Saturday, February 27, 2010

Accidental cajun

Last Wednesday I made a pot of beans for a Mexican dinner at a friend's house. Then I realized there was a seminar that evening I wanted to attend, so I skipped the dinner and since then have had a pot of beans sitting in my fridge. After doing some research, I decided to make a simple dish of chorizo and beans, but when I went to get chorizo at Target, I couldn't find any--all I could find was Cajun sausage. So that was what I got.

And you know, maybe it's because my simple pot of beans turned into sort of a stone soup rice and beans, but dinner was pretty good. In case I ever want to repeat this particular dish, I'm putting down the recipe:

1 lb dry beans (I used navy--I suspect any red or white bean would be fine)
1 large onion
1 chipotle pepper, dry
1 dried ancho or other pepper

Dice onion and fry in a couple of tablespoons lard or bacon grease until browned. Add beans and enough water to cover to 1 inch. On hot skillet, dry roast peppers for about 30 seconds. Seed and stem and add to beans. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 hours, or until beans are fully cooked. Store for several days (optional).

2 to 3 tsp chicken bouillon
1 lb Cajun sausage
1 diced sweet pepper (I used red--it was on sale)
1 diced tomato
1/2 can tomato paste
about 1 c uncooked rice
about 1 tsp oregano
about 1/2 tsp thyme
about 2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bunch collard greens, roughly chopped

Add bouillon to beans (this can be done before storing them in the fridge, if you're that on top of things). Remove peppers and either puree or discard. Fry sausage and add to the beans. Fry sweet pepper in same pan for just a couple of minutes, scraping up as much of the fond as possible. Add sweet pepper to beans, along with tomato, tomato paste, and spices. Make sure there's plenty of broth (you'll need at least 3 c of broth for rice to cook completely) and add rice. Simmer until rice is done. Add collard greens and serve immediately. Would be awesome with cornbread and tobasco.

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