Follow by Email

Monday, December 31, 2012

Southwestern Hoppin' John

It has long been a tradition in the south to start the new year with Hoppin' John. Eating it on New year's Day brings luck and prosperity. Here is a recipe with a slightly Arizona touch.

                                      Hoppin' John

1# dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed.
1 tbl spoon olive oil
1 small ham hock (Six strips of bacon can be substituted)
1 small onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 tblspoon garlic, minced
1 green pepper, diced
1 Serrano chili, minced (If you like more heat, add a second Serrano, but be careful!)
1 qt. chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsps. Old Bay or Creole seasoning
salt. black pepper to taste

1/2 cup diced prickly pear paddles (Can be found in Southwestern section of grocery store. Saute in 1 tblspoon butter and add to rice as it cooks)

In a heavy sauce pan, heat oil then sear ham hock. If you substitute bacon, no oil is needed. Cook bacon until done. Add diced onion, celery, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 4 minutes. Add chicken stock, soaked black eyed peas, bay leaf, thyme and Creole seasoning or Old Bay. bring to a boil, then reduced to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and adding liquid as needed. Peas should be nice and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve over cooked white rice.

Have a glorious and prosperous New Year. Party on, but don't drink and drive.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cheesy Bacon Quiche

Breakfast is the first meal of the day. Why not make it the best meal of the day as well? Quiche is simple, quick and easy. Eggs, bacon and cheese - how can you go wrong with that combination?

                                                           Cheesy Bacon Quiche

1 - 9# pie crust in buttered pan
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream  (Milk can be used for lighter quiche, but cream is rich)
2 cups chopped baby spinach  (Blanched sliced asparagus can be a good substitute)
1# bacon, cooked and crumbled (Drain grease on paper towel)
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese (Substitute Cheddar or Gruyere is you like)
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
salt/pepper to taste

In a 9# pie crust, layer crumbled bacon evenly, and then layer chopped spinach, followed by cheese. In a large bowl, mix eggs, cream, herbs, salt and pepper. Pour over mixture slowly. Bake in 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

Slice and serve. This meal is so good, it even makes a great dinner.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lentil Soup with Andouille Sausage

Cold weather is soup time. If you're tired of boring chicken soup or vegetable soup, try this quick, easy recipe. It's hearty and delicious.

                                               Lentil Soup with Andouille Sausage

1# green lentils
1/4 cup olive oil
3 white onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
5-6 celery stalks, diced
5-6 carrots, diced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried cumin
2 tsps. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 qts. chicken stock
1# Andouille sausage, sliced.
3-4 shakes of Louisiana Hot Sauce. (Optional)

In a bowl, pour boiling water over lentils. Let stand 15 minutes, then drain.
In a stock pot or large heavy pot, add olive oil to pan over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, salt, pepper, cumin, and thyme. Saute 15 minutes until onions are translucent. Add carrots, celery and tomato paste. Saute 10 more minutes. Add stock, lentils and sausage. Simmer for 1 hour on low heat. Check for seasoning. More salt may be necessary depending on type of stock.

Add hot sauce for more heat. Serve with shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese.