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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thick and Creamy Split-Pea Soup

Cold weather requires hot food. Soups are hearty, filling and delicious. Split-Pea soup is thick and creamy.

                                                                  Split-Pea Soup

1 bag dried split-peas
1 small ham hock or 1/2 pound diced bacon
2 tbls oil
1 cup carrots, small dice
1cup onions, small dice
1stalk celery, small dice
2 qts. water or chicken stock
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp hot sauce
salt/pepper to taste (If you use stock, be careful with added salt.

Add oil to large pot and heat at medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add carrots and celery and cook 3-4 minutes. Add water or stock, ham hock or diced bacon and cook for 30 minutes. Add peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour, stirring often. When peas are done, remove ham hock (You can leave bacon) and diced, removing skin and gristle. Buzz mixture to thicken. (Leave some of it with bits and pieces for texture. Add diced ham hock, herbs, more liquid if needed and simmer an additional 20 minutes.  Add hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Goes great with a little sour cream on top.

Yummy in your tummy!  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Southwestern Chili

It finally warmed up in Tucson, but it's cold elsewhere. If you can see snow, it's time for a belly warming treat. Chili has it all and only gets better with each reheat.
Southwestern Chili


3# ground beef (80/20)

3 tbl spoons oil

2 cups beef broth

1 can kidney, pinto or black beans (Drained)

1 can diced tomatoes (Do not drain)

8 oz. tomato sauce

2 med. White onions, diced

1 large red pepper (Seeded and diced) (Green bell peppers can get bitter)

4 Chipotle peppers (Seeded and diced)

5-6 garlic cloves minced

3 tbl spoons ancho chili powder

3 tbl spoons pasilla chili powder

(You can substitute 4-5 tbl spoons  chili powder for ancho and pasilla)

3 tbl spoons cumin

1tbl spoon smoked paprika

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp black pepper

Salt to taste (Careful! Broth is salty)


Brown ground beef, drain fat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add peppers, chili powder (Or dried chilies) garlic, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce and bring to boil. Add dried herbs, cayenne and black pepper. Simmer for 2-3 hours. The longer the better. Add more stock if it reduces too much. Salt after it simmers.

(Note) Smoked chilies are smother and tastier. Heat does not equal chili. Flavor does. Adjust heat with hot sauce but try to get it where you want it with chilies.

Try chili with cornbread or tortilla strips.