Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday recipe: Red beans and rice

Sundays are a great day to cook red beans and rice. My boss at the office gave me three fresh habernero peppers out of his garden, so it's time to use them before they go bad. But no, I'm not going to put all three into my red beans and rice, that'd be just plain crazy!

Here's the basic recipe for my version of this simple but delicious dish:

  • 1 pound red kidney beans
  • roughly one pound of seasoning meat (smoke sausage, andouille sausage, ham, tasso, Spam!, etc.).
  • 1 habernero pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning to taste (a teaspoon more or less depending on how salty you want it)
  • 1/4th cup Tabasco
You can make it fancier, with fresh garlic and celery and onion and etc. rather than the pre-packaged Cajun seasoning. But it doesn't taste any better that way.

Once you're done cooking the above, you have enough beans for a small army. You then cook some rice and serve over rice. Optionally, you can serve with French bread or cornbread on the side to help stretch it even further.

First thing you do is, on Saturday, put the beans soaking in a big pot of water. Leave them there overnight in the refrigerator to help tenderize them.

On Sunday after you get home from church, drain the beans into a strainer, put 5 cups of water into the pot, bring the pot almost to a boil, then dump in the beans. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a couple of hours. It's important to *not* put the seasoning in at this time, because you need to get the beans tender first, and salt toughens the cell walls. You can go ahead and mince the habernero and put it in at this time, though. It needs to be tenderized too. (note: Use latex gloves while handling the habernero, and carefully rinse the cutting board and knife afterward! Voice of experience here!). Depending upon your tolerance for heat, either discard the seeds, or put them into the pot with the rest of the pepper. (I recommend discarding them unless you are hard-core).

After a couple of hours the beans and habernero should be pretty much tenderized. Put in the meat and other (non-habernero) seasonings, put in enough *HOT* water (bring it to a boil in a teakettle on another burner) to cover the beans, and simmer for another couple of hours.

Cook some rice, cook some cornbread if you want the Prairie Cajun version vs. the Swamp Cajun version (the Prairie Cajuns used cornbread, the Swamp Cajuns used French bread) or slice your French bread, then serve.

Simple, filling, cheap, will feed an army. You'll have to provide the army though.

-- Badtux the Recipe Penguin

Cough cough cough... just finished cutting up the habernero. Had me coughing, eyes running, etc. even though it was just one habernero. My suggestion: Unless you're hard-core, leave out the habernero, and if you ARE hard-core, just put half the habernero -- no seeds -- into your chile or red beans or what have you. That stuff is *HOT*!!!!!

Afterward #2: Yep, half the habernero, no seeds, was *PLENTY* of high-register hot. Complemented the low-register heat of the Tabasco perfectly. This recipe, simple as it is, is *GOOD*, I just finished making a pig err fatter penguin out of myself!

Posted by: BadTux / 10/15/2006 11:43:00 AM  


I've eaten only one habanero in my entire life. It burned me like all hell.

# posted by Mimus Pauly : 16/10/06 6:08 AM  

that's the real beauty of the pepper mimus, you get to enjoy it twice.
# posted by The Minstrel Boy : 16/10/06 10:12 AM  

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I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.

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