Posts Tagged 'bay leaves'

Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is the quintessential Louisianan comfort food. Nothing satisfies like steaming bowl of tender flavorful beans over classic white rice.

1 pound dried red kidney beans, rinsed and sorted over
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
1/2 cup seeded and finely diced green bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/4 cup finely sliced celery (about 1 rib)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound smoked ham hock
1/2 pound smoked Andouille sausage, thinly sliced into rounds
10 cups water
6 cups cooked white rice, warm

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the ham hock and sausage and cook, stirring, to brown the ham hocks and sausage, about 4 minutes. Add the beans and water.

Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add additional water while cooking if necessary.

Remove the ham hock from the pot and pull the meat from the bones. Roughly chop the meat and return it back to the pot of beans. Adjust seasonings as needed. Discard the bay leaves. Spoon over white rice to serve.

Serves 6.

Cooking Tip: Add Tabasco® or your favorite hot sauce for a little heat.

Do-Ahead: Cooked red beans store very well in the refrigerator. Some even say they taste better the second day!

From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

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Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is the quintessential Louisianan comfort food. Nothing satisfies like steaming bowl of tender flavorful beans over classic white rice.

My uncle makes the best version.  The key is to start with good dried beans.  According to him, the best out there are Camellia Red Kidneys.  It’s the Louisiana brand he has been using his whole life … and the same one my grandmother used when she taught him this recipe oh so many years ago.

Whenever I go to New Orleans, I always pick up a few bags of this iconic dried bean.  I couldn’t imagine making this dish without them.  (If you don’t regularly visit the Big Easy, you can order them on-line.) To be honest though, my preference may be fairly rooted in the nostalgia of using my grandmother’s recipe and I am sure that any good dried red kidney bean would work if you don’t have easy access to the Camellia brand.

The hardest part about this recipe is remembering to soak the beans the night before!  It truly is a simple one to master and destined to become a favorite.

Enjoy!

Red Beans and Rice
From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

1 pound dried red kidney beans, rinsed and sorted over
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
1/2 cup seeded and finely diced green bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/4 cup finely sliced celery (about 1 rib)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound smoked ham hock
1/2 pound smoked Andouille sausage, thinly sliced into rounds
10 cups water
6 cups cooked white rice, warm

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the ham hock and sausage and cook, stirring, to brown the ham hocks and sausage, about 4 minutes. Add the beans and water.

Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add additional water while cooking if necessary.

Remove the ham hock from the pot and pull the meat from the bones. Roughly chop the meat and return it back to the pot of beans. Adjust seasonings as needed. Discard the bay leaves. Spoon over white rice to serve.

Serves 6.

Cooking Tip: Add Tabasco® or your favorite hot sauce for a little heat.

Do-Ahead: Cooked red beans store very well in the refrigerator. Some even say they taste better the second day!

Boeuf Bourguignon

If you’ve seen the movie Julie & Julia, you know that Julia Child’s rendition of this classic French dish is what got her first book deal.  When her soon-to-be-editor, tested this recipe from Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking manuscript, she new she had found something special. The rest is history.

Boeuf Bourguignon (which translates into Beef Burgundy – as in the wine) is basically just a beef stew in a red wine sauce.  Slow cooking a normally tough cut transforms the beef into a delicious fork-tender delight. Serve on it’s on , over rice, or with potatoes.

This version is from the kitchen of another talented chef, my sister Susan.

Enjoy!

Boeuf Bourguignon

4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 large onion)
1 1/2 cups finely diced carrots (about 5 small carrots)
6 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5-ounce) whole tomatoes with juice
1 bottle (750 ml) good red wine (preferably Pinot Noir or Burgundy)
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole white pearl onions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Pat the beef dry with paper towels and generously season with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. In 2 batches as to not over-crowd the pot, cook the meat until nicely browned on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer the meat to a plate.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until crispy and the fat has rendered, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. 

Add the tomatoes, red wine, and chicken stock and stir to combine. Return the beef to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and place in the oven. Cook until the beef is fork tender, about 2 hours. Remove from the oven and place on the stove. Discard the bay leaves.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and sauté until softened and golden, about 4 minutes. Add the cooked mushrooms and frozen onions to the stew. Bring the stew back to a boil and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve hot.

Serves 6.

Time Saving Tip: You can use fresh pearl onions in this recipe, but they need to be peeled and cooked first. Frozen onions are equally delicious and save you 15 to 20 minutes of preparation time.

Do Ahead: This stew can be made a day or two in advance. In fact, I think it may be even better the second day. Just reheat the stew on your stove top over medium-low heat.

Freezes Well.

Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage Jambalaya

Serves 6 to 8

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Andouille sausage, diced
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
2 ribs of celery, finely diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
4 cups chicken stock
3 cups white rice
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium–high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle in the pot.  Sauté the chicken, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and then, in the same pot, sauté the sausage until browned.   Transfer the sausage to the plate with the chicken.  Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot.

To the pot, add the onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. (Stir often so that everything cooks evenly.) Add the garlic, oregano, thyme and bay leaves and sauté until the mixture is cooked down, about 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

While the vegetable mixture is cooking, combine the tomato sauce and chicken stock in a separate pot and bring to a simmer.

Add the rice to the vegetable mixture and sauté for about 3 minutes. Return the meats to the pot and stir to combine.  Continuously stirring to combine, slowly pour the tomato and stock mixture into the jambalaya.  Stir in the chopped parsley.

Bring the jambalaya to a boil, cover and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and fold in the shrimp.  Let everything continue to cook in the hot covered pot for an additional 10 minutes.  Serve warm. 

Cooking Tip: Andouille sausage is a smoked, spicy pork sausage that is popular in Cajun recipes such as gumbo and jambalaya.  If you can’t easily find it in you local grocery, Chorizo is an acceptable substitute.


Jennifer Chandler

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