Dishes inspired by Black History Month

By ANDREW ARMSTRONG / Recipe Columnist

Feb. 1-28 marks the celebration of one of the most influential times of American history. Black History Month is a time for honoring heritage. Some of the most influential people in history are of African-American descent: Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross and, of course, Alabama native Rosa Parks.

My inspiration this week was drawn from a man I work with in Birmingham and truly look up to: Mr. Rory Kent Jr. Thank you, readers, for taking the time to read this week’s column. I bring to you authentic “Soul Food” cooking from the kitchens of African-American families. Let us all celebrate heritage and take the time to remember where we are today and continue to fight for the rights of all people.

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Rubie’s Sunday Pot Roast

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

1 beef roast (3 ½-4 pounds)

1 cup of onions, chopped

½ a cup of bell peppers, chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 can of tomato sauce (8 ounces)

1 cup of water

1 large can of mushrooms, drained

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

8 small potatoes, halved

8 carrots, quartered

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and brown the beef on all sides. Place the meat on a plate. Sauté the seasonings, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms in the oil. Set aside the potatoes and carrots. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Add the roast back to the pot. Cover and simmer on low for two hours. Add in the potatoes and carrots, then cook an additional 30 minutes or until done.

Piggie Feet Fiesta

8-10 pigs’ feet

1 cup of onions, chopped

½ a cup of celery, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of seasoning salt

1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

1 cup of vinegar

4 cups of water

1 can of tomato sauce (15 ounces)

Mix all the ingredients in an 8-quart pot. Make sure there’s enough water to cover the pigs’ feet. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 hours on medium heat. Cook until the meat is tender and begins to pull away from the bone.

Mrs. Bowie’s Spareribs

1¼ cup of tomato juice

1 cup of onions, chopped

2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon of dry mustard

1 cup of vinegar

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 cup of vegetable oil

6 pounds of pork spareribs cut into pieces

Place the ribs in a baking dish and cover with onions. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over the meat and onions. Marinate for 24-48 hours. Baking the mixture on 350 for two hours. Baste and turn over every 15 minutes, then uncover the last 45 minutes. Serve with rice and cornbread.

Stewed Chitterlings “Chitlins”

10 pounds of pork chitterlings, thoroughly cleaned and cut in pieces

2 onions, sliced in rings

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 jar of mushrooms

3 tablespoons of salt

2 tablespoons of garlic powder

2 teaspoons of black or red crushed pepper

1 pound of bacon, chopped

3 quarts of water

In the bottom of a pot sauté the vegetables, seasonings and bacon. Mix the remaining ingredients in the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook the mixture for three hours or until the chitterlings are fork tender.

Deep Fried Chitterlings “Chitlins”

1½ cups of cornmeal or flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup of milk

1 teaspoon of salt

½ a teaspoon of black pepper

1 cup of shortening, vegetable oil, or lard

10 pounds of pork chitterlings, thoroughly cleaned and cut in pieces

Preheat a skillet with the desired form of grease. Mix the first five ingredients until smooth. Dip the chitterling pieces in the batter and deep fry until, they are golden brown. Drain the pieces on paper towels.

Soul Chicken Dinner

In a pot boil together a 3-pound chicken, three stalks of celery, two chopped onions, 3 teaspoons of both salt and pepper and enough water to cover the chicken. Cook the chicken in the mixture for two hours on a medium simmer. Reserve the stock after it cooks. Once cooked cool the chicken and debone.

1 tablespoon of butter

¼ a cup of celery, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

3 bell peppers, chopped

1 cup of ham, chopped

1 can of slice mushrooms, drained

1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

4 cans of tomato sauce

(Optional)

1 can of red kidney beans

1 box of rice

Sauté in a skillet the first seven ingredients. Once cooked, add the tomato sauce, beans and the chicken. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook the rice according to the directions, using strained stock from the boiled chicken in place of the water. Serve the mixture over the rice.