Saturday, February 26, 2011

Don't blow liquid smoke up my ass

The one dish that I knew I wanted to make this week was Black Bean Soup with Smoked Turkey Necks.  I had just made a bunch of spicy soups in a row so this was going to be more of a comforting smooth bean taste without the heat. 
I love black beans!  They're meaty and small.  Big beans kinda scare me.  Like those huge butter, kidney or Lima?  Eeks. But little black turtle beans are the right size for monkey.  They are a huge source of fiber of course but now they found they are super high in antioxidants, which I don't fully understand but I'm for anything that helps prevent cancer, heart disease and aging! 

You don't save a ton cooking the beans yourself but you do get the nice black broth instead of the slimy gummy syrup in your canned black beans. The soup base was to be mild and then the toppings; sour cream, sharp cheddar, cold chopped tomatoes, cilantro, pickled jalapeno would give it the Zip Bam Boom!
And it did! I quick soaked the beans for an hour.  I sauteed onions, bell pepper, carrots, celery and garlic. Then I added vegetable stock, cumin and Mexican oregano.  Lastly the smoked turkey necks. After bringing to a boil and simmering med-low for an hour, I turned the heat way down and slow cooked the soup overnight.  The next day I blended half in batches to have a thicker consistency and pulled the meat off the bones.  I added salt and pepper, adjusted the spices and added some liquid smoke. 
I have always loved the taste of Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup and that has a strong smoked flavor. Liquid Smoke is kind of a weird product. It's actually smoke passed through water and then turned into a liquid solution. Huh -Wha?  There's some controversy on its safety and a lot of folks warn a little goes a long way.  But it can be used for so many things and I believe they remove any harmful carbons.  It actually can help meat last longer, eliminate E. coli and prevent spoilage. I used Colgin's Hickory Smoke and liked it!

I can't wait to try it in my marinades as well.

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