Flag, O King of Deliciousness
typically the king of the meal, but there are rare instances when it
becomes just another instrument in the symphony. It still retains a deep
importance, but must share the main stage.
fact should tell you things. When meat is just another ingredient, you
are indeed confronting a titan.
case, the titan’s name is black-eyed pea. It is as thick as it is
earthy. When cooking, you look down at it, and it looks back with its
one black eye, as if to say, “What, you want a piece of me?” For that
reason, chefs who classify foods based on raw power rather than on
physical characteristics will sometimes line up the black eyed pea as a
meat, and demote your flakier fishes to fruit status.
leave this debate for another day, and instead let it teach us a lesson.
The black eyed pea can hold its own. Respect it.
provides plenty of options in choice of accompanying meat – a chunked
chicken breast, a boneless pork chop cut into bite-sized pieces or even
stew beef. If Sam Elliot is to be believed, it’s what’s for dinner.
your choice, brown it with chopped onion and garlic in a pot.
point, a word of clarification. When you cook chicken or pork in this
fashion, it turns not brown but instead white. Some have suggested that
since pork plus chicken equals two, and that beef equals only one, that
the correct term is instead to white it and that we use beef only out of
prejudice favoring cattle.
broad-minded people here. If you prefer, it’s perfectly appropriate to
instead say that you are whiting chicken or pork. We use the word brown
because it’s widespread enough that everyone understands what the term
means. You may change the world, and will be saluted for it. But, here,
we opt for utility rather than idealism.
tarry long on this question, because if you’re cooking chicken or pork,
it will indeed turn brown, which is a sign that you have overcooked it.
Ideas are not something you want to ruin dinner over.
browned (or whited), take a can of corn kernels in one hand and a can of
black-eyed peas in the other. Look at them. They desire to be joined.
their wish, in the pot. But, beware, do not drain them beforehand. You
will need juice, or else what you mix in the pot will become something
quite different from stew, most likely a mess of blackened goo sticking
to the bottom of your pan.
Cut up and
add some tomatoes and allow them to dissolve in the heat.
sprinkle over the top some dried oregano and also some cayenne pepper
for a good, healthy kick. The black-eyed peas have a unique earthy
goodness to them, but one is tempted to wonder if they weren’t actually
born to be hot and not allowed to reach their full potential by mistake
will now need to cook down and thicken. Done right, you should be able
to plant a flag in it and declare it a new colony for your local
nation-state. It should be dense enough that you can seal cracks in the
foundation of your home.
insist that you add flour to thicken it. Do not do this, for the love of
food. The extra time over the heat will allow the various flavors to
better blend, and for whatever meat you’ve used to soak up some of the
take time. How much? Cooking is not a science. You can repeat the same
recipe a dozen times in the exact same laboratory under the exact same
conditions and come up with different results each time.
is art at work, and you will need to exercise some personal judgment.
Does the stew say what you want it to say, about you and about itself?
Does it pose deep philosophical questions by its mere existence? Is this
thick enough to hold aloft a national flag?
to these questions lie within you, and perhaps you will be able to
answer them in the time it takes for the stew to cook down. Wouldn’t
life be sweet if that were the case?
have achieved the appropriate thickness, plant your flag and declare
that you claim it in the name of the king of deliciousness.
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