Who knew it had a name? I just always thought it was celery with olive oil, salt and pepper and we had it all the time growing up. Now it is a favorite way to clean out the vegetable bin, peppers, fennel, radishes and enjoy a healthy snack, great party nibbles and certainly a good choice for a kid’s or grownup’s lunchbox. Pinzimonio! No real recipe here and Giada has a more elaborate version that go with an entire antipasto selection, but I’d say anything goes, make it your own.
So as I begin my day with cleaning out the fridge pinzimonio will be a great snack along about game time! Yes, you know where you are in the months of the year when the news comes on and you hear Touchdown Friday a lot of high school, college and programs slated for the weekend and so it goes as we slip into another football season. I’m really getting good at non stove cooking and I’m never going to completely eliminate the aromas of the slow cooker red beans until dinner is done, but that is the price one pays while awaiting appliance repairs and replacement.
Finally an opportunity to sit for a while and enjoy a little more of the weekend, cocktails, Captain Morgan’s Grapefruit Rum daiquiri, a platter of fresh veggies and a pot of red beans simmering away ready and waiting for a hot bowl of Creole rice (thank you Chiqui Collier).
I actually made a partial recipe of red beans using 1/2 pound of beans, enough for 4 hungry bean eaters and from there tossed in the usual ingredients for an easy Andouille, smoked sausage and smoked ham shank version 12-16 ounces, sliced. You can do an overnight soak on the beans, but today I did the quick soak method. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan or slow cooker with sauté option, seed and chop 1/2 large green pepper, 1/2 large onion, 3 ribs of peeled celery sauté and 3 cloves minced garlic, toss in the ham hock sauté for another minute or so. Add 2 fresh bay leaves, and 3 sprigs of thyme, season with salt, pepper and about 2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning all of the beans and 2-3 cups vegetable, beef or chicken stock or a combination, check liquid level often. My beans cooked on the stove setting of the slow cooker for 35 minutes and then I turned it down to slow cook for 2-3 hours or until beans are soft. Add more stock if necessary up to 3 more cups is what I needed. Oh yea, toss in the special smoked slice of bacon just for good measure.
Add all of the sliced sausage, pick the meat from the ham hock add to pot and simmer for another hour or so. Serve beans with rice and top with sliced green onions and set the table to include a choice of hot sauces and a hot loaf of French bread or garlic bread.