Sunday, September 8, 2013

Creole Rice & Red Beans

"Creole Rice & Red Beans" (page 272) is a staple dish of Cajon cuisine, and I never tire of this combination of flavors. Sautéed onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic are cooked together with rice, red beans, tomatoes, herbs, and spices, all of which are seasoned with an (optional) hot chili. The recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of long-grain white rice, to be cooked together with all the rest of the ingredients, which includes broth. While this method seems to work okay for white rice, I haven't had good luck trying to cook brown rice this way. For some reason, when I cook brown rice in a pot with any other ingredients other than broth or water, the rice never cooks tender enough, never seems to get "done". I opted to cook the rice separately, and then add it the rest of the ingredients. If you do this, you will need to adjust the amount of broth in the final mix, unless you prefer this dish to be rather saucy (which isn't so bad either!). I also opted to start with just 1 cup of dry brown rice, as I felt 1 ½ cups would yield too much. I didn't bother to drain the canned tomatoes as called for in the recipe; I felt the juice was a nice flavor addition to the dish. Be sure to pass the bottle of Tabasco at the table!
"Keeping it McDougall Friendly" checklist:

ü  Omit the oil when sautéing the veggies. Instead, use water, sherry, or broth and/or a non-stick saucepan.

ü  Use brown rice instead of white. See my comments above about cooking it separately.

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