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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Weekly Recipes: January 2

Brown Sugar Biscuits

4 cups pastry flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 - 1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Rub butter pieces through flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles coarse cornmeal with larger pieces of butter, about the size of peas or beans, throughout the mixture. Pour the milk in and mix together until you have a workable dough, but don't mix too much or the dough will be tough. Roll or pat out the dough about 1/2 inch thick and cut into biscuits with a cutter. Bake on an ungreased pan for 12 - 15 minutes, or until golden.

Red Beans & Rice

This is not actually how I made them this week, but this is the recipe I normally use. I made them this week with precooked beans from the freezer and kielbasa. It was fine, but this is better.

1 pound dry small red beans (not kidney beans)
2 pounds meaty ham hocks or smoked pork chops (if you are using smoked pork chops, don't use the bacon below, just saute the vegetables in bacon drippings or butter or oil)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme or 3 to 4 sprigs fresh
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
water, to cover by a couple inches
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 ribs celery, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
hot sauce (we use Frank's Chile Lime and at least a couple tablespoons)
salt and pepper to taste
Cooked white or brown rice (from about 3 cups raw rice)
Scallions, finely chopped
Hot pepper vinegar

Place dried beans in a large bowl and cover them with cold water by a couple of inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. (If you have fresh beans, you only need to soak them about 2-3 hours) Drain.

Place beans, ham hocks, herbs and spices, and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

Remove ham shanks (or smoked pork chops) from the pot to a dish. Let cool slightly then shred the meat away from the bones. Return the meat back to the pot. Give the bones to your chickens to gnaw the last bits of goodness out of them and make you nice high protein eggs.

Heat bacon over medium heat to render out some of the fat and begin to brown it. Add onion, celery, peppers and garlic and cook until they begin to soften and wilt. Add bacon, vegetables and worcestershire sauce to beans (yes, the fat, too). Cover and cook for another hour or until the mixture gets thick. Season to taste with hot sauce, salt and pepper.

Serve over rice, with sliced scallions and hot pepper vinegar to taste.

Horseradish and Dill Potato Pancakes

3 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
1 medium onion, grated
2 eggs
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon dried dill
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Oil or butter to fry

After grating the potatoes and onions, squeeze out as much liquid as you can in an old, clean kitchen towel. Mix the potatoes, onions, eggs, horseradish, flour, dill, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Heat oil or butter, or a mix of the two in a frying pan over medium high heat. Make small to medium sized pancakes so you end up with about 12 of them. Fry them for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden and cooked through. Serve hot with sour cream on the side.

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