Black Eyed Peas

In the South it is Kind of a “Tradition” to have Black Eyed Peas and Some sort of Greens on January 1st to start the New Year off with Luck and prosperity to an Individual or to Families. This is a Tradition that is part of almost every Family in the South. We do not usually cook a lot of Food on January 1st but just a few things and maybe sometimes a dessert. I do have to say that this has been a part of my Family and part of my Heritage, And has been done every year ever since I can remember. It is been done by my Mother, Her Mother and so on. This Recipe is a simple recipe for Black Eyed Peas yet, You can add in anything you like after the cooking process is done and before you serve them. Give them a try, They are not as hard as you think to cook. A very simple recipe any one can do. So, Lets get started.
 
1 lb Black Eyed Peas ( dried not canned)
Water
Salt and Pepper ( to taste)
4 Slices of Bacon ( diced 1 inch pieces)
1/4 Onion ( diced fine)
 
 
(1) Open the bag of the Peas and lay down a layer of paper towel and evenly spread the Peas along the paper towel. Sort through the Peas and pick out the grit and hard pieces of Peas and discard them. Pour the Peas into a strainer and give them a rinse in cool water.
 
(2) Pour the Peas into a large pot and fill with water to cover about 2 to 2 1/2 inches above the peas. Add the diced Bacon and Onion and stir to combine. Cover with the lid and turn heat to low and let cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until when tasted the peas are tender and soft. There should be no hard peas in the pot. If so let them cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer and test 5 more peas. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent the peas from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Keep an eye on the water level. If the water gets to low add in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water to keep water level just above or even with the peas.
 
(3) When the peas ( when tested 5 are tender and soft) add in the Salt and Pepper to taste and other add in’s if used and let cook 10 to 15 minutes longer to season the peas. Stir to mix. Check for seasonings before serving and add more Salt and Pepper if needed. Ladle into a serving bowl and serve with a side of Cornbread.
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Chicken And Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings are a Southern Staple. There are many ways to make them and they all are good. This is my Families Traditional Style Chicken and dumplings. I make this a lot during the cool Fall and Winter Months. It saddens me to say that I can not keep this long enough to have left overs for lunch or snack the next day but hey it is alright. Here are the Ingredients:

2 lb of Chicken or 1 Whole chicken

6 c. Chicken Stock or Broth

1 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Pepper

1 Bay leaf

2 c. Flour

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Pepper

1/4 c. Crisco

3/4 c. Milk

1/4 c. Flour

 

(1) In a large pot with a fitted lid add the chicken to the bottom of the pot. Add in the chicken stock or broth along with the salt, Pepper and Bay leaf. Stir gently to combine and cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken is just done over medium heat. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Remove the chicken and place into a bowl and let cool completely. Shred the meat off the bone and discard the bones.  Set aside until ready to use.

(2) In a bowl add the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and stir together until combined. Add in the Crisco and using a pastry cutter or fork work the Crisco into the flour until pea sized. Add the milk and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined.

(3) Add the 1/4 cup of flour to the dough and coat both sides of the dough with the flour. Using your fingers pinch of 1/2 to 1 inch pieces of the dough and gently flatten and then dip the dough into the flour. Place the dough into the pot with the chicken stock/broth. After you have a few in the pot stir gently to combine and cook through. Keep doing this until all of the dough is in the pot. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes to cook through.  Add in the shredded chicken  and stir to combine. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

(4) Ladle in to bowls and serve warm.

Bourbon Beef Stew

This is a family favorite to kick off the Fall’s cool nights. This is a hearty stew with bold flavors and will fill you up. Everything is made in this one Pot and does not require at lot of attention.

 

2 tbsp. Olive OIl

1 tbsp. Butter

2 Lb. Diced Stew Meat

1 Onion, Diced

3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

1/3 c. Bourbon ( I use Devils cut It has a more bold flavor)

4-6 c. Chicken Stock or broth

3 tbsp. Beef bouillon granules or cubes

1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2 tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 tsp. Smoked Paprika

2 tbsp. Sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. Pepper

2 Large Potatoes, Peeled and diced in 1/2 inch pieces

5 Carrots cut into 1/2 inch pieces

4 tbsp. Flour

 

(1.) In a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat add the oil and butter. Let melt. Add the meat in batches and sear on all sides. Remove to a bowl or plate.

(2.) Turn heat to low and add the onion and cook 5 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the bourbon. Turn the heat back on to low and cook 5 minutes. Add the 4 c. of chicken stock/broth, beef bouillon granules, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, paprika, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the meat back in and stir to combine again. cover and let cook for 2 1/2 hours stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 c. of chicken stock/broth if needed if the liquid gets to low.

(3.) Remove 1 cup of the cooking liquid to a bowl and add the 4 tbsp of flour and whisk together until smooth. Set aside.

(4.) Add the carrots and potatoes and stir to combine. Cover and let cook 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in the flour mixture and let cook 10 minutes until thickened. Check the seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve with crusty bread.

Stewed Pot Roast

I think that every Southern Kitchen has a Beef Stew Recipe. I have many and I adore them all. This recipe is very easy to make although it requires a while to cook 2 1/2 hours to be exact.  It has few ingredients and tastes Devine. You are going to love this simple yet delicious recipe. Here are the ingredients you will need for this dish.

 

2 lb Chuck Roast Steak, Cubed into 1 inch pieces

2 Large Potatoes, Cubed into 1 inch pieces

2 Large Onions, Diced

4 to 6 Carrots, Sliced 1/2 inch pieces

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1 (28 oz) can Diced tomatoes with the juice

1 Tsp. Dried Thyme

3 c. Beef broth

Salt and Pepper ( to taste)

Olive Oil

1 Celery, Diced

 

(1.) In a large pot ( with fitted lid) Over medium/low heat add the Olive Oil  (2 Tbsp). Season the Meat with Salt and Pepper and add half of the meat to the pan and sear on all sides. Remove to a plate while you cook the other half. Remove that half to the plate.

 

 

(2.) Add the Onions, Carrots, Garlic, Tomatoes with the juice, Thyme, Broth, Salt, Celery and the Pepper and stir to combine.

 

(3.) Add the Meat back in and stir again to combine.

 

(4.) Cover with the Lid and let cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stir to mix and add 1/2 to 1 c of water only if needed. It should not  need water at this point but you never know. Cover again and let cook for another 1 hour and 15 minutes stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.  Check for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.  I serve this Stew over brown or white rice.

Chili With Cheese and Cumin Tortilla Chips

What is a better way to kick off the fall than  with a big bowl of Chili. This Recipe is a family favorite and requested a lot in the Fall/Winter.  It is so easy to make and does not require a lot of energy to make it. There are not a lot of ingredients but packs a lot of flavor.  Here are the ingredients you will need.

For the Chili:

Salt and Pepper

1 Onion, Diced

2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

2 Tsp Cumin

1/8 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Tbsp Chili powder

1 lb Ground Beef ( I use 80/20)

1 c. Crushed Tomatoes

1 c. Diced Tomatoes with the Juice

2 tbsp Cornmeal

1 tbsp Flour

1/4 c. Water

1 can Beans ( kidney, pinto or black beans) Drained and rinsed

2 c. Cheddar Cheese, Grated

 

(1.) In a large pot add 1 Tbsp Oil and add the Onion and cook over low heat until tender. About 10 minutes.

(2.) Add the Ground Beef and cook until browned. About 10 to 12 minutes. Drain off any extra fat. Add the Garlic, Oregano, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, and the Chili Powder. Stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes toast the seasonings. Add the Crushed and Diced Tomatoes and stir together add 1/2 cup of water and stir. Cover with a lid and turn heat to low and cook for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add 1/2 of water at a time if needed.

(3.) In a bowl whisk together the cornmeal, flour and water together until smooth and add to the Chili mixture. Stir to combine and add Salt and pepper to taste. Pour into an 8×8 inch baking dish and top with the grated cheese evenly. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let set 10 minutes before serving so the cheese does not burns the kiddies mouths.

 

For the Tortilla Chips:

10 to 12 Corn Tortilla chips cut in to  wedges

Salt and Pepper

Cumin

(1.) Place the Tortilla wedges flat on 2 sheet pans and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with  salt, pepper and the cumin. Bake at 350* for 10 to 12 minutes until crisp. Let cool and Scoop into a serving bowl and serve alongside the Chili.

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