Saturday, November 9, 2019

Sunday Dinner November 10, 2019

On the Menu




Firecracker Chicken
4 – 6 Servings
Chicken
4 – 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon oil
Sauce Ingredients
¼ cup maple syrup
1 medium – large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
3 tablespoons adobo sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon butter
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup light brown sugar
 
Method
Chicken Directions
Combine the sea salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion and cayenne pepper then season chicken thoroughly with it.  Let the chicken marinate in the seasoning at least an hour or overnight.
To bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or wipe a sheet pan lightly with oil. Place breast on pan and bake 40 - 45 minutes (depending on size of breast) or when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. 
To grill: Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil. Cook On the prepared grill for 12 minutes per side, or until chicken juice is no longer pink. Once the juice runs clear and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit you are ready to top chicken with Firecracker Sauce.
Sauce Directions
In a blender or food processor, combine the maple syrup, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, apple cider vinegar, butter, garlic and light brown sugar and process until smooth. Transfer product to a small sauce pan and simmer over medium heat. Allow it to come to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. Leave it simmering until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. When chicken is ready, drizzle the sauce over it and serve.


New Age Greens
4 – 6 Serving 
Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
4 - 6+ garlic cloves, sliced
2 pounds of greens (any greens), washed, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
½ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon garlic, granulated/powder
1 teaspoon onion, granulated/powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ - 1 teaspoon pepper

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. 
Add the crushed red chili peppers and sauté until peppers start to brown approximately 30 seconds.  Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and continue sautéing approximately 1 minute, do not let the garlic brown.  Add the greens, orange juice, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper, mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Bring pan up to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 15 – 30 minutes (depending on the greens), stirring occasionally. 
That is a sufficient amount of time for the greens to be done.  Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Variations:
  1. Onions and/or peppers (any variety or colors) can be sautéed with the garlic.
  2. Any type of mushroom can also be added to the sauté prior to adding the greens.
  3. Dried herbs i.e. oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc can be added for additional flavor.
  4. Seasoning blends i.e. curry powder, Italian seasoning, garam masala, etc., for added flavor.
  5. ½ teaspoon liquid smoke1, hot sauce and vinegar can be added along with the juice.
Note:  When you’re dealing with bitter or pungent greens use sweet vegetables or fruit to sweeten the pot, red bell peppers, grated carrots, apple juice or pineapple juice. Caramelized (sautéed until golden brown) onions are very sweet and goes well with bitter greens caramelized tomatoes will work also.

Soulful Eating
Angelique and Joyce


1 Liquid smoke if you use too much will make your food bitter so be careful.


Caprese Pasta Salad
8 Servings

Ingredients
8 cups water
1 pound pasta (angel hair, orzo or penne)
2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ - ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, ½” dice
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 small bunch fresh Basil, chiffonade

Instructions
In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add pasta and bring the pot back up to a rapid boil then stir.
Cover pot, turn off the burner and let pasta sit, undisturbed 6 – 8 minutes (see package for exact cooking time). 
Drain pasta in a colander then transfer to a large bowl.  While pasta is still hot, stir in the salt and mix thoroughly.
Add ¼ cup olive oil mix until pasta is coated with oil then refrigerate until pasta is cool.
Once pasta is cool, add pepper, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and remaining oil if needed.
Mix thoroughly and refrigerate until salad is cold.



 Black Bean Soup with Roasted Vegetables
8 Servings
Ingredients
6 tomatoes cut in half
1 large onion, cut into quarters, with core in tact
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bell pepper, seeded, halved
1 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½  teaspoon granulated garlic
chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 cups black beans
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped 
1 avocado for garnish

Method
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the tomatoes, onion and garlic into a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic to taste.
Transfer vegetables to 2 sheet pans then roast for 30 minutes, or until vegetables turn slightly brown.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large saucepan over medium heat; add the black beans, vegetable broth, chipotle pepper with 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano.
Simmer  on low for about 30 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor along with the fresh cilantro and puree. 
Garnish with slices of avocado .





Saturday, November 2, 2019

Sunday Dinner November 3, 2019

On the Menu





 Honey Glazed Christmas Ham
Serves 10 – 12
Ingredients
5-6 lb. fully cooked ham
¼ cup whole cloves
¼ cup pure maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ½ cups honey
1 tablespoon butter
 ¼ cup brown sugar
 ¼ cup orange juice
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place ham cut side down in a foil-lined roasting pan.
Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern
lace the whole cloves in the scored intersections.
Combine  syrup, allspice, honey, butter, brown sugar, orange juice, and pepper in the top half of a double boiler, and heat until the butter melts and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally.
Keep this glaze in the top of a double boiler, over hot water, while baking ham.
Brush glaze over ham, then cover with foil.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325 degrees, basting ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the warm honey glaze.
During the last 5 minutes of baking time, remove the foil and turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze.
Watch the ham carefully during the broiling time! Remove the ham from oven, cover with foil, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. 



Sweet Potatoes with Avocado and Dill
4 Servings
Ingredients
4 Sweet Potatoes
1 avocado
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
¼ cup scallions, chopped
juice of ½ lime
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste 
 Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F 
Prick potatoes with a folk and place on a baking sheet. Place in a preheated oven and bake until potatoes are tender.
Remove the avocado pit and scoop the flesh into as a bowl. Add the dill, scallion, lime juice, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix with a folk while mashing the until all ingredients are well combined.

Cut open the potatoes and top with the avocado.



Creole Green Beans
Serving Size: 4 to 6

Ingredients
½ pound fresh green beans, trimmed & washed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pat of butter
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large cloves roasted garlic, diced

Method
Using a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter until nice and hot on a medium-high heat.
Place the green beans into the pan and toss lightly so that all green beans are covered in oil. Cook for about 1 minute then season the green beans with the dry seasonings.
Cook for another 2 minutes taste for flavor and adjust seasoning if needed
Add garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minute or until slightly softened.
Remove from heat, serve and enjoy.

Note: Make sure you do not cook the green beans all the way. You must cook it lightly so that it still has its crunch and maintain their national value and texture.



Golden Beet Salad
8 Servings
Ingredients
6 medium golden beets
1 medium red beet - optional
¼ cup water
¼ cup olive oil
½ bunch Italian [flat leaf] parsley
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced - How to
1 medium red onion, sliced
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon granulated garlic

Method
Preheat oven 350 degrees F
Wash beets thoroughly, and place them in a roasting pan.
Pour water and 1 teaspoon of oil over the beets, toss them around until beets are coated then roast in oven until tender.
Once beets cool, peel and cut into eighths.
Combine all vegetables in a large bowl.
Whisk together vinegar, remaining oil, salt, pepper and garlic pour over beets and mix thoroughly.
Let salad marinate a few hours before serving.



Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Yields 8 - 10 servings

Ingredients
4 pounds butternut squash
1 jumbo sweet potato
1 tablespoon sea salt – Divided
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ cup olive oil – Divided
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
1 gallon Vegetable Broth

Method


Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Slice squash lengthwise and remove seeds 
Wash sweet potato and cut in half lengthwise
Brush the inside of the potato & squash lightly with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 
Bake in oven 45 minutes or until tender.  The potato will get done before the squash, so remove it when it’s done. 
Once they are cool enough to handle, remove skin from the potato and scoop the squash out of its skin with a tablespoon.  Mash both the potato and squash with a potato masher. Add vegetable broth to a large stockpot and place over medium heat. 
Add mashed vegetables to the broth. 
Sprinkle in the remaining salt, coriander and pumpkin spice then mix thoroughly. 
Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Cook uncovered 30 - 45 minutes or until soup thickens, stirring occasionally. 
If you have an immersion blender (hand blender), puree the soup in the pot. 
If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender and puree; then return it to the pot. 
Check for seasoning and add pumpkin spice/salt – ½ teaspoon at a time if needed. 
Bring the soup back up to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. 
Continue cooking uncovered an additional 15 minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness.  Keep in mind that once the soup sets, it will become twice as thick.

Holiday Dinner Timeline


  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Years
  • Easter
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day

We use the timeline anytime we are planning a large gathering.





Ever since we discovered this holiday timeline, our meal planning and preparation has been a snap. All of the hassle and stress of holiday meal preparation is significantly reduced. We can now sit down and enjoy our meal along with the rest of our guest. So for those of you who have never followed a timeline, now is the time to start a tradition. Keep in mind that this is not a solo experience. Holidays are a time for friends and family so make the planning and preparation of any affair an event the family will always remember

Three weeks prior to event:
Gather the family members and together, prepare your guest list.

Two weeks prior to event:


  1. As a family, decide on your menu making sure to include vegetarian and special dietary needs dishes.
  2. Order your fresh turkey, or buy your frozen turkey and put it in the freezer. 
  3. Pick up all beverages.
  4. Shop for non-perishable goods (cranberry sauce, pasta, maple syrup, brown sugar, legumes, etc.)  now, before the rush.
  5. Purchase/make all your dried seasonings and spices i.e. Poultry Seasoning, Pumpkin Spice Mix, etc.  Toss all of last years' seasonings, they are too old . Even if they still smell okay, they can give your dishes a bitter/dirt like taste.

One week prior to event:

  1. Shop for your squashes and root vegetables, such as butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, parsnips and turnips.
  2. Dig out roasters, platters and serving dishes.  Wash and iron linen if needed.
  3. Pull out and clean the cooler to use as a storage chest in order to make more room in your refrigerator. The larger the cooler the better.

Three days prior:

  1. Remove turkey from freezer and defrost it in the refrigerator.
  2. Clean the house with the help of family/household members.

Two days prior:

  1. Make pies, rolls, breads, and cornbread for stuffing. Refrigerate pies; you can always warm things up again before serving.
  2. Make things that can sit for two days in the fridge such as soups and cranberry sauces (think about foods that always taste better a day or so after they are cooked).
  3. Prepare dishes that can be stored in the refrigerator uncooked, i.e. casseroles; squash, candied yams or green bean.

One day prior:

  1. If you ordered a fresh turkey, pick it up.
  2. Buy your greens and perishable vegetables. Wash and cut vegetables place them in plastic bags then refrigerate or place in cooler.
  3. Put ice in cooler (keep it in the plastic bag) and start storing food items.  Just don’t mix meat items with non meat items.  Make sure everything is self contained so that juices do not drip and contaminate other items.  Place cooler in garage or other cool area until you need it the next day.
  4. Do any remaining baking.
  5. Prepare all other vegetables for cooking.  Get all ingredients needed to put your dishes together peeled, cut, diced and sliced.  Store them in containers in the refrigerator or cooler.
  6. Wash, dry and season turkey inside and out with dry seasonings.  Wrap in foil or plastic and refrigerate. Also marinade/season any other meats or fish.
  7. It's easier if you set the table today.
  8. Estimate your cooking time for tomorrow and determine the order you need to cook you dishes in.
  9. Now get a good night sleep. 

Day of the Event:

  1. Prepare stuffing
  2. If you did not do it yesterday, season any other meat (roast/ham) or fish you may be serving.  Then wrap and refrigerate until it’s time to cook.
  3. Boil potatoes and mash them, cook other vegetables.  They can be reheated just before serving.

Cooking time:

  1. Get the turkey/other meats in the oven according to the schedule you determined.
  2. After the turkey is in the oven - if you have completed the rest of the tasks you have time to relax an hour or so.
  3. Just before the turkey's done, begin cooking fresh vegetables, get anything else that needs to go into the oven ready (stuffing, store bought rolls, etc.).
  4. While the cooked turkey is resting: Put a foil tent over the turkey. You have an hour to complete the rest of the food.
  5. Put the stuffing, fish or any casserole not already cooked in the oven now.
  6. Warm whatever needs to be warmed, including mashed potatoes, rolls, soups, and casseroles.
  7. Cook any remaining vegetables.
  8. Make the gravy.
  9. Put all the food on the table or buffet. Have family members assist with filling the glasses, gravy bowl, etc.

You are now ready to chow down! Sit, relax and enjoy yourself feasting on the great meal you just created.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Sunday Dinner October 27, 2019

On the Menu





12 - 14 Servings
Ingredients
2 pounds elbow macaroni
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2- 3 cups milk
2 pounds Velveeta cheese, diced
2 large eggs, beaten
1 pound (NY or WI)* extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded  
1 pound Monterey jack cheese, shredded

*In my opinion, if it’s not New York or Wisconsin cheddar then it’s not cheddar cheese!

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a large pot, pour in 6 quarts of water and bring to a rapid boil.
Add macaroni stir and bring water back up to a rapid boil.
Once water is boiling, stir again, cover the pot and remove it from the heat.
Let pot sit covered and undisturbed for the length of the cooking time that is stated on the box.
Drain the pasta and return it to pot.   
Add butter then season with salt, chili peppers and Cajun seasoning and set aside.
Meanwhile, pour 2 cups of milk into a large saucepan and warm over medium low heat.
Add the Velveeta cheese to the saucepan and cook over low heat until cheese has melted.
Add additional milk if needed then remove from the heat.
Using a tablespoon add some of the cheese sauce slowly to the eggs whisking as you add the sauce to the eggs.Once eggs and cheese are tempered, add the eggs to the cheese sauce and whisk together until well mixed.
Pour the sauce into the pot of pasta mixing thoroughly.  Then add the shredded cheese reserving 1 cup to sprinkle over the top of casserole and mix until all is well combined.  If needed, add more milk. 
The shredded cheese does not have to be melted; just make sure it is distributed throughout the pasta.
Pour pasta and cheese mixture into a large casserole dish top with 1 cup of cheese; cover with foil and bake 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or top is golden brown.


6 Servings

Note: This is the traditional Deep South fried pork chop recipe.  We’re just going to make it a little healthier by not submerging it in all that oil!  And tastier by adding garlic and homemade Cajun seasoning

Ingredients
6 bone-in pork chops ½ inch thick
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic - divided
2 teaspoons granulated onion – divided
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon cold water
1 ½ cups of all purpose flour - divided
½ cup of cornmeal
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Please Note:  If you are using a commercial Cajun seasoning, it already contains salt or some form of sodium so do not use any additional salt.
Method
Rinse pork chops and season both sides lightly with, sea salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion, set aside for an hour.

Preheat Oven to 325 Degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or lightly coat the pan with oil.

Select 3 bowls/containers large enough to hold a single chop and ingredients.

1.    Place ½ cup of flour in 1st bowl.
2.    In the 2nd bowl, whisk together the eggs and cold water
3.    In the 3rd bowl, mix 1 teaspoon each of the following: granulated garlic, granulated onion and Cajun seasoning with 1 cup of flour and the cornmeal.

From the 1st bowl, coat a chop with flour; shake off any excess so that the chop is lightly dusted with flour.
Dip the lightly dusted chop into the 2nd bowl with the egg wash, shake off the excess.
Press the pork chop firmly into the seasoned mixture in the 3rd bowl, making sure it’s thoroughly coated. Shake off any excess and then place it on the prepared sheet pan.  
Continue this process with all the chops, making sure they are not touching so that the heat can freely circulate around the chops to produce a brown crunchy coating.
Let chops cook uncovered 40 minutes or use a meat thermometer and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F [which takes 35 – 40 minutes].
Don't overcook the chops or pierce them with a fork. Remove chops from pan with tongs and let them rest 6 minutes before serving.



4 Servings
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 medium red onion, sliced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, sliced
I pound baby spinach
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, add the chili peppers and saute until flakes are lightly browned. Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic and continue sautéing until onions are translucent. Add all remaining ingredients and continue sautéing until spinach is wilted. Taste for flavor and adjust ingredients as needed. Remove from heat and serve immediately.


                                           Ange Leek, Potato and Lentil Soup
16 Servings

Ingredients
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
2 leeks, diced
2 large russet potatoes, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 - 3 garlic clove, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 pound dried lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup barley
2 - 3  bay leaves
12 cups water
28 ounces of canned crushed tomatoes
2 - 3 thyme sprigs
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
freshly ground pepper to taste

Method
In a large stock pot, heat the grape seed oil and saute leek, potatoes, onions, garlic, celery and carrots in oil until onions are translucent. Add all remaining ingredients, cover and simmer until potatoes and lentils are tender approximately 35 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for favor and adjust the seasoning as needed.Do not forget to remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Ange lentil Soup

Ange Leek, Potato and Lentil Soup
16 Servings

Ingredients
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
2 leeks, diced
2 large russet potatoes, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 - 3 garlic clove, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 pound dried lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup barley
2 - 3  bay leaves
12 cups water
28 ounces of canned crushed tomatoes
2 - 3 thyme sprigs
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
freshly ground pepper to taste

Method
In a large stock pot, heat the grape seed oil and saute leek, potatoes, onions, garlic, celery and carrots in oil until onions are translucent. Add all remaining ingredients, cover and simmer until potatoes and lentils are tender approximately 35 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for favor and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Do not forget to remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Sunday Dinner October 20, 2019

On the Menu

Pot Likker /Pot Liquor is the liquid obtain from cooking collard greens.  Other greens i.e. mustard, turnips etc. are also used to make pot likker. 
Traditionally greens are boiled in a large pot of water for a few hours to produce the likker.   I do not like mushy greens, so I boil the stems with bay leaves for 15 minutes then add the greens and simmer an additional 15 - 20 minutes. 
Pot likker contains essential vitamins and minerals including iron and Vitamin C. Especially important is that it contains a lot of Vitamin K, which aids in blood clotting.


Chicken Creole
6 Servings
Ingredients
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning - Recipe will follow
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
3 pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
1 - 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 recipe of Creole Sauce – Recipe will follow

Method
Mix together all of the seasonings and thoroughly coat each piece of chicken. 
Let chicken pieces marinate in the seasoning 2 hours or overnight.
Heat the oil in a skillet on medium high heat and sear the chicken on both sides then remove  from the pan.
Deglaze the pan by adding the wine and scraping the pan to release anything that is stuck to it. 
Reduce the heat and add the Creole sauce and mix thoroughly.
Return the chicken to the pan, cover and reduce the heat to low.
Simmer the chicken for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until chicken is tender.


 Red Beans and Rice
6 Serves
Ingredients
1 pound dried red kidney beans
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped celery
2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or any hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Chopped scallions or parsley for garnish

Method
Sort beans by removing any broken or disfigured beans, rocks, dirt and any other debris.  Rinse thoroughly and drain.
Put beans in a large saucepan, cover with water and soak overnight.  To quick soak the beans, bring pot to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and soak for 1 hour before cooking.
While beans are soaking, heat the oil in a medium saute pan add the onions, peppers, celery and garlic cloves saute until onions are translucent.
After the soaking period is over, add the sautéed vegetables, dried seasonings, bay leaves, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce mix thoroughly, cover and cook over low heat 2 – 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve beans over steamed brown rice and garnish with scallions or parsley.
Note: This is a well seasoned dish so careful with the Cajun seasoning and Tabasco sauce.



 Greens and Pot Likker
6 Servings
Ingredients
3 pounds mixed greens, chard, mustard, kale, collards, etc.
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
4 large garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce or any hot sauce

Method
Wash the greens thoroughly.  Cut off any stems that extends beyond the leaves and set them aside. 
Then cut the greens and stems that are still affixed to the leaves into bite size pieces and set them aside.
In a large stock pot, add the water, the  stems you sat aside and bay leaves.  Bring pot to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium and let stems simmer for 15 minutes {this is your pot likker}.
Remove the stems and bay leaves from the pot and add the chopped greens, salt, Cajun seasoning, granulated garlic & onion and the liquid smoke.  Mix thoroughly; then bring the pot back up to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a medium saute pan and add the onions, bell pepper and garlic saute until onions are translucent.
Add sautéed vegetables to the pot of greens along with the vinegar and Tabasco sauce and mix thoroughly. 
Continue to let greens simmer uncovered another 5 – 6 minutes. 
Taste for seasoning, adjust if needed, cover pot and remove from heat.

Note the reason you're cooking the greens uncovered, is to allow the liquid to reduce and produce a more concentrated flavor.


 Creole Sauce
4 Cups
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups fresh diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Cajun spice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
¼ cup dry sherry
¼ teaspoon Tabasco or hot sauce

Method
 Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and saute the onions, garlic and celery until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring occasionally about 6 minutes.
Add the tomatoes along with the herbs, spices, salt, sherry and hot sauce.
Cook the sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally breaking up the tomatoes for 15 – 20 minutes until sauce thickens. 
Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning accordingly.

 N'awlins Cajun Seasoning
Yields 1 cup
Ingredients
½ cup paprika
¼ cup black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons granulated onion

Method
Combine the spices thoroughly and store them in an air tight glass jar in a cool dry place.  If not used in 1 month, store in the refrigerator for up to   6 months.