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Comfort Me
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Having just returned from a heavenly trip to New Orleans, I immediately sent out invitations to fellow frozen Chicogoans to enjoy a bit of Mardi Gras at my home. I promised red beans, chicken and sausage jambalaya (with homemade sausage), greens, and Galette des Rois (the French pithivier style, rather than the New Orleans yeasted -- I've been working on mastering laminates and this is a great opportunity to show off my puff pastry!)

Having promised the moon in my invitations, I went to RecipeGullet to check out what authoritative recipes the Louisianans had posted for posterity. And, alas, I found not a single recipe for red beans, jambalaya,or greens. How could this be? I know Southerners, and Louisianans in particular, to be the most generous breed on earth.

Now surely you owe it to your fellow eGulleters to spread the word, to feed the hungry, to fatten up the thin! We gotta have some fuel to keep warm here -- today's wind chills are for -35 degrees!

How 'bout helping a guy get his fix, huh? Pretty please?

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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I am so not a southerner, but I will say there is some serious cornbread goin' on in recipe gullet, if you should desire that sort of thing with your spread.

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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I made a variant of Fifi's Chicken & Sausage Gumbo from RecipeGullet a couple of weeks ago. It was simply mind blowing. The best gumbo I've ever eaten. But you're right, there is a dearth of jambalaya and other Louisiana classics. Mayhaw Man, fix that immediately!

Chad

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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I made a variant of Fifi's Chicken & Sausage Gumbo from RecipeGullet a couple of weeks ago. It was simply mind blowing. The best gumbo I've ever eaten. But you're right, there is a dearth of jambalaya and other Louisiana classics. Mayhaw Man, fix that immediately!

Chad

I am so glad that the gumbo recipe worked for you. I am committed to spreading the gospel of gumbo to the hungry masses. Of course, I can't take credit for gumbo expertise. That came from the gumbo goddess of LaPlace LA many years ago.

I will try to come up with an actual recipe for my red beans and post it. Unfortunately, as with most of this style of cooking, things are not... shall we say... precise. :biggrin: A lot of it depends on what you have that you need to use.

What I can suggest is that Emeril's Louisiana Real and Rustic is an excellent starting point for many of these recipes. BTW... That is an eGullet friendly link. I have used many of the recipes in that book and found them to be pretty darned authentic. At least you get a good starting point for proportions and can deviate from there.

Be warned that Mayhaw Man is likely to insert some evil okra recipes. :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I posted my Red Beans recipe on the thread that involved someone who was cooking without a stove (which of course I can't find right now). I intended on getting it into recipe gullet, but so far am a failure in that regard. :sad:

I will put a decent jambo recipe in recipe gullet when I get home this afternoon.

Comfort Me-

Where did you eat on your trip? Did you go to that Kosher place in Metairie we discussed?

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Mrs. Busboy cooked an excellent red beans and rice from Paul Prudhomme's book, if you can get ahold of that. Probably be helpful on a number of other fronts, if you've got a real Cajun jones going on, as well.

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Mmmm, okra! The other night I was at a Southern dinner, and the chef (an Arkansan, but wth) told us how he made his fabulous greens-and-okra: First make a stock with the smoked hocks/neckbones/etc. When that stock is done, then add your greens and cook until they're almost done (this is the melting version, not the nouveau crunchy way). Finally, for the last 10 minutes or so, add your okra, split lengthwise. Oh, was that good! (I think there was a lot of garlic in it, too.)

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I forgot to add... If you are looking to duplicate the incredibly creamy and delicious red beans, you will have to find a source for Camellia brand red beans. I have tried other brands of red kidney beans and they just aren't the same thing. Luckily, a few years ago, my local Kroger stores started carrying them. Until that happy occurrence, I was relegated to carrying a few pounds in my luggage when making a trip to New Orleans. I think there is a web site somewhere that you can order such a thing. If I find it later today, I will report a link.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I posted my Red Beans recipe on the thread that involved someone who was cooking without a stove (which of course I can't find right now). I intended on getting it into recipe gullet, but so far am a failure in that regard. :sad:

I will put a decent jambo recipe in recipe gullet when I get home this afternoon.

Comfort Me-

Where did you eat on your trip? Did you go to that Kosher place in Metairie we discussed?

Mayhaw:

No, I did not get to Metarie. We decided to cancel the car and enjoy red bean day in the Vieux Carre. (Fiorello's on Decatur St. was exactly what we needed. I'm a bit choked up thinking about it!)

I'll post a report on the trip once I figure out how to do the pictures thing. We had some great food, some okay food, and, well, let's just say our experience at the Camelia Grill is probably a whole thread in itself, and I don't know if I can take the personal attacks that would come with my description.

I wish, more than anything, that I could go back right now. I was meant to be there. Oh, G-d, I love it there. Must go cry now.

Aidan

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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I forgot to add... If you are looking to duplicate the incredibly creamy and delicious red beans, you will have to find a source for Camellia brand red beans. I have tried other brands of red kidney beans and they just aren't the same thing. Luckily, a few years ago, my local Kroger stores started carrying them. Until that happy occurrence, I was relegated to carrying a few pounds in my luggage when making a trip to New Orleans. I think there is a web site somewhere that you can order such a thing. If I find it later today, I will report a link.

I brought a suitcase full home with me! My wife was livid!

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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Comfort Me... You are a very wise man. Now that you have said beans in your possession the actual execution is easy.

Saute some trinity (Onion, celery, bell pepper in a roughly 2:1:1 ratio). Put that in your pot with some sort of pork product. I have used ham bones, ham hocks, and the classic sweet pickled pork (which may not be available outside of New Orleans). Add a couple of bay leaves. Then you cook the beans using whatever method you are most comfortable with. I have taken to using the crock pot in recent years.

The unique properties of the Camellias will get you there.

edit to add: I learned something the other day from Paula Wolfert on a cassoulet thread. Beans should be cooked with just enough liquid, not too much. If you have too much liquid, the starches leach out into the excess liquid and the beans do not attain optimum texture. I have been doing that just because the capacity of my crock pot dictated that I not have too much liquid. I was doing it "right". I just didn't know why. My sister screwed up a batch of red beans recently by having too much liquid. They really didn't achieve that creamy texture even though they were Camellia brand. She had a bunch of stock she needed to use up.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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A variation on fifi's excellent basis:

- Render some ground andouille in a little bit of oil.

- Remove the andouile and saute your trinity in the fat until you get a little brown on it.

- Push the trinity to the sides of the pan, letting the fat drain back to the center. Add four or five cloves of garlic, chopped, and a bit of cayenne. Saute until you can smell the garlic - about 30 seconds.

- Deglaze the pan with chicken stock (low sodium canned is fine). Turn this mess into your bean pot, add your pork product and bay, along with some dried thyme.

- Cook the beans as fifi recommends. I like the crockpot, too.

- About a half-hour before the beans are done, brown some sliced andouille, kielbasa or other smoked sausage. Add it to the pot to finish cooking and tenderize.

- I think it's Emeril who suggests extracting about a third of the cooked beans and running an immersion blender through them, then returning the puree to the pot. I've done it this way -- it gives you an extra-creamy finished product that you might like.

Are Camellias the same as the guys labeled "small red beans"?

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Check out What's for Dinner? from last night and you will see some discussion about red beans and how to get them.

If some of you "effective searchers" can find a thread that was around in December discussing a poster with no stove, you can find my red bean recipe. I don't seem to be able to find it at the moment and since I am supposed to be working, I can't spend the rest of the afternoon on it.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I highly reccomend adding some cumin.

Y'all are making me hungry. I think its time for some red beans and rice, greens, cornbread, black eyed peas .... and OKRA. LOTS AND LOTS OF OKRAAHHHHH.

Ok. I feel better now. Perhaps I'll skip the rest and start directly with the sublime goddess of slime.

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I actually prefer red beans done with turkey smoked sausage, but that's me. Don't forget the bay leaves, and you can actually do red beans without the trinity. I've left out the celery, and used less bell pepper. I got (I think) better results. Chicken broth or plain water works as cooking liquid, but use the low sodium.

The crock pot is the best way to go. I would suggest, however, that if you use the turkey sausage variation, that you not add it at the beginning. The sausage swells up, turns gray, and floats. Unpleasant. Drop them in there for the last 1-2 hours, and cheat at the beginning with (cover your ears, Mayhaw) 1 tsp Liquid Smoke per pound of beans. A little goes a long way.

Much less fat in this version, no pork products (not sure if it's kosher), but you can use any smoked meat for flavoring. Smoked turkey legs work in a pinch as well.

Here's where the argument starts: rice. I only use long grain rice. Specifically Mahatma (made in my hometown). Never ever ever ever use Uncle Ben's perverted rice for this. The rice should be rinsed well 3 times before cooking, and only be seasoned while cooking with salt and a splash of plain ol white vinegar. It should be perfectly cooked. I invested in a rice cooker years ago, but occasionally have done it on the stove. The directions on the bag for stovetop cooking use a little too much water. Use a heavy saucepan, follow the directions, but hold about 1/4 cup of water out. It should be ever so slightly dry (to hold only the sauce) and not at all crunchy. This rice is also perfect for gumbos, ettoufees, and jambos.

Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)
Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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Regarding the red beans... Do what Dave said! :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I found this sight for Camellia red beans. When I googled "Camellia red beans" I got several hits.

Dave... The only red beans that cook right are the Camellia brand. I don't know why. Maybe they grow their own special strain. I just know that any other red kidney bean just ain't right.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Regarding Camellias, I think the thing is that they have become the sort of default "red bean" in Louisiana, so the stock turns over fairly regularly. They don't have a chance to sit for a year and a half waiting for someone to buy them. I've had good luck with other beans, even store brands. It's not the brand name. They get theirs from the same sources the rest of them do. It's turnover.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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I dunno about that. Several years ago, I got curious about the uniqueness of Camellias so I wrote to them. I recall that they wrote back and said that they have growers under contract to them to grow "their" beans. (This was before the age of e-mail and I can't find the letter now. I kept it just out of interest.)

I also took some beans to work and examined the guts of the beans under the microscope. The structure of the starch in the Camellias was finer.

Yes, they have high turn over and the age of the bean has a lot to do with how well a bean cooks up. According to McGee (I think) the age of the bean is everything and all of the stuff about salt etc. is myth. The only thing that can affect the texture of the bean while cooking is acid. So, if you want to add tomato products of some kind in a relatively large quantity, you should add it toward the end. I do note that they have an expiration date on the bags. I think Camellia is the only brand of dried bean that I have seen that.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I do note that they have an expiration date on the bags. I think Camellia is the only brand of dried bean that I have seen that.

Funny you should mention this. Just the other day, I snagged two pounds of pintos to go with some chili. I dumped out half of them to pick over, and as I tied up the remainder, I noticed the package was stamped with an expiration date of this summer. I couldn't remember having ever seen one on beans before, and I became concerned that I had missed it all these years. Happily, your story confirms: it's not me, it's the beans (a line I've used before, under other circumstances).

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Happily, your story confirms: it's not me, it's the beans (a line I've used before, under other circumstances).

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

I seem to remember that we had the discussion on a thread some time ago about how it was a cryin' shame that you really couldn't tell how old dried beans are because they don't date the package. I JUST noticed the date on the Camellia packages. Now I am curious and will check out other bags of beans on my next trip to the store. Now my question is how old is an old bean. We should probably explore this burning question on a separate thread in a general forum.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I'm looking. I'm looking. I don't think it was McGee. I will start a thread in General whatever when I get my s*** together. Probably tomorrow.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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this is what I remember:

dutch oven

trinity

ssg-one link your taste (kielbasa, hot, etc.), one link boudin; sliced

lemon zest

one tomato, chopped

2 c. shrimp stock

1 c. white rice

fresh sage, rolled up and julienned (I have no recollection of the technical term here.)

1 T. tomato paste

1 lb. shrimp

4-6 oz. crabmeat

cayenne

black pepp

shrimp boil

-------------------------------------------------------

Boil the shrimp with your fave spices then cool, peel and set aside, reserving 2 c. stock, strained through a flour sack towel-lined colander. Sweat your trinity in a dutch oven that's been oiled and buttered. Add sausage, tomatoes, lemon zest, peppers and sage, saute another 5-10 mins. Stir in tomato paste. Add stock and rice, bring to a boil, then covered lo-lo heat for 25 mins. Turn off the heat, add shrimp and crab and let stand another five. Stir and serve with crackers and plenty of beer. Must have at least 2-3 bottles of Louisiana hot sauce for guests to hold in their grubby fists.

Remember to use your newfound Jambalaya powers only for good, not evil.

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