Saturday, April 13, 2019

Black Bean Soup


The wife and I do a lot of meatless days during Lent.  But there is only so much pizza, pancakes, and tuna fish sandwiches you can have.  SO we started looking into making some high protein vegetarian soups and stews.  After a few tweaks to some black bean soup recipes, this is our current go to.  We do it in the Instant Pot, which makes it fast enough she can turn on the pressure when I leave work and we're eating by the time I get home.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp canola (or another vegetable) oil
  • 1 medium onion - diced
  • 1 large carrot - diced
  • 1 bell pepper - diced
  • 2 stalks celery - diced
  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 5 cloves of garlic - minced
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp oregano
  • 1tsp kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • juice from one lemon
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer)
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Goyo Mojo Criollo*
Instructions

  1. Set Instant Pot to saute.  Add oil, onion, carrot, pepper, and celery and saute until onions turn clear.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and lock lid. 
  3. Cook on high pressure for 1 hour
  4. Let natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then you may rapidly release pressure.
  5. Scoop out half of the beans and set aside.
  6. Take a stick blender and process remaining soup in the pot until smooth. Return saved beans to pot and stir in.
  7. Serve and enjoy


* - This isn't required but I found it added a lot of good flavors.  If you don't have on hand, you can replace with water.



Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Buffalo Chicken Stew

Whenever my folks are coming into town and we're not sure when they will get in, we like to have a meal that can be made ready and sit in waiting for guests to arrive.  For the past several visits, this has been the meal requested.  Paired with a hearty loaf of bread, this hits all the pleasure points of eating, a bit spicy, plenty savory, with some smooth creamy bits worked in.  This is based on a recipe found HERE and was originally designed for the crockpot.  That worked great, but we made some minor adjustments so you can Instant Pot it.

Ingredients

  • 1.25-pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 15 oz canned white beans (navy beans generally but anything on hand), drained and rinsed
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (I like 1/2 cup, but if you have non-spicy guests go lower)
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • Blue cheese crumbles optional

Instructions

  1. Brown ground poultry until fully cooked in Instant Pot on Saute setting
  2. Add remaining ingredients except for blue cheese. Leave the cream cheese in a block on top, it will get stirred in later.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes
  4. Natural release pressure and stir well to combine cream cheese
  5. Served with a sprinkling of blue cheese on top


Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Cowboy Song - Ukulele Chords




At the end of Joe vs the Volcano, Joe (played by Tom Hanks) strums this fun and simple song on the ukulele.  I've read They wanted something Mr. Hanks could easily play on his own, and given it only two chords I'd say they nailed it.  I've seen this written out in a few different keys, but this is the version I play because it's a) easy and b) I think what they played in the movie.