Monthly Archives: January 2012

Individual Apple Cinnamon Crostatas

 

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Here's what you can do with a little leftover pie dough.   This is about 1/3 of one single pie crust. 

With a single pie dough and 1 Granny Smith apple, some brown sugar, cinnamon and flour, you can make 1 to 3 little crostatas.

If you need a pie dough recipe, here's a rye dough and here's a pate brisee or short pastry, and here's my Mom's No Fail Pie Crust to give you some choices.  The above shows a rye dough (doesn't really taste like rye) – just makes it slightly heartier.

Individual Apple Cinnamon Crostata
Compliments of JennaDish

MAKES ONE CROSTATA

1/3 of a single pie crust, or about 1/8" thick by 5" diameter
1/3 of a Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced very thin
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon flour
1 egg, lightly beaten for brushing dough (1 egg will be enough for up to 3 crostatas)
sprinkling sugar

Preheat oven to 350o.

Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and flour in a small bowl. 

Lay out the dough – it can be round or square or somewhere in between.  Sprinkle about 1/3 of of the brown sugar mixture in the middle.  Place all the apples in the middle that will fit, sprinkling more of the sugar mixture within the pile.  Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top.  Fold the sides up, keeping some apples exposed in the middle, as in the photo.

With a pastry brush, brush top of dough with beaten egg then sprinkle with sugar. 

Place on a baking sheet, protected with parchment paper or aluminum foil (sugar mixture will ooze out).  Bake until apples and at least a little bubbly and the dough is golden, about 10+ minutes depending on how cold the dough was to start.

Golden Syrup Buttermilk Pie

 

Golden Buttermilk Pie

 
Saw an enticing-looking buttermilk pie on the website 101cookbooks.com.  Never had it. Had to make it.

What do you think, Gracie?

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Never mind.

I don't make pies too often – about once a year.  Therefore I'm not an expert, yet.  The actual dough mixing and rolling went just fine.  Prebaking, though, is tricky and I goofed it up the first time and it shrank.  Here's the great looking dough before baking…

 

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and here it is afterwards, dagnabbit (in the spirit of the reality show, Gold Rush, I feel like talkin' like a prospector now) …

 

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So my pie dun went all shrinky dink on me.  This is on a count of I didn't get this here pie dough cold enough afore bakin' it.  I went an' gave it another go with these here itty bitty pies

 

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an' put 'em in the freezer for dang near 30 minutes, which kep 'em from shrinkin' whilst they was bakin'.  

Well, bust my britches, it worked!

Yee hah!  Lookie here …

 

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Pay you no mind to the pie on the fer side there.  It ain't nowheres near as bad it looks.  They both are right near perty.  I'm a fixin' to shed me a tear.

 

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An' oh the taste o' this here pie is like … is like….

Wow, I just googled "How to talk like a prospector" for a little help, and great balls o' fire, you ain't a gonna believe this.  We just missed Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day by one week.  I think I got some kinda ESP startin' ta talk like a prospector afore I even knew they went an' made a special day just fer it.

OK I'm tired now.  Scooby doo wave.  Scooby doo wave. Scooby doo wave. I'm me again now.

Here's the recipe… I didn't have the two main ingredients (real buttermilk and maple syrup) so I adapted it greatly, therefore I changed the name from Maple Buttermilk Pie to Golden Syrup Buttermilk Pie.  Turned out terrific.  Seriously, I took one bite and I turned into an animal, with my arm moving a piece to my mouth every 2 seconds, my eyes darting to the sides to check if someone was around to take my pie.  Or to judge me.

Golden Syrup Buttermilk Pie
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from www.101cookbooks.com

MAKES 8 SERVINGS (One 9" pie)

Rye Pie Dough (makes enough for 2 single crusts – only need one for this recipe)

2/3 cup rye flour

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold
1/4 – 1/3 cup cold water

Pie Filling
zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup
2 cups buttermilk (made my own with 2 cups skim milk + 2 Tblsp white vinegar, let sit 10+ min)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract plus a squeeze of vanilla bean, if available
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

 

Pie Dough:

 

Put flours, salt, and butter in that order, in food processor.  Pulse a few times and stop when butter is in large chunks, pea-sized or larger.  Pour in 1/4 cup cold water then quickly pulse a few times. DON'T overprocess. Check the consistency – should hold together when squeezed between fingers.  At this point, I usually go ahead and add another 1 Tablespoon cold water and run a couple of seconds just to make sure it's not too dry.  Your call.

Empty dough onto a clean board, divide into two equal parts, and shape into two rounds and flatten a bit.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap or in plastic baggies.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.  When ready to roll, remove one half from refrigerator, let sit about 5-10 minutes so it's not too cold to roll out.

 

Preheat oven to 375oF with a rack in the bottom third.

 

Roll dough on floured surface (leave other in fridge a couple days or freeze, well-wrapped a few weeks or use this apple recipe with your extra pie dough).  Roll dough away from you one direction, then another direction, then flip over and keep rolling and moving and flipping in this way so dough doesn't stick to anything.  Roll to 11-12-inch inches around. 

 

Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pie dough. Trim overhang to about 1 1/2 inches of dough past the rim of the plate edge. Tuck the overhanging dough under, and crimp with a fork or your fingers. Poke the crust a few times with a fork, then place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes while you make the filling.

For filling, combine lemon zest, brown sugar, egg yolks, and flour in a medium bowl. Whisk until the flour is lump free. Gradually add the golden syrup, stirring. Add buttermilk, vanilla, vanilla bean if using, and sea salt.  Set aside or in fridge if longer than 20 minutes.

 

Pre-bake the pie shell. To do this, line with parchment paper, fill to the top with pie weights (or heavy beans or pennies), and bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the weights with parchment, and continue baking for another 10 minutes, until golden.  May want to place a pie edge protector or make-shift foil ring if edges are getting too golden too soon.  Remove to wire rack.

Lower the oven temperature to 325oF.

Let the pie shell cool completely.  When ready to bake, place on a baking sheet and fill with most of the filling. Place in oven near edge in order to pour remaining filling in shell, quickly.  Scoot to center of rack and bake until the filling is set, about an hour. Carefully remove from oven, sprinkle with sanding sugar, and cool on a rack.  Cooled pie slices cleaner than warm pie.


If making mini pies, they take the same amount of baking time for the filling.  Prebaking may take slightly less time – keep an eye on it.  I would recommend covering the edge of pie crust the entire 1 hour of baking the filling.  Peak near end and remove protector if edge needs to be more golden.

 

Baked Buffalo Wings

These are the hot wings Alyssa made this year on New Year's Day.  Delish.
 

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I got fancy with the empty Frank's RedHot bottle.

Baked Buffalo Wings
Compliments of JennaDish

from Leesah on Allrecipes.com

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
20 chicken wings
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Frank's RedHot®)

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with cooking spray. Place the flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt into a resealable plastic bag, and shake to mix. Add the chicken wings, seal, and toss until well coated with the flour mixture. Place the wings onto the prepared baking sheet, and place into the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Whisk together the melted butter and hot sauce in a small bowl. Dip the wings into the butter mixture, and place back on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and crispy on the outside, about 45 minutes. Turn the wings over halfway during cooking so they cook evenly.

 

Banoffee Cheesecake (Banana Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce)

 

Banana Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

 

 

Slice Banoffee Cheesecake

Evidently banoffee is a British term for a dessert that includes bananas, cream and toffee (we go by caramel in the U.S.).  Bananas + toffee = banoffee.  Unless Wikipedia is wrong. But I don't think so.  When I was in graduate school, we were thoroughly warned about the evil Wikipedia and how it can't be relied upon for research.  But I don't think it's a big stretch to trust that someone in England decided it would be cute to call bananas and toffee ban-offee. 

Either way – this was great.  Didn't have much of a banana taste, which I will take responsibility for.  I was supposed to use overripe bananas but I had none.  I had to buy new ones and hope they would ripen a lot overnight….

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They didn't do too bad.  These front bananas looked like the back bananas when I bought them.  To hasten the ripening process, put the bananas in a closed paper bag with an apple.  Put them in a warm place but not necessarily over an open fire, or else you'll have a flaming bag of bananas.

Did you know you can freeze bananas?  Oh yes.  Yes, you can. I toss them in the door of my fridge whole, peel and all.  Turns black.  When ready to use, just thaw on counter for 15 minutes or so and unpeel.  They will be very mushy but perfect for recipes like this one or banana bread. 

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 Wow this was close.  I think I might need a bigger food processor.

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 This was the star of the show, though.  

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The caramel sauce is made from Lyle's Golden Syrup (tastes like a thick, mellow honey) and brown sugar and butter.  Triple yum.

This is a make-the-day-before recipe because it needs to sit in the fridge overnight.  When you are ready to bake, all cold ingredients should be room temperature, so put the cream cheese out in a bowl, sans wrapper, about an hour ahead.  You can take the chill off eggs by putting them in a bowl of lukewarm water for about 10-15 minutes.

Banoffee Cheesecake
Compliments of JennaDish

from Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson

SERVES 10

for the base:
18 sheets graham crackers, crushed (for 2 1/2 cups crumbs)
6 Tablespoons soft unsalted butter

for the cheesecake:
4 overripe medium-sized bananas
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 8-ounce bars cream cheese, room temperature
6 eggs
3/4 cup (packed) plus 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar

for the caramel sauce:
7 Tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup golden syrup (such as Lyle's Golden Syrup)
1/3 cup light brown sugar

A 9-inch springform cake pan
A roasting pan, for a water bath

Preheat the oven to 325o and put a full kettle on to boil (measure amount of water you'll need for water to go 1/2 way up the round pan in your roasting pan- I need more like 2 kettles full).  Wrap the outside (underneath and sides) of your springform pan with a double layer of plastic wrap, then cover that with a double layer of aluminum foil.  (No, the plastic wrap will not melt.)  This will act as a waterproof casing to protect the cheesecake as it sits in its water bath.

Process the graham crackers (I put them in a plastic zip bag and crushed them with a rolling pin first because my current food processor doesn't do a great job with crackers) with the 6 Tablespoons of butter until you have a sandy rubble that is beginning to clump, and press into the bottom of the prepard pan.  Set this in the refrigerator and clean out, thoroughly, the processor bowl – no crumbs.

Mash the bananas well with a fork (I used a potato masher), add the fresh lemon juice, and set aside.

Process the cream cheese until smooth, then add the eggs and sugar.  Last, add the mashed bananas with lemon juice, processing until you have a smooth mixture.

Put the wrapped springform pan in the middle of the roasting pan, and pour the cheesecake filling into your springform.

Now put the roasting pan with springform into the oven and pour the recently boiled water into the roasting pan so that it comes halfway up the springform.  Cook for 1 hour and 10 minutes, checking after 1 hour.  The very center of the cheesecake should still have a hint of a wobble, but should seem set on top.  (In my oven, this took 1 hour and 15 minutes total – heed the "hint of a wobble" more than the exact time).

Remove from the oven and, still wearing your oven mitts, take the springform out of the water bath and place on a cooling rack.  Gently and carefully peel away the outside layers of plastic wrap and foil, and let the cheesecake continue cooling on the rack. (Do not unmold until after refrigerated overnight).

Put the cheesecake into the refrigerator but dont' cover it till it's fully chilled, then leave overnight – and remember to remove it from the refrigerator about 1/2 hour before you want to eat it. (Actually mine sat out only 10-15 minutes and it unmolded beautifully.)

To make the sauce, melt the butter with the golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan over a gentle heat until everything comes to a bubble, then let it bubble, keeping an eye on it for 1-2 minutes.  It will be a foamy, amber mixture like liquid honeycomb.  Then let it cool slighly before pouring into a small pitcher and leaving to cool further; it will thicken as it cools.

To help unmold the cheesecake, work a thin, flexible spatula around the top edge, before unspringing from the pan, then put it on a serving plate, preferably one with a lip.  Whisk the caramel sauce in the pitcher and drizzle some over the cheesecake, leaving the rest for people to add greedily as they eat.

Dutch Baby Pancake with Buttery Lemon Sugar Topping

 

Dutch Baby Pancake

A Dutch Baby Pancake is like having your eggs and pancake in one dish.

 

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Just blend eggs, milk, flour, salt, nutmeg, vanilla and sugar and pour into a hot skillet and bake.

 

Slice Dutch Baby Pancake

Sprinkle with butter and sugar and serve.  No syrup needed.

 

Dutch Baby Pancake
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe

Pancake:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs, room temperature (can put in bowl covered with lukewarm water 10 minutes)
3/4 cup milk (skim to whole – doesn't matter)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar

Topping:

Wedge of lemon for squeezing over top
1 tablespoon sugar (or less) for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (I used convection setting which lowers it to 400). In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet place 2 tablespoons butter in the pan and place in oven to melt.  (Don't allow it to stay in too long and burn).

In a blender, combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, vanilla, and 1/4 cup sugar. Blend about 1 minute (there should be some foam on top after you stop the blender).   Pour batter into skillet; bake until pancake is puffed and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

Working quickly, place a couple pats of butter on the pancake – as it melts, swirl it around.  Squeeze a wedge of lemon (I cut off about 1" of the endpiece so it is more stable to squeeze) over the whole pancake and sprinkle with most if not all of the sugar, as preferred.  Slice into wedges, and serve immediately.  It will be limp, so a rubber spatula will help to remove it from the pan gently, without tearing it. 

Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn

 Make Your Own Microwave PopcornMake Your Own Microwave Popcorn

 

I didn't know you could make your own microwave popcorn.  I read the recipe in an Ellie Krieger cookbook and was surprised.  Evidently it's not a well-known fact, because the first 4 people I told said they didn't know you could microwave popcorn this way either.

 

 

Microwave Popcorn

In a bowl, toss 1/4 cup popcorn kernels with 1/2 teaspoon canola oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

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Put in a paper bag, close the bag and fold the top down a few times.  Place on a microwave safe plate.

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Set microwave for 3 minutes, but stay and listen for the popping to slow to one pop per second, approximately.  Then immediately turn off the oven and remove the plate and bag with pot holders.

This is the bag flipped over – gets oily, hence the need for the plate.  But the oil is better in the bag than on the popcorn.

Remember, this popcorn comes out plain – no butter, and needing more salt.  Just like air-popped.

 

 

Spiced Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Spiced Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

 
This soup tastes great, and is one of the dishes that has helped me eat and feel full, while losing weight.

Also makes a great sauce for dry foods such as a baked potato or rice.

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Butternut Squash Apple Soup

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Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
Compliments of JennaDish

from Whole Living Magazine Jan/Feb 2012

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves and cook until tender, 6-8 minutes.  Add 1-inch grated fresh ginger (2 Tbsp), 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cardamom, and dash ground cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 

Add 2 peeled and chopped carrots, 1 peeled, quartered, and chopped tart apple, 4 cups chopped butternut squash, and 3 cups water.  Bring to a boil; cover partially and reduce to a simmer.  Season with coarse salt and pepper. 

Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly

Working in batches, puree until smooth in a blender.  Adjust seasoning, if necessary. 

Freezes well.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

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"This is the simplest of all sauces to make, and none has a purer, more irresistibly sweet tomato taste.   I have known people to skip the pasta and eat the sauce directly out of the pot with a spoon.  
– Marcella Hazan

This is true.  Delicious.  A game changer (finally!) for pasta.  So good, I even forgot to add the freshly grated cheese.  I ground some herbs de provence over it and it was wonderful.

And this is what Alyssa was doing while I was finishing up the sauce…

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Steering her new remote-controlled helicopter toward my head…

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Nice job Alyssa.

Recommended pasta with this sauce: Potato Gnocchi (prounounced like NYO' KEY).  The best gnocchi, beside homemade, that I've had is frozen.  I've had the vacuum-packed kind and it was rubbery.
UPDATE: I made this sauce a second time and tossed it with a pound of campanelle pasta which was NOT great.  If there's a lot of pasta, and the pasta has grooves in which the sauce hides to make it even worse, then the sauce is too sparse and tasteless.  You need the dish to be saucy to taste the subtleness of the butter, onion flavors.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Compliments of JennaDish

MAKES 4-6 SERVINGS

from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes,prepared as described below* OR 2 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up with their juices (I used canned, certified San Marzano tomatoes)
5 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
Salt
1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta
Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for the table

Put tomatoes in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for 45 minutes, or until the fat floats fre from the tomato.  Stir from time to time, mashing any large piece of tomato in the pan with the back of a wooden spoon.  Taste and correct for salt.  Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta.

Great the next day also.  Leftover sauce is good for supplementing other tomato-based dishes such the Cioppino I made.  Really took it up a notch.

* To blanche tomatoes, plunge tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or less.  Drain them and , as soon as they are cool enough to handle, skin them, and cut them up in coarse pieces.  Some people like to lightly cut an X in the top of the tomato before boiling, to make it easier to peel.

 

Speedy Seafood Supper

Seafood Supper
Gosh, this once-frozen seafood looks scraggly.  Looks like I defrosted it in the clothes dryer.

Speedy Seafood Soup

UPDATE:  Made it a second time when I had more daylight. No more scraggly fish.

1. This dish is meant to be quick – you know – you forgot to lay anything out.  Everything's frozen or in cans. Check.

2. Has a very nice flavored broth, but I added about 6 shakes of Frank's Hot Sauce which gave it a slight zip as a personal preference.  Check.

3.  It's supposed to serve 2-4 people.  Uh, no check here.  She must be talking about 2-4 super models.  Allen ate pretty much the whole thing.  I ate exactly 1/2 cup because I wanted him to have as much as he needed since he was going out to his men's group.  Yes, I said men's group.

4.  This photo looks absolutely nothing like the one in the Nigella Kitchen cookbook.  Hate that.  Not the first time this has happened. I suspect they do some PhotoShoping. UPDATE: I made again with fire roasted tomatoes and took a better photo. Added 3 jalapeno slices to throw in Allen's bowl.  Also added a little leftover smoked ham but won't do again because it overpowered the fish.

Next time I would double everything.  Possibly double everything except the fish – could do 1.5 times the fish and add some very small pasta, like ditalini.  Also would use something other than diced tomatoes.  UPDATE: Fire-roasted tomatoes helped.

Mop up the juices with crusty bread.

Speedy Seafood Supper
Compliments of JennaDish

SERVES TWO

adapted from Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson

pinch saffron threads
1 cup freshly boiled water
4 teaspoons garlic flavored oil (I used olive oil and sauteed a smashed clove of garlic)
6 scallions (didn't have it – sprinkled about 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes and sauteed lightly w garlic)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon (or dill or dried basil)
1/2 cup vermouth or dry white wine
14-ounce diced tomatoes (fire-roasted adds more depth of flavor)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt, or to taste
1 pound frozen mixed seafood (I used 5-6 oz. each bay scallops, medium shrimp, cod fillet)
pepper, to taste
fresh herbs, to serve (optional)
Frank's Hot sauce (optional)

Put the saffron threads in a bowl and add 1 cup freshly boiled water.

Warm the garlic flavored oil in a wide, shallow, heavy-based pan over a medium heat, and fry the scallions and dried tarragon for a minute or so. (I used my old, not-so-heavy, stainless steel dutch oven – worked just fine).

Add the vermouth (or wine) and let bubble for a minute, then add the saffron in its yellow water, followed by the tomatoes, and let it all come to a boil.  Add half the amount of salt specified above.

Turn up the heat to high (or medium high like I did) add the frozen seafood, and bring the pan back to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and cook at a robust simmer till the seafood is hot and cooked through, which should be 3 or 4 minutes.

Season with pepper to taste, and add the rest of the salt if required, sprinkle with any available herbs, if you feel like it, and serve, for pleasurable mopping, with some crusty bread. (I sprinkled fresh parsley and did not like it – not necessary.)

 

Cuban Cure Black Bean Soup


Cuban Black Bean Soup w Text

I was attracted to this Cuban Cure Black Bean Soup recipe in Nigella Christmas because of Nigella's remarks about why you'd make this during the holidays.  Here's her narrative:

This is the perfect antidote to an evening soured by too much office-party wine.
A clanging head finds solace in fire and fat, and this bean stew of a soup provides both,
with ease and speed.

I, of course, altered it because I didn't have all the exact ingredients, but close.  So mine is what I would call the healthier version. Plus I wanted to double it to make enough for leftovers. My favorite part is the fresh squeeze of a lime right on top of the soup just before taking a bite.  It's a very different taste for me – the coupling of a fresh fruit zest with a hearty bean and meat dish. 

So I'm publishing the original recipe first, then my version. Mine turned out very, very good, but I also want to make the original version to get that "fire and fat" effect from the sausage. The directions are the original, but with my notes in italics. 

Goes great with some bakery fresh bread.

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NOTE:  I used an immersion blender in the pan to cream some of the beans and tomatoes.  The outcome was ugly bean bits, no effect on the diced tomatoes, and a greyish colored broth.  Plus after serving a test bowl to Allen, he preferred more beans, so a 3rd can went in, which may or may not have been necessary had I not blended the beans. 

ANOTHER NOTE:  I was worried there wasn't going to be enough taste, with cumin as the only spice.  However, chorizo style meat will absolutely make up the rest of the flavor – whether sausage or chicken.

Cuban Cure Black Bean Soup
Compliments of JennaDish

From Nigella Lawson's recipe from Nigella Christmas

SERVES 2

1/4 lb chorizo sausage (not the salami sort)
2 scallions
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
15 oz can black beans, drained
Fresh tomato
2 cups good quality cartoned or canned chicken broth/stock
juice of 1 lime, or to taste (or packaged lime juice)
2-4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Cuban Black Bean Soup
Compliments of JennaDish

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe from Nigella Christmas

SERVES 4

2-3 links chicken chorizo sausages (about 6-10 ounces)
3 teaspoons bacon fat or shortening
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2-3 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can crushed (or diced) tomatoes
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth
1-2 limes cut in fat wedges
2-4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or 2 teaspoons dried cilantro for sprinkling)

Cut the chorizo sausage into slices roughly 1/8 inch thick.  Then cut each coin in half or quarters as you wish. 

Cook the chorizo pieces in a dry saucepan for about 5 minutes, or until they give up their orange oil and crisp up a little.  Remove them with a slotted spatula to a bowl or plate.

Cut off the green parts of the scallions and reserve for slicing later, then finely slice the white part and add this to the pan slicked with orange oil (this is where I added the bacon fat since my chicken chorizo left no fat in the pan), along with the ground cumin, stirring everything together for a couple of minutes over a gentle heat.

Empty the drained black beans into the pan and roughly chop the tomato, adding the pieces – peel, seeds and all (I added the canned tomatoes) – along with the chicken broth.  Stir the pan and let it simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Ladle the soup into 2 bowls; add the reserved chorizo pieces, then give each bowl a good squirt of lime juice (I served with lime wedges to squirt bite by bite) and sprinkle with the finely sliced green part of the scalions and some chopped cilantro.