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. =)

Texas Meat Smoothie (yum!)

This is how we do breakfast smoothies in Texas.

The List:

  • 2 slices cooked crisp bacon (I am using my home cured/smoked pecan maple bacon)
  • about 6inces of cooked sausage (using pecan smoked venison)
  • about 1/2 cup of corn
  • 1 small portobello mushroom
  • 1 seeded jalapeno (best to use cooked or from a jar)
  • 2 oz fave BBQ sauce
  • 1 oz shot of whiskey

Blend to desired consistency.  May become frothy if over blended.  Enjoy!

 

TX_MeatSmoothie

TX_MeatSmoothie

Just kidding.

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.

Våfflor

Våfflor

 

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

Sliced Bacon

Sliced Bacon

Home Cured, Smoked Bacon xD

Home Cured (Maple Glaze wet cure), and grill smoked with Pecan wood.

Essentially its just a cheap piece of pork belly.  I paid less than $2 for this 1 pound piece of pork.  I marinade/Cured it with a mixture of vinegar/salt/pepper/maple syrup/dark brown sugar and water.  Place in a ziplock (this size fits nicely into a quart size) with the marinade.  Make sure to work the marinade into the meat everyday (give it a nice massage – no need to remove from bag) and turn the package over everyday.

After 9 days, I removed the meat and rinsed well (too much salt is bad).  Then I set up my little Weber Grill with coals to one side only (choice of smoke wood goes on top of coals – I use pecan because I have pecan trees), a foil plate of water directly above that, placing the meat on the other side (indirect heat).  Let it mellowly heat and absorb yummy smoke flavours for about 1.5hrs.  Keep an eye on it to make sure its not too close to the flame and burns. Let it cool in the fridge then you can easily slice for your bacon needs xD

*note that this is not entirely cooked, you must still cook the bacon to desired wellness*

Grill Smoked

Grill Smoked

Here is a great resource site that I got some ideas from: http://amazingribs.com/recipes/porknography/making_bacon_from_scratch.html

 

Clam Chowder with Bacon

We had a ton of milk so we made several types of pudding and clam chowder.  I am still experimenting with my chowder recipe so I dont have anything to share just yet.  Instead of salt pork, I used Bacon this time.  I thought it was nummy.  But there are 2 houses of Baconness.  Chewy and crunchy.  I, professing of the chewy bacon religion, really enjoyed the bacony chowder with bits of bacon in it.  However, some of those whom prefer the darkside of bacon (literally), didnt care so much for the new addition to my chowder.  Heretics!

Clam Chowder with Bacon

Slider Dinner Party [Food Revolution Day]

For Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day, I hosted a Slider Dinner Party with a boatload of veggies. It took the better part of the day to prepare for the party – I will post some tips on  hosting a party tomorrow, I had planned to do it this afternoon but the opportunity never presented itself.

Sliders, of course, are mini-burgers.  They need not be beef, I used mostly pork and I had some ground turkey standing by, although I did not end up needing it.  One of the most obvious logistical issues with sliders is…well getting mini-buns to put them on!  The best way is to make your own!  I spent the lion’s share of the afternoon baking slider buns, both white and honey wheat.  My goal size for my sliders was about 2.5 – 3 inches. So you can bake 18-24 buns per large cookie sheet.

Sliders, like all mini-foods, are disgustingly cute. However, the point of these mini-foods is customization.  I did a ton of prep work while baking bread.  Not only do you need your standard + elite burger toppings (tomato, lettuce, onion, bacon, avocado, pineapple, cucumber, thin apple slices, raw and sautee mushrooms, variety of cheeses), but you need to consider prep-work for alterations to the very foundations of burger building.

I planned for 5 different burgers:

  • BBQ – added bbq sauce and garlic to the meat patties them selves. Covered with more bbq sauce before pulling the sliders off the grill.
  • Thai – added soy, ginger, and lime juice to the meat.  Glazed with Thai sweet chili sauce before taking the sliders off the grill.
  • Breakfast – standard prepared burger, adorned with bacon and a fried egg.
  • Poblano – chopped grilled poblano pepper and cubed colby-jack cheese mixed into meat.
  • Regular – salt and pepper only for topping freedom and children.

NOTE: when making sliders,  make your meat patties thick – like slightly flattened meatballs.  This helps ensure that your guests will not be just choking down a pound of bread while sampling your slider selection.

I grilled poblano, jalapeno and bell peppers as part of my food prep. I prepared some spinach dip and a bunch of raw veggies to go with it.  Also for grilling, I prepared a grilled veggie dish: red potato, red onion, squash, olive oil and seasonings.  Lastly, was a pot of ranch style beans.

(Sadly, I almost forgot to take a picture, and they turned out pretty crappy =/)

Slider Dinner Party

Food REvolution Day