Archive | November, 2010

Black-Eyed Peas, Chorizo and Greens.

29 Nov

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you all had a most excellent holiday filled with good food, family and friends.

We have had a really relaxing few days after the Thanksgiving rush. It has been nice to slow back down. We even managed to read a little of the Sunday paper, believe it or not. Black-eyed peas, chorizo and greens is the perfect Sunday kind of dish. I usually start it out as a soup and then reheat the leftovers as a side dish later. It is a healthy meal with a hint of decadence from the lovely chorizo. Fresh black eyed peas are abundant right now. I got mine from Wheatsville, and am certain they can be found at Whole Foods and the SFC Farmer’s Markets. This is also my chosen preparation for my New Years Day black eyed peas and unlike those from the can, I look forward to eating these ones. So, bookmark this recipe as a must try for New Years.

A note on chorizo… The kind I use for this recipe is the Spanish, hard variety. It is a cured meat much like salami or pepperoni. Aurelia’s is made locally and outstanding. I render (brown) the chorizo in a little bit of olive oil and then set aside for garnish, so it stays crisp and delicious.

Black-Eyed Peas, Chorizo and Greens

2 cups fresh black-eyed peas

2.5 cups water

1 medium red onion

3-5 cloves garlic

1 cup Spanish chorizo, sliced thin

3 c arugula, chopped

1 T olive oil

salt and pepper

parmesan for garnish

Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add sliced chorizo to pan and “frizzle” until crisp. Once chorizo is browned, remove to a paper towel to drain. Add onion to pan and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add water and beans to pan. Simmer over low heat until beans are super tender. About 1 hour. Once beans are cooked through, stir in chopped arugula or other green. Serve immediately and garnish with shaved parmesan and frizzled chorizo.

Challenge Update

All is well on the challenge front. I can’t believe that we are nearly three months in and chugging along. Three months feels like a real milestone. I will admit that we might be taking some pent up clothes shopping frustration at Home Depot. Damn, that bill has gone up. But a home can only have so many ladders and shovels and Christmas lights, so I am feeling like we have pretty well maxed out at the Home Depot. I’ll let you know if it shows up somewhere else….

Thank you, thank you for reading. I hope your holidays are all good.

Not That Martha

PS Food photos are courtesy of Sarah Wilson. Thank you, Sarah Wilson!!!

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Butternut Squash Soup with Beet and Apple Relish

10 Nov


Hi Everyone!

A big thanks to www.foodpress.com for featuring the Bacon and Arugula Bread Pudding post!

Now, on to the business at hand. Butternut squash soup with beet and apple relish is a recipe that I have been making for a few years now. It is always the first thing I make when I can get my hands on some butternut squash. It is a sure sign that fall is here. The recipe is quick and a cup of this is a great crowd pleaser. The apple and beet relish adds crunch, color and plays very nicely with the earthiness of the squash. I adapted this from a Wolfgang Puck recipe. I have simplified it quite a bit so you can make this pretty easily with what you have in your pantry. His calls for cranberry relish, but those are hard to get your hands on in this part of the world, so I adapted the apple/beet mix. I used a little of Dai Due‘s Fireman’s 4 mustard to bind the apples and beets. That combo alone is out of this world and would serve well on a piece of toast with goat cheese, just sayin. The relish really cuts through the creaminess of the soup. My favorite trick in this recipe is steeping the rosemary in the milk. It adds a great depth of flavor and complexity to the soup. That idea could be adapted to many a recipe for a little twist.

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Butternut Squash Soup

2 medium or 3 small butternut squash, halved

2-3 c. whole milk

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 t. cinnamon

salt and pepper

2 T olive oil

Heat oven to 375. Rub squash halves with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast cut side up until fork tender, about 30 minutes. While the squash is roasting, warm milk with rosemary submerged. Take care not to let the milk boil. When squash is roasted, let sit until cooled enough to handle. Remove rosemary from milk. Scoop roasted squash into a soup pot and add 2 cups of milk. Blend using hand blender (or put squash and milk into a blender) blend until smooth. Add more milk as needed to achieve desired texture. I like mine silky, so I typically always use all of the milk to blend.

Beet and Apple Relish

1/2 c roasted beets, small dice

1/2 c apples, small dice

3 T Dai Due Fireman’s 4 Mustard or other grainy mustard

Mix all ingredients together.

*To roast beets, I heat the oven to 350, toss beets with olive oil, salt pepper and sometimes when I feel like it, garlic. Wrap the mix in foil. Place on a sheet pan and roast for 45 minutes. The sheet pan is important, if the foil isn’t secure, it makes a big mess without the sheet pan. That is experience talking. Once the beets are cool, the skin slips right off. If working with red beets your hands will be HOT pink, which I always kind of love.

Challenge Update

We are two and half months in and going strong. Jo has continued perfecting the refried bean and I’ll tell you what, it takes more pork fat than you can imagine to make TacoMex caliber beans. She really did nail the recipe, but in the process, I think we burned out on beans. I have nearly involuntarily driven my car through House Pizzaria on a couple of occasions. I MISS THAT PIZZA!!! I have to admit though, that the seasonal change has been great for us in the way of veggies. I was going to freak out big time if I had to eat another bite of zucchini. I just plain maxed out on that. Hopefully by next summer I will be craving it again. The winter greens are a breath of fresh air and we are loving every minute of kale, arugula and spinach. Other than that, we are really enjoying the gorgeous weather. I am dreaming of biscuits and gravy, so stay tuned for that soon!

Thank you, thank you for reading!

Not That Martha

*Photography by Sarah Wilson, the bomb, photographer.

*Not a post goes out without the proof-reading expertise of my partner in life and writing, Jo Sugar. She is really sweet not to let me look a-fool in my writing.

Bacon and Arugula Bread Pudding!

3 Nov

Hi everyone,

I have to admit that bread pudding is a dish that for years I turned up my nose to. I am not sure that I ever even tried it, just the idea of a bread pudding sent chills down my spine. I stand corrected. Bread pudding is in fact a perfectly delicious leftover vehicle and has become a dish that I crave. I will admittedly over buy bread for the week, so I have enough to toss with a few of my favorite things to have this soul satisfying dish. The weather is perfect for it. The prep time is short. You throw it in the oven and a little over a half an hour later you and whomever you choose to share this with will be giddy. It would be a great thing to assemble in the evening and cook the next morning for a hot, easy breakfast.

This iteration of it for me had all sorts of goodness to it. I used multiple varieties of bread, wheat, ciabatta and some kind of cheesy one. The arugula from Montesino by way of Farm House Delivery. Bacon from Dai Due. If you live in striking distance of Austin, TX, you should make your way to the Downtown Farmers Market on a Saturday just to try something that the Dai Due group makes. Their bacon is out of this world and the Fireman’s 4 mustard is always in our fridge.  I had cheddar and parmesan cheese left from the week. Eggs and milk are always on hand and that is all it takes for this dish. The recipe is a guide this time. There aren’t exact measures. Literally use this as a guide and I promise you can make your very own version of bread pudding to be proud of!

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Bacon and Arugula Bread Pudding

Stale bread, cubed

Cheese, grated and as much as you want

Leafy green, kale, arugula, spinach, anything like this will work

Bacon or Sausage, cooked and crumbled

Eggs

Milk, 1 cup for every 2 eggs

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350

In one bowl combine eggs and milk, whisk together. In a separate bowl, combine cheese, greens, bread, salt and pepper and sausage if that is what you are using. Pour the egg and milk mix onto the bread mix. What you are trying to do is just soak the bread with eggy mix. You don’t want to bread too dry or it just won’t be pudding-y, you know? So, here is where I have to play with the balance most often. I usually start by making the mix a little dry and having to add more milk and eggs. Don’t worry, though, you really can’t get this wrong. As long as the bread is soaked, you have good ingredients, and you cook this through, you should be very pleased with your own recipe. Depending on the size of the dish, it should take 30-45 minutes for the bread pudding to cook. Mine was in a 9×12 and took 45 minutes.

*If you are using bacon, I find it best to sprinkle it on top to prevent it from getting soggy. I don’t like soggy bacon.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as we do. Please let me know what combinations you come up with!

Challenge Update

Jo and I are officially two months into our consumption challenge and things are going swimmingly. We are getting our routines down more and more, so we don’t have those desparate moments when we are starving with nothing to eat. I am thrilled that soup weather is here. I love to make a big pot of soup on Sunday and have it around at least until the middle of the week. A big pot of green chili pork posole is in our very near future, oooh and chicken and dumpling. We have also had the pleasure of noticing that we do have extra cash on hand. It doesn’t cost nearly as much to eat at home. Even if the food eaten at home bears a premium price…

The change of seasons means that we are looking at clothes not seen since last March, so that is a much needed breath of fresh air. Personally,  I am excited to bust out the sweaters and boots!

Something we have both noticed is we are having more awareness of purchases in general. I am the kind of girl that can buy more soap, lotion, pens and notebooks than I could possibly use in 5 years. For Jo it is chapstick. The girl has more than you can possibly imagine and to be honest, I am a little jealous of the collection. Because we have taken notice of this, the above items have been added to the list of non-consumption. We will actually use what we have on hand, which will certainly get us through the next ten months and then some.

As always, thank you for reading!

Not That Martha

All photography is by Sarah Wilson. I am hungry every time I go through her pics. Somehow my iPhone pics just don’t compare…