Sunday, October 5, 2014

I'm b-a-c-k!

Things have been crazy.  We've moved to a new town, bigger job, more for the kids to do, closer to big city, rehomed our dog, and getting ready to be empty nesters.  Living 45 minutes from a beach has squashed my landlocked syndrome.  We're also 2 hours closer to the town we both grew up in.  No snow, no marathon long heat waves(seriously, the last few days have been the hottest and we can still open up in the evening, and no mega fires like the Rim Fire which kept us indoors for a month, school closed for a whole week, stores had to close, etc....  And we are eating SO much better again being in the Central Coast.  We were commenting how there is food EVERYWHERE.  We ate at a Farm 2 Table restaurant last night, came out and realized they weren't flowers adorning the front planters, they were tomato plants.  Wondered if they were there instead of the complimentary breath mints ;)

So, my first blog post in over a year?  A recipe of course!!!  2 years ago I went gluten free, I won't go into all the details, it was not for weight loss(although that was a nice perk), but in the end we discovered I'm allergic to wheat.  So, I got tired of making one meal for me, a meal for the family, and wasting so much time.  No, I don't force my family to eat gluten free, but they don't miss it when I do sub a meal or dessert, and they don't mind being test tasters.  And eating gluten free here is SO easy!  Veggies and fruits are way cheaper than the Sierras, we even have a farm fresh produce store just blocks from me.  So, here's a sample of a gluten free meal that doesn't miss anything.  Now if I can stop the family from asking me if it's gluten free.  Uh, duh.  I've been doing this for over 2 years now, if I eat wheat children, you will know!  RME

Tri-tip, rubbed with Santa Maria Style Dry Rub, hubby cooked it to perfection.

I call them California Beans.  It's close to the Santa Maria Style beans I grew up with that did not have tomato and chili in them.  So, I pulled this out of a hat, I was more than happy with the results.

Sorry about the presentation.  I really wasn't planning on snapping one, except to make my son jealous who is out of town.  But then as we ate, we were all silent because it turned out so wonderful and I knew I had to write this one up.
(Tri-tip, Pico de Gallo, California Beans, GF Udi's rolls with garlic butter)

Santa Maria Dry Rub
3 Tbsp Kosher salt
3 Tbsp finely ground black pepper
3 Tbsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp. cayenne
3 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dry rosemary (or fresh, finely minced)
2 teaspoon dry sage

Jen’s California Beans
2 lbs. small red or pinquito beans, cleaned, soaked overnight
4cups beef stock
1 Tbsp. each:  ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder

1 lb. cooked ground beef
1 lb. cooked ground Italian sausage
1 lb. cooked chorizo
2 Tbsp. each: minced dry garlic and onion
1-2 Tbsp. kosher salt(to taste, don’t blame me if it’s bland or too salty)
1 Tbsp. Santa Maria Dry Rub
¼ cup balsamic vinegar or whiskey

Sort and rinse beans and put in large stock pot on stove.  Cover with at least 6” hot water.  Bring to a boil with lid on for 20 minutes.  Turn off heat and do not remove lid.  Let sit overnight.

Drain beans in large colander and rinse.  Add to a crockpot that will hold at least 8 qts.  Cover with beef stock to cover beans 2”.  Add ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.  Cook on High 4-5 hours.  Add cooked meats, dry garlic and onion, salt to taste,  Santa Maria Dry Rub seasoning, and balsamic vinegar or whiskey(or both).  Cook another 3 hours on low.  Add more beef stock if there is not enough liquid as you check periodically. 

Pico de Gallo
Fresh diced tomatoes
Fresh Minced Onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lime
Fresh cilantro

Kosher salt & pepper to taste

Mix it all together, that's it.

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