Saturday, April 6, 2024

In a Big Country, Dreams Stay With You

Great Northern Beans and Ham (sans hock)
Leftover holiday ham but no bone or hock.  Could a bean soup be made without that lusciousness that the slowly melting hock brings?  I took my cue from Carla Lalli Music, a TV and internet chef that I gravitate towards in cooking philosophy.  She could be fussy, as she has all the credentials of a culinary icon, yet she chooses to show you cooking her way, that is sensible and relatable.  And, I just read that she lives in my neighborhood!!!  I will undoubtedly gasp if I ever run into her.  I'm late to discovering all of these exceptional chefs that choose to share their skills online but have recently found them on my late night searches, browsing recipes like used record store bins.  I hope to one day be a great cook. 
Carla is a big advocate of using amped up sofrito to start soups. ( a great example video here) Low cooking this concoction for the right amount of time concentrates the flavors to new heights. This was the perfect time to practice this correctly because I would need a power boost for this soup, sans bone.  

These beans were chocked full of deep flavors. Thank you Carla!  I added chopped carrots and for finishing greens I added the carrot tops and cilantro. 

A biggie girl breakfast including my homemade flour tortilla!
I wanted bacon so I cooked the ham on the griddle until it became almost like crispy bacon.  I had one potato that I diced extra small and got super crispy.  I like to imagine I'm a cowgirl on the range making breakfast over a fire and these tin plates assist in that fantasy. 

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