Sunday, November 28, 2010

Menu Sunday

This evening finds me thankful for the holiday break but a bit relieved to get back in the swing of more-scheduled things - although the bustle of the Christmas season does make things cheerier!

Flying to visit family for Thanksgiving means no leftovers in our fridge, so we're starting fresh this week...

Sunday: Jan's Nine Bean Soup
- recipe below

Monday: Black Bean & Chicken Burritos
- courtesy of Cooking Light

TuesdayAlmond Encrusted Tilapia 
- with cous cous and broccolini 

Wednesday: Springy Veggie Shells w/ Rotisserie Chicken
- modified from Pioneer Woman

Thursday: Maggie's Chicken Cashew Chili
- a la The Freckled Citizen / Gourmet


Since we didn't plan a menu last week, I shall share tonight's supper... mi madre's Nine Bean Soup.  Evs has already had three helpings.  I tried to warn him that a huge bowl-o-beans x3 might lead to some, ummmm, "rumbly" tummies later in the evening but he paid me no mind. {Let's see whose laughing at 3 AM, shall we?}
He proclaimed this to be "the absolute best thing" I've ever cooked for him.  As someone who loves to cook and feels as if she has some decent culinary skills, I'm a tad offended.  But the man has the taste buds of an eleven year old, so I'll let it slide.  

Plus? This is damn good soup... wholesome, filling, and tasty... perfect for a chilly evening... and freezes well!  What more could you ask for on a late November Sunday?

Jan's Original Recipe from the Chi Omega Cookbook...
(click to enlarge)

Kate's Modifications...

Note:  I went to three grocery stores, including the fancy-shmancy one, and there was nary a hamhock to be found (neither at the butcher counter, nor in the freezer section).  The only thing I scored was a pack of bones to make beef stock... and there wasn't a lick of meat on those suckers.  I did simmer those in the soup - and I'm sure I got some flavor from the marrow - but the addition of the bacon was the flavor clincher here! If you can find a good hamhock with meat still clinging to the bone, go hog wild with that baby a la Jan!  If not... a little bacon never hurt anyone, right?

- 2.5 cups of mixed beans; soaked overnight, rinsed, and drained
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 or 4 pieces of thickly sliced, center cut bacon; chopped (or 1 hamhock)
- 3 roasted Hatch chiles (or 1 can); diced
- 1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1 box beef stock (4 cups)
- 2-3 cups water
- 1 cup barley
- salt & pepper to taste

Heat bacon over medium heat in a stock pot or large Dutch oven.  Once bacon fat coats bottom surface area, add onions and garlic - sauteeing until onions begin to caramelize.  Add Hatches and tomatoes - sauteeing until frangrant - about 2 minutes.  Stir in beans.  Add beef stock and 2 additional cups of water.  

Bring to a boil, then adjust heat to Low and simmer, covered, for an hour - stirring occasionally.  Add barley, replace lid, and simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour, adding additional cup of water if needed.  

Enjoy with cornbread and cold slices of extra sharp (Tillamook!) cheddar! 


  1. Most stores in more urban neighborhoods and meat markets will have hamhocks. I can't find a hamhock in Milwaukee suburbs either, not that I eat them.

  2. I use smoked turkey legs in place of ham hocks in my collard greens...maybe you will have luck with that. Usually comes 2 in a pachage so I freeze one. Great taste with a lot less fat.


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