Tag Archives: rice

Weekly Menus: Week of 2/26/2012

Gentle Readers, this week The Practical Cook was ready to accept a personal challenge. Excepting a very few fresh items, what could be made from what is at hand. You see, I do dearly love the grocery store. And sometimes I buy more than I should, or stockpile. This accumulates over time, and while I can make any one of 10 meals at any given time, I have to make those meals to deplete the inventory.

So this week is about not adding to the problem. What will I do? How will I adapt? Will this make me more grateful for the deep freezer or the fresh foods? Fear not, there are plenty of frozen veggies here at The Practical Cook Kitchen. So aside from the fresh fruit I bought today on my quest to buy 10 types of bacon, I’m buying milk.

Here’s proof, the Weekly Menus for this week:

Weekly Menus: 2/26/2012

Weekly Menus: 2/26/2012

And the very bare Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/26/2012

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/26/2012

Which means we’ll be eating:

Sunday: Dal and Rice
I have a cabinet full of both, time to man up and use them up.

Monday: Beef Stew
Slow cooker, meet my busy lifestyle. This takes some time in the morning, but it is low-fuss during crunch time. And you know what’s good in beef stew? Bacon, of which I have an abundance.

Tuesday: Leftovers
Perhaps I’ll combine meal one and meal two and put it in a tortilla.

Wednesday: Salmon and Greens
I have a wicked salmon craving right now, and the salmon I had last week was not 100% satisfying. Perhaps with some quinoa on the side?

Thursday: Sausage Surprise
I have sausage, and whatever else I put in there will be a surprise to even me. I’ll keep you posted. Probably some tomatoes, beans, and even a hint of chicken stock.

Friday: Bacon Squash Tart
This one needs to happen soon! I’m trying something new with puff pastry. We shall see what happens! If it fails, there’s always pasta.

Saturday: Dine Out!

Because if you’re like me, you have the added challenge of someone, ahem, bringing more food into your house when you leave town than gets eaten while you’re there! I only have one stomach you know who, and I’m not raising cattle.

Want to join me in the don’t buy much for a week challenge? What are your cupboard meals? Post a comment below! And there’s still time to vote for a favorite local bacon! Start filling out your brackets and taste testing, the results are coming for Bacon Brackets: Round 1 this week!

Send in your questions! We’ll be doing a mailbag edition soon. Email them to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, Throw in the Dish Rack, Keep the Towel.

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Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, Weekly Menus

Hoppin’ John Recipe, Simplified

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook is a big fan of the one-pot recipe. And though my drive to serve greens would force me to serve this with a side of collards, Hoppin’ John is one of those classic recipes that fits this bill. One of my favorite versions is Bill Smith’s dish at Crook’s Corner. I got close this time, with the help of some sausage.

Simplified Hoppin' John

Simplified Hoppin' John

Honestly, I kept craving this dish, and the leftovers kept getting better. Very easy, very satisfying, and makes a good amount.

Easy Hoppin’ John Recipe

1 lb sausage, flavor of your choice (I had local bratwurst from Brinkley Farms at hand, so I used that; chorizo would also be lovely, as would any Cajun-type sausage), crumbled or cut into chunks
1 sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
dash of salt
dash of ground black pepper
dash of thyme
1/2 can diced tomatoes, no-salt added type
1 can of black-eyed peas, rinsed (sue me, but I didn’t have any more scratch-cooked ones on hand, and these worked beautifully)
shredded cheese, I would say optional, but it really isn’t
3 scallions, white and green parts, sliced, also not optional
hot sauce, preferable

1 batch of white rice, cooked (your choice on the top, but I used standard grocery store rice here)

Not so fluffy white rice, but it will do.

Not so fluffy white rice, but it will do.

1. In a medium skillet, brown the sausage, breaking into bite-sized chunks as necessary. When cooked, set aside on paper towels to drain, reserving just enough grease to cover the bottom of the pan.

Saute the onions and garlic with the spices.

Saute the onions and garlic with the spices.

2. Saute the onion and garlic in the sausage grease over medium heat until softened, about 2 or 3 minutes. Season with a bit of salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir for a few seconds. Add tomatoes and black-eyed peas.

Stir in the tomatoes and the black-eyed peas.

Stir in the tomatoes and the black-eyed peas.

3. Add the reserved sausage back to the skillet, stir, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat and let the flavors meld, amount of time is up to you, but I would recommend at least 10 minutes. Cover as needed to prevent drying out.

4. When serving, and this is important, don’t pour the black-eyed pea mixture over the rice until the very last minute. Once you top it, add the cheese and scallions. Do not omit them, I don’t know why, but it changes the dish a lot if you do. Serve warm.

Hoppin' John with Collard Greens on the side. Leftover lunch heaven.

Hoppin' John with Collard Greens on the side. Leftover lunch heaven.

I like mine with a smidge of Frank’s Hot Sauce (apologies to my hometown Texas Pete, but that’s a blog for a different day.)

Are you a fan of Hoppin’ John? The one-pot meal? Post your comments below, don’t hold back.

Send your black-eyed peas, rice, and queries to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today to stay current on all of The Practical Cook news!)

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Tomorrow, Biscuits, Reviewed: Neal’s Deli in Carrboro.

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Filed under Recipes