Sunday, February 6, 2011

ChowChow & Elvis

If you haven't been able to tell, we've done a lot of eating this week.  Like lots lots.  There's been lots of experimental cooking since the store has been out of so much which has led to some really remarkable meals!  I thought I'd share a couple of recipes that really made us ooh and ahh.  My apologies for no 'in progress' photos but they are really so simple, you shouldn't need more photos!

Also, let me disclaim that I'm a non-measuring cook and I NEVER follow a recipe the same way twice.  That being said, take these recipes and make them your own!  Have fun with cooking!

First up?  Black Bean Stew
1) Soak dry black beans in about 6 cups of water for 6-8 hours.  I've not soaked my beans before and let me tell you, it does make a difference to do so!
2)  After 6-8 hours, rinse soaking beans and add about 6 cups of water back to the pot with the beans.  Let them cook on low heat for about 1 1/2 hours.  At this point, I also added a teaspoon or so of bacon drippings  for flavoring :)
3) Here's where you can be inventive!  I had a can of corn which I drained and added to a separate bowl.  I also had a can of stewed tomatoes so I took out each tomato slice and diced them up and added to the corn. I also added salt, pepper, a dash of parsley, a bit of chili powder and Tabasco sauce to taste.  
4) Meanwhile, I took half of a smoked sausage (I'll be using the other half for another recipe this week) and cut it into small pieces.  I prefer to brown my sausages before adding them to other mixtures so I did so in a neighboring skillet.  Once this was cooked, I added it to the corn/tomato mixture and stirred all together.  
5) After the initial 1 1/2 hours of the beans cooking in the water, I added the tomato mixture and let it cook for an additional 30 min - 1hr.
 Now, let me tell you about chowchow.  At a 'craft' show at my grandmother's retirement center last year I bought a canned jar of chowchow.  Every little ol lady there went crazy over just the mention of the stuff so I had to buy a jar for a few bucks.  I felt like I lost some Okie points for not knowing about it!

My grandma and her friends kept saying they would eat it with brown beans so I thought, what better time to pull out that dusty jar and put this stuff to the test!?!  Alone the smell was pretty, uh, strong.  Very pickled.  But when a bit of it is shared with a bite of your beans, the taste is PERFECT.  I was shocked.  And now I'm addicted.  I even had it for breakfast this morning :)
 I know you must be asking yourself now, What's for dessert?  Well, Elvis Cookies, of course!  I've learned they are called that because Elvis' favorite combination was peanut butter and bananas!  A man after my own heart!  
1) Preheat your oven to 350
2) In a bowl (I used my mixer bowl) mix the following (I did my measurements by eyeballing so these obviously don't have to be exact measurements):
*about a cup of butter, softened
*2 cups brown sugar
*1 cup white sugar
*1 1/2 cups peanut butter 
*2 tsp vanilla
*then add 2-3 ripe bananas (I added 2)
*since I only had 2 bananas and my consistency seemed off, I added one egg at this point.
MIX until there few lumps.

3) In another bowl mix the following:
*2 1/2 cups flour
*1/2 tsp baking powder

4) Slowly mix in the flour mixture to the banana mixture.  Mix well.  
 5) Drop balls of dough on cookie sheets, making sure there is adequate space between each so they have room to grow!
6) After a dozen or so, I added chocolate chips to the batter :)  My batch made about 3 dozen large cookies.
7) Cook each batch for 10-13 minutes.  I kept having to put mine back in so just keep checking on them!
 Finally, PIG OUT!


  1. Hi there, your mom just sent me over and I had such fun browsing through your blog. You are just as creative as your mom.


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