What good is a new recipe if you can’t tell someone about it? It was Donna, my red-headed Dixie chick girlfriend from North Carolina who got me cooking and eating black-eyed peas, greens, and cornbread for New Year’s (boy, do I feel lucky) that I had to tell about this latest concoction. So yesterday I wrote her:
“Oh, dear, it’s so sad you can’t stop by 1611 Harbal to eat from time to time. I just put onto simmer a Dutch oven full of something that could be quite spectacular. It all started Saturday as Kathy and I decided to clean out and organize our pantries. I came across a lot of different dried beans in small amounts (1/2 -3/4C), thinking none would make a dish but what if they were mixed all together? I had more substantial amounts of some other varieties (great northern, garbanzo, soy) that could keep them company. We then went on our marathon Saturday afternoon foray through Meijer’s, Busch’s, and Plum. Hey, wine was on sale at Meijer’s and Busch’s, and we had to pick up from Plum the subjects for Thursday’s tasting. The “smoked turkey tails” at Meijer’s caught my eye as something that could help out beans. Last night I threw all those beans in to soak – black, red kidney, black eyed peas, soy, garbanzos, white kidney, great northern – while I devised a recipe. I took as a template the black-eyed peas recipe we had for New Year’s. It turned out pretty good. But I had to embellish it a bit. This one has 2 C onion, 1 C shallots, a whole head of garlic peeled (left whole), a half pound of pearled onions (I love to peel those suckers), peppers (red, Aloha, jalapeno, even a little can of Hatch’s green chilis), celery, and carrots. Now the wimpy black-eyed peas recipe said to fry up their vegetables in 2 T olive oil. Now I’ve got way more vegetables, so will need more fat. And I’ve got way better fat in my fridge. So my vegetables got fried up in 2T lard and 2T bacon grease. Probably lost my heart healthy designation right there (you know what they say about beans: “beans, beans, good for your heart…” you can fill in the rest). The turkey tails were only half enough meat, so I thawed out the rest of my ham hocks. Variety. The 4 C of chicken stock seemed to cover everything o.k., leaving unemployed the nice 2 C of bean water I had left over. Don’t need much spice with a concoction like this, but I threw in 2 bay leaves, a T of ground red chilis, and a T of a weird spice I’ve been experimenting with: red annatto. And now it cooks. It’ll sit overnight in the cold garage, and be dinner tomorrow. Wish you were here.”
So, now it’s the next morning and I haven’t tasted it, but it sure looks good. Getting the meat off the bones is next.
Here’s the recipe:
|legume medley |
¼ C white kidneys 1 C carrots, chopped
¾ C red kidneys 1 C celery, chopped
½ C black beans 2 bell peppers (red, aloha), chopped
½ C garbonzos 1 jalapeno, chopped
½ C black-eyed peas fry vegetables in 2 T lard, 2 T bacon
1 C great northerns grease, in Dutch oven, 6’ till soft
½ C soybeans drain beans, add to vegetables
cover beans with water, bring to boil add 1# smoked turkey tails
turn heat off, cover, let soak 2 hr add 2 ham hocks (1.25#)
8 oz pearled onions, peeled add 4 C chicken stock
1 head garlic, peeled, leave whole 2 bay leaves
1 large onion, chopped (2C) 1 T ground red chilis
1 C shallots, chopped 1 T red annatto
4 oz can Hatch’s green chilis bring to boil, then simmer X 2 hr
And here’s what it looks like in the pot, after putting back the meat:
Wanna see Donna?
Now there’s a dish! Very good for your heart!