Potaje de Garbanzos – Chickpeas Cuban Stile

1 pound dried chickpeas
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 Spanish-style chorizos (about 1/2 pound) with the skin removed and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1/4-pound smoked ham, cubed
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (labeled pimentón)
1 bay leaf
1 pound of russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

Soak chickpeas in water with a pinch of baking soda overnight, about 10-12 hours. Drain and rinse well.
In a large heavy pot, pour 6 cups of hot water over chickpeas. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until just tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve 2-3 cups of the cooking water.

Using a mortar and pestle or garlic press, mash the garlic cloves with salt and pepper to form a smooth paste. Set aside. To make the sofrito, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and sauté about 5 minutes until soft. Add the mashed garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add the chorizo and cubed ham and sauté until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, wine and bay leaf to the sofrito and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Return chickpeas to the large pot with 2 cups of the reserved cooking water, add more if needed. Add the potatoes and sofrito mixture to the chickpeas. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Once the vegetables are cooked through, the desired consistency is a matter of taste. It can be served immediately as soup or allowed to cook a little longer, uncovered, for a thicker stew, about 15 minutes. Serve on its own with bread or over rice.

Homemade Hamburger Steak – Southern Style

Burger Patties:
2 lbs. Ground Chuck
1 Tbsp. Steak Sauce
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Black Pepper

1/2 Cup Canola Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion coarsely chopped (for gravy)
1/4 Yellow Onion thinly sliced (topping for patties)
1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
3 Cups Beef Broth
2 Cups Cold Water
1 Tbsp. Worchestershire Sauce
2 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Black Pepper
1 tsp. Garlic Powder

Form your hamburger patties. Cook your patties in Canola or Veg oil for 3-4 mins each side, just long enough to brown each side without cooking all the way through. After browning patties, set aside and put chopped Onions into pan and sweat down 5-7 mins.
Add flour and cook at least 2 mins to get flour taste cooked out or until your roux is dark enough to your liking. Add beef broth and/or water slowly to your roux. You can also add 1/4 cup of red wine at this point if you’d like a more robust flavored gravy. Add Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and garlic to gravy.
Once your gravy is the right consistency, place patties back into gravy and cover them with thinly sliced onions. After gravy begins to boil, cover and simmer for 45 mins to 1 hr or until patties are done to your liking. Remember to stir gravy and flip patties every 10-15 mins and baste patties with gravy after flipping them over each time. Give gravy a final taste test at the end and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.