Josh's new apartment
Sebastien, Katie, Julie, Kelly, Drew, MaryKate, Kenneth, Brent, Laura, Steve, Marisa, Matt, Ben, Chris, Chandler, Ashley, Caleb, Justine, Doug, Mandi, Gwyn, Vanessa, David, Leland, Luke, Joshua, Claude, Bettina, and me
Sesame-ginger radish tea sandwiches
Lots of cheese (to quote Julie as she presented some havarti and beloved Tillamook: "A house isn't a home without cheese!")
Crudite with cucumber-dill Greek yogurt
Vanessa's Kalamata dip (AKA Chris's new obsession) and coconut jam (it's really THE JAM)
Brent and Laura's Prettiest Salad Ever
Josh's purple potato salad
Marisa's sweet potato bread
Baked four cheese penne with caramelized leeks
Spicy black eye pea and tomato bisque
Chris's butterscotch bars
Plain old good friends (who are, of course, far from plain or old), good vibes, and good conversation: The best comfort on a rainy night.
Bettina said the phrase "frickin' shoot," which was somehow the most charming thing I heard all night.
At one point, I cried from laughing. At my own joke, which I'm willing to admit was so...totally...humorless. Embarrassing much?
A new apartment is filled with so much promise. For me, it's always "I'm actually going to put things on the walls this time!" and "I might grow up and keep this one clean!" That hasn't happened quite yet in my case, so I'm just going to blame all my past failures on not having black-eyed peas at my housewarming.
Black-eyed peas, of course, are meant to be good luck if you eat them on New Year's Day. I've decided that souperstition (shuddup) can be extended to any new beginning, and what's a housewarming if not a brand new start?
The soup was tasty, y'all, and I'll talk about it more, but first I have a confession to make. I have this condition, you guys. Let's call it spice dysmorphia. Here I was, thinking I'd totally underspiced the soup, but I'm pretty sure it made some people sweat (sorry, Julie). Years of spice abuse at Thai and Indian establishments have left me desensitized to all but the most painful capsaicin-fueled lingual firestorms. Sometimes I forget that all tongues are different. To anyone I spiced out, I do sincerely apologize (I might even apologise--I know, so proper, right?). It's not me; it's my condition. Hope you got plenty of grown-up mac 'n' cheese.
In summation: I liked it quite a bit, although it likely isn't to everyone's taste. I'm not sure whether I'll make it again in this magical world just brimming with recipes, but I'm pretty stoked to eat the leftovers. Legume-powered good luck for days!
My friend Beth sent me this recipe, and the way she wrote it was so cute that I'm just going to copy and paste it here, and list the changes I made at the end.
Spicy Black-eyed Pea and Tomato Bisque
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup diced onions plus a little more for garnish
A good size pinch of black pepper and salt
2 Teaspoons of Paprika – to taste
2 Teaspoons of Smoked Paprika – to taste
2 Teaspoons of oregano
A few dashes hot sauce (I’d recommend Tamazula)
2 can’s Trappey’s Black eyed peas with jalapeno (Available at Krogers - But you can use your own cooked and seasond black eyed peas if you'd rather)
2 large cans of Roma tomatoes (seeded, diced and the juice reserved)
1 cup and a 1/2 of cream plus some to garnish
Heat up a pot to medium add the olive oil, when it’s hot add the onions and stir for about 3 minutes, you want them soft so lower the heat if they are cooking too fast. Add in the salt and pepper, stir for another minute. Add the paprika’s and toast it with the onions turning up the heat a little bit. When the flavors have toasted and the onions are soft, turn up the heat a little more and add in a tablespoon at a time about a ¼ cup of the reserved tomato juice, letting the juice incorporate completely between each spoon full in effect deglazing the pan.
Add in the black-eyed peas (and their liquid), the diced tomatoes and the hot sauce, the rest of the reserved tomato juice and bring to boiling. Add in the oregano, turn down the heat to medium and let simmer about 15 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, blend the bejeezus out of it for about 5 minutes or more, getting it as smooth as you can. (you can do it in batches in a regular blender, just make sure you leave the lid open a bit so the steam/heat pressure doesn’t make the lid explode off…very painful with hot liquid, trust me you do not want this to happen)
Add the cream, blend together, heat and it’s ready to serve. Garnish with a drizzle of cream, a bit of the diced onion and a sprinkle of the smoked paprika. (You could use sour cream or yogurt as well)
- Because Trappey's are cooked with bacon, I used plain black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed, and added fresh jalapeno to the onions in the first step--The final flavor was still quite smoky.
- To save time and mess, I just broke the tomatoes up with my hands as I added them.
- I cut the cream by 2/3 and used fat-free Greek yogurt to make up the difference.
- I tripled the recipe to be on the safe side. It made waaaaay more than enough with the plentiful spread--Probably should have just doubled it!
- I added a good bit more than a few dashes of my El Yucateco hot sauce.