Category Archives: Recipes

Favorite recipes I’ve collected over the years. Most are easy everyday fare. Many are vegetarian but not all are

Southern Chicken Bog

Luke Murden, Whole Foods Cooking Coach, demoed this recipie in the summer of 2015. It is quite tasty so I kept it until I had an urge to go off the vegetarian reservation for a while. With 3 batches of Food52 Lentils and Sausage soup left, it seemed like a good time to make this classic.

I suspect that this recipe is good with brown Basmati rice but I recommend making it first with white rice as directed. The change to brown rice requires adjusting the cooking liquid up. Luke’s recipe is for 3 rice to 8 liquid. The normal white rice ratio is 1 to 2. The normal brown rice ratio is 1 to 3. The process of cooking the chicken may reduce the water some. Then again, there may be a reason this is called chicken bog. I don’t recall it being soupy as Luke made the demo in the pressure cooker and halves the liquid for this method.

This recipie is for 4 omnivor servings. To serve 8, double everything. I made mine with a whole softball sized sweet onion. Onion is good.

A 6 quart Dutch oven should hold either 4 or 8 servings. I made 4 so I wouldn’t be awash in leftovers.

Servings and Macronutrients

This recipe makes 4 to 5 servings of about 1 pint. I used UnderArmor’s My Fitness Pal to calculate the macronutrient analysis. Although the salt number is high, the dish did not taste salty.

Those concerned about salt can skip the Better Than Bouillon which is quite salty. The dish is fine without it as I discovered by accident.

Those concerned about fat can reduce the fat by removing the chicken skins before cooking. I’d recommend using the butter as directed. And do use real butter as it is trans-fat free.

  • 855 Calories
  • 37 grams fat
  • 70 grams carbohydrates
  • 55 grams protein
  • 1700 mg salt
  • 470 mg potassium

Ingredients

This list of ingredients is 1/2 that of Luke’s original recipe to feed 8. You can go long on the onion but observe the meat and rice amounts and liquid

  • 4 chicken thighs, 1 per serving
  • 1/2 pound (1/8 pound per serving) of smoked sausage
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I use Better Than Boullion)
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice

Spices

This spice list makes 4 servings

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 bay leaves

Preparation

this recipe does not have a sauté step. I don’t believe it would hurt to sauté the onion, brown the chicken, and brown the sausage. If you do, do these processes in the Dutch oven using olive oil as needed.

  1. Dice the onion
  2. Dice the sausage into 1 cm pieces
  3. In a stock pot or 6 quart Dutch oven add the water chicken, sausage, onion, butter, and seasonings. Cover the pot and bring to a low boil for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken, let it cool, and pull it from the bones. Chop to 1-2 cm length if needed.
  5. Discard the chicken bones and skin.
  6. Add the rice to the pot, cover, and return to a boil for 10 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is done. Maybe 10 more minutes for white rice
  8. Remove the bay leaves and fluff the rice using a fork. Stirring will make the rice gummy which is not Southern!
  9. Return the chicken to the pot. Fiddle with the salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with your favorite adult beverage. I think a red wine would be best given the lavish amount of butter in this brew. A good malty or hoppy beer should work well also.

Review

Southern Chicken Bog proved easy to prepare following the directions above. In my preparation, I forgot to add the chicken Better Than Bouillon but the end result was still pretty tasty. It is important to use a smoked sausage as the smoky flavor makes the dish distinct. Serve with two vegetables and red wine or a hoppy beer.

What the Hey Do You Do with Dried Beans?

Several weeks ago, Luke Murden, our 757 Whole Foods Cooking Coach, demoed preparation of Swedish brown beans. These medium sized beans have a mahogany color and make a delightful thick stock as they cook. I grabbed a copy of Luke’s recipe, stuffed it in a jacket pocket, and hid it. A couple of weeks later, I tried to make the beans by memory with guidance from Joy of Cooking and Fannie Farmer but failed miserably. Changing coats, I found Luke’s recipe. So here goes.

Cooking Time

This recipe requires about a day for overnight soaking of the beans and about 2 hours to cut up, assemble, and cook.

Tools

  • 3 quart or larger vessel in which to soak the beans
  • 5 quart Dutch oven
  • 2 quart prep bowl to hold diced stuff
  • monkey dish to hold measured spices and garlic
  • chefs knife
  • cutting board
  • 4 ounce serving spoon

Soaking the Beans

All beans contain long chain saccharides (sugars) that digest in the large intestine rather than being absorbed in the stomach. In the gut, bacteria digest these saccharides making copious quantities of carbon dioxide among other metabolic products. The end result is a flatulent diner.

Soaking the beans over night removes the saccharides. The beans will expand by a factor of 4 during soaking. Use 1 quart of pot volume per cup of dried beans. For most recipes, a 3 quart pot works. Add the beans and fill the pot to within an inch of the top and cover. Let sit undisturbed until morning. In the morning, change the water and continue soaking until ready to cook.

It is important that all the beans be covered. Add water as needed to maintain liquid over all the beans.

Carnivore Option

Buy a quarter pound or so of your favorite sausage (Italian, andouille, chorizo). Skin the sausage, mush it flat with a board knife, and scramble it while browning. Remove the sausage and reserve the oil to begin the vegetable sauté step. Once the vegetables are sautéed, add the browned sausage.

Vegetables

The vegetables listed are those required to make Luke’s learning recipe. You can go big on all of these to produce a chunky result or to make bean soup.

  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 large stalk of celery diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  •  1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • optional 1 or 2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes

Dice all of the vegetables, probably 1/2 cm dice. Mince the garlic. Sauté these as follows.

  1. Add olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot and begin heating, 2.5 to 3 on electric.
  2. Add the spices to the cold oil and warm until some bubbling is observed. The garlic may go in at this point.
  3. When the garlic begins emitting steam, add the onions, celery, and carrots and stir to coat with oil
  4. Cover and roast for 20 minutes at low heat.

During the roasting process, the vegetables will reduce in volume and begin to caramelize. If you prefer, you can continue until some color is developed but take care to reduce the heat. By the 20 minute mark, most of the liquid will have been liberated and the temperature of the brew will begin to rise. Keep a close watch reducing heat as needed to prevent burning.

Cooking the Beans

This is where I went wrong in my first go. Back in the day, Fannie Farmer, Myrtle Hamby, and Ethel Watson cooked their beans in an excess of water, typically 4 to 5 cups of liquid per cup of soaked beans. At the end of cooking, they drained the beans and discarded that great stock they had just made.

Luke Murden’s method uses 2 cups of water per cup of dried beans. When I made my beans, I used 2 cups of dried beans and 2 liters of water (1 to 4 ratio). As a result, that delightful thickening that occurred during Luke’s demo went missing in my go. So don’t do as I did, do it this way.

  1. Drain the beans
  2. Add to the vegetables and stir up well
  3. Add the 2 cups of liquid per cup of dried beans
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of low sodium Better Than Bouillon per cup of dried beans
  5. Let this simmer until everything is well mixed
  6. Cook about 1 hour until beans are soft and some gravy begins to form
  7. Taste the broth at this point and adjust salt and pepper

Bread by the numbers

Bread by the numbers gives my favorite bread recipe. This recipe is a mash up of the basic white bread from Joy of Cooking and the learning recipe from the book Bread Alone and cooking ratios. By knowing the ratios, remembering the recipe becomes easy.

I’ve been doing some WordPress hacking the past couple of days.

  • The site now has a custom header image
  • The site now has a custom side bar.
  • The top level pages now have child pages
  • The top level pages and child pages have a custom side bar that shows the page tree for navigation.
  • The home page now allows navigation by categories.
  • I added my favorite bread recipe.

 

And The Priest Fainted Lentil Soup

I have no idea why I named it thus other than to warn you that this is not Mom’s Lentil Soup. It has a good bit of other stuff in it as inspired by several recipes for lentil soup that I found on the Internet. I know, Internet recipes are risky. Often they assume experience but this one does not. If you can measure, dice stuff keeping all your parts, and sauté without burning the house down, you can make this main dish soup. It is pretty thick so it can be served as a soup or over rice as a curry but it is a vegetable stock not relying on cream or coconut milk.

This recipe is assembled in three passes. The first pass does all the slicing and dicing. The second pass sautés the veggies. The third pass creates the soup.

Vegan Note

I use Better than Bouillon “chicken” stock for this soup. This product contains a small amount of rendered chicken fat. The largest ingredient is salt. Most of the flavor is from glutamates and other wonders of food science that have non-chicken origins. A table spoon gives a whole lot of flavor that beats most home made vegetable stock. This product is an America’s Test Kitchen favorite. And is the start of most canned stocks. Do yourself a favor and use it. And rest assured that not even Grissom or Sherlock Holmes can find chicken in this product.

How much

This recipe makes four to five servings. I ate a bowl and filled 4 pint containers with the leftovers.

Tools

This recipe requires the following tools.

  • 5 quart Dutch oven for 1 pot simplicity
  • 5 or so 2 cup prep bowls to hold diced vegtables
  • 1 quart prep bowl to hold the sliced potato
  • measuring spoons
  • chef’s knife
  • cutting board

As you can see, it is all basic stuff. If you elect to double the recipe, you will need larger prep bowls and a 7 quart Dutch oven.

Ingredients

I like to list the ingredients in the order they are prepared and added, so here goes.

Spices

For this recipe, I went lazy and used a prepared curry seasoning, Frontier Natural Products Co-Op Balti Curry found at Whole Foods. This curry seasoning is a blend of coriander, garlic, ginger, cumin, roasted red chili powder, cinnamon, brown mustard, and a whole bunch of other stuff that will give a complex taste. This goes into the oil while it is being heated to begin the sauté step.

2 to 3 tsp curry seasoning of your choice

Carnivore Option

I’ve not tried this but if I wanted to add a bit of meat flavor without adding a whole lot of beast, I’d add one Chorizo sausage prepared as follows. Skin the sausage and mush it flat on your cutting board. Toss it in the Dutch oven, set the heat on medium high (7.5) and brown. Then pick up with sauteing the vegetables using the rendered sausage fat as a starting point. Add additional olive oil as needed and run with it.

Diced stuff

Prepare these vegetables for sauté by dicing small. Small dice is about pea sized for purposes of this recipe. The idea is that all these ingredients be about the same size as the cooked lentils.

  • olive oil to sauté, enough to cover the pan bottom, usually 1 to 2 ounces
  • 1 red pepper, diced small to give about 1 to 1 1/2 cup of product
  • 1 large onion, diced small to give about 1 1/2 cup of product
  • 2 carrots diced small to give about 1 to 1 1/2 cup of product
  • 4 ribs celery diced small to give about 1 to 1 1/2 cup of product
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

Soup Step Ingredients

I sliced the potato into thin quartered slices for no good reason that that is what I’d seen done in a dehydrated Minestrone soup kit I use from time to time.

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp Better Than Bouillon “Chicken” flavor
  • 1 potato quartered length wise and potato crisp sliced into thin slices
  • One can (14 oz) Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup green lentils

Procedure

I use the following procedure for my soups. First, I gather up all the ingredients and measure out the spices, salt, liquids, etc into prep bowls. I dice up all of the vegetables into prep bowls. Multiple ingredients may go into a prep bowl provided that they are added at the same stage in assembly. For example, all of the vegetables being sautéed can be staged into a mixing bowl or sauce pot. Similarly, the water and Better Than Bouillon may be measured and combined in a 2 quart sauce pan for later addition.

  1. If making the carnivore option, skin, mush, and brown the Chorizo. Scramble it up good.
  2. Next, add the diced vegetables, curry powder, and oil and sauté. I usually start the sauté at medium hot (7.5). Things will get off to a slow start but should start sizzling nicely as the vegetables give up their water. For this recipe, continue the sauté process until the vegetables are soft, the onions are translucent, and volume is reduced about by 1/2 to 2/3. The sauté process concentrates the vegetable flavors. I didn’t elect to caramelize the onions to save time. As the rate or water release drops (sizzle reduces), lower the heat to 5 then to 3 lest you burn the onions. If you have the heat right, there is no standing water in the pan and nothing is burning with a nice sizzling sound and visible steam release. Most recipes blatantly lie about the time required for this step. I play it by ear, literally. The step is done when things get quiet and stay quiet when stirred. The amount of steam coming off is greatly reduced from that observed when things were sizzling vigorously at the start. The vegetables will cover the pan in a shallow layer. I’d guess 15 to 20 minutes to this stage.
  3. Finally, add the water, Better Than Bouillon, tomatoes, and lentils. Bring to a boil at and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If desired you can add some extra salt but usually, the Better Than Bouillon base provides enough. If too salty, you’ve probably used a heaping measure of BTB. A level tablespoon please.
  4. When done, the lentils will be al dente. Add lemon or lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste at time of serving. I suggest 1 tsp of lemon juice or lime juice per serving as bowled.

Hopped Up Hoppin’ John

Dreading the thought of another New Year’s Day meal of bland black eyed peas and boiled beyond recognition collards. Fear not, there is hope with Whole Foods Luke’s Hopped Up Hoppin’ John and Dave’s Yankee Greens from last winter.

Ingredients

I’ve listed the ingredients in the order of addition. The evening before preparation, measure out the black eyed peas, check them for foreign matter, and put them on to soak.

Serrano pepper’s are hotter than Charlotte in August so handle them with gloves and wash up the cutting board and tools in hot soapy water.

  1. bacon, diced , 6-8 slices
  2. chorizo sausage, 1
  3. yellow onion, 1 cup diced small
  4. celery, 1 cup diced small
  5. red bell pepper, 1 cup diced small
  6. Serrano pepper deseeded and minced, 1/2
  7. garlic, 3 cloves minced
  8. cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp
  9. bay leaf, 1
  10. fresh thyme, 4 spring pulled 
  11. chili power, 1 tsp
  12. black eyed peas, 1 1/2 cups
  13. rice, 1 cup
  14. beef stock, 6 cups

Method

I like to do my bacon in a 350 oven so I’ll dice it up and get it going while I dice the vegetables.

Luke’s method follows.

  1. Dice the veggies up, Serrano pepper last and queue up at the stove
  2. Peel the chorizo sausage and mash it flat with a potato masher or similar tool (board knife, big cleaver, etc).
  3. Dice up the bacon
  4. Fry bacon in dutch oven
  5. Remove bacon and set aside
  6. Gently brown the chorizo in the bacon fat.
  7. Add vegetables and spices and cook through — onions translucent. Additional oil is not indicated. If roasting bacon and sausage, move to the stove top at this point.
  8. Drain soaking black eyed peas
  9. Add stock, black eyed peas, bacon and simmer for 20 minutes
  10. Add rice and simmer 25 minutes until rice and beans are tender

Yankee Greens

My new diet requires me to eat more salad stuff. With just me to feed, I’m losing a lot of salad greens to decay before they are consumed. Keep them too long and you risk garbage gut so I needed to find an alternative. On impulse, I bought a pound of Trader Joe’s mixed greens (collards, mustard, turnip, and all that other good Southern stuff). On the back of the bag was a receipt for Mediterranean Greens so I gave it a try. It is easy, keeps in the fridge once cooked up, and proved to be quite tasty. The secret is olives, garlic, and tomatoes.

So, why is the title of this article “Yankee Greens?” My southern aunts cook greens with salt pork and that’s about it. And they boil them beyond recognition to the color of an old sea bag.  So this is a bit of a tease — yes, Nancy, I’m teasing you!

It may be possible to cook the greens for less than 30 minutes. When they first wilt down, they are a bright green and look terrific. Trick is that you have to cook them enough to permit them to be digested. Thirty minutes is clearly enough. Is 15 minutes too little?

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  1. 1 lb mixed greens or any winter greens
  2. 1 c sliced olives, green, black, or kalamata
  3. 4 cloves garlic
  4. 1/4 c sun dried tomato strips in olive oil
  5. 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, plum is best
  6. olive oil as needed to sauté everything

Pans:

7 qt Dutch oven or other pan that will hold 1 lb of greens

Process:

  1. Press the garlic, slice up the olives, and dried tomatoes.
  2. Wash and dry greens as needed
  3. Sauté the garlic, olives and dried tomatoes over low heat for about 5 minutes. Use sufficient oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and sauté until hot (2 minutes more)
  5. Stir in the greens and let them wilt down
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes