Monthly Archives: January 2016

Black Beans and Smoked Pork

bbspCheck me out! Two recipes in a week! I’m on fire!!!

Fun day here is Central Maryland. It’s always a joy to get texts from a kid at school, followed by tearful phone calls. My Faithful Assistant was tagged a little hard in PE, and his bony knee collided with a wall. Off for an x-ray! So much for the meeting free, super productive day I had planned for work today!

Three and a half hours later, and no break (yay!), we were home. I managed to get some work done at home, but I felt the need for a cooking victory to make up for all the blech of the rest of the day.

I’ve had some smoked pork in the freezer, and thanks to the recent adventures of a friend who visited Costa Rica over the holidays, I had a craving for beans and rice (her son told me that was all they ate). So…

Black Beans with Smoked Pork
1 onion, chopped
2 or more cloves of crushed garlic
1 can Rotel
3 cups chopped smoked pork (or sausage or ham)

1. Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. I used my cast iron pan.
2. Add the Rotel, pork, and seasonings and cook on low for 30 minutes.
3. Serve over a bed of rice.

Did you notice this was prepared in one pan? Did you further notice that this was ready in just over 30 minutes? And did you even further notice that EVERYONE in my house LOVED THEIR DINNER?!?! Well, no, you wouldn’t know that because you aren’t in my house but I have four empty bowls to prove it.

Of course, you may not have leftover smoked pork in your freezer, but maybe you have leftover ham from the holidays, or some sausage, or some chicken or shrimp of some other such meat. That’s perfectly fine! So is no meat at all. I really liked throwing this all in one pan and having it ready fast. And once again, the well stocked pantry paid off, too.

So a day that started off a little rough has ended okay. Four full bellies and happy faces.


Broccoli Cheese Soup

bcsI have no idea why my blog posts have dropped off so badly. We still eat, but I think the extra activities in My Faithful Assistant’s schedule have turned dinner into something we just do and don’t really plan as much.

I was thankful for an activity free day yesterday so I could make some broth from the remains of a roast chicken. And with that broth, I made some…

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
3 carrots
3 stalks of celery
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 onion
6 or more cups of broth
4 cups broccoli florets
2 tbsp butter
2 cups cheese (give or take)
1/2 cream, milk, or half and half
Salt and pepper to taste

1. With a bit of olive oil, saute the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in a stock pot over medium heat.
2. Add the broccoli and 2 cups of broth and cook until the broccoli softens, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the broth, and, using a wand blender, blend the soup until it reaches the desired consistency. We don’t like our soup super smooth so we could still see little bits of broccoli.
4. Stir in the milk, butter, and cheese. I used mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan. I didn’t measure how much cheese I put in. I just threw it in and decided after it was mixed in if I needed more. I know that I can grab about 3/4 shredded cheese in a handful. Precise, I know.
5. Add the salt and pepper and when the cheese and butter have melted, serve.

It’s hardly cold here. The forecasted high today is 60. I am watching the Seahawks suffer in the Minnesota cold. I have vivid memories of the Minnesota cold. How we would go from the magical holiday season to the insane cold and gloom of the seemingly never-ending Minnesota winter. I don’t miss it.