Ham Hock and Lima Beans

1 large meaty ham hock
4-8 cups large lima beans (cooked)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 medium onions, peeled & quartered
Salt to taste
Optional: 2 or 3 stalks celery and/or 2 or 3 carrots, cut into pieces

Cover ham hocks with water, add onions and garlic, and simmer until tender (about 2 hours). Add celery and carrots for last hour of cooking. When ham is done, remove from pot to cool until it can be handled. Remove skin and bones and cut meat into bite-size pieces. Return ham to pot and add drained limas. Cook uncovered for about an hour. Taste, adding salt if needed. Mixture should be of thick soup consistency. Add water to thin or mashed beans to thicken. Serve hot in individual bowls with hot cornbread. You may also choose to serve over rice.

Sautéed Shrimp with Cheese Grits

1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup Dixie Lily Quick Grits
1/4 tsp. salt or garlic salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2-3 lbs. medium shrimp, deveined
4-6 slices of bacon, diced
1/2 cup chopped green onion (4-5 onions)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
2 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste
1 tsp. granulated garlic
Sliced green onions and shredded cheddar for garnish

To prepare grits:

Bring chicken broth and milk to a boil in large saucepan. Stir in grits and salt; return to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 5 minutes until thickened; stirring occasionally. Stir in cheddar cheese. Keep warm.

To prepare shrimp:

Cook bacon in skillet until crisp; drain all but 2-3 tablespoons of fat from skillet.
Add peppers and onion; sauté vegetables with creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and one teaspoon granulated garlic.
When vegetables are tender; add peeled and deveined shrimp and cook until they turn pink. (Approximately 2-3 minutes).

Serve shrimp mixture over warm cheese grits. Garnish with chopped green onions and cheddar cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

Red Beans and Rice

1 lb. (2 cups) Red Kidney Beans, soaked
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
1 lb. ham shank, cut into 3 or 4 pieces*
3 cups uncooked rice
1/2 cup green onions, chopped, for garnish
*You can also add sliced Sausage such as Conecuh

1. Drain beans; discard soak water.
2. Place oil in 4-quart pot and heat. Add two green onions, white or yellow onion, celery leaves, and garlic. Sauté until onion is tender but not browned.
3. Add beans, water, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir well.
4. Bury ham shank pieces in beans*. Bring beans to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. If adding sausage add during last 30 minutes of cooking.
5. Cook rice with water and salt according to package directions.
6. Remove ham shank pieces. Cut meat from bones and discard bones. Dice meat and add to beans.
7. Serve beans over hot rice. Top each serving with a generous sprinkling of green onions.

Pinto, Northern Bean Soup

1 pound (2 cups) dry Pinto Beans, soaked
1 ham bone
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup bacon fat or shortening
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 medium tomatoes, chopped or
1-1/4 cups canned tomatoes
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
1 tablespoon (or more) chili powder

Drain beans, cover with fresh water. Add ham bone, salt and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour or until beans are tender. Drain beans and reserve liquid. Heat bacon fat in large skillet; cook onion and garlic in fat until golden. Add all remaining ingredients. Cover and cook about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Combine tomato mixture with beans. Add bean liquid as needed to achieve stew consistency. Simmer, covered, over low heat for another 15 minutes. Remove ham bone before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Santa Fe Chicken Chili

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups chopped red bell peppers (4 medium)
2 cups chopped onions (2 medium)
2 cups chopped green bell peppers (2 medium)
8 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) reduced sodium chicken broth
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups cooked kidney beans, drained and rinsed*
1 jar (12 oz.) prepared salsa
1 package (10 oz.) frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon black pepper
*1 cup dry makes 3 cups cooked.

In a large pot, heat oil over high heat. Add bell peppers, onions and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chili powder, cumin and cayenne; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 15 minutes to reduce liquid slightly.

Stir in chicken, cooked kidney beans, salsa and corn. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in black pepper and salt.

Serve with a topping of shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped green onion.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Curry Chicken Lime Rice Bowl

1- 9 oz. jar mango chutney
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. hot curry powder
2 each 6 to 10 oz. pkgs. Refrigerated grilled chicken strips or 3 cups sliced, grilled chicken breasts
1 cup diced bell pepper
3 cups cooked China Doll Rice

In large bowl, whisk chutney, lime juice, oil, salt and curry powder. Stir in chicken, bell pepper and cooked rice. Serve immediately or cover and chill.

Sheepherder’s Hearty Soup

1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup diced onion
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup water
2/3 cup milk
Dash of bottled hot pepper sauce
3-1/3 cups, drained, cooked baby Limas
1 can (16 oz.) whole kernel corn
1 can (8 oz.) tomatoes, crushed
3/4 cup shredded Jack cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Sauté celery and onion in butter. Blend in flour. Add water and milk. Cook, stirring until thickened
and smooth. Add cooked beans, corn (with its liquid), tomatoes and cheese. Heat thoroughly, but do not boil. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Serve with wedges of sheepherder’s or sour dough bread.

Ranch Style Lentil Soup

1 cup Lentils
1/4 lb. salt pork
1/2 cup diced celery
4 cups water
1/3 cup diced onions
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Wash Lentils, drain. Combine ingredients; bring to boiling point; reduce heat; simmer 30-40 minutes or until tender. Rub through sieve or put through fine food chopper (optional). There should be a minimum of 1-1/2 quarts. Heat to boiling point. May be garnished with thin slices of wieners or smoked sausage.

Black Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onion (1 large)
2 cups thinly sliced carrots (4-5 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced celery (2 stalks)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 12 oz. bags of black beans (follow soak instructions on bag)
1 can (14.5 oz.) low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup beer*
1-1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* may substitute 1/2 cup chicken broth or water.

lemon or lime slices
sour cream or plain yogurt
cooked white or yellow rice
shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; sauté onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 3 minutes. Cover; cook 10 minutes, stirring several times until vegetables are very soft. Transfer vegetables to food processor or blender. Add beans. Purée until very smooth. Return mixture to saucepan. Drain and rinse remaining beans; add to soup. Stir in broth, beer, cumin and cayenne. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Serve with squeeze of lemon or lime, or choice of condiments.

Makes about 7 cups. Serves 6