Posts Tagged ‘inexpensive food’

Corn Grits

October 26th, 2011

Grits

The consumption of grits is a long standing tradition of Southern Cuisine.  The culinary ritual of grinding corn  by a stone meal comes to us from the Native Americans and thrives today all over the south and anywhere else that is influenced by regional American cuisine.  Southern food, someone said, is the only uniquely American of foods.

There exists a passionate streak in every southerner when it comes to the proper cooking, holding and consumption of grits.  Every man and woman in the south has at one point or another eaten a bowl full of the milled corn and has an opinion on it.  Salt, butter and time on low heat  suffices for the preparation of this meal.

When people ask me what grits are and their faces remain blank after I have replied  “milled corn” I go on to explain that they are similiar to polenta.  That inevitably receives an “ahh” of recognition and we continue on with the conversation.

Grits at the restaurant come from South Carolina.  I tell folks that Adam polled the confederate states to find out which had the finest product.  South Carolina won.  Every once in a while someone asks us to add cheese to it, and occasionally a variation of cheese grits becomes the bed for some charred, sweat protein appetizer.

The preparation of corn grits is such a fundamental part of our American cuisine and really an extremely economic method of feeding the family that everyone should know how to make them.  It is really quite easy, and if you come check us out at duckspoon.com you can find out how to make corn grits and how to braise a hog shoulder and put yourself a pretty inexpensive but very tasty dinner for the family.

Cheers!

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Lentil Soup

October 4th, 2011

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“The lentil soup recipe,” he says, as I am pacing up and down the kitchen with my phone’s ear piece in.

“But Pete,” I interject,” I have all kinds of soups frozen right now, chicken and grilled corn, roast squash and garlic, gazpacho…none of it?  Just that one soup?  You are telling me that your broke butt is so flush that you don’t need some of these freshly frozen, hand made soups for free?”

Pete is my dad’s best friend and he lives up on the mountain and doesn’t get down very much to buy food, and generally buys processed food.  I had just made a big batch of soup from duckspoon’s lentil soup recipe and frozen it in single-serve, quart size bags.  Soups can be very economical to prepare and freeze for use, and I generally keep a stack of frozen soups on hand.

As much as I love cream soups, they don’t freeze well.  Sometimes it would be nice to whip out  a crab bisque instead of whipping out  the lentil soup recipe or the chicken chowder.  Chowders don’t freeze well with the potatoes in them either.  The potatoes break down and make the soup kinda starchy.  It’s best to freeze just the basic soups and add what you need to as you reheat them.

My dad’s lentil soup recipe is by far one of the most economical, healthy and easy soups to keep on hand in the freezer.  I use the freezer because I don’t often get a chance to spend an hour or two in front of the stove preparing dinner.  Instead I prepare it in advance, a cooking binge I guess.  Pork shoulder, whole chickens, bags freshly made from the lentil soup recipe all inhabit my freezer out in the garage…all at my disposal.

The lentil soup recipe is a symbol of duckspoon.com’s mission statement: to teach folks how to cook good, inexpensive food and feed their family healthy meals.  You can learn to fabricate a turkey out, or butcher a whole hog, or even how to 5$ dinners to feed a family of four.  My dad’s lentil recipe soup is a perfect example of that.

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