If a fire escape is the closest you come to a backyard, it shouldn’t stop you from smoking. Former CHOW.com Senior Food Editor Jill Santopietro says that turning your wok into a smoker doesn’t take much effort. All you need is aluminum foil, a round cooling rack, and finely ground wood chips, available online or at hardware stores or some cooking supply stores. If you don’t have wood chips, you can use a 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup rice, and 1/4 cup oolong tea leaves mixed with 2 tablespoons water for more of a tea smoke. Indoor smokers take note: Open your windows and remove your smoke detector (but don’t forget to put it back when you’re done). Find plenty of smoking recipes and other tips here!
This Creole classic was actually designed for the dried kidney bean—an inexpensive staple that could simmer away while Monday’s wash gets done, with a hunk of pork or sausage from Sunday night’s supper.
Cooked dried black beans provide the wow factor in this simple dip; you could serve the blended beans alone and guests would swoon over the rich, full-bodied flavor. Use leftover dip as a spread for sandwiches or burritos, or stir into a bean soup.