Sunday, April 3, 2011

If you know of something that smells better than the aroma of roasted onions and bay leaves in the kitchen, I'd sure like to know what it is! Thought I'd post the rest of the recipes for this past week while I was waiting for my supper to get done. I went back to an old standby I've been doing for the past few years, a Sicilian recipe for chicken leg quarters (also works great with lamb chops) that you throw together and roast in the oven. Even if you're not particularly hungry once you've put it in, you will be by the time ti's been in there for the first half hour and the aroma is making you feel like Pavlov's dog times three! And if we get the streaming back up by show time on Monday (12-1PM PST) I'll give the recipe. If not, I'll post it on here next week as I'm playing some serious catch-up from this week's show.
It hasn't happened yet, but I'm hoping the next big thing in party fare will be panelle, a type of polenta made from chickpea flour and fried in olive oil that has been a popular snack in Sicily forever. Sicilians love their fried foods from the worldwide favorite, French Fries, to their own inventions like Arancini and Panelle.
3 cups chickpea flour (available in health food or middle eastern markets)
5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil for frying

Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.
Off heat, put water in large sauce pan and whisk in chickpea flour slowly to avoid lumps.
Over medium-high heat, stir in salt, pepper and parsley. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and comes away from the sides of the pan. Add more slat if desired to taste.
Immediately pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly with dampened spatula to the thickness of 1/4 inch. Let cool completely.
Cut into 4x3 inch rectangles and fry in hot (but not smoking) olive oil turning as they become golden brown. Transfer to paper towels, sprinkle with salt and serve while hot.

The last recipe for last week's show is for slow cooker baked beans.
When I started to cook lots of new things from scratch, I, like many other people, stashed the crock-pot. No longer interested in the many atrocities that came from the modern day cauldron of evil, we turned to fresh ingredients, shunning the sodium-laden cans of condensed soups the seemed to find their way into every slow cooker recipe. But I think after some time, that a lot of us started to realize that the vessels themselves weren't desecrated so much as the abominations that we were putting into them. So we've come full-circle and started spending way too much on the newest models and started purchasing books like Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker.
This recipe is based on one that I got from my mother. Yes, it contains canned beans which you may not-just-as-easily cook from dried. Up to you. I actually cooked and froze dried beans keeping them in marked packages in the freezer just for this recipe.
1-15 oz can Great Northern beans
1-15 oz can pinto beans
1-15 oz can black eyed peas
1-15 oz can green peas
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed (or try substituting maple syrup)
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 pound bacon, chopped
salt to taste
Drain beans and peas well and mix with other ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Be creative and use other kinds of beans. Of course, the bacon may be omitted making this a vegan recipe.

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