3 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I didn't peel mine)
olive oil spray
1/2 medium red onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup water
4 -6 green olives, halved
chopped parsley, for garnish
Start a large pot of water on to boil while you preheat the oven to 375 F. When the water comes to a boil, add the diced potatoes. Boil for 5 minutes—no longer or they will start to fall apart. Pour them gently into a colander and allow all the water to drain off.
Place the potatoes into a large, shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with olive oil. Spritz the tops of the potatoes lightly with olive oil and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then stir with a spatula, making sure they aren't sticking to the pan. Bake for about 30 more minutes, stirring again halfway through. The potatoes should become crispy but not hard and overdone.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the sauce. Sauté the onion in a non-stick pot for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and cayenne and cook one minute more. Add the remaining ingredients (except parsley) and simmer for about 20 minutes, until thickened. Remove the bay leaf and puree the sauce in a blender or food processor. Return it to the pan and keep warm until ready to serve.
Once the potatoes are cooked, place them in a serving bowl and pour the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with parsley and serve as a side dish or appetizer
~~~~~~Rotini (or Penne) All'Arrabbiata~~~~~~
2 tsp. olive oil
3 tsp. garlic, finely minced (use fresh, not the jarred; trust me)
1 - 1 1/2 tsp dried red pepper (use less if you don't like spicy)
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes
8 oz pasta (penne or ziti preferred)
2 Tbs parsley, chopped
Sauté the garlic and red pepper in the olive oil for about 3 minutes; do not brown the garlic!
Use a blender to puree the tomatoes. (I use a hand blender right in the can and leave them slightly on the chunky side.) Stir the tomatoes into the garlic mixture. Simmer, stirring, until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes; drain. Toss with the sauce and cook for a couple minutes more. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with a good crusty bread. Serves 4
~~~~~~~Black-eyed Pea Gumbo~~~~~~~
2 medium onions, diced
1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. minced garlic
4 cups vegetable broth, water, or a combination
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 pound okra, tops removed and sliced
1 1/2 tsp. thyme
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1-2 tsp. chopped chipotle peppers (canned in adobo)
1/4 tsp. Liquid Smoke (optional)
2 1/2 cups cooked black-eyed peas, plus cooking liquid (1 cup dried black-eyed peas cooked in 3 cups water)*
salt to taste (optional)
*You can use canned black-eyed peas--use 2 16-ounce cans, rinse them first and add some extra water or broth to the gumbo.
Heat a large, non-stick stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook, stirring regularly, until they begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the bell pepper and celery, and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until okra is done and mixture has thickened, about 45-55 minutes. Add more water as needed--this will be thicker than a soup but still have a good amount of broth. Serve over freshly cooked brown rice and add hot sauce at the table.
~~~~~~~~Cajun 15-Bean Soup~~~~~~~~~
20 ounces dried mixed beans (you can find these prepackaged in most grocery stores), rinsed
12 cups water
1 large onion -- chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic -- minced
juice of one lemon
15-ounce can stewed tomatoes
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons salt -- or to taste
Last night I saved some time by putting the beans into the pressure cooker with 8 cups water, cooking at high pressure for 12 minutes, and then releasing the pressure and cooking until the beans were completely cooked. If you use a pressure cooker, I advise letting the pressure come down naturally rather than quick-releasing. And if you have a quick-release setting on your PC, do not use it! I had beans stuck in my valve when I tried that.
If you don't want to pressure cook them, then place the washed beans in a pot with 12 cups of water and boil covered 60-75 minutes until beans are tender.
While the beans are boiling, brown the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in a non-stick skillet.
Add onion mixture, stewed tomatoes, and lemon juice to beans along with the spices and simmer 30-45 minutes. (If you started the beans in the pressure cooker, add 2 cups water at this time too.) Add liquid smoke and salt at the end. Serve with bread or over rice, or just by itself, as I did.