January 2011 Archives

an entirely new procedure

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Happy 2011: a number that, as somebody noted this morning, is a prime number, and the sum of a prime number of consecutive prime numbers. For what it’s worth.

I’ve just watched “Dinner for One,” the English-language (after its introduction) sketch that’s apparently a lot of non-English-speakers’ idea of what English-language comedy is all about. I can see why it’d be fun to watch once a year on a night associated with a lot of drinking.

As for what’s going on here: I spent the morning cooking—vegetarian Hoppin’ John (the same recipe a quick Google tells me I made eight years ago!), roasted Brussels sprouts, some steamed greens—and the afternoon hosting a little gathering of friends from around here, other states, and other countries. My friends are wonderful.

A couple of people asked for the veggie Hoppin’ John recipe, which I got from Crescent Dragonwagon. In brief:

Soak three cups of dried black-eyed peas, then drain, rinse, and simmer them until they’re soft in enough water to cover (you will need a big pot), along with a couple of canned chipotle chiles, a few bay leaves, an unpeeled onion with half a dozen cloves stuck in it, and couple of unpeeled heads of garlic. When they’re softened, add salt to taste; remove and discard the chipotles, the bay leaves and the onion, and remove but don’t discard the garlic.

While you’re cooking the black-eyed peas, sauté the following chopped-up things in another pan: a big onion, a few red and green peppers, some carrots, a few stalks of celery. Just enough to soften them a bit, really; then turn off the heat.

Back to the beans. Add three cups of water, bring it to a boil, add 1 1/2 cups of long-grain rice, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Take the lid off, but don’t stir it; squeeze the garlic from the heads you boiled earlier onto the top, then put the sautéed vegetables on top, cover again, and simmer for another ten minutes. Turn off the heat and leave it alone for ten minutes. Then stir it up together and you’re done. It may need more salt; it can definitely use pepper; a dash of Tabasco is good if you’re into Tabasco. This serves a big party. We probably had 12 or 15 people eating it over here, and we still had a bit left over.

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