Sunday, August 31, 2008

not your typical white person

quick post. when i was buying the ingredients to make up some red beans and rice for our tailgate party tomorrow (go bruins!), i had to ask the butcher if they had any ham hocks because there weren't any out in the open cases. the other person standing at the counter at the time, a black guy about my age, turned to me and said, "ham hocks? you are NOT a typical white person!" i thanked him for the complement and left the store grinning ear to ear!

update - because joanna asked so nicely and she is such a good friend of the blog, here's the recipe. p.s., sorry, j, this won't ever be entered for consideration on the heart of the matter! anyway, here it is...

auntie lil bird's n'awlins red beans and rice

(adapted from emeril's red beans and rice from his louisiana real and rustic cookbook)

1 lb dried small red beans, rinsed and sorted, soaked overnight and drained
2 tbsp canola oil
1 c chopped onions
1/2 c chopped bell pepper
1/2 c chopped celery
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 lb boiled ham, cut into 1/2 in cubes
1 smoked ham hock (skin scored crosswise)
8 oz smoked sausage, cut in half then into 1/4 in slices (half moons, if you will)
3 tbsp chopped garlic
8 - 10 c water
steamed white rice

bust out your large heavy pot (le creuset or similar works best) and saute the trinity (onions, peppers, celery) and spices for about 5 mins over med-high heat. add the bay leaves, ham and ham hock and saute for an additional 5 or so minutes. (note, i did not say to add the sausage yet. simon says, back to the beginning!) add the garlic and saute until you start to smell it but before it burns. add the beans and then enough water to cover all ingredients. bring to a boil, then reduce heat. simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. add more water, if things start to get too dry and thick. at about the 2 hour mark, take your spoon and start mashing the beans against the side of the pot until you've mashed about 1/2 of the beans. (tip from auntie, do this on the side of the pot that is facing the back of the stove, in case you push the pot, it won't fall off the stove and spill boiling beans all over you!) this is the critical step as this is what gives the dish its creamy texture. now stir in your cut up sausage pieces and continue to stir for another 1 1/2 hours or so until mixture is creamy and beans are soft. feel free to add more water, the texture should be liquid but not watery, ifyaknowwhutimean. before serving, remove the bay leaves and the ham hock, salvage any of the non-fatty meat from the hock and return it to the pot. serve over steamed white rice with plenty of crystal hot sauce and an ice cold abita amber beer.

red beans

as a bit of history - red beans and rice is still typically served on mondays in new orleans. the reason: monday was wash day and a pot of red beans was easy to cook as it could be left relatively unattended while the lady of the house was busy all day in the yard with the laundry.


Joanna said...

Great compliment. Would love you to post the recipe, not something we are familiar with here, and sounds GOOD


Moon said...

I think I can smell those 'hocks cookin', yum!

Brian1970 said...

Are there other kinds of hocks besides ham hocks? I never hear about lamb hocks. Or chicken hocks (chicken hawks probably don't count). Maybe there's one out there waiting to be discovered.

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