Cajun Red Beans and Rice Sorta

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Not authentic. But definitely edible.

I make no pretense that this is any kind of authentic recipe. For one thing, I can’t source all the ingredients. But someone sent me a recipe for Louisiana red beans and rice knowing that I like my good homely peasant style cooking. The recipe looked just up my street. Easy to do – nothing fancy or cheffy. What, in Greece, we would call spitiko fagito, or good old fashioned home cooking. So, I gave it a go and, while I make no claims it might be as good as the ‘real’ thing, it was jolly tasty. Any yanks, who may be offended, I did the best I could with what I’ve got, please send Cajun spice mix: Thanks.

For the Greeks on here: I used siglino but any kind of smoked pork will do. Cretan apaki or brizola will work well.

For the others: it’s supposed to be ham hock but use whatever smoked pork products you have available and if you have some garlic sausage to cut up, fry off and add to the stew then that would make it a bit more authentic. I can’t get it easily.

In the picture you can see I had my lunch with some lovely Greek greens (zoxos) served with oil and lemon as a side dish. This worked really well. I hadn’t planned it but a friend brought some in and so we shared our food. I don’t feel this is too much of an insult to Cajun food as I think the good folk of Louisiana like their greens as much as we do here in Greece. But for any Guardian readers who know about my war against kale, as you can see, we eat gorgeous greens here in Greece, not goat food as punishment for virtue signaling.

As usual I give the recipe as I made it. Adapt as you wish, or look up red rice and beans on US food sites to see how they do it.

 

Red Rice and Beans Sorta

1 good sized onion chopped

1 good sized green bell pepper chopped

4 ribs of celery chopped

2 – 4 cloves of garlic minced

chopped fresh red chillies to taste or chilli flakes or cayenne

1 tin of red kidney beans

500 ml of chicken stock

150 -200g of chopped good smoked ham

2 bay leaves

a dash of Worcestershire and or hot sauce (tabasco/encona/dunn’s river)

a couple of pinches of dried sage

EVOO

salt and pepper

Gently saute the onion, green pepper and celery in a good glug of EVOO in a casserole pot until the onion is transluscent. Add the garlic and chilli and saute for a few more minutes. Add the ham and stock (the stock should cover all the ingredients well so add less or more as necessary), bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently with a lid on for half an hour. Rinse the kidney beans and add to the pot with any remaining seasonings/ingredients. Continue to simmer gently with a lid on for at least 2 hours. You want the stew to be thick and creamy in texture. Not watery. You can mash a few beans up if you want to thicken the sauce more. Serve with rice.

NOTE: My friend gave me a hot tip for making easy long grain rice. Melt a good knob or two of butter over a medium heat. Add a mug full of rice and saute for a few minutes. Add enough water or stock to cover the rice well, by about half a centimeter or so. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle boil. Boil not simmer! When the water has just about disappeared but before it becomes dry, whack on a lid, turn off the heat and leave for 15 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and serve.