Monthly Archives: October 2009

black bean soup, again

I love beans.  I love this black bean soup recipe, from the Moosewood cookbook, that uses orange juice to make everything tangy and delicious. But when I saw a recipe for black bean soup on the Kitchn, that claimed to be the best ever, I had to try it. They are totally different soups, different textures, different flavours, and I’m really not sure which I prefer. This one is smokey and so not vegetarian, thanks to the ham hock. Also, I can’t lie: ham hock looks kind of gross. But you really don’t end up eating it, just stealing the porky, smokey flavour.

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  • 2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Soak the beans overnight, exciting if you’re me and this is the closest you ever get to science.  Drain the rehydrated beans and add enough water so that they are covered with an extra inch of water.  Add the onion and pepper, the minced garlic, the olive oil, pork hock and a bit of salt and pepper.  Bring everything to a boil, skim the froth off the top and then let it simmer for four or five hours.  Add more water if you think it needs it (I didn’t, because I wanted a very thick soup and because the hock was bigger than I expected and I was running out of space in my pot…), and just stir it when you think of it.  After it seems basically ready, add the vinegar and let it simmer for fifteen more minutes.  Pretty, pretty delicious.  I ate this as a soup on its own, which is a lot of beans, seriously, but it was thick so I brought some to family fajita night and we ate them as a dip for chips and possibly as a spread on fajitas, too.  Versatile beans!

end of summer

Basically, I am bad at the internet and didn’t really update my blog all summer.  This is partly because the summer was busy and semi-outdoorsy and not really spent on the interet.  That, and I really only ate one thing all summer.  I made these sandwiches probably five times a week, with slight variations.

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So easy, no real recipe, just halve a bunch of grape tomatoes (oh! I miss them!) and fry them up in garlic and a bit of olive oil.  When they’re semi-cooked, i add a bit of really sharp old cheddar until it’s melty.  Super quick lunch, not really much to write about or photograph but it is seriously delicious.

pulled pork.

Dan thinks pulled pork is going to be this fall’s trendy meat. While this is admittedly a weird conversation to have, we had it and I agree. Pulled pork is everywhere. It is recession-friendly (read: cheap) but not depression (delicious, so much delicious!). Usually I am pro-pulled pork (hello, Lakeview, hello, fun parties where I didn’t expect a sandwich!), sometimes I am decidedly against it (pulled pork poutine, no thanks!). Anyway, my lovely dad got me an awesome Le Creuset French Oven birthday present from Good Egg, and I broke it in with some pulled pork.

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See, hello, this oven is gorgeous! I really had no idea what I was doing, it was my first time making pulled pork, (though I’ve made pulled lamb, but it was in a slow cooker which for some reason I found less stressful…) and it was pretty fun. I’m now on a mission to try out many many varieties. I went with the Pan Chancho recipe, and it had a bit of a pan-Asian vibe to it, probably due to the many spices. It was good, I would definitely make it again, but not before trying out some other recipes…

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For the spiced mixture:

  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Rub down a 1 1/2 pound boned pork shoulder with the spice mixture, and wrap it in saran wrap and let it sit overnight (this is probably unnecessary, but someone told me this would be a good plan and I had no idea what I was doing so I went for it).  Pre-heat the oven to 325.  Heat some olive oil on the stove in the dutch oven and sear the pork until all the sides are browned.  Cover the seared pork about 3/4 of the way up with water, and bring it to a boil on the stove.  Once the water is boiling, put the meat in the oven and cook for as long as you can, until the meat is falling apart, maybe 2 or 3 hours.

Meanwhile, make some barbecue sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup fancy molasses
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Thai chilis

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and heat until everything thickens up, which takes about ten minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

When the pork was ready, I pulled it all apart, getting rid of any excess fat.  Then, stir in as much sauce as you’d like.  I had people coming for dinner in a few hours, so I just kept it on low heat on top of the stove, adding sauce as I though necessary.  I didn’t make it too saucy, but I added some as a condiment.