Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Black Bean Soup (p. 133) and Tomato Meat Sauce (p. 563)

So...hmm...well...I've been a terrible blogger! You've placed your faith in me and I haven't been blogging. Do I have any excuses? Of course--but they aren't good enough (I've been sick, in Mexico, and worried that my boyfriend's cancer that was previously in remission might be back). What's worse? That I have several recipes that I cooked, took pictures of, and didn't blog about!!

So I'm going to double blog today. But what do you have to look forward to? THANKSGIVING! The holiday that is ALL about EATING! My mom is in charge of the turkey, gravy, and pumpkin pie, but she's undergoing chemo for colorectal cancer and can't finish the meal. So I'm making mashed potatoes, candies sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, a vanilla cream meringue, and the stuffing. How exciting is that!!

So, you know, I had the beans that had been soaking, to be made into Black Bean Soup (p. 133). As a holder of a meat science degree, I couldn't make my soup vegetarian, although it easily could be. I used salt-pork, which is like a chunk of bacon. I also put ham into the soup, which made it more hardy. With some cheese on the top and some Ritz crackers--it makes one hellava meal! But be forewarned--it makes a TON of soup. Be ready to eat it with a lot of people or you will have a bunch left over. Since I'm the only person in the house who likes beans, I ate this for days, but it was really good.

One big warning. When you drain the beans, you're supposed to reserve the juices. Well...whoops! Still worked though! I added a little of my homemade chicken stock to flesh the flavor out a little.

The celery, onion, carrots, spices browning nicely:

 doesn't LOOK like black bean soup yet...although the black pork is a little creepy looking...

What a difference 3 hours makes! It really helps if you have a normal sized food processor too...

In real life, it looks much less like mud :)

Since I was in a cooking mood, I also made Tomato Meat Sauce (p. 563). Of course, I knew from the start that white-bread TJOC probably isn't the end all of Italian cooking. That being said, this sauce was pretty good. I used salt-pork for it, instead of bacon or pancetta, because I had it left over from the black bean soup. It was very tasty--like cracklings in your sauce! The sauce is very tomato-y because of the whole tomatoes. I recommend it--I think it will freeze well. Of course, that would be a lot more helpful if we weren't cursed with the world's smallest freezer...

My one problem with that the recipe required 1 T of tomato paste...what the heck am I supposed to do with the rest of the can???

Browning the beef and salt-pork in olive oil...YUM!

Mmmm...smells great! And super easy...

The finished product--ready to go in the freezer (the picture looks like you are going to dive right in!):

1 comment:

  1. I guess by now (I'm reading your blog in order so I'm reading stuff from 2007 or something) you probably know you can buy tomato paste in tubes if you go to European food supply stores or gourmet markets...


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