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Good morning all!
Nice of you to drop by.
Been watching any pre-season football? Yeah, I know it’s week 1 of the pre-season but some of the starters have been playing almost the whole 1st quarter! That means shit’s getting close to REAL.
Know what else is cool as shit? I just bought a new 65″ 4K TV and have the picture mode dialed in perfectly for football and lemme tell ya that shit is fucking INCREDIBLE. Plus it looks like Directv ironed out their issues with CBS so the season is about to blast off for real with zero interruptions.
I can’t wait for crushing disappointment!
As this season of Sunday Gravy winds down – only 3 more to go after today – I thought I would once again get back to my Southern roots and bring you a goddamn show-stopper. We’re gonna make some red beans and rice.
You regular readers know that if you were to take all of the Southern dishes I’ve made over the past several years that you could open up your very own soul food restaurant.
This one today though is special.
Red beans and rice is a staple recipe for Creole/Cajun cuisine along with jambalaya.
If you want to be taken seriously as a Southern/Creole/Cajun cook your ass better be able to make a serious jambalaya dish as well as red beans and rice. That’s the very shit you will be measured against and you won’t be taken serious until you can nail both recipes.
This baby today? This shit is “competition level” red beans and rice and I will fucking proudly stand by that claim. I’ll take the Pepsi fucking Challenge any damn day of the week with this one. Think you make a decent batch yourself? Then bring your ass to Casa right in El Segundo, CA and we will throw down proper.
One thing that really makes this recipe special?
That’s some homemade chicken stock. That’s a difference maker right there.
We talk often about menu inspiration on this here Sunday Gravy thing and you know how this meal came about?
I had leftover parsley from this meal.
That’s last week’s shrimp scampi.
One of the things I’m really focusing on this year is reducing food waste so my brain did the math and came up with “parsley plus mire poix plus bone-in chicken thighs plus a couple of hours of cooking = homemade chicken stock.”
Yep that’s my fucking brain at work.
The next idea was “Hey? If we had homemade stock and some leftover onion and celery from the stock preparation we’re well on our way to some gatdamn red beans and rice.”
I didn’t say it had to make sense that’s just how loopy my goddamn brain is.
The stock is simple; 6-8 cups of water, about 4-6 bone-in chicken thighs, 1 onion, 4 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, some minced garlic, some leftover parsley, fresh thyme is nice but you can use dried, bay leaves, salt and pepper, some sage and let it simmer in a stock pot for about 2-3 hours. Strain.
Boom! Stock! Makes about 7 cups of stock.
By the way that’s also a kickass chicken soup recipe for when the weather cools off.
Hell man, make some chicken salad or a chicken burrito or a chicken wrap from the cooked chicken thighs. That’s good meat!
Let’s look at the photo again.
The label says “Chicken stock, 3 cups” and has it’s “born-on” date. That’s because I store the stock in the freezer and it’s a good idea to know how much stock is in there, prior to defrosting. Yes, I really do label my containers with duct tape that’s been written on by a sharpie.
Stock pre-made, inspiration divulged, now let’s do this fucker!
Red Beans and Rice!
1 pound of red beans soaked overnight
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 green bell pepper de-seeded and chopped
3 stalks of celery chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic chopped
3 cups of homemade chicken stock
3 cups of water
Couple of bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of sage
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of essence or creole seasoning of choice – essence here
1 pound of sausage – if you can get andouille get it but I used kielbasa for this cuz I can’t get andouille
Some cooked rice
Plenty of Louisiana hot sauce of choice.
Let’s get after this humdinger!
First thing to do is rinse and sort through the red beans.
Why do we sort through again class?
That’s a pinto bean in a bag of red beans. It wouldn’t be a problem in the cooking but I often find small rocks in the beans and that would be a fucking problem.
Rinse the beans thoroughly and soak overnight in a big pot covered with a bunch of water.
It will indeed impart a lovely reddish hue to the water that you will dump right down the goddamn drain the next day. That water did it’s job.
Now drain them beans and give another quick rinse.
Just a quick note here: this dish is very simple to prepare and if the steps are followed it is just fucking delicious.
Now let’s get to chopping up our “trinity.”
I know we’ve discussed the “trinity” of Cajun/Creole cooking before but it’s celery, onion and bell pepper while a mire poix is celery, onion and carrot. The “trinity” is the base of pretty much all Creole/Cajun cooking.
Chop that stuff up.
Get a good size Dutch oven over a medium heat and then add in the olive oil. When the oil is hot add in the “trinity” to saute.
Cook down for about 5 minutes, then add in the garlic just until the garlic is aromatic.
Next we’re going to add in the soaked beans, the chicken stock and the 3 cups of water along with our spices.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to “LOW”, cover with a lid and let simmer for two and a half hours stirring occasionally. When the beans have cooked for the allotted time we’re going to mash or blend about half of the cooked beans.
You already know how I blended mine.
I broke out “The Boomstick!”
Please note that you don’t want to go overboard with the mashing. These fucking beans have been soaked overnight and have now cooked for 2 and 1/2 hours so it’s easy to liquify the everloving shit out of ’em. We do want the presence of whole beans but this step makes the beans creamier.
Return the beans to the heat and let’s get to the sausage proceedings.
We start with our old friend “Farmer John!”
Or as Vin Scully used to say on every Dodgers radio broadcast since I was born, “Farmer John! The Eastern most in quality and the Western most in flavor!”
If you can’t locate the andouille sausage, again, as I can’t here in L.A. use your preferred kielbasa or smoked sausage of choice.
Let’s go ahead and cut that sausage up into chunks.
Then into the pot the sausage chunks will go. This will now cook on low for an additional 30 minutes. This is important because we want the sausage to release some of its fat to season the pot-o-beans.
Thirty minutes later and you’ve got this going on.
Give a taste and season to your liking with salt and pepper if needed, and them beans are ready.
Since we’re making red beans “and rice” guess what you need to do next?
Make some motherfucking rice is what. I trust you can handle this step.
If you want to just stop here you can. Just scoop some rice in a bowl.
Ladle on your beans.
Now the most important step.
You MUST add some Louisiana style hot sauce. You must! Even if you think it’s too spicy, you have to have that little acidic vinegar thing, it’s vital. Now if it’s me? I’m going this way.
I’m a fan of the Red Rooster sauce. The reason I brought out the Frank’s too is we were running critically low on the Red Rooster so I brought out the backup.
Yeah, I guess it’s pretty fucking obvious that I made cornbread too.
These two items are like an old married couple. Both think they’re more important than the other but each realizes they are the sum of their parts.
How many times have I given this cornbread recipe?
A metric fuckton that’s how many.
Here you go.
That’s from this post.
You should all know the drill by now.
You mix your dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl.
Combine without over mixing, grease a cooking vessel, heat up the oven to 400 degrees and cook for 25 minutes giving you this beautiful creation.
That’s the ticket. Just straight up cornbread this time, no added cheese or jalapeno or whole kernel corn, we want the red beans and rice to be the star of this show.
Speaking of which.
Let’s get a closer look at the beans to give you an idea of just how much hot sauce I put on there.
A lot! Yes I garnished mine with some parsley.
Now let’s get a peek-a-loo at that cornbread.
Now proper eatin’ technique requires you to eat your cornbread over your beans to catch any crumbs.
Taste that? It’s spicy, it’s creamy, it’s got a roundness from the “trinity.” It’s got that vinegar bite from the hot sauce, the spiced porkiness from the sausage and then there’s the cornbread. Shit man, this stuff is fantastic! The “rice and gravy” thing we’ve covered already but this is leveled UP!
I had a former girlfriend who was from Louisiana and I’ll tell ya she made a fucking kickass batch of red beans and rice. Legit. I told her that I too made a mean batch but she didn’t take me serious until I cooked it for her.
After sampling my recipe all she said was “Fuck you.”
Y’all about ready to open up a New Orleans style eatery? Work on this one first, then your jambalaya and start from there. Think of it as perfecting your rice and beans if you’re opening a Mexican restaurant because nobody will trust you if you can’t do the staples.
Super easy and tasty as fuck.
Give ‘er a try.
Thanks for stoppin’ by good people of DFO! And enjoy your preseason football.
The shit is getting real close.