Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's all about the sausage

Tonight I'm making gumbo, which reminds me that my friend Josh wrote to me three or four months ago asking for my red beans recipe, and bitch that I am, I have yet to write back.

So finally, while the gumbo berls, I'm going to write down the slapdash way I make red beans. Janice, K, V and Libby, I'm sure you all make better red beans than me. It'd be great to see your recipes too, so I can try your signature riffs.

I. Get you some kidney beans or red beans, whatever your local store is calling them.
II. Soak them over night. Do not salt them.
III. Next day, rinse them off and kick out the floaters.
IV. Cover with water, put them on the stove. Bring to a berl, then turn it down to simmer. Chop an onion in to fourths and toss it in. Break a celery stick into thirds and toss it in. If you have a green pepper, quarter it and toss it in. Fine chop two or three Roma tomatoes and toss em in. Toss in a three or four shakes of red pepper flakes. Shake some black pepper in. Don't salt!
V. Faggedabout it.
VI. An hour or so later Mark will say "you want me to stir this or what?" Tell him sure. Then he'll say "water's getting kind of low, want me to put some in? Say sure.
VII. The beans start smelling good. Go in and fish all your veggies out of the pot except the tomatoes, and stick them in the cuisinart with two tablespoons of beans and some of the water. Grind it to a thick liquid. Toss it back in the pot. Taste a bean. Still kind of crunchy? Cover it. Faggedabout it. (The water should always cover the beans, so if it's low, fill it up to just past the bean line, but don't overfill or else your beans will be watery. Eww.) Toss in six or eight hot Louisiana sausages. Safeway carries this brand. Get a spicy sausage, or it won't be right. You can toss these in frozen right out of the freezer.
VIII. Every so often, repeat step VI. Stir regularly to make sure the beans aren't sticking to the bottom, and to check the water line.
X. Repeat the crunchy bean test until the bean is no longer crunchy at all. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over steaming white rice, with french bread and a sliver of frozen butter. MMM!

14 comments:

Rita said...

Sounds scrumptious! Now you have to share your gumbo talents.

Is Louisiana sausage called anything else?

kateco said...

Hi Nik, cool post -- click here to see how I do it.

I wish I had a nice pale of beans right now!

kateco said...

er -- that's plate -- not pale -- of beans

Janice said...

I just brown the sausage (lately I've gotten bulk sausage instead of links, something with some spice) use the fat generated to saute onions, celery, green peppers, garlic, and any other peppers. Add the beans and some water. Add black and red pepper and some bay leaf. Simmer, add water, stir. Every so often try to smoosh some beans against the edge of the pot with the back of the spoon. When it gets easy to smoosh, smoosh a bunch until the consistency is right or use a pastry knife or potatoe masher to smoosh if you're in a hurry. Add salt and some tabasco or hot sauce at the table. Serve with rice and bread. And, Michelle, no tomatoes!

freda said...

yum, gumbo, it's time to go back to New Orleans.

Michelle said...

Hey Janice -- I think I got the tomato thing from your sister. If I remember correctly she used to put some ketchup in the beans? I switched it up to tomatoes. Anyways, I knew my recipe was a little wonky!

Mark said...

I like hearing all the variations. Michelle's beans are excellent; it would be fun to taste everyone else's too.

When we have the big Friends of M&M Party sometime we should include a red beans buffet.

kateco said...

I am also of the no tomatoes clan

Janice said...

Although I hesitate to say this in print, I don't know which sister you're speaking of but they are all crazy. (In a way I love, but still...)

Mark said...

Also, it's clear to me on rereading this that it's impossible to make Michelle's excellent beans without both halves of M&M present (see Step VI).

And that's to say nothing of the important "serve over steaming white rice" - my specialty.

kateco said...

M's secret ingredient: M

Rita said...

True, Kaye. And vice versa.

Janice said...

Michelle, I confirmed with Judy, when she worked at that restaurant with you, I forgot the name, she did put ketchup in her red beans and rice. She said it made it creamier. Since then, she's mostly dropped it, but sometimes puts tomatoe paste in them. She said your idea of the tomatoes sounds good.

kateco said...

Hey -- a commenter at the night note uses tomatoes too. They use chicken too! The red bean world is wide it seems.