THE ROLLING STONES – Jumpin’ Jack Flash Fried Shrimp

CLASSIC ROCK BANDS RECIPE #20

THE ROLLING STONES

JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH FRIED SHRIMP

 

We’ve done just about all the super groups now except The Stones so it’s their turn now.  We get to use one of their most well-known song titles and a technique used by a lot of Asian chefs and familiar to most of us.  Flash frying is very similar to deep frying so a lot of you may be questioning me on this as I’ve shied away from that on a number of blog posts so far.  I am not using a batter for this recipe although you certainly could for flash frying.  Shrimp taste really great when infused with oil and they don’t allow much to penetrate the flesh due to their texture.  This is a very simple recipe that has a lot of Spanish origins, but I think you will agree it makes a great appetizer or part of a main course.

Yeah, The Stones, man.  Everything about them says cool.  Contemporaries and rivals to the Beatles in the 60’s, superstars of the 70’s, enduring the awful 80’s, and continuing beyond to give us so many decades of great music.  Sticky Fingers remains as one of the greatest rock album of all time in my opinion.  So many of their studio albums were so special.  The Stones will always have their own identity and deserve a spot on the Mount Rushmore of Classic Rock.

Flash frying requires an oil with a smoking point.  Grapeseed oil has the highest of all commercial oils available in local supermarkets.  It is a lot more expensive than canola or vegetable blends but if you want to get this right that’s what you should use.  An electric frying pan is also used to gauge the correct temperature to cook as in deep frying.  Not everyone has that appliance either so be careful.  Shrimp cook very fast so working in batches is never a bad idea as they are also delicate, and you never want to over fry them.  I’ve kicked them up a bit to match the Jumpin’ Jack title with a bit of Spanish flavoring.  We know Mick and Keith et. al. would love that.

 

 

THE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. Large Shrimp (16-20 ct.), peeled and deveined, tails left on if desired

½ cup All-purpose Flour

½ TBSP Hot Paprika

½ TSP Garlic Powder

1 TSP Fine Sea Salt

½ TSP Ground Black Pepper

Grapeseed Oil for frying

½ Lemon

1 TBSP Italian Parsley, finely chopped

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash the Shrimp before using and pat dry with paper towels
  2. On a plate spread the Flour out and season with the Paprika, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper. Mix thoroughly until blended.
  3. Coat each Shrimp in the Flour mixture and set aside on another plate while the Oil heats.
  4. In a heavy, high sided frying pan heat 2 inches of Oil on high until it reaches 350 degrees F
  5. Working in batches if necessary fry the Shrimp for 1 minute until just pink and remove from the pan with a splotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate or tray
  6. After all the Shrimp are fried and drained a bit move them to a serving plate or bowl and squeeze the Lemon juice all over them. Garnish with the chopped Parsley and serve hot.

 

 

WINE PAIRING:  A crisp White Wine or Beer would be excellent choices, but my personal recommendation is a nice Sherry from Spain like an Amontillado for instance.  I think that would be the best compliment if serving these as an appetizer which I also recommend.

 

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER – Chili Con Karn Evil 9

CLASSIC ROCK BANDS RECIPE #19

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER

CHILI CON KARN EVIL 9

 

It’s Super Bowl week and even if you are not that into the game almost everyone loves a good gathering for the event.  And no Super Bowl Party would be complete without a classic version of America’s favorite southwestern dish, chili con carne.  Con carne simply means “with meat” and we won’t skimp on that.  Karn Evil 9 is a selection of music from ELP that most people are familiar with the 2nd Impression.  There is no such thing as 9 Alarm Chili, but I do have a ladder of suggestions of how you can increase the spice and heat content from the basic recipe.

I find myself listening to Emerson Lake & Palmer much more in the past few years than I did in my youth.  Seventies Progressive Rock is a lot of what interests me lately.  ELP are one of the pioneers and biggest names of the genre.  Carl Palmer has always been my favorite percussionist, but I’ve really zoned in on Greg Lake’s influence on the band including his prior work with King Crimson.  One of my great regrets is to have never had the pleasure to see this trio in concert and now that Keith Emerson has left us that will never happen.  ELP remain one of the driving forces in blending Classical music and Rock together and their work has had a tremendous effect on my understanding of the great composers like Mussorgsky and Copland.

This is a basic chili recipe with ground beef and kidney beans as the focus.  I recommend using pure chili powder such as ancho chili powder which is very mild.  It’s obviously more expensive so if your budget is a little tighter please use your basic brand chili powder.  If you want to increase the heat use some chipotle powder to blend with the ancho chili powder depending on how spicy you like your chili.  Chipotle packs quite a punch so be careful.  I have a lot of suggestions among the ingredients ranging from adding Jalapeno or Serrano chili peppers which are very hot.  There is nothing hotter than a Habanero chili or chili powder as far as you can purchase from your basic grocer.  There are plenty of chilies from India that are even hotter but only available at specialized stores and not relevant here.  Please be careful my fellow Gringos when adding very hot peppers and powders to spice up your chili.  We want you in good spirits for your Super Bowl party and your guests happy.  Serve this chili and your friends will sure to be back.

 

 

THE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS:

3 TBSP Olive Oil

3 lbs. Ground Beef

2 large Yellow Onions, peeled and finely chopped

3 15 oz. cans Crushed Tomatoes

4 15 oz. cans Red Kidney Beans

3 TBSP Pure Chili Powder (* see note)

1 ½ TBSP Ground Cumin

1 TBSP dried Mexican Oregano

2 TSP Salt

1 TSP Ground Black Pepper

1 TBSP Cocoa Powder (optional)

¼ to 1 TSP Cayenne Powder (optional)

1 to 8 Jalapeno or Serrano Chili Peppers, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

1 or 2 Habanero Chili Peppers, seeded and finally chopped (optional)

1/8 to 1 TSP Habanero Chili Powder (optional)

A few or many drops Hot Sauce (optional)

6 cups Beef Stock or Water

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large, 8 qt stock pot heat the Oil on medium
  2. Add the Ground Beef and start breaking apart with a large wooden spoon
  3. Add the Onions and fry together until the meat is browned
  4. Add the Tomatoes and stir together to allow the juices to sink into the meat and onions for a minute or two
  5. Add the Beans and give a few good stirs to blend everything together
  6. Add the Chili Powder, Cumin, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, and any additional ingredients you wish to use and give everything a good stir several times for another minute or two
  7. Add the Stock or Water and raise heat to high and bring to a boil
  8. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking till most of the liquid is absorbed and chili has the consistency you desire. About 2 hours.

 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS; Serve over plain white rice in bowls topped with shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese, chopped red onions, hot sauce, and/or chopped Jalapeno peppers

 

WINE PAIRING:  Yes, you can drink wine with chili but c’mon man nothing goes better than a cold BEER no matter how hot or mild you serve it.  Grab your favorite brew and have a second helping for the big game.

 

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – Cadillac Ranch Fries

CLASSIC ROCK BANDS RECIPE #18

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

CADILLAC RANCH FRIES

OVEN ROASTED, SEASONED POTATO FRIES WITH RANCH DRESSING ON THE SIDE

 

OK New Jersey this one’s for you.  Our hometown hero is up next.  The ever-popular side dish, the French fry, as we call it in The States is the perfect compliment to the universally adored Bruce Springsteen.  The challenge for us is to conceive the Cadillac version.  Ranch seasoning is very delicious and easy to replicate, and I’ve included a homemade recipe for Ranch dressing to dip your fries.  We cut our potatoes big and bold with accessories just like your grandpa’s Cadillac you remember as a kid.  Thus, we have our Cadillac Ranch Fries.

Rarely will I deep fry so the name French fries is doubly misleading.  You could use a deep fryer for this recipe, but I prefer to roast in the oven for the taste and for health reasons.  In either case the trick with preparing potatoes is to try to get as much moisture out as possible.  Potatoes have a lot of water in them.  Use paper towels and allow them to dry out a bit before roasting.  To save time you can buy frozen fried potatoes in which case you would opt to bake instead of roast as these would have been previously fried or roasted.  Season after you bake but you won’t get the same taste as it will not penetrate the same way if you use fresh Russet Potatoes.  Any way you choose to do these fries will still be like … sooooooo Bossssssssssss!!!

 

 

THE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS:

3 lbs. Russet Potatoes, peeled or skin left on if desired

2 TSP Dried Dill Weed

2 TSP Dried Parsley

½ TSP Ground Thyme

1 TSP Onion Powder

1 TSP Garlic Powder

1 TSP Fine Sea Salt

½ TSP Ground Black Pepper

Olive Oil for coating

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the potatoes into large strips/wedges to resemble steak fries in shape. Dry with paper towels and let rest for moisture to evaporate.
  2. Make the seasoning. Combine Parsley, Dill, Thyme, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper in a small bowl.  Mix until blended.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  5. Coat the potato fries with a little Olive Oil. Sprinkle evenly with the seasoning and place in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  6. Roast until edges start to brown and potatoes are crispy. About 25 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately with Ranch dressing on the side for dipping

 

RANCH DRESSING FOR DIPPING:

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup Buttermilk

½ cup Mayonnaise

½ cup Sour Cream

1 TBSP White Wine Vinegar

¼ cup finely chopped Yellow Onion

1 Garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

1 TBSP finely chopped Italian Parsley leaves

2 TSP chopped Dill

Fine Sea Salt, to taste

Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

¼ Cayenne Powder or a few drops of Tabasco Sauce (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small to medium bowl and whisk together until blended together
  2. Serve in small dishes or one large dish with a spoon

 

WINE PAIRING:  This is as universal a dish as you are going to get from me.  Anything you feel like drinking will work.  I think Bruce would appreciate you popping a cold one on his behalf so if you want a recommendation have yourself your favorite brand of Beer and then have yourself another.  I know I would.

LED ZEPPELIN – Bougaewythe Stew

CLASSIC ROCK BANDS RECIPE #17

LED ZEPPELIN

BOUGAEWYTHE STEW

A TRADITIONAL, YET UNORDINARY, LAMB STEW

 

I’ve been saving this one for a while.  The mighty Led Zeppelin.  The kings of Classic Rock N Roll.  Most people’s favorite all time band … and mine, too.  This recipe comes from the song, Boogie With Stu, from the album, Physical Graffiti, which is really a cover of the Ritchie Valens’ tune from the fifties, Ooh My Head.  So, we get to merge the name together to create our mythical land of Bougaewythe which would ever make J.R.R. Tolkien smile.  Well maybe George R.R. Martin anyway.

The poetic licenses not withstanding we also have full creativity on how to construct our stew.  Once again, I am very partial to lamb as the perfect stew meat especially if our beloved Bougaewythe exists somewhere in the British Isles or Ireland.  I like a more rustic stew that Sam might have made for Frodo one night under the stars, yet we add a few delicacies that a king like Aragorn or a lord such as Ned Stark might have fancied.  On the rustic side I include potatoes and turnips except that instead of a white turnip we use the more tasteful rutabaga.  I also include cream sherry which you don’t find many chefs use in their recipes.  I like the flavor it gives but you can use any type of sherry you want.  And of course, the very upscale inclusion of the porcini mushroom which you find in many Italian stews that is definitely a luxury item.  All in all, this is a very personalized dish perfect for a fictitious place that only exists in its creator’s imagination.  If I ever do start the adult fantasy novel I’ve been planning a lot of Bougaewythe shall be revealed.  Wherever it exists.

 

 

THE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS:

½ oz. dried Porcini Mushrooms

¼ cup Olive Oil, divided

2 lbs. Lamb shoulder, cut into pieces

Kosher or coarse Sea Salt, to taste

Fresh cracked Black Pepper, to taste

1 medium Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped

2 large Carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks

12 oz. Dutch Yellow Baby Potatoes, washed, cut in half if necessary, and peeled if desired

1 medium Rutabaga, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

4 oz. sliced Cremini Mushrooms

3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped

½ cup Cream Sherry. Sherry, Tawny Port, or Madeira

4 cups Lamb or Beef Stock

1 TBSP Rosemary leaves, finely chopped

1 TBSP Thyme leaves, finely chopped

1 cup fresh or frozen Peas, at room temperature

Fresh Mint leaves torn for garnish,

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, place the dried Porcini Mushrooms and add just enough hot water to cover. Allow Mushrooms to soak for 20 minutes.  Remove Mushrooms from water and squeeze out as much water as possible for each.  Reserve Mushroom liquid in bowl.  Slice Mushrooms if too large.
  2. In a 5-qt. stockpot heat 2 TBSP Olive Oil on medium high
  3. Add the Lamb and season with Salt and Pepper. Brown on all sides about 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove the Lamb from the pot and keep warm in a bowl.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the remaining 2 TBSP Olive Oil to the pot.  Add the Onion, Carrots, Potatoes, and Rutabaga to the pot.  Season with Salt and Pepper.  Cook turning often for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the Cremini Mushrooms and cook 4 minutes longer
  6. Add the Garlic and Porcini Mushrooms and cook 1 more minute
  7. Add the Cream Sherry and raise the heat back up to medium high. Reduce by half.  About 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Add the Rosemary and the Thyme. Add some more Salt and Pepper to taste and stir a few times.
  9. Add the Stock and the reserved Porcini Mushroom liquid. Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer.
  10. Simmer uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated and the stew has a rich thick broth. About 1 ½ hours.
  11. Add the Peas before turning off the heat to cook through for a minute or two
  12. Remove from the heat and serve into soup bowls or shallow dishes. Garnish with torn Mint leaves.

 

WINE PAIRING:  You would expect Tyrion Lannister or Bilbo Baggins to enjoy this rustic stew with a pot of small ale as would one in Shakespeare’s time and a good Stout, Ale, or Porter from England or Ireland would work.  But remember The Imp also was a connoisseur of fine wine and I think that is a better choice here.  This dish is designed to marry well with a lot of red wines traditionally grown along the Mediterranean countries my top choice would be a Rioja from Spain.  Lamb is more delicate than beef and lighter reds often go better especially when it’s off the bone as in this case.  Tempranillo, which is the grape used often exclusively in the Rioja region, is a wine that has the character of both a big bold red yet is also medium to light bodied.  It is my recommendation for this stew, but a lot of other red wines would make sense too.

 

DAVID BOWIE – CHUNKY DORY

CLASSIC ROCK BANDS RECIPE #16

DAVID BOWIE

CHUNKY DORY

BOUILLABAISSE WITH JOHN DORY FILLETS

 

Happy New Year everybody and welcome back to our continuing series on Classic Rock recipes.  I thought since yesterday was David Bowie’s birthday and this week also marks the 2nd anniversary of his unfortunate passing that we kick things off in 2018 with a tribute to the superstar and pioneer of Glam Rock N Roll.  Bowie was a complicated artist, and this is a rather involved classic dish that go hand in hand together.

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since we got the shocking news David has left us.  But what a legacy he gave us.  I was on the ground floor standing about 25 feet from the stage at his 50th birthday party concert event at Madison Square Garden and that was unfortunately the only time I ever got to see him perform live.  What a great show and what an all-star lineup of guest appearances too.  I’m thrilled to use the album, Hunky Dory, as our pun this week as it’s always been my favorite Bowie album.  Some of his best work is on this album especially Quicksand which is probably my favorite tune of his.  I’m also elated we get to explore one the great dishes of Provence this week.

Bouillabaisse, which is fish soup with Provencal herbs and traditions, never sounds appealing when you learn what the term really means.  That is until you try it and realize how great it really is.  John Dory is a Mediterranean fish that is often used in this dish.  It can be hard to locate in most parts of the United States even in the best restaurants.  If you can’t find it or Turbot which are at the top of the food chain in my opinion when it comes to white fish fillets you can also use Halibut.  All three are similar in that they are flat fish with big meaty, delicious flesh and perfect for seafood served in broth.  This recipe begins with creating that broth for the dish and then accompanying it with John Dory and other seafood.  Trust me it’s not that difficult but it is time consuming and you will see why it’s such a popular dish in the best French restaurants.

 

 

THE RECIPE

 

For the Seafood Stock:  You may use store bought Seafood Stock if you wish to save time)

INGREDIENTS:

3 TBSP Olive Oil

½ cup finely chopped Yellow Onion

1/3 cup Carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1/3 cup finely chopped Celery ribs

Salt, to taste

Ground Black Pepper, to taste

2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 TBSP Tomato Paste

Shells from 1 lb. of Shrimp

Shells from 2 Lobsters (tails and claws only)

5-6 quarts Water

2 Bay Leaves

6 sprigs fresh Thyme leaves

1 Lemon cut in half with juice and pits removed

Small bunch Italian Parsley stems (optional)

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large 8-quart stock pot heat the Olive Oil over medium heat
  2. Add the Onion, Carrot, and Celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Season with a little Salt and Pepper.
  3. Add the Garlic and sauté 1 minute longer
  4. Create a hold in the center of the pot and add the Tomato Paste. Allow Tomato Paste to sizzle for 15 seconds and then stir in with the vegetables and oil.  Cook 1 minute longer.
  5. Add the Shrimp and Lobster shells and combine. Cook 1 minute longer.
  6. Add the Water and increase the temperature to high. Add the Bay Leaves, Thyme, Lemon halves, Salt, Pepper, and Parsley if using.
  7. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for about 2 to 2 ½ hours.
  8. Remove Lobster shells and Bay Leaves. Pass Liquid through a strainer.  Press down on the vegetables and Shrimp shells to release as much liquid as possible.  Reserve liquid.  You should have about 3 quarts of Seafood Stock.

 

For the Broth:

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup Olive Oil

½ medium Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped

1 medium Fennel bulb, chopped (Fennel Fronds reserved and finely chopped)

2 Garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

3 Plum Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped

½ cup White Wine

6 cups Seafood Stock

½ TSP Saffron threads

1 TSP fresh Thyme leaves finely chopped

1 TSP fresh Chervil or Marjoram leaves

Salt, to taste

Ground Black Pepper, to taste

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a 4-qt. pot heat the Olive Oil over medium low
  2. Add the Onion and Fennel and sauté for 8 minutes
  3. Add the Garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes
  4. Add the Tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes more
  5. Add the Wine and increase the heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes longer.
  6. Add the Stock and raise heat to medium high. Bring to a simmer and lower heat to maintain gentle simmer.
  7. Add the Saffron and gently stir. Add the Fennel Fronds, Thyme, Chervil, Salt, and Pepper and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.  Follow the instructions for adding the Seafood and Potatoes next.

 

For the Seafood and Potatoes:

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ lbs. John Dory filets cut into large chunks

4 oz. cooked Lobster meat

½ lb. live Mussels, scrubbed and debearded

24 Littleneck or Manila Clams, scrubbed

¾ lb. Dutch Baby Gold Potatoes, parboiled for 5 minutes and peeled

Salt, to taste

Ground Black Pepper, to taste

2 TBSP Italian Parsley, chopped

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. While the Broth simmers add the John Dory fillets to the pot. Increase the heat to maintain a simmer if necessary.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the Lobster, Mussels, and Clams and increase heat to a lively simmer. Simmer until Mussels and Clams open.  About 5 Minutes.
  3. Add the Potatoes and turn off the heat. Season with Salt and Pepper.  Allow to cool for a few minutes and garnish with the Parsley.
  4. Serve into large, shallow bowls with French Baguette slices to soak up the broth if desired

 

Serves 4 to 6 people

 

WINE PAIRING:  Since this a classic Provencal dish I highly encourage a White Wine from the region.  Roussanne or Marsanne or a blend of both is the choice of grape.  A White Bordeaux would be an acceptable alternative but stay within the southern regions of France for this wonderful recipe.

SAN DIEGO – Tuna Ceviche

NFL AFC CITIES RECIPE #16

SAN DIEGO

TUNA CEVICHE

 

So, it has come to this.  It’s the final week of the regular season in the NFL and this is the final entry in our series.  I hope I have given you some good ideas you can use for January parties during the playoffs and maybe for the big game come the first Sunday in February.

Who doesn’t love San Diego?  Perfect weather twelve months a year, easy going lifestyles, spectacular beaches, and, of course, great food.  There is no signature dish I’ve come across, but seafood is certainly the dominant choice when it comes to menus in San Diego eateries.  And we will honor that with a very popular appetizer from our Latin American friends, ceviche.

Ceviche is very similar to tartare although seafood is the only protein and it’s usually diced much larger.  A great many sushi restaurants will now prepare it too and that is fitting because ceviche likely has its origins in Peru where Japanese culture has certainly had its influences.  You can use any fish to make a ceviche and it can either be raw or cooked but usually raw.  That is why ceviche needs to be eaten right away so no bacteria can collect on it just like sashimi and that’s why it is imperative you use sushi grade tuna, salmon, etc. when preparing it.  This dish assembles quickly but do not dice the tuna and then leave it sitting out for any length of time.

Happy New Year everybody!  DoinThatRagu.com will return on January 9th with an addition to the Classic Rock Band series we’ve been following since this site’s inception.  There will be another new series later in 2018 that we’ll get excited about soon.  So, keep reading and following and get in the kitchen and start preparing some of these great food ideas from 2017 for your friends and families.

 

 

THE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS:

3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 TBSP freshly squeezed Lime Juice, divided

Salt, to taste

Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

8 oz. Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna, diced into ½ cubes or smaller

½ of a ripe Avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

¼ cup diced Red Onion

1 Plum Tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 ½ TBSP finely chopped Cilantro

 

PREPARATION:

  1. Make the dressing first. Combine the EVOO, 2 TSP Lime Juice, Salt, and Pepper in a small bowl and stir until blended.
  2. Arrange the Tuna, Avocado, Onion, and Tomato on a rectangular or oval serving plate. Sprinkle with a little Salt and Pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing evenly over the arranged items on the plate. Garnish with the Cilantro.  Squeeze the remaining TSP of Lime Juice over the ceviche.  Serve immediately.

 

Serves two as an appetizer or 4 as a small plate

 

WINE PAIRING:  I am very partial to Sauvignon Blanc as you have probably realized by now.  This dish is perfect for a wine from the Loire Valley in France.  In California even a Fume Blanc will work nicely.  The Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is mostly excellent and there are many fine producers.  You usually can’t go wrong there and that would pair very well with this recipe too.

OAKLAND – Black-Eyed Pea Salad

NFL AFC CITIES RECIPE #15

OAKLAND

BLACK-EYED PEA SALAD

 

In the Bay Area San Francisco seems to get all the attention.  But across the bay in Oakland they have their own culture too.  Admittedly in the few times I’ve been to Fog City I’ve only ventured once over to Oakland.  But I got turned on to some great live blues and soul food combination that have stayed with me for a long time.  Soul Food is still very popular in Oakland I read so I want to pay homage to my one and only experience in Oakland.  Which is fitting of course because this is the last year the Raiders play in Oakland before moving to Las Vegas.

There is a lot of great Soul Food out there and not just in the Southeast although it has its origins there.  You can find great Soul Food restaurants in almost every major U.S. city.  We have done a lot of chicken and pork already and will do more again in the coming weeks and months.  These are protein staples for any Soul Food menu as is seafood.  I want to do more sides and vegetables with y’all and this gives me the chance to do a little of both.  Black-eyed peas are a regularly featured side dish in Soul Food cuisine.  Not everyone is fond of them but I am.  I’m doing them as a salad, so you can bring them on a picnic.  I think they are best at room temperature, so they fit any occasion and go great with any meal.

My key addition is roasted red pepper.  This is one of a very select food item group that I don’t mind using from a jar.  It saves a lot of time and you get better consistency.  If you want to make your own.  Turn your oven on to 500 degrees F, rub a little olive oil on a red bell pepper, and place on baking sheet.  When the oven is ready roast the pepper for about 20 minutes until the skin is blackened.  Remove from the oven and place the pepper in a paper bag until cool enough to handle.  When cool enough to handle peel all the skin off the pepper.  Remove the stem and seeds and chop the flesh accordingly.

 

 

THE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 cup diced Red Onion

2 Garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 lb. bag frozen Black-Eyed Peas, thawed and drained

½ cup Chicken Stock or more if needed

2 Celery stalks diced

¾ cup Roasted Red Pepper dice (see note above)

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ TBSP White Wine Vinegar

Juice of ½ Lemon

1 TBSP Sugar

½ TSP Fine Sea Salt or more if desired

¼ TSP Fresh Ground Black Pepper or more if desired

1 TBSP Fresh Tarragon Leaves, delicately chopped

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium frying pan over medium heat warm the Olive Oil
  2. Add the Red Onion and sauté for 2 minutes
  3. Add the Garlic and sauté 1 minute longer
  4. Add the Black-Eyed Peas and the Chicken Stock. Cook until all the Stock is absorbed, and the Black-Eyed Peas are heated through.  Add more Stock if necessary.
  5. Remove the contents of the pan into a large bowl
  6. To the bowl add the Celery and Roasted Red Pepper. Stir a few times gently.  Allow to cool a bit before adding the dressing.
  7. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients and whisk together until blended thoroughly
  8. Add the dressing in the small bowl to the large bowl. Toss the salad a few times to blend with the dressing and serve.

 

WINE PAIRING:  Once again this is a side dish so it all depends on what you are having with it.  This particular dish will pair better with a lighter, fruitier White Wine.