Thursday, December 31, 2015

Black-Eyed Peas

It's a long-standing tradition in the South for New Year's Eve to make black-eyed peas.  They symbolize good luck in the new year.

Similar to most bean recipes, start by soaking your beans

Start with your favorite pork product.  Ours is uncured bacon.  Chop it up and render the fat.

Toss in 2 cups of your favorite broth (we used turkey broth from making tamales)

Drain the soaking beans, and put them in the pot.  Add enough water to cover the beans (1 cup in our case).

The spice mixture is simple.  Salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.  The beans and broth will provide most of the flavor, these are only accents.

Cook until beans are tender (1-1.5 hours).

Revisited Tomatillo Salsa Verde

One of our original recipes on this blog was a tomatillo salsa (see LINK).  While supremely tasty, it was lacking in pictures... so I decided to revisit the recipe.

- 1-2 lbs tomatillos
- 1/2 onion
- 1 jalapeno (seeds removed unless you like a lot of heat)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup of cilantro
- a pinch of cumin, paprika, salt and pepper

1) Begin with the tomatillos. Peel the skin off and rinse the tomatillos under some water.

2)  Cut each tomatillo in half and place the cut-side down on a pan. Fold the aluminum foil, to contain the juice that will be released.

3)  Place under the broiler for 4-5 minutes until there is a nice char on the outside of the tomatillos.

4)  Dump the broiled tomatillos into a food processor with onion, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.  Pulse until desired chunkiness.  I prefer mine to be fairly smooth.

Enjoy on top of some huevos rancheros, pulled pork tacosfish tacos or chips.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Natchidoches Meat Pies

Meat pies are a staple of many cultures.  Eastern countries have meat contained in rice balls and buns.  The UK's interpretation is a traditional pie (in crust and shape).  The Spanish/Portuguese variant is a crescent-shaped pie called an empanada.  This style of pie is the basis for Louisiana-style (nearly identical to Nigerian-style) meat pies.


You begin with your base ingredients for a biscuit dough.

 Mix thoroughly and roll out into a sheet.

Using a circular cutter (plastic top from Crisco or icing container), cut dough into rounds.

Now, we cook the filling.  Pick your favorite spices, meats, and vegetables.  There are no rules with this part.  Brown the meat in a pan (we used ~1 lb of breakfast sausage and ~1 lb of ground beef).  Remove the meat and cook down the veggies in the remaining fat (we used an onion).

 Stir the meat and veggies back together and start loading the pies with a heaping spoonful.

Don't forget to cut vent holes in the tops.

Also, brush on an egg wash (1 egg + splash of milk).

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and delicious.