Cat's Claw (A Pecan Springs Mystery)
Favorite Breakfast Burritos
½ pound bulk pork sausage (mild or hot)
1 small sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (leave the seeds in for extra heat)
½ cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon cumin
1 can refried beans
10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1¼ cup taco sauce
2½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Cook sausage until browned. Drain and set aside, reserving drippings. Add chopped peppers, onion, and garlic to drippings in skillet and cook until onions are translucent and peppers are soft. Add eggs and cumin; cook, stirring occasionally, until eggs are firm but still moist. Stir in the sausage and refried beans and mix thoroughly.
Warm tortillas in microwave. Spoon one-tenth of the egg-sausage-beans mixture along the center line of each tortilla. Cover with 2 tablespoons of taco sauce and ¼ cup shredded cheese and roll up. Wrap individual burritos in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.
To serve: Heat in microwave until hot. Rewrap in foil for breakfast to-go.
Sheila’s Garlic & Herb Potato Salad
2 tablespoons mixed herbs, chopped fine (rosemary, parsley, chervil, chives, thyme)
4 tablespoons olive oil
8–10 small red potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed
Dash of white wine (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, mix the herbs and olive oil. Set aside and let the flavors infuse while you prepare the potatoes. Cut into halves or quarters. Cook in boiling water for 10 minutes, or until thepotatoes are just tender but still firm. Drain potatoes and return to pot, away from the heat. Cover with a dry towel and let them steam for 10 to 15 minutes. (Potatoes should be tender, yet firm and unbroken.)
To make the dressing, whisk the wine, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper together. Slowly add the oil/herb mixture.
Place the potatoes in a large bowl and splash with dressing. Toss carefully. Cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold, at room temperature, or warm (you may microwave briefly).
Sheila’s Creole Baked Beans
An overnight stay in the refrigerator is good for this bean dish—it mellows and enhances the flavors.
1 pound small red or white beans, cleaned and soaked overnight in cold water
6 slices bacon, diced
1 cup diced onion
2 ribs celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4–6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Creole Spice Blend (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 can tomatoes, crushed, or 1 cup seeded, chopped fresh tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock, or 4 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 cups water
Preheat oven to 300°F.
In a large heavy pot, fry bacon over medium heat until bits are crisp. Remove bacon and reserve. Add the onion, celery, and pepper; cook until softened and lightly browned. Add garlic, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and Creole Spice Blend; cook 2 minutes. Stir in the beans, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, tomatoes, reserved bacon, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover pot tightly. Alternatively, transfer to a lidded casserole and bake for 1½ to 2 hours; check the stock regularly and add more if necessary. Cook until the beans are tender and most of the stock is absorbed. Remove bay leaf. Add salt to taste. Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish, 6 to 8 as a side dish.
Creole Spice Blend
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
½ teaspoon whole white peppercorns
Combine all the ingredients in a coffee grinder or spice mill. Process until smooth and uniform. Store in a tightly lidded jar in a dark place.
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