Friday, December 8 - what's on your plates (or in your bowls)?

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Executive Chef
Nov 21, 2018
Woodbury, NJ
I took a break from making cookie dough, and made a delicious recipe today, that was definitely one of those "random recipes". I wasn't sure what I was going to make, just started with cooking some diced up bacon (just put a bunch in the freezer today, and took out the oldest, to use it) slowly in the Instant Pot. I chopped up a large onion, the last carrot in one bag, two stalks of celery, and two green bell peppers I'd had for a while. And I chopped up the last Swiss chard I had - about 3 c chopped up. That was about the last of the older veggies from the fridge (still have those two bok choy, but they look like I just picked them yesterday!), but next I checked my bean pantry, and found that one half jar of Rancho Gordo, labeled Christmas Lima Beans, so I used the end of those. After the bacon was almost crisp, I removed it to a PT on a plate, then cooked the onion first, followed by the other chopped veggies on the high sauté mode, then added about a tb of minced garlic and a couple tb of red miso - the umami flavor in this, along with the mushrooms later. I added about a half tb of thyme, a tb of smoked paprika, and 3/4 tsp of ground cloves, plus 5 fresh bay leaves - the creole/cajun seasoning I was thinking of. I also put in a tsp of turmeric, though the flavor is not noticeable here. For heat, I added about 3/8 tsp crushed datil pepper - the end of the jar, so I also put at least 2 tsp crushed morita peppers, which I figured would add more smoky flavor, with the bacon and also added a generous amount of heat! I put about 6 c of water in with the veggies, then added the bacon and the beans, salted not quite to taste (added more later), then closed the lid, and set the IP to BEANS, when it defaults to 30 minutes, where I left it - usually, other beans cook faster, but these were a little old, and large, and this worked perfectly, when the pressure released in 18 min.

Meanwhile, I cooked a half lb of mushrooms my usual way - steam them, boil off the water, then brown them in a small amount of oil, then deglaze the pan, to get most of that flavor from the browning. This got added to the beans, when those were done, then, since it had quite a bit of liquid, and the lima beans weren't going to absorb any more, I added 1/3 c each quinoa, and moong dal - the kind I use with the skins still on, but split, so they still absorb water quickly. I also added the mushrooms, and the small amount of liquid, and I salted to taste, this time, added a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, and sealed the lid again, and set to just 8 minutes, and let the pressure release naturally. This thickened it just enough, and it turned out really good.
IMG_20231208_190352 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Finished browned mushrooms. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Finished creole/cajun type soup. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Still not recovered from the C19 and no spare spoons, so we ordered burgers from a resto called Notre-Boeuf-de-Grace. They used to be really good. They are still pretty good, but they are increasing prices in sneaky ways. This time, they added $3 to all the regular sides. So, the fries and tater tots that used to be included cost $3 and everything else was $3 more. There was an option for no side, but the fries were pre-chosen and the "no side" option was hiding. They have also gotten skimpy with the toppings. I know that prices for food have gone up, but they have already increased prices a couple of times since the start of the pandamnit.
This is not frozen but fresh. Bought in early November, best before mid-December. Had it last night and is very tasty.

20231209_070911.jpg Maybe not the cheapest meal but considering
1. the lengthy shelf life and
2. a tear open package,
3. open pasta,
4. place in provided dish,
5. open very generous sauce, spread over pasta and
6. hit the minute button 3 times, then I stirred, and hit the minute button one more time...
7. Done! I let it rest another minute and
8. Eat! is a meal I will repeat. The mushroom/sausage sauce was excellent! Had one Fork to wash!
Who says... "How easy is that!"
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