pp button



5 Bean Chili

1 Cup Dry Pintos
1/2 Cup Dry Light Red Kidney Beans
1/2 Cup Dry Dark Red Kidney Beans
1/2 Cup Dry Northern (White) Beans
1/2 Cup Dry Black Beans
1 Slice Thick Cut Bacon

1.5 Quarts of Canned Tomatoes

1.5 Lb Ground Beef
1 Onion, Chopped
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
1 Cup Chili Seasoning (See recipe below)

Put rinsed beans, a generous amount of salt (1.5 – 2 tsp), bacon and about a gallon of water in a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil.
Turn off heat, cover and let sit for an hour.  Drain and rinse beans.

Put beans back in pot and add enough water to just barely cover and 1 tsp salt.  Drain juice from tomato solids.  Add juice to bean pot.
Set solids aside to be added later. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low.
Simmer with lid slightly tilted for an hour.

Brown ground beef.  Add onion and bell pepper saute an additional 5 minutes.  Drain.  Return to skillet with seasoning and 1 cup water.
Cook until most of the water is gone.

Take the slice of bacon out of the beans, dice it up and put it back in.  Add tomato solids, seasoned meat and vegetables.  Continue to simmer uncovered for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Chili Seasoning

Chili Seasoning (Yields about 1 Cup)

3 TBSP chili powder
2 TBSP AP Flour
2 TBSP Oatmeal
2 TBSP Dried Chopped Onion
1 TBSP Paprika
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 tsp Brown Sugar

Toast oatmeal and spices (except sugar and parsley) over medium low heat, stirring often.  It will only take a few minutes, you will notice when the  mixture has a nice toasty smell.  Take care not to scorch it. Once cooled add sugar and pulse a few times in a spice grinder to mince the oatmeal, red pepper and onion.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

4 Cups Whole Cranberries
1 1/2 Cups Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Sugar
Pinch of Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Sauté cranberries and OJ in a wide skillet over medium heat.  When berries begin to burst add sugar and salt.  Mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium low, cook down for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cinnamon.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Seafood Gumbo


1 Stick Unsalted Butter – Melted over low heat
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

3/4 Cup Diced Celery (2 stalks greens and all)
1/2 Cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Cup Diced Yellow Onion
1/4 Cup Grated Carrot
1 Clove Garlic – Minced

2 TBSP Cajun Seasoning (Here is a good recipe for making your own http://www.nolacuisine.com/2005/07/22/creole-seasoning-recipe)
3 Cups Chicken Stock
3 Cups Water
1 TBSP Better Than Bullion (Chicken Base)
1 Quart Canned Tomatoes
2 Bay Leaves
1 Knorr Tomato (with Chicken) Bullion Cube
1/2 tsp Frank’s Red Hot
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/8 tsp Chipotle Powder

2 Cups Sliced FROZEN Okra

3 Small Talapia Fillets
1 Pound Raw, Peeled, Deveined Shrimp
1 4.25 Oz Can Crabmeat

1 Tablespoon Gumbo Filé Powder (plus extra to sprinkle over finished dish)

To make Roux:
In a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven melt butter over low heat and whisk in flour. Stirring often until flour is dark toasted brown. Be careful if it burns it will be ruined and you’ll have to toss it and start over.

Once the roux if done toss in vegetables. This will halt the cooking of the roux. Sauté over low heat until vegetables are soft and translucent. (About 15 minutes)

Add cajun seasoning, chicken Stock, water, chicken bullion, tomatoes, bay leaves, tomato bullion, hot sauce, worcestershire and chipotle powder – Cook over medium heat for 1 Hour

Reduce heat to medium low. Add sliced FROZEN okra and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove bay leaves. Add crab, fish and shrimp. Reduce heat to low, cook another 15 minutes

Remove from heat add Filé Powder.  Serve over rice.  Sprinkle finished dish with filé powder.

Adapted from:

Warm German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

A tater by any other name is still a tater.  However, all potato salads are not created equal.  Being from the South I do love Southern Potato Salad with mayo, mustard, hard boiled egg and pickle relish .  BUT if you  really want to hear my heart to go pitter-patter give me a side of  German Potato Salad.  This tart, salty side can be served warm, room temperature or even cold making it an excellent dish for pot-luck dinners and picnics.

You can use any potatoes you have in the bin.  Thin skinned, red potatoes work well unpeeled.  Thick skinned, starchy Idaho potatoes will need their skins removed.  Different potatoes have different cook times and starch contents.  Each will change time and how much dressing the spuds soak up. That is a bit of important information, because the potatoes need to drink the dressing; with just a tad extra to “dress” the salad.

Play with it, make it your own.  This time around I used thick skinned, starchy potatoes because those were the ones I had on hand.

6 Medium Potatoes

3 Slices Thick Cut, Lean Bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
(reserve 2 TBSP bacon grease)

1/2 Onion, finely chopped

1/4 tsp Caraway Seeds
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp Celery Seed

1 Heaping tsp Flour
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Water
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Stone Ground Mustard

1 tsp Maggi (Germany’s version of soy sauce…in a pinch soy would work)

1 TBSP Fresh Parsley, minced

Place the potatoes in a pot.  Cover with cold, well salted water.
Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium. Cook for 25-30 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.
Drain.  Immerse potatoes in cold water until cool enough to handle.
Peel (if the potatoes you are using have tough skins).
Cut lengthwise into quarters and slice into 1/8 – 1/4 inch slices.

While potatoes are cooking prepare dressing.
Crush caraway seeds, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and celery seed with a mortar and pestle.

Saute onions in reserved bacon grease, until they begin to turn transparent. Stir in spices and flour.
Working quickly to keep from burning the flour and spices add water, vinegar, sugar and mustard. Allow to boil, gently for 2 minutes.
Stir in Maggi.

Remove from heat.

Toss potatoes with dressing, bacon crumbles and parsley.

Drunken Fig Preserves

Brandied Fig Preserves

Try this decadent preserve over Brie or Cream Cheese with crisp crackers, added to a light butter and caper sauce as a glaze for fish, on toast or straight out of the jar.  Yep, it is THAT good.  Maybe you shouldn’t drive though.

3 lbs Firm, Ripe, Fresh Figs – Washed, stemmed, quartered (5 Cups firmly packed)
1 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1 TBSP Preserved Lemon Rind, minced
1 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper

3/4 Cup Good Quality Brandy

5 cups figs

Put all ingredients except Brandy into a large heavy bottomed, non-reactive pot allow to macerate at room temperature  for one – two hours.  Stirring occasionally.

cooking figs

Over medium high heat bring to a rolling boil (does not stop boiling when stirred).  Stirring often.  Reduce heat to medium low, continue a hard simmer for 45 minutes.  Stir often to keep from sticking and scorching, especially as the preserves thicken.

Reduce heat to low.  Using a potato masher and wooden spoon break up any solids that have not cooked down.  Continue to to cook for fifteen minutes.

During the final 5 minutes of cook time add Brandy.

Ladle into prepared 1/2 pint jars.  Cap.  Process in water bath canner for 5 minutes.

Best #1 Steak Dry Rub Seasoning

Dry Rub

1 tsp Whole Coriander
1 tsp Whole Fennel
1 tsp Mustard Seed
1/4 tsp Caraway Seed
1/4 tsp Espresso Powder
2 tsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Dried Diced Onion
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp Red Pepper
1/8 tsp Chipolte Powder
2 TBSP Smoked Paprika

1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

Place a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add spices and salt in order and amounts listed. Stirring occasionally until toasted. Remove from heat, pour into stoneware bowl to cool.

Using a spice grinder. Grind toasted spices and brown sugar together.

Liberally coat steaks with spice rub. Allow to mellow at room temperature for 30 mins to an hour prior to cooking.

Store unused rub in cool dry location in an airtight container