Thursday, November 20, 2014

Traditional Cuban Black Bean Soup

Photo courtesy of Heather Homemade

16 oz. Frijoles Negros, dried black beans
Bay leaf
Olive oil
4 cloves garlic
I Spanish or yellow onion
1 green pepper
1 ½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ cup dry white wine

Soak beans overnight in 4 cups water. Drain and rinse. Cook beans in 8 cups water with bay leaf and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium low, cover and simmer for one hour or beans are tender.

In the meantime press garlic into a little bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt mashed together, set aside. Then make a soffritto by frying (sautéing) chopped onions, garlic mixture, chopped green pepper, cumin, oregano, black pepper, sautéing until onions are translucent.

Add to cooked beans and simmer 15 minutes uncovered or until soup thickens. Add sugar, vinegar and white wine toward the end. Remove from stove, let cool slightly, puree half of the soup in a blender and add back to the soup. Heat through and serve with fresh chopped onion and fresh lime over white rice. Be careful of the brand of white rice. Asian white rice has been tested high in lead. I like to use American long grain white rice cooked in chicken broth with butter, salt and pepper.

Disfrútate de la comida

This recipe was inspired by Nydia's Kitchen.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Wild Blackberry Pie

Natalie won "Best Berry Picker!"
Berry Pie on the Fourth of July! The only thing better than summer time berry pickin' in the mountains is getting to eat the pie.

4 cups of berries
1/4 cup minute tapioca
1 cup organic sugar
1Tbsp. lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of cardamon
1 Tbsp. organic unsalted butter
2 pie crusts

Mix fruit, tapioca, sugar, lemon juice and spices in large bowl and let stand for 15 minutes. Fill pie crust of your choice with fruit mixture. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust, seal and flute edge. Cut several slits in crust. Bake in preheated 400º oven 45-50 minutes or until juices form bubbles that burst slowly. Cool until set.

Natalie and Jamie fresh from the field

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nettle Stracciatella Soup

This recipe is a variation of the Stracciatella Italian egg drop soup, which is popular around Rome and southeastern Italy. Stracciatella is a term used for different types of Italian food including this soup. The addition of spinach and in this case nettles is an American variation. This was adapted from a recipe handed down to me through the Italian side of my children’s family. It is warm, fragrant and nourishing - especially with nettles!

2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups chopped fresh young nettles
1 sweet onion thinly sliced
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (plus additional for serving)
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons lemon zest
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper or to taste

Heat broth with salt, pepper and marjoram in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add onion and simmer until tender, just a couple of minutes. Add chopped nettles, cheese and stir. Simmer covered for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together eggs, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Slowly add this to the soup while whisking and cook until egg is set, just a couple of minutes. Serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese.

Harvesting young Wood Nettle in late Spring
Photos by Marion Z. Skydancer, ©2014
featuring Jamie MacLeod, Thea Summer Deer & Kaleo Wheeler