Tuesday, December 30, 2008

By Darragh Doiron
Port Arthur News
Bacon, cilantro kicks up your New Year’s black-eyed peas
I am not thinking barbecue for New Year’s celebrations, but I am thinking black eyed peas. Chef Wally, also known as John Lopez, adds a kick to the seasonal must-have by cooking them with bacon and adding cilantro.
Inauguration is coming up, and Lopez includes a recipe for eating like a former president in his handy little pocket spiral, “Texas Barbecue.” LBJ All the Way is a recipe for the sauce that’s supposed to be the kind he liked on his ranch in Johnson City. Chef Wally is also kind enough to list his favorite brews, such as St. Arnold Elissa India Pale Ale and some of his fave barbecue joints, such as Smitty’s in Lockhart.

LBJ All the Way
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup beer or water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/4 stick unsalted butter
Bring all ingredients to boil in saucepan; reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes. Strain and serve. Keeps 5 to 7 days in fridge.

Eat like an Aztec
I’m no fortune teller, but I can predict you’re going to make New Year’s resolutions to eat more healthy, and probably not know how to do it. Here’s word on a new line I love. Salba Smart makers call salba “the oldest grain you’ve never heard of.” A lot of products are designed for sprinkling on salads and soups, but this tiny grain really stays crunchy and fills you up on Omega-3 fatty acids, so you might just lose weight by feeling more full. Aztecs used to eat it, and Canadians dig it now, Salba Smart makers say. Diabetics should climb aboard the Salba wagon, they add. Listen to the following quote:
“Salba is really a superfood,” said Rally Ralston, managing partner at Salba Smart. “Gram for gram, it has six times more calcium than whole milk, three times more iron than spinach, and 15 times more magnesium than broccoli. Most importantly, Salba makes it easy for Americans to make small but very important changes to their everyday nutrition by adding a tablespoon or two to foods they are already eating.”
Coworkers gobbled up Salba Smart blue corn tortillas and salsa and the 100-calorie bite-sized tortilla chips are just the ticket for lunch boxes. Pretzels were my very favorite in the line.

Take a hint
Hint Essence Water is what you can carry around your New Year’s party. I’m much in love with these flavored waters with no carbs, sugars calories and artificial flavors. Mint is fashionably fine and in the label’s Hinterland notes, it’s reported that, “We all live in a bright-red tangerine.” More delicious than a yellow submarine, this pomegranate-tangerine blend will make you festive. Here’s a recipe:
“Hint of Mint”
Mint, a good source of vitamins A and C, and a great reliever of stomach discomfort, is the base of this drink.
1/4 cup of ice
3 whole mint leaves
1 lime wedge
2 ounces of vodka
4 ounces Peppermint HINT Essence Water
Instructions: Fill cocktail shaker with ice, add vodka and Peppermint HINT Essence Water, shake for 10 seconds, and pour into glass. Garnish with mint leaves and lime wedge.
Nutrition Content: 130 calories, 0g carbohydrates

Shaman has the stuff
You might not think to add Hawaiian pink sea salt to milk chocolate, but Shaman Chocolates thought “yeah, and add macadamia nuts, too.”
I want to thank them for bringing me this organic milk chocolate, their 82 percent extra dark and everything else they do with raspberries, coconut, etc. The product is very, very fine by my standards and the company supports the Huichol Indian tradition of the Sierra Madre region of Mexico. This chocolate helps sends people to college. Even the labels are beautiful.

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