Sunday was the Daytona 500, it was also Jay's annual Daytona 500 party. Hey - any excuse will do for a party! I'm not really "into" NASCAR that much. But, Daytona is one race I do like to watch. And if I can watch it with friends, food and booze, then so much the better.
I made my bean soup and George made his maidrites. AND, since everyone wants to know how we make these two recipes, I decided to just post them here.
4 lbs. hamburger
1 med. onion, chopped
3 cans chicken gumbo soup
4 packets of sloppy joe seasoning mix
Brown the hamburger, adding the onion towards the end; drain off the fat. Put the hamburger, onion, soup and seasoning mix in a large crock pot (or electric roaster) and mix well. Add the ketchup and mustard to taste. More ketchup than mustard. It shouldn't be "sloppy", you just need a little zing to it. Cook on medium for about 4 hrs. to allow flavors to meld.
SALLY'S BEAN SOUP
1 Smoked ham hock
dried beans, peas, lentils, whatever
Again, I've given no measurements because it is up to you how much you want. I have a 6 qt. stockpot and I use about 4 cups of legumes and fill it up with water after adding the rest of the ingredients.
I used to hate bean soup - it was sooooo bland! Then one day I picked up a bag of "mixed beans" at the grocery store and followed the recipe on the back. Heck - it even had the seasoning packet in it. I was hooked - I've never made bean soup any other way. Now I buy whatever dried bean, pea, lentil, etc. I can get my hands on and mix them all together. The flavor is so much better than just using northern or navy beans. By using the mixed legumes and a really good smoked ham hock, you'll find you really won't need to season the soup much more than the bay leaf, salt, pepper and the bullion.
DE-GASSING THE BEANS
Nyda Gleason taught me how to "de-gas" my beans when I made bean soup at the nursing home. It made it so much easier for the residents to digest. Until recently, every time I mention de-gassing my beans, I was met with a resounding "Huh?" At my New Year's party, one of the men told me that his mother de-gases her beans by letting them soak over night with baking soda in the water. (She lives in southern Iowa - it must be an "Iowa" thing...) I guess that would work too. I just don't like to take that much time, so I bring them to a boil 3 or 4 times. Here's how:
- Cover your beans with water
- Add about 1 tablespoon. baking soda
- Bring to a full boil - uncovered (you definitely don't want this crap boiled over on your stove!)
- Drain into a colander, rinse, rinse the foam out of the pot
- Do it again - 3 or 4 times
You will see that the hulls are coming off the beans. (I wonder if this is what actually makes the gas?) You want to drain those off. Make sure you get as much of the hulls out of the pot as possible. Then, after the last de-gas, add the rest of your ingredients and make your soup.
Bean soup is a very forgiving soup. Don't have a ham hock? No problem! I've used bacon, ring bologna, summer sausage and butter (yes - butter!) as my flavor agent. I do add the bullion to give it a deeper flavor. I keep forgetting to pick up a jar of ham flavored bullion, so I just use beef. And you don't have to de-gas your beans. It's just something I do. But, do try the addition of other types of beans and peas. I think you'll agree that it is most excellent!