It is no secret that I do the vast majority of the cooking in my house. However, ever since I started this blog, my husband has been joking about posting a recipe. Now, bear in mind that follow-through is not the hubs' strong suit. That being said, the Big Man does love browsing the food sections of whatever newspaper he happens to be reading. Of course, he claims that it is for my benefit, but with a recent issue, he came out of his culinary shell and invaded my kitchen. Here is how it went:
*at work, my cell phone rings*
Hubs: Hey, did you say you were going to the grocery after work?
Me: Yep, why? Need me to pick something up for you?
Hubs: Yeah, if you would. Got a pen?
Me: *ignores the request and rolls eyes*
Me: Go ahead...
Hubs: Ok, a can of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of blackeyed peas, the kind with jalapenos if they have them, a can of beef broth....
Me: *scrambles to find the pen I didn't think I needed*
Hubs: what are tomatoes with chiles?
Me: never mind, I know what it is....
Hubs: four ounces of green chiles, 2 fresh jalapeños....
Me: Good lord, honey, what are we making?
He proceeds to tell me that he found this recipe in the newspaper the day before and it sounded good. So, after determining that most of the ingredients he needed were already in the pantry, I wrote down what was left and headed for the store.
While I was in the checkout lane, my phone rings again.
Me: Yes, dear?
Hubs: Do you have a dutch oven?
Me: Ummm yes, why?
*the grocery clerk gives me an odd look*
Hubs: Where is it?
Me: its the black enamel pot on the cabinet by the laundry room...why?
Hubs: The recipe says to use a dutch oven.
Me: *smirking a little* Ok, but its not a very big one, we'll probably use my regular stockpot.
Me: Do you need me to get anything else?
Hubs: Nope, just hurry up.
At this point, I am getting suspicious. Sure enough, I get home and open the front door to the sound and smell of onions cooking and see my dear husband hunched over the cutting board, hacking away at the fresh jalapeños. Apparently I was just in time for the main event. He was impatiently waiting for me to arrive with the remaining ingredients. We teamed up to put together the remaining ingredients in the pot and brought it up to a boil.
I have got to say, this soup is a real keeper. We discovered (since we've made it about three more times in the last three weeks) that you have to make a double batch to fill your average crock pot all the way. This made it on the menu for the hubs' birthday party at the local watering hole and the recipe was requested by about a dozen of the regulars. It was also the first item to disappear from the buffet.
If you know anyone who likes a good, hearty and spicy soup/stew, this is for them. One tip I can give you is to make sure you drain all the grease thoroughly after cooking the meats. You can adjust the heat by using canned green chiles OR canned diced jalapeños, you can use mild, original, or hot Ro-tel, and you can use as few or as many fresh jalapeños as you like. In our house, we used canned jalapenos, original Ro-tel, and 2 fresh jalapeños in each batch. When we doubled it, we used 3 fresh jalapeños instead of 4, so that we wouldn't hurt any of our friends who were eating it. Use your own judgement based on how tough your taste buds are! It turned our very flavorful with a pretty good kick, without being overly hot. Keep in mind though, that we are lovers of the chile, so you may want to tone your version down if you are a little more cautious around the spicier foods. Also, it may look pretty thin at first, but this soup with thicken up like crazy in the fridge, so don't worry if it seems a bit watery, as it does in my pictures. I like mine that way, but the hubs is one of those people that likes everything better the next day.
So! Congratulate my honey, this is his first recipe posted on my blog (or anywhere else, for that matter) and I'm pretty proud of him for coming up with such a good one, and for doing a damned fine job in the kitchen.
Blackeyed Pea Soup with Polish Sausage
1 pound ground beef
1 pound polish sausage or kielbasa, cut in bite size pieces
1 onion, chopped
1-2 jalapeños, seeded and deveined, finely diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Ro-tel
1 can beef broth
2 cans blackeyed peas
1 4-ounce can green chiles
In a stock pot, brown the ground beef and set aside. Then toss in the sausage and brown gently (this adds great flavor to the soup). Add in the onion and jalapeño and cook until vegetables are soft. Put beef back in the pot and add all the canned items.Simmer until reduced slightly. Add 2-3 cups of water if you want a thinner soup. Serve with crusty bread.