Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cookbooks, RIP Etta James, Singing President.

For years we bought and saved Cooking Light magazines. They were all neatly stored in the annual red folders one could get from Cooking Light. I haven’t actually bought the magazine for some time now though. These days, one can access so many recipes, from CL BinderCooking Light and other sources, on the net that we finally decided to move them to the downstairs communal room for other people to use if they wished. Last time Matt went down they had gone, I hope not permanently. I was sorry to see them go, but we haven’t really been using them ourselves much anyway and hopefully someone else will find them useful. Although I have a stack of cookbooks, well over 100, I tend to go on the net for a new recipe or idea. Matt, of course, does use the cookbooks as he is not computer savvy. Well I’m damned, I was looking for a picture and find people are selling such binders full of the magazines on – in a black binder too, mine were all red. Never occurred to me to offer them for sale but then one would have to deal with shipping, etc. Nah, don’t think I could be bothered.

RIP Etta James. I was not really that familiar with her, not being into Etta Jamesbig bands and such like Matt is. However, she was really well known in the big band and blues world, I had certainly heard of her and recognise a few of her songs when I hear them, she really had a fabulous voice. Another singer in the news last night, President Obama who sang a few lines whilst raising money for his campaign. Everyone is talking about it. Its quite funny to watch. sent me a recipe today which appealed to me. I mentioned before that I have become more interested in grits and I have always liked beans so here is a mixture of cuisines for you. We had a spicy dish last night – a coleslaw with a very spicy dressing. I will share that recipe before long.

Cheddar-Cheese Grits with Spicy Black Beans

Source: Quick from Scratch - Vegetable Main Dishes

Active Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4


Southern and Southwestern ingredients unite in this sustaining meal of beans, peppers, and tomatoes over the best grits you will ever eat. If you don't have the quick-cooking variety, use regular and follow the instructions on the package.


For Grits:

2 1/2 cups water

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Cayenne pepper

3/4 cup quick-cooking grits

1/4 pound cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)

For Beans:

1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch squares

1 green bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch squares

6 scallions including green tops, sliced thin

2 cups drained and rinsed canned black beans (one 19-ounce can)

1/4 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock

3 plum tomatoes, chopped


FOR GRITS: In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, 1 tablespoon of the butter, the Tabasco, paprika, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the grits in a slow stream, whisking. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the grits are very thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Cover to keep warm.

FOR BEANS: Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over moderate heat. Add the bell peppers and scallions and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, broth, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the beans are hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes. Serve over the cheese grits.

WINE RECOMMENDATION: The robust and varied flavors in this dish want a big, spicy, and fruity red wine to match their intensity. Zinfandel seems to have an affinity for black beans, and a sturdy example from the Napa Valley will suit these grits and beans well

Have a great day


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