Friday, November 22, 2013

Calamity Cafe's Black Bean Soup (CUN)

clovesGarlic, minced
photo credit: MGF/Lady Disdain
via photopin cc

MedOnions, minced
2TbspOlive oil
lbBlack Beans, dry
tspGround Cumin
Bay Leaf

Green Pepper, Minced fine

Cayenne Pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste
2small canschicken broth

  1. OK, first off, dry beans are finicky beasts, you can't add any salt or salty products into the cooking until after they're tender or you'll never get them to soften up. There's a complex chemical explanation for this involving the properties of sodium ions which is too deadly boring to explain, just take my word for it.
    The night before you want to make this, pour the dry beans into a colander and wash them thoroughly, pick out any clinkers or rocks you find, then pour the washed beans into a large bowl or Tupperware container and cover with water. If you're familiar with hot soaking beans, you can skip this step and do as you usually might.
  2. NEXT DAY:
    Discard the soak water, fill up a good sized pot with the soaked beans and water (you should have enough room over the beans so that you can cover the beans with 2 inches of water), bring to a slow boil stirring every few minutes, add garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, green pepper, and the bay leaf (leave this leaf whole -- you'll want to pull it out of the pot before serving).
  3. Reduce the heat and cover, simmer for about two (2) hours or until the beans mash easily with only slight pressure. If they've got any fight left in them, keep on cooking. If it takes four hours, it takes four hours, you can't make it any faster. It's normal for some of the beans to break down entirely, this is desired and helps thicken the soup, so don't freak if the beans go all mushy.
  4. As the beans cook, you'll need to replenish the water or they'll burn. This is where you start adding the chicken broth if you've got it, if not just use plain water and cheat AFTER THE BEANS ARE SOFT by adding two chicken bullion cubes or in desperate situations a chicken ramen season packet (but only one of those bad boys or you'll be gagging on the salt).
  5. Here is where you taste the soup and figure out if you want to add pepper or cayenne pepper, it won't take much. Adding a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce will give it some zip if it tastes a little flat, adding the bacon grease or oil will make the soup richer and more savory, just be sure to stir it in well.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Carrie and Joe's Favorite Cheese Soup (from Calamity Cafe)

photo credit: Nataraj Metz via photopin cc

2 qtHalf-n-half or heavy whipping cream
2 sticksButter
2/3 cupFlour
2-3 lbsShredded cheddar (either all yellow or part white)
1/4 lbfresh fried bacon, crumbled
1 cup Croutons (soaked in melted butter)

Paprika (to taste)

Onion Powder (to taste)

Garlic Powder (to taste)

Garlic Powder (to taste)

White pepper (to taste)

  1. Heat half-n-half to just below boiling (DO NOT BOIL!)
  2. In a separate pan, melt 1 stick of butter and add the flour flour, do not allow to brown or scorch.
  3. Add flour-butter mixture (roux) to heated half-n-half, stir over medium heat, it is now safe to allow to slow boil if you must, let simmer while you stir frequently until it starts to thicken until it coats the spoon rather than runs off.
  4. Add handfuls of cheddar while stirring, will vary in colour and consistency depending on the dryness of the cheddar. Sharp cheddar, which is pretty damned dry, may be stringy in consistency when melted, so I don't recommend it. 
  5. If the soup seems a bit bland, hit it with a dash of white pepper or maybe put in a heaping tablespoon of grated parmasean or some other sharp cheese, don't cook it, just stir it in so it gets spread around fairly well.
  6. Melt the second stick of butter, add some garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika to get it good and orange, drop in the croutons, toast up in a medium oven.
  7. When the soup is something like a gravy in consistency, serve into bowls, top with bacon crumbles and butter-logged croutons, sprinkle with paprika, tah-dah, done.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fran Johnston's Plum Coffee Cake

¾  Cup Sugar

¼  Cup Shortening
1 Egg
½  Cup Milk
1 ½  Cup Flour
2 tsp Baking powder
½  tsp Salt
1 ½  Cup Plums, sliced
½  Cup Brown sugar, firmly packed
3 Tbsp Flour
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Butter, melted
½  Cup Nuts, Chopped

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°
  2. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.
  3. Combine sugar shortening and egg.  Beat until smooth. 
  4. Stir in milk. 
  5. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until smooth.
  6.  Spread dough into pan.
  7. Top with rows of plum slices.
  8. Combine remaining ingredients (brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nuts and melted butter). Mix with fingers until crumbly. Spread over plums.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes or until cake is firm.

Lorie Nilles's Savory Eggs


1 cup
American or Cheddar Cheese, grated
½ cup
Sour cream
¼ tsp
To taste
1 tsp
Mustard, prepared
Eggs, beaten slightly
Spread cheese evenly in greased 8" square pan.  Dot with butter.  Combine cream, salt, pepper and mustard.  Pour half of this mixture over cheese.  Pour beaten eggs into baking dish.  Add remaining cream mixture. 

Bake at 325 ° F for about 25 minutes.  

This can be mixed the night before, covered and kept in refrigerator.  

Serves 6 - 8.

I double the recipe and put it in a 9" x 13" glass pan and don't think it serves 6 to eight unless you double the recipe.  I almost always prepare it the night before.  One time when I did not have enough room in the refrigerator to store the flat pan overnight, I put all of the ingredients except the butter and cheese in a blender and stored the blender in the refrigerator overnight.  I just blended it in the morning.  That worked too and you could not tell the difference in taste. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Carrie Uihlein Nilles's Fire Cracker Pork with Fruity Lime Salsa

5 lbsBoneless Boston Butt Pork Roast
1 TBSP Paprika
1 Dried Thyme
½ tspSalt
½ tspPepper
6Garlic Cloves
3/4 cupWater
1 (7 oz can)Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce
1 smallOnion
1 (8 oz can)Crushed pineapple, drained
2 cupsPapaya, peeled and diced
1 cupKiwifruit,  peeled and diced
1/3 cup Red Onion, finely chopped
 ½ cup Cilantro, Fresh, chopped
 3 TBSP Lime Juice, Fresh
Preparation of Meat
 1. Trim Fat from roast, cut roast in half crosswise. Combine paprika and thyme, salt and pepper, and garlic; stir well. Rub spice mixture over surface of roast halves; place roast halves in croc-pot.  Combine water, chipotle chiles, and onion in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. (If you want the dish to be less spicy remove some of the adobo sauce from the chiles.) Pour chile puree over pork. Cover with lid; cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce to low and cook 9 hours, or until pork is very tender.

2. Remove pork from croc-pot; let stand for 10 minutes. Shred pork with two forks; set aside.

3. Pour cooking liquid into a bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Skim fat from surface of liquid. Return liquid and pork to the croc-pot; stir well. Cover with lid and cook on high for 15 minutes or until warm.

Serve with flour tortilla, Fruity Lime Salsa and Plain Greek Yogurt.

Preparation of Fruity Lime Salsa

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Cover and chill2 to 24 hours.

Often I will replace the pineapple and papaya with a large can of tropical fruit salad.  You just have to dice the fruit pieces a bit smaller then they come in the can

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Victoria Carney’s Jewish Apple Cake

5Granny Smith Apples, peeled and chopped
5 TBSPSugar
2 tspCinnamon
2 cupsSugar
2 tsp Baking powder
2 tspVanilla
¾ cupOil
3 cupFlour
Mix Granny Smith apples with 5 TBSP sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Mix eggs, 2 cups sugar, baking powder, vanilla, oil, and flour.

Combine mixtures.

Bake in well greased bundt pan for 1 hr 15 min.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bubba’s Chocolate Fudge (Martha Goode Nilles)

1 TBSPCorn Syrup
½ CupMilk
2 TBSPButter
2 CupsSugar
½ CupCream
4 TBSPCocoa
⅛ tsp Salt
1 tspVanilla
    1. Put the sugar, cocoa, and salt into a saucepan.
    2. Add a little of the cream, enough to make a paste.
    3. Now add the remainder of the cream.
    4. Add the milk, syrup, and butter and place mixture over the flame.
    5. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it starts to boil.
    6. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat. Cook slowly for about 40 minutes.
    7. While fudge cooks, butter a shallow pan.
    8. Test the hot fudge by dropping a tiny bit of it from a spoon into a dish of very cold water. When the fudge forms a soft ball, slightly firm outside, the fudge is done.
    9. Remove fudge from fire. Add vanilla and mix.
    10. When fudge is cool, stir until creamy.
    11. Just before fudge gets creamy you will notice a change in color from dark to light. At this point, pour the fudge into the buttered pan.
    12. When the fudge is almost cool, cut into one-inch squares.