Thursday, September 12, 2013

Red Beans & Rice

3 tablespoons bacon grease
1/2 Med. Onion – Diced
1 Rib Celery - Diced
1/2 Red Pepper – Diced
1 Hatch Chili – Diced (could substitute Anaheim)
5 Cloves Garlic – Smashed / grind into paste
2 Cups Ham – Chopped
1 Large Link Hot Smoked Sausage – Remove casing / Dice
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Fresh Thyme
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 of a 7 oz Can of Chipotle Sauce
8 Cups Chicken Stock - Hot
2 Cups Water - Hot
4 Cans of Red Beans – rinsed & drained (separated into 2 batches)
4 Cups Cooked White Rice


In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the celery and pepper/chili and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from pot but leave the grease behind.

Add the ham and sausage to the pot and brown for about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and add about 1/4 cup water and put a lid on it slightly cracked open.  The time here will vary but the idea is to render all the fat out of the sausage and crisp up the ham/sausage.  Mine took about 5 minutes, remove the lid and cook another 5 minutes stirring about every minute.

Add the onion mixture back into the ham/sausage.  Add salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, paprika, cumin and chipotle sauce.  Stir to combine and cook about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and water to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer covered w/ the lid slightly cracked.  Add in 1/2 the beans.  The remaining half of beans you need to mash up with a fork then add into pot.  Stir to combine.  The smashed beans will thicken the sauce.  Simmer for about 1/2 hour or until the sauce becomes the consistency of a thin gravy. 

Adjust seasonings accordingly and serve over white rice w/ green onions or parsley as a garnish.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Marshmallow Fudge Brownies

1 Cup Butter
½ Cup Chocolate Chips – divided into ¼ cups
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs – Room temp.
1 tsp Vanilla
½ tsb Salt
2 tbsp Coffee – brewed – leftover from morning
½ tsp Espresso Powder
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Marshmallows – small

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13” pan generously (and maybe even line it with parchment paper).

In a pot over low heat melt butter and then add in ¼ cup chocolate chips whisking constantly to melt.  Remove from heat and stir in the sugar.  Let cool a few minutes.

Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time and then add the vanilla, salt, coffee, cayenne pepper & baking powder.  Whisk until combined.  Add in the flour and whisk to combine.

Pour ½ of the batter into the pan.  Sprinkle w/ marshmallows and remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chips.  Pour remaining batter over and jiggle pan to even out.

Bake about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool COMPLETELY before removing from pan.  * The marshmallows make this brownie stick to the pan so be patient getting them out of the pan.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bacon Sugar Cookies w/a Chocolate Ganache

2 ¾ Cups Flour
1 tbsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Butter – Room temp
1 ½ Cups White Sugar
1 Egg – Room temp
1 tsp Vanilla
2 tbsp Water
¼ tsp Salt
1 Cup Bacon – Crispy and Chopped
¼ Cup Choc. Chips
Pinch of Salt
¼ tsp Espresso Powder
2 tbsp Coffee – leftover from morning
2 tbsp Heavy Cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder – set aside.  In a large bowl add butter and sugar.  Mix together to cream, about 2-3 minutes.  Add in egg and vanilla.  Mix to combine.  In 3 batches add in the dry ingredients and ¼ tsp salt.

Mix in bacon.  My dough was sort of thick so I mixed it with my hands and gradually added in 2 tbsp of water until it brought it all together.

Using a small cookie scoop (or your hands) place balls of dough on un-greased cookie sheet (should be about 1” ball).

Most sugar cookie recipes say to bake about 8-10 minutes.  For some reason these took about 14 minutes in the oven to become crisp and slightly browned on top.  Cook cookies completely.

Over a double boiler (making sure the bowl does NOT touch the water) add chocolate chips, cream, and liquid coffee.  Wisk to melt and then add in pinch of salt and espresso powder.  Wisk to combine.  The chocolate should be thick but liquefied and coat the back of your wisk.

Either drizzle over the cookies or place a dollop in the center.  Wait for chocolate to cool and serve.  It’s a delicious cookie of sweet, salty, crunchy.  Enjoy.