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Monday, January 25, 2010

Spicy Red Beans and Rice

Dear Readers, 
I have been a very bad Blogger this week. I apologize profusely and ask your forgiveness. So, today I'll post two delicious recipes: Spicy red beans and rice, per request from DIL B; and a wonderful clam appetizer, shared by my good friend Rhoda.


Let's talk about beans and rice. This is a dish that must have loads of flavor added to it, as both beans and rice really don't have any flavor, leading to some pretty bland dishes. We're going to pump up the flavor by using chicken broth, rather than water, in both the rice and the beans. We're using lots of garlic, onions, and herbs, and kicking up the spice with some red pepper flakes. And then, there's the pork. Lots of pork. All you vegetarians out there are not going to ever make this, so you might want to go find some tofu or something. Or Ding Dongs. Yep, go with the Ding Dongs. They're delicious.

Here's what we need:

4 ribs celery, 1 large onion, 3 green onions, 6 cloves garlic, 1 red (or green, or yellow, or orange) bell pepper, 6 sprigs fresh thyme, 4 bay leaves, Cajun seasoning, 3 cans red Kidney beans, 1 can Chili beans in sauce, 2 cups white rice, 1 box chicken broth, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper.
Now for the pork:



4 slices bacon, 3 links Andouille sausage, and 1 ham hock.
Start by  cutting the bacon into small pieces. (Called "lardons").

Put it in a heavy Dutch oven on medium heat, and fry until crisp. I added a touch of olive oil to the pot to keep the bacon from sticking.

Remove it from the pot and drain on a paper towel.

Now, cut the sausage links into small pieces. Cut them in half lengthwise, then cut those pieces in half lengthwise, the slice horizontally. Put them in the pot with the bacon grease, and saute' for 5 minutes. The sausage is already cooked. We just want to render some of the fat off for flavor.

Take them out of the pot and drain on paper towels.


Now, there's a lot of fat in the pot. We don't need, or want all of it, so get a big spoon and scoop out half of the fat. Throw it out.

Now, we're ready to work with the veg. I used the inner stalks of the celery because (1) they don't need to be peeled, (2) they have all those leaves on them that are just chock full of flavor.

Dice up the onion, celery, and pepper (known as "The Trinity" down New Orleans way), and put it in the pot.

Season it up with Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and some Cajun seasoning.

About a half a palm full.

Stir in some smoked Paprika. About a half a palm full.

And some red pepper flakes. I used about 3/4 of a palm full, because my fam likes it spicy. If you don't like things hot, go easy on the flakes, taste, and re-season to your liking.

Give it a good stir, and cook over medium heat until the veg is slightly tender.
Smash the garlic cloves.

Mince them finely.

And add them to the pot. Cook about1 minute, until they become fragrant.

Add enough chicken broth to completely cover the veg.

Put the sausage back in the pot, and add the ham hock.

Tie the thyme up in some string.

and throw it in the pot, along with the Bay leaves. As you see here, I added some beans into the pot. I should not have done that. They are to go in later, so they don't fall apart. They actually didn't fall apart, so maybe my bean assumption was wrong.

Bring this to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. When the veg is tender, it's almost done.
Drain and rinse the kidney beans. I don't like the slimy liquid they're packed in. Personal preference.

I started out using 2 cans of kidney beans. Then decided I needed 3. Add 2 cans rinsed beans to the pot, then add 1 can rinsed beans to the blender. See how it looks like soup? We don't want that.

Scoop out about 1 cup of the hot bean mixture, and put it in the blender with the beans.

Buzz it up so it makes a really thick mixture.

Add  this back into the pot. Stir. It was at this point when I tasted it that I decided it needed just a bit more flavor. So, I found a can of Chili beans in chili sauce in the pantry.

And dumped the whole thing in. At this point, you can let it simmer for a while, or go ahead and dig in.
Mine simmered for over 2 hours because hub H wasn't hungry for dinner yet. It may have had something to do with the pound of clams we devoured while watching football.
Taste the bean mixture and re-season to your liking.

All right, beans are done. Let's make rice.
Start with 2 Tbls butter. Melt it in a sauce pot.

Add  2 cups white rice and stir. You coat the rice in butter to keep it from sticking together.


Season it up with a few shakes of garlic salt and some pepper.

Now, add 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water to the rice.

Stir it up and bring to a boil. At this point, put a lid on the sauce pot and turn down to a simmer. Simmer with lid on until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Put a big scoop in a bowl.

And ladle some bean mixture over the top.

Sprinkle with chopped green onions and reserved crumbled bacon, and eat up. Serve with corn muffins and butter.


This meal can easily be made in a Crock pot. Saute as directed, then put everything except the beans into a crock pot and let it simmer all day. Add the beans and make the rice just prior to eating.




Ingredients


4 ribs celery
1 large onion, any color 
3 green onions
6 cloves garlic 
1 red (or green, or yellow, or orange) bell pepper 
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
Cajun seasoning 
Smoked Paprika
3 cans red Kidney beans
1 can Chili beans in chili sauce 
4 slices bacon
3 links Andouille sausage
1 ham hock
crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and black pepper



2 Tbls butter


2 cups white rice 
1 box chicken broth
garlic salt 




Method:

  1. Cut bacon into 1/4 inch pieces.
  2. Fry in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp.
  3. Remove bacon onto a paper towel.
  4. Cut the Sausage links into small pieces.
  5. Saute' 5 minutes.
  6. Remove sausage to a paper towel.
  7. With a large spoon, remove half of the fat in the pot. Discard.
  8. Chop, onion, celery and peppers, and add them to the pot.
  9. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, Cajun seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
  10. Saute for about 5 minutes, then add minced garlic and saute' another minute.
  11. Add enough chicken broth to cover the veg.
  12. Add sausage back to the pot along with the ham hock, thyme bundle, and bay leaves.
  13. Simmer until veg is tender.
  14. Add 2 cans rinsed kidney beans and 1 can chili beans to pot.
  15. Put 1 can kidney beans and 1 cup hot bean mixture in a blender and buzz up until thick and creamy.
  16. Stir into pot.
Rice:
  1. Saute rice in butter until coated.
  2. Add chicken broth and water.
  3. Season with garlic salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
Place a big scoop of rice in a bowl and top with bean mixture.
Garnish with green onions and bacon.















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About Me

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
I'm a home cook that can put some good tasting food on the table, most of the time. My family knows dinner is ready when the fire alarm goes off.