The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Lima Bean Busy February 6, 2012

I’ve decided to make a feeble attempt to post something. It’s been a rather shame-inducing length of time since I actually did anything around here, so I think it’s due time that I get your bellies twist’n’shouting with something perhaps a little unexpected. Unless you’re one of those intriguing anomalies who doesn’t like anything legume-y, well!  I have just the ticket! My affinity for lima beans reigns supreme, once again, and I have a nice little soup that has passed inspection!

Oh yeah, Jon and I moved, so I’ll just let that take the blame for my extreme posting leave of absence. Can we just call it a leave of absence? Anyhoot, yes, Jon and I bought our first house and have been here for exactly 8 days now! I’ve gussied up the kitchen to my liking (including a glorious rolling wooden kitchen island from Ikeeeeeeeeea), and am seriously enjoying my recent cooking endeavors. We kicked off our first (non-takeout/fast food) meal here with Red Beans and Rice. Everything else has been pretty damn great! Now, I do apologize for a lack of pictures in this post, but you’ll have to forgive me because I haven’t yet located my camera, amongst the slew of boxes.

This is my idea of a real superbowl, and it doesn’t leave the most unsavoury aftertaste of Madonna’s pigskin-esque body shaking around, afterward. Now that your appetite is raring to go, let’s do this.
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Ritzy Lima Bean Soup (I’m sorry, I’m Mad Men-ing again)

Ingredients

  • 4 (or 5?) strips of bacon, sliced 1″
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (I removed half the seeds and ribs)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed 1″
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup corn niblets
  • 2 cups frozen (or fresh, if you’re lucky) lima beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • water (or stock)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (whatever kind you want)
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

First things first, fry up that bacon. It’s fine right in your cooking pot, which doesn’t have to be too huge, medium-large is good. Once it’s brown and crisp, drain the fat (save it, save it!), and add butter. Yes, this is what you’re doing. Add carrots, onion, celery, jalapeno, potatoes, and garlic, and saute until lightly browned. Add corn and lima beans, and bay leaf. Stir and add enough water or chicken stock to cover all ingredients about 1″. Add basil, paprika, a little salt and pepper (to season the vegetables as they cook). Let it come to a boil, and drop the heat to a simmer, around medium-low. Cook for 25 minutes or so, until the lima beans are soft and buttery. Add cream, stir, check seasoning and serve!

I wouldn’t exactly know what to serve with this, as it’s extremely good on it’s own, and that’s how I enjoyed it. However, it’s one of those cute, yet elegant dishes, where you feel like Melba Toast should be in the picture somewhere. I don’t know, whatever that guy at the Maidstone Club is having with it?

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Dass all I have for now, I hope that you are enticed, despite pictures, and that unabashed jab at Madonna. I promise you though, it is beautiful and serves up very attractively. Even if you have unattractive dinnerware!

Happy trails then,
Meg.

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Hearth Soup August 22, 2011

I honestly had no idea what to call this recipe. There is so much going on in this soup, but it all fits together so, so nicely. It’s the kind of soup that makes you feel cozy, warm, and just comfortable in general. It makes you feel good about everything. The same kind of feeling you get when you drink from your favourite old, chipped pottery mug, and the coffee is the best you ever tasted. That feeling. Home. The hearth. If I had to give this recipe a name based on it’s ingredients, however, it’d be Brown Rice, Lentil, Sweet Potato, Leek and Bacon Soup. That’s a mouthful, nawp.
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Anyhow, I’m sharing this recipe with you now, and I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a coon’s age! I don’t even think I have a legitimate excuse, just laziness, I guess. If it’s any consolation, if you continue to scroll after this post, I’ve posted several recipes that I’ve come up with in the past little while (and believe me, there are lots more beyond those). Buttermilk-blueberry pancakes with maple-lime blueberry syrup, zucchini bread with cashews and cranberries, and some tasty maple granola that is CHOCK FULL of little treats. I haven’t stopped cooking in my posting absence! So, please take a look at those, they aren’t as carefully laid out as most of my posts, and they don’t all have pictures, but they’re there, and I promise they’re good!
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Moving on with this one though!
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Hearth Soup
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Ingredients
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6 oz bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
1 sweet potato, in 1/2″ cubes
1 carrot, in 1/2″ cubes
1 leek, (washed) sliced in half and cut in 1/4″ pieces (moons)
1 stalk celery, sliced lengthwise and in 1/4″ dice
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed and sorted for any stones
1/2 cup brown rice (basmati brown, if possible, amazing aroma)
6 cups water or chicken stock
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper (not too fine)
1 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp dry oregano
3/4 tsp dry basil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
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Method
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In a large saucepan or pot, saute bacon until browned somewhat (I like to start it out with a little water, to sort of cook it through and evenly bring out the fat, and let it evaporate). Add sweet potato, carrot, leek, celery, and saute until browned, maybe 4 minutes or so. Add garlic, and cook till fragrant, a minute or so. Add water (or stock), a little at a time, stirring on the bottom to de-glaze the pan (collect the brown bits for flava-flav). After it’s all in, bring to a simmer, add lentils and brown rice, along with all remaining ingredients. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until lentils are soft, and broth is well-flavoured. Adjust seasoning to your tastes, and serve with some crusty brown bread, and then feel the sudden urge to call your parents and tell them you love them.
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Now scroll!
(I’ll try to keep up with the frequent posts, sorry again!)

 

Homina, homina, hominy. July 4, 2011

Smokey Hominy Soup, my chickens!
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Yesterday, Jon brought home this “When Country Comes to Town,” 2011 Brant County Culinary Guide (see here!). Page 9, Three Sisters Soup caught my attention (Jon’s boss, Matt Lee is on page 13 with a soup recipe that looks rather nice too), and I went on this bender trying to figure out what I had and if I could make it. No, I couldn’t. So, I got my friend Laura‘s recipe from her blog, and decided to start with that. Well, it’s Summer. Summer means I like smoky, cumin-y things, and I started to make that soup… And then I got carried away. I couldn’t stop adding things, and here’s what happened.
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If you haven’t tried hominy, PLEASE do so. It’s got a really unique texture, nothing at all like normal corn. It is delicious, a bit nutty, and.. agh. Just, love.
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Smokey Hominy Soup
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Ingredients
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3 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz smoked pork belly (or other smoked pork stuffs), diced
1 medium onion, small dice
1 stalk celery, sliced on the bias (small though)
1 carrot, same as celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (Campbell’s soup size, whatever that is) hominy corn, drained and rinsed
1 medium sized new potato, diced
8 cups water (go ahead and use stock if you have it, veggie or chicken, or porkish)
1 156mL can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp hot paprika
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp dry oregano
1 can (Campbell’s size) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper, to taste (lots of both, if you ask me)
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Method
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Okay, grab a biggish cooking pot, turn ‘er up to medium-high, add the olive oil. When it’s hot enough to saute the veggies (test by throwing a piece of onion in, I always say!), throw ’em in there. By which I mean, the onions, carrot, celery, along with the pork belly. When those are good and browned, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or until fragrant. Then, add all the other ingredients, starting with the water, to deglaze (scrape the brown bits off the bottom, a little water at a time). Bring to a simmer, and drop the heat to low. Cook until potatoes are done, if you’re short on time, but if you want good soup, REALLY good soup, cook it for a long time. The slow-cooker, even, would be amazing for this. I cooked this for 7 or 8 hours (mostly because I was waiting for bread to finish all it’s many risings, and also, because I was really irresponsible and fell asleep for 3.5 hours). Anyhow, serve it with huge hunks of bread and be done with it. So good.
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I’m done. Have to eat more of this soup now. Yeaaaaaah. Here’s Laura’s recipe, before I go: Laura’s Three Sisters Soup!
Her blog never ceases to amaze me. She is a wonderful woman.

 

So good, a clever title isn’t even necessary. March 27, 2011

Readers, I am, in this moment, reveling in a feeling that can only be compared to the first recognition of love. A dizzying feeling that for me, is often brought on by a slowly cooked, lustrous, tomato-y, pasta-y, legume-y foodstuff. Always cooked in a big, heavy pot. Oh, and did I mention, fatty pork products are involved too? The only thing this is missing is wine, and I may as well pour myself a nice, well-deserved glass now.
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If done right, I could easily say that Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta Fuh-zoo, if you’re a Marcella) is my last-meal-ever/death row dish, that or Pasta and Cauliflower (Macaroni and Cauliflower, if you are my immediate family). However, if this was my last meal, I’d die a very happy glutton.  I’ve been doing lots of research this past week on Molise, and learning about the use of chestnuts, legumes, and today’s ingredient, chickpeas (garbanzo beans if you’re a snob). I have never been a huge fan of chickpeas, and I am sworn against hummus, so help me (it tastes fine, but nobody is getting turned on but smushed up chickpeas being presented to them by some pretentious jerk who can open an aluminum can and a jar of tahini. There are only so many ways to make hummus, and your mint garnish does not impress me). But, anyhow, I thought I’d give chickpeas another try.  So, need a change from fagioli? Try chickpeas. The dish has now become the ever-loved, humble and shoulder-to-cry-on (if you need it for that), Pasta e Ceci. There are a million and eight ways to make Pasta e Ceci (or Pasta e Fagioli, for that matter), some are simply pasta and chickpeas tossed together with olive oil, salt and pepper, or in a light broth, other times tossed with pasta, and in this case, cooked as an almost-soup, stew-y, I-don’t-know-what kind of lovedish.
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To go along with this, I decided to carb it up (not that it needed carbs, but I felt like making non-“bread”-bread) with some pizza. That is to say, more of a focaccia bread, but as I have learned in recent days, Molise seems to call all of their flatbread/focaccia concoctions, “pizza.” Which I can get down with. Mostly-cheeseless (and sometimes entirely), not dripping with orange pepperoni grease and actually seemingly healthy? Pizza? Don’t mind if I dooo! This page has been blowing my mind today with all the non-bastardized, non-North-American pizzas, and I decided to make one. Jon and I bought some fairly impressive-looking olive oil this week, after watching Jamie Oliver and Gennaro Contaldo glug/drizzle it on everything, very excitedly, in glorious excess. This was a nice outlet to show ours off, along with some sundried tomatoes and black olives. So, let’s have at it.
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Pasta e Ceci
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Ingredients
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4 oz smoked pancetta or bacon, diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, small dice
1 stalk celery, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 oz (2 Tbsp) pimento, or diced roasted red peppers
1/8 – ¼ tsp cayenne pepper or hot pepper flakes
1/ 4 tsp anchovy paste (optional)
1 796mL can diced tomatoes (3-4 cups)
1 156mL can tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1.5 tsp sugar
1 bay leaf
1.5 tsp dried basil (1 tsp oregano, sage or marjoram would work nicely as well)
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
1.5 cups small-cut pasta, or broken long-cut pasta (shells, ditalini broken spaghetti, etc)
salt and pepper
water
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Method
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In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add olive oil, and begin to saute the pancetta or bacon over medium-high heat. When sufficiently browned/not chewy fatstuff, remove all but 2 tsp or so of the fat. Add onions and celery, sweat three minutes or so until they soften, add garlic, cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add pimento (or roasted red peppahs), cook for a minute or so, then stir in hot pepper flakes (or cayenne), and anchovy paste, if you’re using it.
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Add tomatoes, paste, and chicken broth, stirring until tomato paste is smooth. Add sugar, bay leaf and herbs (I used basil because I think it is glorious). Make sure it comes to a simmer if it already isn’t, then turn heat down to medium-low, cover and let simmer for at least 40 minutes or so, stirring fairly frequently. I happened to have dry chickpeas, so I cooked them (not long enough) in the pressure cooker, and finished them up in the pot on the stove, so it took 1.5 hours or so for me.
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Add pasta, and a little extra water if needed (I went with a bit under 1.5 cups of additional water), stir, and simmer, till pasta is tender. You will need to stir pretty frequently, or else surrender yourself to bottom-stick-stew. But do not worry, I believe in you! Anyhow, when the pasta is cooked, check for seasoning, and you’re done. Top with some Parmesan or Romano, and let it’s hearty succulence envelop whatever soul you have left.
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Pizza con Olive e Pomodoro (Molise-style flatbread with olives and tomatoes)
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Ingredients
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For the dough:
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3 cups flour
1.5 tsp instant yeast
¾ tsp salt
1.5 tsp honey
1 ¼ cup lukewarm water
1 Tbsp olive oil
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For the toppings:
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Cornmeal (enough for a sprinkle)
Fresh garlic
Salt
Black olives (good quality, I recommend something delightfully sodium-enriched and stored in oil, NOT water)
Sun dried tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes
Red pepper flakes
Herbs (rosemary, oregano, or basil)
Good Italian cheese (I went with Pecorino Romano, because it was what I had around, opened, but Bocconcini, good Mozzarella, or Scamorza would be equally acceptable)
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Method
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Combine dry ingredients for dough in a bowl, mix lightly, and add remaining ingredients. Mix together until a slightly-sticky and soft dough forms. Knead for 5 minutes or so, until smooth and elastic. If using a mixer with a dough hook, 2-3 minutes until end result. Lightly oil the bowl with olive oil, a teaspoon or so, and rub it around the bowl with the dough (use it as a sort of mop), then flip the dough over, so it is coated on both sides. Cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in a warm place. When dough has doubled, sprinkle a pizza pan (or cookie sheet, whatever you have) with a little cornmeal, and punch the dough down in a bowl. Put it on the pizza pan, and press it out with your hands until it is about 1/2- 3/4 inch thick. Let rise 10 or 15 minutes again.
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F., and then rub the dough with a little fresh garlic, sliced in half. Drizzle a little olive oil over the dough, then very lightly, sprinkle a small amount of salt. Just scatter it, nothing fancy, nothing excessive. Place some olives over the dough (whole, don’t worry about pits, you’ll get to them when you eat it), you may want to indent them into the dough a bit. Sprinkle sun dried tomatoes or place thinly sliced fresh tomatoes sporadically around dough as well. Sprinkle with a small amount (or a lot?) of red pepper flakes, and a good amount of whatever herb you’re using (I used basil, derrrp). If you wish to, go ahead and use fresh basil, or whatever herb, by all means! Then, place some slices of the cheese around the pizza (or grated, if you want). Add a little glug of olive oil, if you feel like saluting Jamie and Gennaro, and place in the oven, bake 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and top is golden-brown. Cut into slices any which way you want, e mangiare!
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So, that is what you get for today, i miei bambini! megohm, over and out! Alla prossima!

 

If you ain’t Deutsch, you ain’t meutsch. March 20, 2011

Hello, Readers!

I’ve got a quickie new recipe to share with yezz, just a straight up-and-down recipe, I’m sorry, no pics for this one. I made it last night, after a pretty long, terrible week, one of those, “I can’t bring myself to eat,” kind of weeks. So, more or less, just too exhausted to mess around with photos, I just wanted something in my stomach, fast. For one of my soup recipes, it’s pretty speedy to make, you won’t need many ingredients, and it’s pretty economical, if I do say so! I went on a bit of a German bender last week, so here’s what came out of it. Comforting, to the point, and pretty dern easy. This soup will make you feel safe and cozy. A dumpling recipe at it’s best. For those of you who don’t know, here’s Wiki’s take on spätzle.
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Deutschland Smoked Sausage and Spätzle Soup
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Ingredients

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1 Tbsp bacon fat (or oil, or butter)
1 medium onion, chopped small dice
2 ribs celery, chopped small dice or sliced diagonally
1 medium carrot, sliced diagonally
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 smoked sausages, sliced diagonally
3 large leaves of cabbage, cut into 2-3 inch pieces, rather haphazardly
Chicken stock, or a combination of chicken and beef stock (unless you’ve got pork stock on hand, but go ahead with bouillon if needed)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp caraway seed
salt and pepper, to taste
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Method
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In a good sized (medium/large) pot, heat bacon fat over medium-high heat, and when it comes up to temperature, add veggies (excluding cabbage), sauteeing about 3-5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute, or till fragrant. Then, add in the sausage, and brown lightly. Next, add the chicken stock, and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, drop the heat down to a simmer (medium-low, low as needed), cover with the lid ajar, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes. For the spätzle, I used a recipe from Food.com, here’s the link! I went with the bigger ones, go ahead and use what you like. Just cook until they float to the top, and in my experience, with the bigger ones, maybe a couple of minutes extra. Make sure the soup is boiling when you drop them in though! Also, feel free to throw in some tomato paste or diced tomatoes, (and a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity) for a little extry flavour. So, that’s that. I hope you like!
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megohm, over and out!

 

Nifty and Thrifty! February 20, 2011

You guys aren’t going to believe this! I’M UPDATING MY BLOG! A post! With recipes! Why, yes, it has been exactly a month and a half since I’ve bothered to post anything, and, for that, I am sorry. Once again, like the glorious days of Dexter, I am going to blame this on a television series. I’m not going to go too deep into it, but I’m at the tail end of a Mad Men obsession (formerly The Tudors). So, in light of that, here are some kitschy, cozy, plaid-wallpaper-type recipes for you. Betty Draper style. Sans bitch. Very economical, too. I hope you like…   …ground beef?  Hurr hurr hurr.
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Bobbacoo Meatloaf
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You know what this is. With the addition of MUSTARD SEED SPRINKLES!
I promised kitsch and I will deliver!
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Be thankful you will probably never have to look at as many pictures of meatloaf as I did in this blog-posting journey. Hghghgh. I love meatloaf as much as the next person, but holy mother of…
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Ingredients
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2 lbs ground beef (or a combination thereof of pork/beef, or maybe some veal, if you’re feeling maniacal)
2 Tbsp prepared mustard (cheap old yellow will do)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1/4 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 small onion, minced finely
1 clove garlic
2 pieces bread, torn into small pieces
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bacon fat (for pan-greasin’)
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Sawwwce Stuff:
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3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch salt
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Method
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with bacon fat (you know what size I mean, standard Pyrex blah blah blah), or as I did, two smaller 1lb-y loaf pans. In a medium-large mixing bowl, put all ingredients (not the bacon grease/sauce ingredients, gun-jumper, sheesh) in and mix until it’s sticky and combined. Don’t over-mix though, or you’ll have pelletloaf, not meatloaf. Nothing about that sounds appetizing, even less so than “meatloaf.” So, heed my warning! Put into the loaf pan, smooth the top out a bit if you would like. Bake for an hour or until it reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. While it’s in the oven, mix up the sauce ingredients. Just before meatloaf is done (10 minutes or so), spoon/brush sauce over the top (if you have whole mustard seeds and you’re feeling festive, sprinkle a few on top too!), return to oven and let it go in there for the remaining time/temperature. Voila. You have meatloaf. Now touch up your lipstick, take the rollers out of your hair and enjoy it.
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Chili for Arrogant Bastards
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With cornbread!
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Now, I would like to note that at this point, I have nothing to do with any chili cook-off, so please refrain from contacting me about it. I’m no longer a part of any of that, too much stuff on my plate (hah!), planning a wedding and all of that. So, I am sorry for all that business. One day, okay? Here’s a daaaaaaaamnnnn fine recipe anyhow, particularly if you like being a dick and/or chili-snob in front of all of your friends. Or just for self-satisfaction that cannot be quenched by a new Canon Rebel camera with which you will take Myspace-y bathroom shots of yourself with! This has coffee in it. Do not eat late at night. Unless you’re partying hard? Either way, ground beef has never been this badass.
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Ingredients
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1 large onion, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Anaheim chili pepper (or another fairly spicy peppa)
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped into a smallish dice (you don’t have to skin them but tomato skin-curls make me want to curl up and die)
1 lb ground beef
3 cups brewed coffee (don’t make it horribly strong or this will kill your chili)
3 cups beef broth (or water with bouillon, lazybastardstyle)
2 cans tomato paste (156mL each)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder (YEP)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
4 heaping (HEAPING!) Tbsp chili powder – seriously, tons of chili powder is important
1 tsp cumin
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more, if you want!
3-4 Tbsp Louisiana hot sauce (or whatever you like best)
1 big ol’ bay leaf (hopefully not too old though)
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1.5 tsp coarse sea salt (it’s coarse, keep in mind, so not that much if using table salt. Adjust accordingly!)
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Cooked beans – dry measurements: 1/3 cup Navy, 1/3 cup black eyed peas, 1/2 cup pinto, 3/4 cup kidney. Or whatever blend you want, and if you want, go ahead and use canned, maybe a small can of each, and 2 of the kidney? This is a much higher bean:meat ratio, so, yeah. Beans are up to you. Let’s leave it at that.
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Method
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In a large, heavy pot (cast iron comes to mind), over medium, medium-highish sautée onion and Anaheim chili pepper in a couple of Tbsp of oil or… you know where this is going. BFF. Bacon Fat Forever. When they soften, add tomatoes and cook for a minute or so, then add garlic and cook till it becomes fragrant. Stir in a little bit of the beef broth, enough to easily add tomato paste without sloshing liquid all over the goddamn place. Add remaining broth and coffee once the tomato paste is in there and more or less homogeneously mixed. Add the ground beef (I do not like to brown it in the pan, because I like little pieces of meat, not huge chunks, but you can do what you want), and break it up with a spatula until it’s bitsy little pieces! Add all remaining ingredients, and when it comes to a simmer, turn heat to low (not quite all-the-way low, but less so than medium-low), cover with the lid ajar, and let cook for an hour or so (at least!), make sure to stir though. Or else face the wrath of Chili Lump from the depths of the bottom of the pot. Closely related to Burn-y Del Chilijuarez. You know what I mean. Okay, chili’s done. Eat it. Top it with lots of things if you want. Eat it with cornbread, eat it with toast, do whatever the hell you want. There is a special kind of smugness in every spoonful! Revel in it.
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Also – if you want to know about that cornbread:
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Mix 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, a pinch of salt in a medium sized bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, 1 beaten egg, 2 Tbsp honey, 1/4 cup oil. Add wet to dry, mix until JUST combined and flour mix is moistened, let it sit for five minutes or so. While it’s sitting, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and put 2 Tbsp bacon fat (okay, you can use butter or lard if you want) in a cast iron skillet (or some kind of baking/cake/casserole dish) and let it heat up till it’s screaming hot. Once everything is melted/up to temperature, put the batter in the skillet/pan, smooth out the top, put a little splash of coffee/table cream on top, and throw it in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crackly. Like the picture. CORNBREAD. Magic! Magic, non-dry and crumbly, piping hot cornpone!
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That’s what I’ve got. HOOO-AHHHH.  I’ll try to not be so lazy/busy in the future and get some more posts up at a steady rate. Okay?
megohm over and out.

 

Hooked on the Sauce January 7, 2011

Admittedly, yes, I have become a pasta addict in recent days. I broke the chain last night with some boss-commissioned borscht, but other than that, almost a week of pasta errrrr’ night. You would think it would become monotonous very quickly, but no! I assure you, I now consider pasta essential to life, and/or daily maintenance. Let it be known: This week, we (two people!) consumed enough pasta to make three 900g bags disappear, plus a few other smaller, partly-gone packages. Our supplies were replenished yesterday, but there was a point where the pasta had to be homemade, and I’m very glad it did get to that point. In my vacation boredom, I decided to make some homemade pasta dough (1 c. flour, 2 lrg eggs, mix and knead for 8 minutes). Then, the old-school, hand-crank pasta machine. Easier said than done, but excellent results. Although, Jon insisted on 4 foot fettuccine noodles the next night, and, well, tapeworms, you know, I’m not gonna go there. But I really want to.
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So, now that your appetites are good and roused, thanks to my parasitic rambling (SORRY), let’s whet it some more with a delicious tomato sauce recipe, fit for a mafia boss, inexpensive enough to feed  savages like Yon and I. Also, it is quick, quick, quick! Veloce! You can heighten the swank of this, by all means, but substituting pancetta or even prosciutto for bacon (although pork cheek is also a pretty traditional choice, one I cannot wait to try). For the olives, I suppooooose, if you’re one of THOSE kinds of people, you could leave them out entirely, adjust salt as you like. However, I believe them to be an integral part of this sauce. Please use only high-grade olives, not those watery rings from a can. They look like tortured Froot Loops. Please. Do not. Otherwise, this is my bastardized version of “Sugo All’Amatriciana.” Sorry, Italy.
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Pauper’s Sauce
(tomato sauce with bacon and black olives)
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Ingredients
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6 oz bacon
2 cloves minced garlic
8 oz tomato paste (I used about a can and a half of those little 5 oz-ish cans)
1 ½ cups water
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp black pepper
1/8 – ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp basil
pinch sugar
½ cup black olives (whole, remove pits and coarsely chopped)
salt at own discretion
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Method
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In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, fry bacon until slightly crisp, and pour off all fat, save 2 Tbsp. Add garlic, stir to cook until fragrant. Add water to deglaze (scraping off the browned bits at the bottom of the pan), then stir in tomato paste until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients, except black olives, and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Then, stir in olives, cook another 3-5 minutes, and serve. Check to see, but I can almost guarantee it will hold it’s own already in the salt department, but IF, IF, you have a smoker’s tongue and need more, I will not judge you. But seriously, be wary. Bacon and olives are salt weapons.
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And now, more adventures in pasta-land! Cue Louis Prima music.
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Pasta station!
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Round 1: Pappardelle!
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Round 2: I experiment with fettuccine/spaghetti(ni) setting on pasta machine
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Pappardelle in it’s fully glory – I zazzed it up with some toasted walnuts, garlic, basil oil, and homemade ricotta (we ran out of Romano cheese, and I had to make my own cheese too… Sobeys, you are too far away)
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Pretty Jon and his fettuccine.
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A better view.
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Okay, that is all for now, I hope you have enjoyed my pasta tour. Now, I must slink off to wake up Jon and preggo houseguest.
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P.S. Okay, but also, I just remembered… Whoever searched my blog for “Porno Jon Dough,” bless your heart. Hahahaha. Excellent. I might also let the other person who wanted to know about salt pork, I do not soak it. I retain all saltiness for tongue enjoyment.
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“King Henry Chicken,” “Oiled up chicka,” “Tony Starch Mr. Potato Head Spanish,” I don’t even know what to say. “Super sad dried sausage from Italy,” I think you’re looking for Capicola. … “Bourbon muffin,” you intrigue me.
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Arrivederci, babies.
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