New Year Black Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas for the New Year is a tradition I inherited upon marriage, along with all the Cajun cuisine.  It is a Southern tradition to bring good luck and prosperity to the New Year. It is meant to be eaten on Jan 1.

The all-knowing Google tells me that Black Eyed Peas being “lucky” dates back to the Civil War.  Black Eyed Peas were originally grown in the South to be fed to slaves and livestock; as such, during Sherman’s famous scorched-earth  march to the sea, the fields of Black Eyed Peas were ignored.

I am trying a slightly altered version of Black Eyed Peas this year.  I am making the beans img_20170101_093602.jpgin a crockpot with a bit of roux to give it some extra colour and add to the earthy tones of the dish.  The roux gets diluted with vegetable stock and water.  Add the bag of cleaned Black Eyed Peas.  Add Pepper, cayenne pepper, and  chopped spicy pepper (I am using jalapeno).

Like with all Cajun cooking, you add the trinity (bell pepper, celery, onion). Sautee in skillet first with garlic.  Add chopped ham, rasher bacon, or thick-cut bacon (if using bacon, throw it in skillet long enough to be cooked/firm to make it easier to chop up).

Throw it all in the crockpot for the day. =)


Jambalaya [UncookedWhiteRice Recipe]

I have done jambalaya posts in the past, and I have been evolving my own version.  Jambalaya is great because it is an easy 1 dish meal.  It needs some prep work, but little effort beyond that.

The List:

Cooking Jambalaya

Cooking Jambalaya

  • 1 1/2 cups stock
  • roux to your desired darkness
  • 2 small tomatoes or a can of diced (I like to get fire roasted)
  • small onion
  • 1-2 pieces of celery (chopped)
  • 1 sm bell pepper (for color reasons its good to use a non-green variety)
  • 1 cup of dry rice
  • choice of meats (I use 2 andouille, and 1/2 lb shrimp in this recipe)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • ground pepper to taste (I don’t add salt because of sausage and stock content is usually high in sodium)
  • splash of Cajun hot sauce and/or cayenne powder to taste

The Method:

Make your roux in a large pan.  Dilute with the stock, stirring well. Add all other ingredients, stir to mix and bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover for 20 minutes.  Fluid should be sufficiently absorbed, remove from heat and serve!



Våffeldagen (Waffle Day – Sweden)

I found out today was Waffle Day in Sweden, naturally that means breakfast for dinner!  I used a Swedish waffle recipe – meant to be thin waffles – if you use them in a Belgian waffle maker they will be heavy and cake-like (but still good).  They are locally eaten as a dessert. Swedish Waffle Recipe.

We topped the waffles with a simple fruit cocktail of apples, bananas, and grapes.  Finished off with a dollop of Cool Whip.




I couldn’t resist using my freshly Smoked and Home Cured Bacon as part of the dish.

Sliced Bacon

Sliced Bacon


In a bit of a hurry, I was throwing together one of my go-to dinners, stir-fried whatevericanfind.  Today’s particular adventure was sidetracked when my wife intervened and re-directed my stirfry into becoming a yakisoba instead.  Can anyone say upgrade?

My wife boiled the soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles), while I continued with my original plans with my cast iron skillet.

  • 2 Garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 Kaffir Lime leaves, diced (or 1 whole juiced lime)
  • 3 tbsp oil (I use canola for stirfry)
  • Cooked and sliced meat (spicy sausage in this case)
  • 3 cups various chopped veggies (peppers, fungus, broccoli, snow/snap peas, etc)
  • 3 tbsp soysauce
  • 3 tbsp cooking sake

After heating the skillet with oil, add the garlic and cook for a few minutes.  Add the meat to cook and brown.  Dump in your veggies, soy, lime and sake.  Stir-fry until veggies until desired crispness.

With the soba, we added the noodles (being cooked/drained/rinsed) right before the veggies were done.  Stirfried to reheat and lightly colour the noodles.


The Brisbane

Basically, the Brisbane is a hot grilled wrap.  Its a great leftovers dinner for the next day.  Chicken, pork, shrimp, roast + cheeze + Veggies + condiment.  It is something I used to get all the time when I wan in Australia from Halal Middle Eastern fast food stalls.  They just called it a kebab, I call it after the city I always ate them in, Brisbane, Australia.

The Process:

– chop up a bunch of  wrap-able veggies

–  shred your leftover meat of choice (or sandwich meat), then pan fry in a bit of oil (for colour and to reheat)

–  place heated meat in the middle of a large tortilla (I use the fancy wrap varieties such as Sun Dried Tomato and Basil, Spinich, Jalapeno and cheese, etc)

– Add your cheese choice. Then veggies.

– Add your condiment of choice (salsa, salad dressing, BBQ sauce, teriyaki, etc), + spices (salt n pepper, italian blend, etc)

– fold the end of the tortilla forward, then both sides around the top to make a little sammich pouch.

– Place wrap on griddle/pan. place something heavy like a bacon press on the top. Lightly brown the tortilla and then repeat on other side if you do not have an actual sandwich press (who can say uni-tasker?).

The Brisbane should keep its flat shape after being grilled, and can be eaten like a sandwich.  Enjoy!

This particular Brisbane is made from leftover rotisserie chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, mushroom, bell pepper, monterrey cheese, Italian seasoning and BBQ sauce.

Grilled Chicken Brisbane

Asian Porkchops

I had pork chops thawed out, and as is not too unusual, I didn’t decide on what to do with them until it was time to cook.  I went with an Asian flavor today, marinating the chops in soy, sugar, sake and Korean Chili Paste (Gochujang).

After at least an hour marinating, pan fry until browned and cooked through.  Served as a Trio of Brown Stuff with Fried Rice and Beans.  (I really need to work on my color coordination xD)

Trio of Brown Stuff