Monday, January 9, 2012

Farmland Foods Smoked Spiral Ham Slices and Pieces

I found this product at my WalMart here in Sevierville and have fallen in love with it. Now you all should know, I love the crispy, sometimes crunchy parts of meats. For example, I love the end-cut of prime rib, I love the crispy skin on the turkey, and the crunchy bits left around the bone in a ham, smoked or fresh. I also love the taste of smoked, cured ham and using it for seasoning dishes such as beans, soups, or whatever. I have an economical answer to all these.

Farmland Foods Smoked Spiral Ham Slices and Pieces is a package of scraps, chunks, and I'd say about 60 - 65% of it are nice slices for sandwiches. Oh those big chunks are amazing. I had seen this kind of packaging of ham scraps in New Orleans with other companies, but we don't get those up here in Tennessee. This ham is wonderful tasting, right amount of smokiness, and great for seasoning nearly anything or just nibbling on. Tonight I am using some in my Jambalaya along with andouille sausage, and chicken. Check out the Farmland Foods website above, or if you are at WalMart, ask about these taste tidbits and morsels by Farmland. If you go to their website they have a store locator, if you contact Farmland, tell them RouxBDoo sent you!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Curried Lentil and Barley Soup

It is wintertime and I love to make and eat soup at this time of year. Now, there are other soups besides gumbo, shrimp stew, and crab bisque, believe it or not. This soup has an Indian flair to it with the inclusion of the cilantro and curry powder, similar to a Dal.

Lentil and barley can have a positive effect on your health as they are great sources of fiber. Your vegetarian friends will love it, without the bouillon cube of course. I dedicate this to my Indian "family" members Mangesh Desai and his beautiful sister Prachi Desai. I have mentioned Mangesh before but his gorgeous sister, whom I've never met, has become a wonderful long distance friend. The are originally from Mumbai, but Prachi now lives in London. Mangesh is a successful variety television producer in Mumbai. He calls me his "American Dad".

Curried Lentil and Barley Soup

1 cup lentils
¾ cup barley (Quaker Oats Medium)
½ large onion (diced)
2 ribs of celery (diced)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 8 oz. can Rotel (diced tomatoes and peppers)
2 tbs Curry powder
1 Chicken bouillon cube (opt.)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
½ tbs salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs fresh cilantro
2 tbs green onions (sliced thin)
3 tbs oil (any type)
10 - 12 cups water

In one pot on MED/HI, boil 4 cups of water, once boiling add the barley and stir to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.

In another pot on MED/HI heat the oil. Saute the onions, garlic, and celery until wilted. Add all spices, herbs and stir well. Rinse the lentils in water a couple of times and then add to the pot. Stir until the lentils are incorporated into the mix, then add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil for about 10 mins.

Dissolve the bouillon cube in 2 cups of boiling water.

Once the barley has nearly absorbed the water add it into the lentil mix. Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, the bouillon, and check the seasonings and consistency of the soup, add a cup of water if you'd like. Bring all to a boil for 10 mins. and turn down to MED/LO. Simmer about and hour or until lentils and barley are soft and tender.

This, like gumbo is much thicker and tastier the next day.