From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Back in the day, dinner on Monday night was a slightly altered version of the meal that had been served for Sunday supper. In my corner of the world, that was always a hash made with beef and potatoes that was topped with an egg, whose yolk when broken, would flood the hash like gravy. It was a fairly typical Monday meal on the East Coast and in the Middle West and I came to hate it with a passion. My lovely and adventurous mother had many talents, but cooking was not one of them. Boiling was her favorite cooking technique and she did a lot of it. Our Sunday supper was always a boiled beef that didn't have much flavor first time around, much less the second. My aversion was such that boiled beef and hash have never graced my table, and given my advanced age, I suspect they never will. I have no problems with leftovers in general and I'm fascinated by how they are handled in other regions and different parts of the world. I came across the recipe I'm featuring tonight in the January issue of Food and Wine magazine. It caught my eye because the dish is usually made with leftovers. In New Orleans, red beans and rice are traditionally served on Mondays to use up ham left from Sunday's meal. This recipe was revised to use bacon so this lovely dish can be made any night of the week. The use of jalapeno and Peppadew peppers adds heat and flavor to the beans and I heartily recommend this version of red beans to you. I am able to buy Peppadew peppers at local salad bars, but if you are not so fortunate, Italian cherry peppers can be substituted.. They will provide the heat but not the sweetness of the Peppadew which is uniquely flavored. This is a simple meal that is made with inexpensive ingredients and it really is delicious. New Orleans is not a bad place to be at dinner time on Monday night. I hope that those of you who enjoy beans will give this recipe a try. You will not regret it. Here is how this version of red rice and beans comes together.
New Orleans Red Beans and Rice with Piper's Pickled Peppers...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Food and Wine magazine
4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 inner celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pickled jalapeño, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped Peppadew peppers, plus more for garnish
2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Freshly ground pepper
Steamed white rice, for serving
1) Cook bacon in a large saucepan set over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.
2) Add onion, celery, garlic, pickled jalapeño and 1/4 cup of Peppadews and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
3) Add beans with their liquid and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until liquid is slightly reduced, 8 minutes. Season beans with salt and pepper. Ladle beans into bowls and top with a mound of rice. Garnish with more Peppadews and serve right away. Yield: 4 servings.
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