NaBloPoMo Day 11: games and chicken

I might be obsessed with the card game Innovation.

obsessed with Innovation

I played it last year with my friend Jen’s deck and immediately bought my own which I have played lots of times, mostly with my friend Jill. Jen brought over her Echoes of the Past expansion pack and got us hooked on that so now I own that one too. I played with Jill yesterday and then Cookie came over and played it again today. What I think I like about it most is that no matter how you play, with expansions or not, changing up the expansion cards from one game to the next or not, each game is different. There are a few cards that are obviously good but none of them guarantee that you will win the game. You really never know which card will be the best card that game.

The other thing that occupied me today was making a chicken in the slow cooker. I have never made a whole chicken in the slow cooker before so I gave this recipe a try. I missed the crispy skin of an oven roasted chicken but part of my goal was to make overnight slow cooker chicken broth and making the chicken in the slow cooker first meant that I could just pull the meat off and leave everything else in the slow cooker and start the broth immediately. I hope it’s tasty. Someone in my house is having stomach troubles and home made chicken broth cures all. I do have Jewish heritage after all. I might also throw some matzo balls in there. It couldn’t hurt.

creole beans and rice

I am posting this here because I was talking about the recipe on Facebook and they seem to have hidden their notes feature in a place where I can’t figure out how to write a new one. Darn Facebook. Anyway, here it is.

Creole Beans and Rice
From “New Recipes from the Moosewood Restaurant”

Serves 6

3 cups dried kidney beans (I use 4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained)
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp ground allspice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 medium celery stalks, diced
1 cup diced carrots
2 to 3 green peppers, chopped (I use red usually)
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

2 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
salsa
sour cream

Cook the beans with 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice. (I skip this step, I used to simmer the beans with the spices for a while but I’m not convinced that made a difference.)

Sauté the onions and garlic in oil on medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the celery and carrots and continue to cook several minutes longer. Stir occasionally. Add the green pepper and sauté until all the vegetables are just tender. Whisk together the tomato past, red wine, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, herbs, and spices. Add this to the sautéed vegetables. In a large pot combine the drained beans and sautéed vegetable mixture and stir them until thoroughly mixed. (If using canned beans, I just add the extra cayenne and allspice in with the tomato paste mixture and add the canned beans at this point.) Simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Cook the rice. Serve beans with rice, topped with salsa and sour cream.

Changes I made for the slow cooker:

I increased the tomato paste to the whole can (which I often do anyway, just because half a can of tomato paste just goes bad in my fridge); used 1/2 cup of wine and 1/2 cup of water to increase the liquid.

I used less cayenne than it called for because I figured it would get too hot for me. This is clearly a matter of taste.

I sautéed the vegetables up to the point of adding the peppers and then I put that mixture into the slow cooker, mixed with half of tomato paste mixture. The other half of the tomato paste mixture was mixed with the beans, which I put on top of the vegetables in the cooker.

I cooked it all on low for 8 hours and it was delicious! Enjoy.