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. =)

Kitchen Renovation: Day 2

Today I got the new wall up (using the cement board instead of  chalk).  Got the first part of the cabinets in, awaiting some more plumbing work tomorrow before I can put in the sink base.  Mostly, a whole bunch of piddly things that ate up the day.

Beginning to come together

Beginning to come together

Kitchen Renovation Project: Day 1

Doing some remodeling this weekend. Tearing out the old 1950s sink and cabinets.

Before

Before

 

 

No Top

No Top

 

Old Cabinets Gone

Old Cabinets Gone

 

Cleaned up with Wall out

Cleaned up with Wall out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is an old cabinet.  Which means it is built well, and very sturdy.  I had planned to attempt to remove it intact, if at all possible.  As a custom built item, I had no idea if it was built into the wall or not.  After hours of working at it, I did finally get the whole thing loose.  I had to saw it in half to get it out of the kitchen, due to the island that I had already put in.  I will try to install this cabinet + sink into the “Garage” (has been remodeled into a functional free-standing room) as part of the craft/project section of the room.

As is always the case with any project, there is always some wtf moment.  This is a pic of several hundred really old razor blades that were in the wall space:

Surprise Blades

Surprise Blades

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.

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!

Jambalaya

Jambalaya