Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Missing in Action

It's ages since I posted, I know. This December is a really busy one for me. I am working 2 jobs--my full time theatre job and my part-time theatre job. I'm painting the living room, dining room, and hall in my house, including all the trim. I'm also singing for 5 evenings in the "Home for the Holidays" cabaret at Barksdale Theatre. My parents are coming in eleven days and nothing is ready.

I have 3 nights in a row off this week, and though I will be home painting, I will be cooking up something lovely in the trusty old crockpot. I have had this warhorse of an appliance for 20 years now--I got it as a wedding present, way back when I was living my other life. The thing just refuses to give up the ghost, and since I turned vegetarian it comes in handier than ever. I'm going to throw together a Jamaican black bean pot.

Here's what will go into the crock:
1 3/4 cups of black beans, soaked overnight
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 tbsp. molasses
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried chili flakes
2 bell peppers, seeded and diced (any color!)
1 1/2 lbs. of chunked raw sweet potato
salt and pepper to taste
about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of water

This recipe normally calls for pumpkin, but I adore sweet potatoes with black beans. Dump it in the crockpot before I leave for work, and by the time I get home the house smells so good I can't stand it. Plus, this is a very healthy stew, with tons of protein and fiber. Think I'll make some brown rice to have with it. If you sit there and wait until I get home, I'll let you know how it turns out! Don't move a muscle--I'll be home around 6-ish.

...Hi Honey I'm home!
I was ravenous and couldn't wait for the rice to get cooked, so I just scooped up a bowl of this Jamaican Black Bean Pot and I gotta tellya, it's excellent! For once, I followed the recommended spice measurements to the letter, and it's a very well balanced recipe. The thyme, chillies, mustard, molasses--they all shine through with perfect balance. I got this recipe out of one of those bargain table cookbooks written by nobody you've ever heard of. It's called "one-pot, slow-pot and CLAY-POT cooking and it's by Jenni Fleetwood. Jenni honey, you may not be on the Food Network, but I still appreciate you.


Anonymous said...

God, that looks so good! I just got a crock pot from my coz John and his wife Bonni for the B-day and my New Years Resolution (one of them) is to make soup this winter. Do you have any recommendations for a simple cookbook I should pick up?

Janine Serresseque said...

Any soup book is good. Williams Sonoma publishes a really good little soup book. I have it. You're welcome to borrow! Even if it's not a crockpot recipe specifically, you can usually convert it. I just dump everything in, turn it on and go.

pnlkotula said...

Don't know if you'll see this, Jake, but there's a great crock pot cookbook (several versions actually) called "Fix It And Forget It". Vicki gave me the "Light" version, and it's great.