Fat Tuesday is tomorrow and what better way to celebrate than with red beans and rice? Most years I probably would have agreed with you, but I decided to go a little bit different route this year. I’ll admit that yesterday I was feeling a little poorly so I didn’t feel like going to the store. I didn’t have the holy trinity in my pantry, which isn’t a regular thing, but I did have a few things that I could throw together that would taste delicious and still have some semblance of Cajun style.
Black rice isn’t something that I was too familiar with before I prepared it for dinner, but I have to say that it was quite delicious. Of course like any rice it is all about the preparation. I think the black rice can add a bit of depth and color to some foods that would look more bland with the white or brown variety, but like I said this just happens to be what I had in the pantry last night.
Any Cajun dish is about the roux. We started with bacon grease. What? Isn’t everything better with bacon grease? Then you build the roux from there adding flavor as you go. I didn’t have the holy trinity in my fridge for the first time in a long time so there was a little bit of playing around. This made me a bit uncomfortable with calling it anything close to red beans and rice. Also you’ll note that I used white beans instead of red beans. Sometimes you just gotta go with what you’ve got lying around.
Now of course if you’re experimenting with things you just have laying around the pantry then I suggest that you always have a back up plan. You know that frozen pizza you keep in the freezer. Yeah that’s the kind of plan you need. However, I did not need to resort to such measures last night. This dish however might be a bit spicy for some. It was the andouille.
I highly recommend experimenting though. I think it is something that helps us all to expand our palette. Here’s to your experiments.
MARDI GRAS BLACK AND WHITE BEAN RICE
- 4 strips bacon
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
- dash cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 andouille sausage, cut into coins
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 1 1/2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 12oz can cannellini beans
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1. Cut the strips of bacon into pieces and add them to a pot on medium heat. Cook until they start browning.
- 2. Add the onion, bell pepper, cayenne, salt and pepper. Be sure to say Bam! while adding the cayenne a la Emeril. Cook for 4 minutes.
- 3. Add the andouille, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and parsley. Cook for 1 minute.
- 4. Add the chicken stock and cannellini beans. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered until it thickens. About 30 minutes.
- 5. While the beans are reducing, cook the rice according to the instructions on the bag.
- 6. Serve beans over the cooked rice.