Sunday, September 16, 2012

Red Beans and Rice

Here's a fun fact: It's possible to learn new things about people you know really well, even after you've known them a while.  I recently found out that Sam has Cajun blood in him (who knows what secrets I'll discover after 50 years of marriage).  The following information may be slightly wrong, and is based off of quick research based off of Sam's hazy memory of the subject.

So.  Sam's mom's dad lives in Louisiana.  His family has for a while.  When I asked why, I learned that Sam's German ancestors (there are a lot of those...on both sides) went to New Orleans and mixed with some French Cajun peeps.  La di da.  This is no doubt of great interest to you all.  What does it mean for you?  It means access to family recipes for Cajun food...
Tastiness in a bowl
Red Beans and Rice
Ye Olde Familie Recipe
[side note: the original recipe serves ~2 people.  We made 4x that for some reason, but it's delicious so I don't mind the leftovers]

1 lb dried red beans

1 stalk celery (we didn't want to buy a whole huge bunch, so we got little celery snack packs, which, incidentally, were cheaper, and Sam had little packages of them for lunch)

3 bay leaves (~1 per cup of beans)

1-2 cloves garlic

1 medium onion, "naturally chopped"

12 oz Cured salt pork (this is the closest thing available around here to the pickled pork originally called for)

Rice (for serving over/with...Sam added a little Zataran's blackened seasoning while steaming for kick but it was very subtle)

1. Prep and soak the beans over night.  Rinse and cull again.

2. Set beans to boil in just enough water to cover them.

3. After about an hour, sautee celery, pork, onion, and garlic.  Dump entire frying pan into pot, juices and all.

4. Let it all boil for another hour and a half.  Stir often to keep beans from sticking to bottom and sides.  As water level gets low, add more periodically (just enough to keep them covered).  Add some salt and pepper if you like that (if you prefer it sweeter, instead of salt, and 2T sugar as it says in the recipe below).

5. About 30 mins before the boiling time ends, add a glob of butter.  Sam added a half a stick, but as his grandma says "You can nevah have too much buttah!"

6. Serve hot over prepared rice.  You're supposed to serve it also with a crusty french bread to soak up the juice, but they don't believe in good bread in Utah and I didn't have time to make any, so we just used what we had.

Other things: you can adjust the recipe for how much you're making, because obviously we did.  Also, Sam says don't ever cook it longer than 2 hours "unless you're making a really, really, really big batch."
Another thing, don't cut off any gristle or fat before you cook it because it adds to the flavor.  But you can cut it off and boil it in, picking it out later.  You're going to pick it off at some point anyway, unless you like eating fat.

And, just for funsies, the original family recipe (complete with awesome southern talk and random tidbits):
"The smell will start to make you hungry, so have a glass of white wine along about now." 

1 comment:

LP said...

The crowning blow? Is that why the crust has to be hard?