Eat Something

{September 29, 2008}   Papa-style Red Beans and Rice
hydrated pintos and Casa Nueva

the key players tonight: hydrated pintos and Casa Nueva

Ok, so Saturday I treated the fam to real deal red beans and rice which I haven’t made since before the 6 yo was eating table foods… And I am doing it the way my Pops would, aka soaking them in red wine… We had every intention of submitting this for Joelen’s Fall Foods/Red Wine Challenge as it is THE staple fall food we had growing up, nearly once a week. (And as a quirky side note: I almost my this an Eat to the Beat with Red, Red Wine just because I got the whiny UB40 song stuck in my head while open it and wanted to pass it on and get it stuck in someone else’s since I’m wicked like that… but alas, it’s not really got anything to do with the song beyond the obvious, so I won’t… but you can still have the song in your head free of charge… no need to thank me…) and Jo’s wrap up

Now briefly, if you are wanting to salvage the most beans a gentle slower soak from cold or tepid water is ideal but I rarely plan in advance so well, so hot tap it is and it is gentler than a quick soak (boil). But as always there is a better method than I exemplify… So you can negotiate less if you want, now on to it…

Wine soak...

Round two: Wine soak...

Papa-style Red Beans and Rice
1 lb red beans (I had only pinto and turtles in the pantry, so the pintos won for obvious reasons)
1 bottle red wine (I used a Cab Sav)
about half a dozen cloves garlic, peeled and split
half a yellow onion cut in wedges
1 T ea: salt and bacon grease
1/2 T ea (or more to taste): blk pep, oregano, and sage (and I do garlic and onion powder but that’s me, most people don’t do both dried and fresh together but I do)
some fresh parsley if you’ve got it, completely optional so no biggie if you don’t (please don’t use dried parsley and invite me to dinner though)
1/2 tsp cayenne (this will not make it spicy so if you seek that use more–I would but the kids would let me–for me this is just to round and balance the pepper flavor but normal people aren’t so anal so feel free to drop it too if you are hesitant)
bay leaves (1 do 4-6 but you don’t really have to use that many)

Rinse and sort the beans of stones and obvious bad beans. Cover the beans in 1.5-2 qts hot tap water and scoop off any floaters and set aside to soak. When doubled, I drain, rinse and resort the beans… Put the beans that pass muster back in the pot cover with the bottle of wine, throw in the veg and seasonings and soak until 3 times the starting volume (you can use the handle of a wooden spoon to gauge this)… Then bring to boil and reduce to simmer until tender, about an hr I guess… I’m a ’til it’s done kinda girl if you haven’t noticed by now… Serve this over rice which you of course will cook in some chicken or fish stock (and feel free to throw some fresh parsley or some dried cilantro into this for a big more color and flavor, I usually do but it is fine without it too of course)… And no this doesn’t contain the secret seasoning blend, not because I’m holding out on you but because both me and daddy just tinker and sprinkle until it smells right so you’ll have to adapt this to taste and I probably even added some other seasonings but all the ones in larger amts are accounted for and I have seasoned beans precisely like this when on vacation without my spice rack before so they’ll be fine this way, just not quite like at my table at home… I often need hubby to serve as notetaker to keep me on top of these kinds of things as I don’t pay attention too much…

and YES I said put in the salt before the beans are cooked, and yes every other recipe will tell you after, and yes they turn out fine and are better seasoned with less salt when you do it before… we honestly made beans every week, sometimes a few times a week, I swear you can cook them with the salt nothing bad will happen and you’ll probably like them better that way anyway… but you can of course salt them afterward if you wish, nothing bad will happen that way either really (outside of likely consuming more salt to get the same flavor)… so feel free to do with that what you will…

we cooked it drier than I normally would due the wine/children thing... but I prefer leaving them saucier and just pulling them as soon as the beans are tender...

over rice

PS. and since I was gonna make Daddy’s Cornbread until we realized we had no cornmeal I also threw in the 1lb of browned pork sausage designated for that… but growing up this would usually either be meatless or have slices of kilbalsa in it… and while I’m sure if you asked my father would tell you he’d put a whole package in but I can vouch that it is not remotely close to true as I was a horrid, horrid food theif and occassionally would recruit my little brother in the snatching process as the Pops would grow too suspicious of me hanging around too much around sliced kilbalsa (or sliced cheese for the mac and cheese or cheese dip) and shoo me away… LOL So if you want meat I’d suggest using the kilbalsa insted of the ground sausage, it is better that way…


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