Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mellody's Black-eyed Peas

Okay, not those Black Eyed Peas!! This is after all a food blog. But I started thinking about Mellody and her black-eyed peas and when I went online there were all these posts and pictures of THE Black Eyed Peas. This recipe is not mine, but Mellody's, and it's been our traditional New Year's recipe since finding it in the AJC many years ago. I always used to use hog jowels or pork neckbones until I discovered this. Smoked turkey wings provide the meat and flavor and are probably much better for you. It uses fresh garlic and garlic powder which she says is important to get the taste right. Where the original recipe calls for cooking this in a large pot, I use my crockpot. Serve with rice and greens and don't forget my cornbread recipe. Needless to say, it's not just for New Year's and you will find that without a doubt these are the best black-eyed peas you will ever have.

1 lb. dried black-eyed peas

4 c. low sodium chicken broth

2 c. water

2 smoked turkey wings

4 cloves garlic, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 large onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

2 T salt or seasoned salt

1 T black pepper

1 t garlic powder

2 bay leaves

Rinse and sort peas looking for any tiny stones or bad peas. Put peas in crockpot (not turned on) with 6-8 cups of water and let soak overnite or 6-8 hours. Drain water off and rinse peas.

In crockpot, combine peas, broth, water, wings, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, jalapeno, salt, pepper, garlic powder and bay leaves.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove wings ,shred meat and return to pot.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fusion Mussells

Hell's Kitchen had a fusion challenge the other night and it was on my mind as I considered what to do with some leftover rice. Of course, this is not just some ordinary rice but Trader Joe's Basmati rice medley which is a delightful combination of aged Indian Basmati and wild rice with garden vegetables.

I cooked 4 slices of bacon until crispy, drained them and crunched them up. Then I sauteed a sliced onion and two chopped cloves of garlic until translucent. Add to that a can of diced tomatoes with juice and one of my 8 oz. freezer bags of sliced zucchini. Okay, if you didn't put up veggies you could resort to the Hunt's zucchini and tomatoes in the can. Then I added a handful of cooked, crumbled sausage from the freezer. Then comes the "season to taste". I added fresh ground salt and pepper, garlic powder, oregano, Old Bay, paprika and a couple of shakes of cayenne. Add the cooked rice.

Next comes one of my favorite things...Kroger Private Selection Mussells. They come in tomato sauce or white wine sauce. You can eat them as is or put them over pasta. They are in the freezer section and are already cooked and then vacuum sealed. Just heat them up.

Put the rice in individual pasta bowls and top with mussells and the tomato broth. Add some shredded Parmesan-Romano cheese and you have a great Indian/Italian/French/Greek meal.
Looking for a picture for this I came across Courgettes and Mussels which is a French dish with zucchini, mussels and rice. Then there was a Greek dish with mussels and rice. Changing the herbs and spices results in a dish eaten in many different countries with many different names.
If you came to my house for dinner, it might even be called "leftovers".