Thursday, April 09, 2009

Antwane Beefcakes and the Red Beans and Rice

Want to make some good eats on a crap weather day? Make some red beans and rice. I used to live in New Orleans. If you haven't been there you need to go. I've never been to another city in the country that has such a unique flavor. It's not like many other cities that in my opinion could exchange names with another city and still be the same place. Maybe it's the age of the city, the culture, the food, the history... the smell. Whatever it is- it is its own and I loved it when I was there- except for being sick all winter every winter.
My family and I ate a lot of good unique food while we lived there. Champagne brunch at what used to be the the Hilton on the River was one of a kind. I doubt the Hilton is there today after that bitch Katrina came through. I'd like to go back and see what it's like now. Back to the point.I think I will have posted after this post one (if not the only) recipe for red bean and rice that includes photos of the process- and aren't you lucky to have found it. So let's get it on! First you need a helper. This is my helper for the day: Ziggy

He gets really excited about red beans and rice.

Step 1: Get your stuff:
1 lb. red kidney bean (dry- not in a can dufus)
1 thing of celery
1 big onion
1 or two bell peppers (color doesn't matter- unless of course you're "that way")garlic- use as much as you want- I get mine from a jar minced- sorry, I'm not cool enough to chop it up myself. But like the Beastie Boys say, "If you don't like it, then hey fuck you"
1 lb. smoked sausage
few bay leaves
Some thyme leaves- maybe a teaspoon or so.
Worcestershire sauce- some (a few dashes)
hot sauce- I like Frank's or Red Hot or Crystal or Tabasco if you've actually got some down there (and no I'm not talking about your country region- look in your pants)
First you need to plan this meal for the next day. Soak the bean overnight in enough water to cover them. The next day they will look different. Yeah.

Drain out that nasty water and refill it with enough to cover the beans.

Boil the beans for about an hour. Watch out for boiling over.

When you're getting close to the bean getting done, saute' the chopped up onion, pepper, and celery until the onion is just about getting clear. Don't overdo this because you'll be killing the flavor and forever be hated by the vegetable gods who WILL visit you in the night.

Throw all that vegetable stuff in the bean and add the rest of the seasoning. You really need to season it how you like- some like it hot and nasty, some like it smooth and easy. I'm a hot and nasty guy just in case you were wondering.
Add the sausage that should be sliced in about 1/4" pieces. Man, that's some good looking sausage.

Bring it all to a boil again and then turn the heat down to a simmer. There should be movement in the pot while cooking- not a rolling boil by any means, but it should be mixing around. I call it "socializing" It's like, "Hey man, I'm sausage, who are you? Oh I'm bell pepper and I think I like you and your meat." That's nasty, but you're at least smiling now- right?

Now, here's the deal, you need to cook this party for at least 3 or 4 hours. If you don't have that kind of time- wait until you do because it will be better. It will be even better than that the next day after it's all been cooked and cooled down in your fridge. When you are ready to serve it you need to have white rice (or some kind of rice) to put it on and French bread. You put the rice on your plate and ladel the beans over the rice. The bread goes on the side dummy. I really need to apologize for not having a picture of the finished product but by that time Mizzou was about to have their butts out of the NCAA tournament for this year and I had family over and I had a few beers in me. But if you put it all together and it tastes good- you done right. Cheers!

Ghost Bird

The other day in class- actually it was at least a month ago, things were as normal. I was telling all the students how they'd never amount to anything and have a life full of disappointment and regret. All of a sudden Mr. "B", the special ed teacher that claims to work in my class this particular hour, and the rest of us jumped. There was a loud bang and it startled us all. Just a few minutes before I heard pigeons cooing outside. In five years there have never been pigeons on or around the rooftop that is outside the windows of my classroom. Today there were. It made me think that maybe I should put a bird feeder on the roof so when they came to eat we could observe them. Wouldn't that be touching? "Oh look Jimmy, it's a bird at the feeder. Maybe you can talk to it and finally have a friend."

After hearing the birds, things went on as normal, "No goddamnit! I said cross-multiply not divide you fool!" Then was the bang. None of us actually saw it happen, but the results are still there today. I'm not sure what the results are made of, but obviously something was left behind to let us remember the day by.