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Ham & Vegetable Porridge

Ham & Vegetable Porridge

Ham & Vegetable Porridge

As with a lot of our country we are experiencing an unusually cold winter. Unfortunately it’s been filled with lots of ice. So on those days that you just can’t get out of the house, let alone out of the driveway to get to the store, making porridge is a good way to bring up the mood in the house. For this porridge I used up vegetables that were on the edge of going bad and some leftover ham that I had in the freezer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Cajun 15 Bean Soup Mix
  • 2 Fennels, white part only, sliced
  • 12 Brussels Sprouts, quartered
  • 16 Baby Carrots, cubed
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • half a yellow onion, diced
  • half a bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 5 handfuls of kale, chopped
  • 3 cups or more of ham chunks
  • 2 quarts chicken broth

First of all rinse the beans the night before you’re going to make the porridge pick any debris from them. Then soak the beans over night in a large bowl covered by water. The next day drain and rinse and add with the other ingredients to the cooking pot.

In a heavy bottom large pot combine all of the ingredients, stir in the Cajun spice packet. Heat over medium heat until it starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer slightly covered for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. The porridge needs to maintain a simmer and the moisture needs a place to escape. Stir a few times during the cooking process. The porridge is finished when the bean are extremely tender and fall apart when pressure is put on them. Generally my porridge is thicker than a stew.

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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Beans, Rice, Pork, Soups and Stews, Vegetables

 

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Ham, Split Pea and Veggie Soup

Ham, Split Pea & Veggies Soup

Ham, Split Pea & Veggie Soup

So I’m trying to prepare and eat a bit more healthier this year. Trying is the key word. I love to cook and I love the way homegrown, homemade food taste. Since moving to Southwest Indiana from Southern California 9 years ago I have increased my waistline greatly and I would like to say it’s because of all the wonderful fried food here. But the reality is it’s a blend of them along with my increasing inactivity. The joys of leading a slower pace life and enjoying heavier foods is catching up with me. So I’m vowing to make a greater effort to decrease my flour and sugar intake, increase my veggies and fruits and get out of the kitchen and into the garden a little bit more. So here’s a stab at cleaning out my leftovers and veggie crisper drawer. I have to admit this soup turned out awesome but it would have been better if I had paired it with a nice cornbread…..maybe next time.

DSC_1887Ingredients:

  • 2 large stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 leek, white part only, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry green split peas
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB salted butter
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Lawry’s Season Salt
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 3 to 4 cups ham chunks, leftovers
  • 1/4 of a green cabbage, sliced
  • 2 handfuls each of Kale and Spinach, shredded
  • flaked Parmesan cheese, optional for garnishing

In a stock pot over medium high heat melt the butter into the oil. Add the celery, onion, carrots, leek and split peas, saute until the onions are softened. Add the garlic, pepper and season salt, stir well. Pour in the chicken broth, add the ham chunks and cabbage slices, stir until mixed well. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook on a low boil or high simmer for 30 minutes, until the split peas are soft and tender. Stir in the kale and spinach and continue to cook for 15 more minutes. Serve with a garnish of flaked Parmesan cheese.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Left-Over Delights, Pork, Soups and Stews

 

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Peppered Breakfast Bacon

While visiting Louisville Kentucky this summer I was served bacon with so much deep flavor. Come to find out the difference between my bacon and theirs was that they peppered their bacon while frying. What an easy way to enhance the wonderful flavor of good breakfast bacon.

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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Breakfast, Paleo recipes, Pork

 

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Black Bean & Carnitas Nachos

Nachos

Nachos

Here’s my stab at recreating the nachos I found at “The Rum House” in New Orleans. Try it with friends and enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • freshly fried corn tortillas chips. see my recipe under “Corn Tortilla Chips”
  • Black Beans see my recipes under “Crockpot Beer Black Beans”
  • shredded pork, see my recipe under “Crockpot Pork Carnitas”
  • “Cilantro Jalapeno Crema”, see my recipe
  • Queso Fresco, crumbled
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Red Onion, diced

Preheat your oven to 350 and spray a baking dish with pan spray.

Put a heaping layer of fried corn tortilla chips, then sprinkle the shredded pork carnitas and black beans over the chips. Drizzle the Cilantro Jalapeno Crema, then add the crumbled Queso Fresco and shredded Cheddar Cheese over all of that. Sprinkle with the half of the diced red onion then start the process all over.

Once completely assembled bake until the cheese is melted and starts to bubble a bit.

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Suggestions: Take this recipe one step further and serve with a dollop of sour cream, guacamole, slice jalapenos and diced tomatoes.

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2013 in Beans, Rice, Casseroles, Pork, Snacks

 

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Beer Simmered Brats

Brats

Brats

Simple yet oh so yummy…Mark loves his Brats. Good thing I finally realized I didn’t need to be fancy when preparing them…just simmer in some beer and he’s happy.

Ingredients: serves 2 – 3 people

  • 3 brats
  • 2 Tb unsalted butter
  • 1 can or bottle of beer

In a medium skillet over medium heat melt the butter. Add the brats and brown on each side. Once browned, add the beer, cover, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes until the brats are thoroughly cooked. Try serving these flavorful brats over my Scallop Potato Slices.

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Pork

 

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Ham & 15 Bean Soup

15 Bean Soup

15 Bean Soup

Our winter has been mild this year, but I don’t need snow and the temperature to be in the teens for inspiration to make a nice crockpot full of Ham & 15 Bean Soup. Just a little rain can inspire me.

Ingredients: Makes about 16 servings.

  • 3 to 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 summer, yellow squash, sliced or chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tb chicken base (I use Das Dutchman Essenhaus)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 3 to 4 thick ham slices or ham steaks, cubed
  • 1 bag of 15 bean soup, put the seasoning packet aside
  • salt for seasoning

DSC_0792In a large crockpot combine all of the ingredients and pour in enough water to cover all of them well. Cook on high for 6 hours or more. Once the beans are very soft, season with salt if needed or add in the seasoning packet if you would like. I generally just throw the packet away.

This recipe makes a lot of soup, but it freezes great for future cold days.

 

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Simple & Quick Meatballs

Meatballs in Spaghetti Sauce

Meatballs

Would you like to spruce up your jarred spaghetti sauce? After a long day I too use jarred spaghetti sauce, but it doesn’t have to taste so bland. Try adding simple and quick homemade meatballs to the sauce. While they simmer in the sauce they add great homemade flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound sausage
  • 1/4 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 fine Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Combine all of the above ingredients. Form meatballs about 1-inch in size. Place on a boiling pan sprayed with pan release and broil on high for about 7 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and broil another 7 minutes. You want the meatballs to brown slightly on both sides. Gently add these semi cooked meatballs to your warmed jarred spaghetti sauce. Over medium-low heat let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for at least 20 minutes until fully cooked. I usually have them simmering before I start cooking my pasta.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Beef, Budget friendly dishes, Pork

 

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