Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.


In the where, now?

I was barefoot in the kitchen this evening, but mercifully "pregnant" wasn't part of the equation. (Thank you, Kariva!) While there, I whipped up some "Fast Black Bean Soup" (recipe to follow), as opposed to my slow black bean soup, which requires soaking and dried beans, and is so good you'd smack your mama. The fast soup is still pretty darned good, but you'll only mouth off to your mama...

Got a call from Most Perfect Mom Ever tonight, as P's over at her/Graphic Design God's house. He hasn't seen GDG/MPME in a while, and while they pretty much ARE the reason we're together (seven years after their wedding, but who's counting?) they didn't know for sure that we really WERE together. MPME called and the first thing I hear is "So how long has this been going on?" (in a very jovial tone) And apparently? P was glowing. Yes. GLOWING. (And I'm pretty sure he is not knocked up.) And smiling. And borderline giddy. Which is to say he's acting exactly like I am. Ha! Validation.

And sure, I know that he likes me likes me. But it's nice to get that external "daaaaaaamn, does he look happy" confirmation. Heh. Anyway, enough of the schmoopiness, on to the soup.

Fast Black Bean Soup

I didn't time it, but it's probably close to a half-hour kind of thing, less if you chop fast.

You're going to need:
2 cans of black beans (I rinsed mine a little)
1 square container of broth (I did half beef and half chicken, because it's what I had)
1 small onion, small dice
1 green pepper, small dice
a few jalapenos (optional, I left them out for the oldsters)
1 carrot sliced thinly on the bias (wide portion sliced in half)
3 bay leaves
one clove garlic minced, or a pinch of dried garlic (not powder. blech.)
1 rib of celery (if yours isn't so limp you could tie it in a clove hitch) sliced fine
2 really big whonkin' spoonfuls of Recaito
Ham. Diced. As much/little as you want (I'm trying to use up a christmas ham, so lots of ham in mine.)

Toss a dab of butter into your dutch oven and melt it. Toss in your onions, pepper, carrots, ham, celery, and bay leaves and cook them all together till the onions are clear and everything (except the ham) is sort of crisp-tender. Toss in your beans, broth, and minced garlic, recaito, and anything else that strikes your fancy (diced tomatoes, jalapenos, shredded documents) and boil together till the vegetables are not chewy.
If you like your soup a little thinner, you can stop now. If you prefer a bit more body- take your stick blender and whiz up some of the soup. This will thicken up the mouthfeel a bit without the effort of roux, flour/water, or cornstarch. Or you could just not rinse your beans (but I thought the soup was salty enough as it is).

Serve it with a bit of sour cream, scallions, cilantro, rice, or some really good chewy bread. It gets better with age, and yes, I will be taking this for lunch tomorrow.

Coming tomorrow or soon? The return of the book reviews! This time featuring Augusten Burroughs, Anthony Bourdrain's "Typhoid Mary", Hodgson's "The Areas of my Expertise" and more! More! More!


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