New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Think of New Orleans and immediately you think of Mardi Gras and Food. You can talk about those two topics for a long time, but when I connect those two dots, it simply points to Red Beans and Rice.

Of all the food and cuisines that identify New Orleans, nothing epitomizes the Crescent City culinary culture like Red Beans and Rice. Once and always a Monday tradition, it’s in every home and you shouldn’t be surprised to see it on any restaurant menu in New Orleans or South Louisiana, from fine dining establishments to a neighborhood poboy restaurant. Owing to the Caribbean influences in the diverse local culinary culture, it’s the quintessential Mardi Gras food, a crowd pleaser and basic comfort food. You’ve heard all the folk lore – Mondays are washdays, leftover bone from Sunday’s ham and on and on. I don’t care how it happened, Red Beans and Rice are so good that they earned a revered spot on the weekly food plan for an entire region. Like most Louisiana staples, like Gumbo, Jambalaya and Crawfish Étouffée, everyone has their favorite recipe, most handed down from parents or grandparents. Red Beans and Rice is no different. Honestly, I doubt I’ve ever had a bad dish of RB&B and I hate to let the secret out of the bag – the best recipes are simple and naturally no-angst. Continue reading “New Orleans Red Beans and Rice”

Stuffed Bell Peppers

 

I love stuffed bell peppers! When well prepared, the peppers are soft and mild and can be stuffed with most kinds meat or seafood-many in South Louisiana add rice to the stuffing; my grandmother used a mixture of ground beef and ground ham. Almost every cuisine has a version of stuffed peppers. These very flavorful goodies have a filling made with beef and veal, cooked down with sweet onions, chopped bell peppers and spices, making a perfectly delicious stuffing. Fight the urge to make them too large; they are so good you’ll be tempted to eat too many! Make sure you get a nice piece of pepper with every bite of stuffing. Stuffed bell peppers are a great main dish but also great as a side with red beans and rice.  They go great with mac and cheese or pasta with tomato sauce. You won’t believe how great these are as left overs-something about the way the flavors meld together.  Another option is to freeze the stuffed pepper before you bake Stuffed Bell Peppersthem and save for a later time. This makes a large batch so you may be able to enjoy some now and save some happiness for a later date.   Get a couple of cold beers standing by and let’s get going. Continue reading “Stuffed Bell Peppers”