Purple Kitchen Treats

Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.

However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.

My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Amazing Black Beans, Black Beans & Rice and Chile Rellenos

My mom used to make the most amazing black beans in a crock pot.  She would make them about every 3 weeks and my dad, brother and I just loved them.  I still have the recipe in her original hand-writing and I have very fond memories of cooking with my mom.  I even have her old milk-glass bowl, her favorite wooden spoon, "my" Piggie cookie jar and a few other cherished items that were such a part of my childhood.  Come to think of it, I have a cast aluminum Dutch oven and several kitchen utensils that were my grandmothers, from the 1930's and 1940's.....oh my goodness!!!

Thinking about the wooden spoon.....should I admit that this spoon is about 35 years old and I still use it?

My mom passed away in 2002, but using her recipes and kitchen tools somehow makes me feel like she is somewhere close by, watching and smiling while I make her favorite recipes.

For these beans, you will need:
1 pound of black (turtle) beans
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2/3 cup of tomato paste
2 cups of tomato sauce
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon cardamon
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, diced

Start the crock pot on high for about 1 hour, then turn to low.  Cook for approx. 4 hours or until they are done.

If you are pressed for time, you can use canned black beans, just rinse them, add all the ingredients to a pan on the stove, and heat on low until hot.  You may need to simmer them a bit to let some of the liquid reduce, just keep an eye on them and stir occasionally.

1.  Use this version in "black beans and rice".
2.  Mix the beans with with rice, add cheese and stuff poblano peppers with the mixture and make chile rellenos.

To make the rellenos:
Heat enough oil to comfortably fry peppers in, about 350' F.
Preheat the oven to 350' F, place 8 poblanos on a cookie sheet and cook the poblano peppers in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, just enough to soften them.  Then, let them cool a bit, cut a slit down the side of the pepper, trim out some of the seed pod inside, but leave the stem intact.  Stuff with the rice, bean and cheese mixture with enough room to close the pepper and overlap the edges slightly.  Gently press the pepper around the filling and mold back into the conical shape of the pepper.  Set the peppers aside.  In a large bowl, beat 6 egg whites until soft peaks form, then add 2 yolks, one at a time and beat until incorporated.   Dip the peppers in the egg whites, coating all the way up to the stem and gently place them in the oil to fry.  Take them out when they are golden brown, serve with your choice of salsa, spicy ranchero sauce and a drizzle of  crema Mexicana.  I also serve with a nice salad with avocado, seeded diced tomato, purple onion on shredded lettuce and tortilla strips along with a spicy chipotle ranch dressing.

Your taste buds will definitely stand up and SING!!!!

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,


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