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Friday, August 21, 2009

Red Beans and Rice

After all the gluttony of the last few meals I decided to make what counts for as "health food" in the South, red beans and rice. Being a good Latin, I grew up eating beans so I like them more than the average person.

Now for the ingredients:

-A green peppers
-A jalapeno that looked lonely in my vegetable crisper and decided to join the party
-A bay leaf
-Smoked Polish sausages
-Olive oil

Why smoked Polish sausages you might ask? Because I don't think they have any smoked Southern sausages north of the Mason-Dixon line or at least north of the Canadian border. These were the next best thing, or more accurately the only smoked sausages that they had in the supermarket. Alas, such are the limitations which I am faced with.

After all of the ingredients had time to get nice and brown I added in:

-Two cans of red beans
-A ham bone
-Enough water to cover up the whole thing

If I were a *very* good Latina I would have soaked dried red beans overnight but since I am perennially short on time I usually sell out and use the stuff in the cans. Please don't tell my Salvadorean great grandmother, she wouldn't approve.

As for the ham bone, I was quite lucky to be able to get one. Apparently the butcher rarely ever has them and when they do, they save them for preferred customers. He's also a foodie and we talk about the Food Network when I go grocery shopping. I told him about my red beans and rice predicament and how I couldn't find a ham bone and he went to the back to get his last ham bone from the freezer for me. A foodie can understand the pain of another foodie when they just can't find the right ingredient.

Here is my pot right before I left it to simmer for half an hour to let all the flavours come together. Usually I prefer adding chicken broth instead of water to recipes but sometime the chicken flavour can overwhelm everything. In this case I wanted to taste of the beans and the smoked sausages to really come through.

The final result, served with rice. I deliberately did not leave everything terribly soupy although I'm not really sure how liquid the authentic version is.

This was comforting and filling. I'm a carbaholic and this meal made me happy. I poured liberal amounts of mexican hot sauce over the whole thing to top it off and it was tasty and homey.
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