are cooked with plenty of aromatic vegetables for a
spin on red beans and rice
2015 ends, I’m thinking of this year’s loss of chef Paul
Prudhomme, one of this country’s most welcoming chefs and
supreme master of highly seasoned food. More than three
decades ago, Prudhomme taught us to embrace bold flavors and
to cook with generosity. I had the privilege of cooking with
him several times; his command of the spice cabinet affects
nearly every dish I make today. Many of us will long
remember the day he prepared fresh crabcakes for more than a
hundred people in the Chicago Tribune newsroom.
first cookbook, "Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana
Kitchen," has had a place in my kitchen since it
debuted. I’ve made every gumbo, poultry, fish recipe and
pecan goody in the book. In his memory, I suggest a
jambalaya party for New Year’s Eve.
jambalaya allows the cook to serve well-seasoned food that
pleases a crowd. The dish is not hard to make if you are
comfortable with a knife for some chopping. Converted rice,
the preference among many New Orleans cooks, proves nearly
indestructible. The version here features chicken and
andouille sausage with a bit of smoke from bacon and ham.
The base of the jambalaya can be made up to several days in
advance. Simply add the rice about 30 minutes before you
want to serve.
starting my jambalaya party with a sparkling version of the
classic New Orleans sazerac cocktail. It’s best enjoyed
super cold — simply put the glasses in the freezer for a
couple of hours. Alternatively, fill glasses with ice until
they are cold, then dump out the ice and fill with the cold
cooked shrimp or fresh oysters on the half shell set a
stylish tone. Order oysters in advance; plan on two or three
per guest. Store them set over a bowl of ice covered with a
damp towel in the refrigerator for up to a day. Never store
them in a closed bag. Some fish markets will open the
oysters for you, but it’s best to open them just before
serving. For safety, secure the oyster on a work surface by
placing it on a towel. Hold another towel over the oyster to
protect your hand, then slip the tip of an oyster knife into
the hinge of the shell. Twist the knife to pop it open.
Place the opened oysters on a bed of ice. Serve the oysters
with lemon wedges and hot sauce, or make a tangy topping out
of minced shallots floating in champagne vinegar.
healthful eating in the new year, I am making another dish I
enjoyed eating at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen: red beans
and rice. A cousin to hoppin’ john, which is eaten on New
Year’s Day to bring luck throughout the year, my version
of red beans and rice uses heirloom beans and brown rice. I’m
crazy about the jumbo, gorgeous, mottled heirloom Christmas
lima beans, such as those from Zursun Idaho in Twin Falls,
Idaho, or ordered from Rancho Gordo. Simmer the beans with
vegetables, then puree some to make a creamy dish. Served
with aromatic jasmine brown rice, this hearty dish will
satisfy for lunch and dinner any time of the year.
both dishes, I like to serve Louisiana-style hot sauce —
not the Asian style sauces I use on eggs and fries. I bring
bottles of Crystal hot sauce home from New Orleans; it goes
enter a new year, I wish you the same sentiment that Paul
inscribed to me in his book, "good cooking, good eating
and good loving."
can find simple syrup in the mixer aisle of most liquor
stores, or make your own by boiling 1 cup sugar in 1 cup
water until dissolved. Cool and refrigerate for months.
teaspoon simple syrup (or light agave syrup)
teaspoon Peychaud’s bitters
teaspoon ouzo, Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur
ounces rye whiskey
1 to 2
ounces chilled club soda
syrup, bitters, liqueur and whiskey into a cocktail shaker
filled with ice. Shake well, 30 seconds. Strain into small,
chilled coupe glasses. Top off with club soda. Add lemon
twist and serve.
AND ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA
converted rice, look for Uncle Ben’s Original or Riceland
Gold parboiled rice.
cup chopped smoky bacon, about 6 slices (6 ounces total)
pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch
tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
medium-large onion, chopped (about 6 ounces)
each, seeded, chopped: red bell pepper, green bell pepper
cloves garlic, finely chopped
teaspoon each: smoked paprika, thyme, salt
teaspoon each: black pepper, cayenne
(14.5 ounces) tomatoes, undrained
cup tomato paste
ounces diced smoky ham
ounces cooked chicken andouille sausage, thinly sliced
Cook bacon in a large (7-quart) Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed
pan over medium heat until it starts to render its fat,
about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add
chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken starts
to brown, about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove
bacon and chicken to a plate. (Refrigerate covered up to 3
oil to pan. Add celery, onion and bell peppers. Cook and
stir until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika,
thyme, salt and peppers; cook 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes
and tomato paste. (Base can be made ahead to this point and
refrigerated covered up to 3 days.)
Reheat base, if necessary, to a simmer. Stir in chicken
mixture, ham and sausage. Heat to a simmer. Stir in rice and
return to a simmer. Cover pan tightly and cook over low heat
until rice is tender, 20 to 23 minutes. Remove from heat and
let stand covered for 10 minutes.
serve, fluff with a fork. Spoon into wide bowls. Sprinkle
with parsley. Pass hot sauce.
information per serving: 562 calories, 16 g fat, 5 g
saturated fat, 130 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 34 g
protein, 2,060 mg sodium, 1 g fiber
BEANS AND RICE 2016
1 or 2 hours
2 1/4 hours
Joe’s fully cooked pork carnitas tastes great here instead
of roast pork or ham. For the beans, you may sub cranberry
beans or red beans.
pound heirloom Christmas lima beans
cups unsalted vegetable or chicken broth (or water)
medium onions, chopped
carrots, trimmed, peeled, halved, chopped
cloves garlic, finely minced
small jalapeno or serrano
small fresh thyme sprigs (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
tablespoon salt plus 1 teaspoon
long grain brown jasmine rice
ounces (3 to 4 cups) shredded cooked roast pork or ham
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
beans into a large (4 or 5-quart) saucepan. Add cold water
to cover. Heat to a full boil. Turn off heat and let stand 1
or 2 hours. Drain well.
Return soaked beans to pan. Add 8 cups of the broth and the
celery, onions, carrots, garlic, jalapeno, bay leaves and
thyme. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and partly
cover the pan. Cook, stirring often and adding remaining 2
cups broth as needed, until beans are tender, about 2 hours.
Stir in 1 tablespoon salt. Simmer 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, cook rice in 2 2/3 cups water with the remaining
1 teaspoon salt in a rice cooker according to the
manufacturer’s directions. (To cook rice on the stovetop,
bring the rice, salt and 3 1/2 cups water to a boil in a
saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, covered, until
water is absorbed, about 40 minutes.)
Ladle 2 cups of the beans and their cooking liquid into a
blender; puree smooth. Drain off the liquid from remaining
beans; return beans to pot. Stir in pureed beans and pork.
Heat through on low heat. Taste and adjust salt. Serve bean
mixture over a scoop of rice in warm bowls. Sprinkle
generously with cilantro. Pass hot sauce.
information per serving: 440 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g
saturated fat, 23 mg cholesterol, 75 g carbohydrates, 26 g
protein, 934 mg sodium, 15 g fiber