry’s new baguette baker it’s awesome!

Emile Henry manufactures some of the most beautiful bakeware from France.  They have three new pieces a cloche, a loaf baker and a baguette baker.  If you have a chance please try these out!


 

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French Baguettes

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Baguette

Makes 3 baguettes, adapted from Emile Henry

3 cups bread flour
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Combine water (110 degrees), yeast, flour, and salt.  Cover and allow to rise for 45-60 minutes.

Knead well and divide dough into thirds, create the baguettes by rolling into lengths.  Grease and flour the mold and place the dough into the molds.  Cover with the lid and allow to raise a second time, 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Brush baguettes with water, and cut slashes across the tops.  Bake for 25 minutes covered, remove lid and bake an additional 25 minutes until golden brown.

Minestrone Soup

Soup is just one of those dishes that speaks volumes to cold weather! It says back off cold, you don’t stand a chance if I’m around.  Minestrone is full of wonderful vegetables and spices that not only taste fantastic, it’s really good for you too!  So pull that big pot out of the cupboard and prepare to curl up with a big bowl of, “warm up.”


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Warm up!

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Minestrone and Baguette

Minestrone Soup

1 onion, diced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 carrots, diced

3 sticks of celery, diced

1 Bay leaf

1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cups sun dried tomatoes

6 cups chicken stock

4 teaspoons garlic powder

3 teaspoons dried oregano

2 cans dice tomatoes

2 oz parmesan

1 can pinto beans

1 can kidney beans

2 zucchini, diced

1 1/2 cups cooked pasta

Sauté onions in olive oil and then add carrots, celery and sun dried tomatoes.  Continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Incorporate stock and remaining ingredients, retain zucchini and pasta to be added the last 20 minutes.  Slow simmer the soup for 3 hours. Top with grated parmesan and place in a beautiful bowl and life is good. The flavors will develop over time.  Eaten the day after it is made, this soup is a wonderful warming meal.


January 28, 2016

 

Cornbread

Being a child of the “Baby Boom,” everything my mother made or didn’t make came from some type of box, and cornbread was no exception. I was raised thinking that there was no other way to make it.  But once I moved away from home and started learning about different foods and styles of cooking there was no slowing down or looking back.

I found that I liked a sweeter more cake-like cornbread and that the little blue box just didn’t do it for me.  I came up with this recipe after a great deal of experimenting and have used it for the last 20 years.  I hope you enjoy it!


 

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Cornbread and Honey

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Cornbread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

Preheat oven to 400° and grease one 8 in. Square baking pan.

Whisk together milk, vegetable oil, and egg, in a medium size bowl.

Sift together dry ingredients and pour into wet ingredients. Combine well but do not over mix. Poor mixture into prepared baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve this with a little Tupelo Honey and you have pure ambrosia. This is so easy and so much better than the boxed stuff!

Bolognese Sauce

A good Bolognese recipe is something you should always have, “in your back pocket. “. With the weekend coming up and cold weather and snow in the forecast here, pasta is just what the weather is calling for. This recipe does take a little time hence, it’s one of those things you might want to do over the weekend. But, with it cooking for 3 to 4 hours on the stovetop, or in the slow cooker, it makes the whole house smell great.

This recipe is also one of those biggies. That means it makes quite a bit, this recipe will serve between 10 and 12 people. So you can have people over for supper this weekend or you can put the other half into the freezer, it freezes great! Take your pick.


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Start with the good stuff

Bolognese and a little wine make a wonderful meal!

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Cemetery Wine one of my favorites and it has a wonderful label.

Bolognese Sauce
1 1/2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
1 pound dice pork
3 tablespoons butter infused olive oil
1 cup carrots diced
1 cup celery diced
1 cup onions diced
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg
2 cups milk
2 cups white wine
1200 grams diced Baby Roma Tomatoes
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

In a large cast iron Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Next sauté carrots and celery. Next brown ground beef and pork until all meat is no longer pink.

Season with salt pepper and several grinds of fresh nutmeg.
Pour in milk and allow to evaporate over a low simmer. Once this has evaporated pour in the white wine and allow it also to evaporate over a low simmer.
At this stage you have two options, you can either transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and add the tomatoes, (high temp for 3-4 hours). Or you can continue in the Dutch oven, add your tomatoes and proceed to slow cook the sauce for the next 3 hours on the lowest slimmer possible.

This sauce gets better with age so if you want to make it a couple of days ahead and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it thats okay too.  I serve it with a good grating of parmesan and a sprinkle of red pepper flake, a grind of additional nutmeg is a good idea too.

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Stay warm this weekend!

Sourdough Black Bread

Growing up my dads favorite bread was either rye or pumpernickel, neither of which was very available.  When you lived in a very rural area in the 1960’s, pretty much the only options were, “Wonder” white or “Wonder,” wheat.  This recipe for me, has just the right earthy bitterness of coffee and the tang of sourdough.  Paired with a nice hard cheese or salty butter it a meal in and of itself.

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Sourdough Black Bread

Sourdough Black Bread

2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast

1/4 cup sourdough starter

1 teaspoon raw sugar

1/2 cup mashed sweet potato

1 1/3 cup warm water

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons finely ground espresso

1/4 cup molasses

3 tablespoons melted butter

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3 cup oats

1 1/3 cup rye flour

3 cups bread flour

1/4 milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

olive oil or canola oil for oiling bowl and bread pans

In a blender combine warm water and sweet potato and pulse.  Add yeast, raw sugar and sourdough starter and allow to bloom.

Dissolve cocoa, ground espresso, butter, and salt in the molasses over low heat in a small pan.  Allow to cool slightly and incorporate into the water mixture.  Be sure the molasses mixture isn’t too hot or you will kill your yeast mixture.

Start to add your flours to the liquids combining until you have a soft dough.  Turn on to a floured counter or board and knead for about 4-5 minutes.

Shape dough into a ball and massage a bit of olive oil over the surface and allow to rise, in a large covered bowl for about an hour.  It should double in size. Once the dough has doubled, divide the dough in half and place in two, greased and floured, 8″ loaf pans.  Cover and allow to rise again, 30 – 45 minutes.  While the bread in rising, combine milk with cider and allow to thicken.  Once the loaves have risen gently score with a sharp knife, brush with milk and sprinkle with oats.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.

 

 

Pumpkinseed Focaccia Bread

It was hot outside today, and I wanted to bake bread! I know I’m a goof, but I had a method to my madness! I would just take everything outside and so I did.  The oven came outside with me. You think I’m joking don’t you? I have a secret, I have a portable kitchen. Oven, pizza maker, induction burner, and its all on wheels! it’s awesome.

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Even my oven has a view of the lake!

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Pumpkinseed Focaccia Bread
Adapted from Fabricia L.

This is a great “foundation,” bread it isn’t very salty or too sweet so it is awesome to grill and put wonderfully salty and sweet things on.

1/2 kilo combination bread flour and AP flour, half and half
12 grams yeast
185 ml water
125 ml olive oil
125 ml white wine
1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt

For sprinkling on top:
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 Tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds

Pour flours on to the counter in a mountain. Create a trough in the top for the yeast. Gently incorporate the yeast, salt in the dry flour and the proceed to slowly add the liquid in, to create your dough.

Knead the dough to a smooth consistency, kneading for about 5 minutes.
Place in an oiled bowl and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes covered, and in a warm place free of drafts.

Heat oven to 400°F.

Form dough into a loaf on a sheet pan. Create diverts in the dough with your figures, sprinkle pumpkin seeds, and sea salt on top and drizzle with olive oil. Allow to recast for 10 minutes. Bake for 40 minutes.