Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Red Beans and Rice!

Hodge Podge Recipe!
Saute 1 lb. smoked sausage, chopped
with 1/2 lb. country ham pieces. Chopped.Drain.
Add 1 cup chopped onion,
2 cups(red,green,yellow)peppers,
1 cup celery,
1 Tbsp. minced garlic.
1 lb. small red beans, rinsed.
1 can diced tomatoes and
1-1/2 quarts beef stock...more to come!

Actually, this was tonight's version of Red Beans, but called it Hodge Podge because I mostly eyeball it!
Add 4 bay leaves,
1 tsp. kosher salt,
1 tsp, fresh ground pepper,
3 Tbsp.(or more) Zatarains'Big & Zesty Original Creole seasoning.

Bring to full boil, reduce heat to medium and cook 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally until beans are tender and liquid has thickened. I usually mash some of the beans against the pot with a spoon to thicken the liquid.Remove bay leaves. Prepare white rice. Ladle beans into serving bowl, top with mound of white rice and garnish with snipped chives.

Everything's in the pot and simmering to deliciousness! :)

Bring to full boil and reduce heat!

Voila! Dinner! Wondomous, I Garrontee!!!

Sometimes a favorite food memory crosses my mind and I may prepare various recipes but still HUNGER for that certain something! This was one of those cravings, knew I had smoked sausage in the freezer and felt the NEED for Red Beans & Rice! Small Red Beans cooked with lots of meat, the Trinity, spices and herbs! Served with White Rice and Fresh Snipped Chives. This is comfort food...memories of Momma's kitchen! She lived in Algiers (across the river from NOLA) from the early 60's until '88 when she left this walk of life.

Having heard the loss of a young man that I have known for 20 years...I felt the need for Comfort Food! To me, memories from Momma's kitchen are comfort food. Having learned from her, Ma, MeMomma and Daddy as I began cooking, I am very much an "eyeball/wing it" cook. As some might say, "I learned to 'make do' with what I have! Over the years, I have learned very much from my experience and taste buds. I can eat something and recreate it (sometimes better ;) ) with my tastebuds. My tastebuds must have a million feelers/antennas as I rarely follow a recipe but know what flavors compliment one another...BTW, can you tell that I love ALL things culinary!!!