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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Southwest Hoppin' John

Prosperity in the new year requires some planning as well as luck. In the South, we eat Hoppin' John on New Year's Day for luck. I enjoy a Tucson Southwest version - a little more kick for the New Year. This recipe is quick and easy.



                                                Southwest Hoppin' John


1 ham hock (You can substitute 8 slices chopped bacon or 1 cup diced leftover ham from the holidays)
1 tbl spoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup red or green pepper
1 Serrano pepper, seeded, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1# black-eye peas, soaked for a few hours
1 qt. chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp dried thyme
2-3 shakes hot sauce
salt/black pepper to taste

3-4 cups white rice to serve it over.


Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Sear ham hock or diced ham on all sides. (If using bacon, don't add olive oil.) Add onion, celery, peppers, garlic and sauté 4 minutes. Add black-eye peas, bay leaves, Old Bay, thyme, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil: then reduce heat and simmer 45-50 minutes until peas are very done. Stir occasionally. Salt and black pepper to taste. Add hot sauce to taste.

Serve over warm white rice.

Happy New Year and good luck!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Kielbasa and Sauerkraut

Tired of turkey and ham? Burned out on dressing and sweet potatoes? Do you want something different over the holidays? Try this easy slow cooker recipe.



      Pork Roast with Kielbasa, Potatoes and Sauerkraut

2# boneless pork loin. Remove silver skin.
2 Tbl spoons olive oil
1# Kielbasa, sliced into 2-inch pieces
4# sauerkraut, drained.
2 large potatoes, thick sliced
1/2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1/2 tsp fresh chopped dill
salt/pepper to taste


In a heavy saute pan, heat olive oil on med-high. Sear pork loin on all sides and remove.

Arrange kielbasa pieces in bottom of slow cooker. Next, layer potatoes. Place pork loin in center and sprinkle with thyme and salt and pepper. Surround and cover with sauerkraut. Sprinkle with dill.

Cover and cook on high 5 1/2 hours.

Delicious and savory one-pot meal. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast with Crouton Dressing

Bacon, Turkey. What's not to like? This easy turkey breast recipe is great for small gatherings or snacking.



                     Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast


3# turkey breast
8 strips thick-sliced bacon
2 Tbl spoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix minced garlic, sage, and thyme with olive oil. Rub over turkey breast. Lay bacon over top of turkey, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle bacon with salt and pepper.

Lay carrots and celery stalks on sheet pan. rest turkey breast atop carrots and celery. Cover with aluminum foil tent and roast in pre-heated 375 degree oven for 1 hour. Uncover and cook 30 minutes or until bacon is slightly crispy. (Save drippings for gravy)

                            Crouton Dressing

2 packages seasoned croutons, crushed
2 whole eggs
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cups chicken stock

Slightly smash croutons in package with mallet. Leave chunky. Add cranberries, seasoning and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add 1 cup chicken stock. let sit 15-20 minutes until absorbed. Add more chicken stock until soft but not floating. (May not need all of second cup.) Place in greased or buttered casserole dish. Bake in 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with cranberry sauce or gravy.

Easy gravy

1/4 cup fat (Turkey juice, butter, etc.)
1/4 cup flour
3 Tbl spoons heavy cream
1 cup chicken or turkey stock
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Take juice from cooked turkey. Add enough butter to equal 1/4 cup. Melt in skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup A.P. flour (Use white rice flour for gluten free). Cook while stirring until beginning to change color. Add stock a little at a time while stirring. Cook 15-20 minutes until thickened. Add cream. Season with thyme, salt, black pepper. Serve over turkey or dressing.