Feijoada -jpegIn my book that will be coming out this fall A Ghost of a Chance  (a brief synopsis is on the “Katie’s books” section of my website or click here. ) there is a lot of talk of food. A LOT. I love food. And my books often feature yummy food. After a particularly grueling part of the book, one of the characters makes Feijoada for the ghost hunting team. Feijoada (pronounced fedg-e-wa-da) is the national dish of Brazil. Its origins are less than stellar. Enslaved people, desperate for sustenance would mix black beans with whatever meat leftovers their owners deemed to offer them. Therefore, they often had to make due with a cow’s tongue, and other pieces of discarded meat. They wasted nothing. And they cooked and cooked and cooked this dish. All that cooking somehow made magic happen. This black bean dish is based on the creativity and resourcefulness of the slaves of Brazil. It is amazing. Make sure to cook some rice at the end and play some Antônio Carlos Jobim while you eat this wonderfully tasty meal.

Serves 8-10

Chorizo or other smoked spiced pork sausage
Fresh breakfast sausage
ham hock
3-1/2 quarts water
Dried black beans
Lean slab bacon
Canadian-style bacon in 1 piece
2 tablespoons butter
About 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped(or 1 cup
canned plum tomatoes, drained
2 bottled Tabasco peppers, drained, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

5 large oranges, peeled and thinly sliced

THE MEATS: Precook the meats in the following fashion:  Put the spareribs, sausages and ham hock in water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. THE BEANS: In a heavy 12 quart casserole or a large soup pot, bring water to a boil over high heat.  Drop in the beans and boil them briskly for 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the beans soak for 1 hour.  Then add the ham hock and lean bacon.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour.  Check the beans so that they do not get too dry. They should be moist and slightly soupy.  Add boiling water if necessary. Preheat the oven to 250.   Continue cooking the beans  for  1 hour.  Finally, add the smoked and fresh sausage and bacon and cook for 30 minutes. when the meats are tender, remove them from the pot and place them in the oven to keep warm.  Skim the fat from the surface of the beans and remove the pot from the heat. THE SAUCE: In a heavy 8-10 inch skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat and all the onions and garlic,  Cook , stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent but not brown.  Stir in tomatoes, Tabasco peppers, salt and black pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove 2 cups of beans from the casserole and add them to the skillet.  Mash them thoroughly into the onion mixture, moistening them with 2 cups of the bean liquid as you mash.  Stirring occasionally, simmer the sauce over low heat for 25 minutes, or until it becomes thick. With a rubber spatula scrape the sauce into the pot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Present the beans, with rice and orange slices in separate bowls.

Katie Baldwin has a secret life. During the day she is a mild-mannered researcher at a prestigious University. By night she writes fantastical tales of romance and mystery. When she is not pacing her home working out dialogue in her mind, she is baking scones and working out dialogue in her mind. Aside from writing, she has a ferocious passion for the Green Bay Packers, Nutella, and her MinPin/Chihuahua mix dog/baby, Marley. She can be found on twitter waxing eloquently about all of her passions. Go Pack Go! Twitter @katiebwrites https://www.facebook.com/katie.baldwin.372661

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