Southern Red Beans and Rice
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 2 hours Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
1 pound of dried red kidney beans
1/2 pound of bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large stalk of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste, optional
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon of canola oil
1 package (14 oz.) smoked sausage or Andouille sausage(very spicy), ham bone, ham hocks, hamchunks, or any combination
2 quarts of water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, optional
Kosher salt to taste, if needed – BUT ONLY AT THE END!
Hot, cooked rice
Sliced green onion, for garnish, optional
Hot sauce, for the table
Rinse and sort beans and place into a deep pot, adding water to cover beans plus about an inch or so. Discard any malformed or floating beans.
Do not add any seasonings or salt! Bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes uncovered, turn off heat, cover and let soak for one hour. Drain and set aside in a large pot.In a separate skillet, cook the bacon until lightly cooked and still limp. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to the bacon and sauté the veggies until tender. Add the garlic, black and red pepper, basil and bay leaf into the vegetable mixture and let seasoning meld with the veggies for about 3 minutes, stirring. Add the bacon, veggie & seasoning mixture to the pot of beans. Meanwhile slice sausage in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch chunks. Add oil to skillet you used for the veggies and lightly brown the sausage. Transfer to the bean pot. If you have any leftover ham chunks, cut those up too, brown them and add them in.
Add 2 quarts of fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cooked uncovered for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until beans are tender and slightly thickened. When beans are just about done, slide in a half stick of butter. The butter adds richness to the beans and makes them just super delish, but is totally optional if you want to leave it out. They are good without it. If you need to thicken them up more, just remove about a cup of the beans and mash them with a fork, returning them to the pot. Serve over hot, cooked rice and garnish with sliced green onion, if desired. Pass hot sauce at the table.
Note: Do not add any salt until the end, and then only if it needs it. There is some salt present from all the meats involved, so taste and adjust your seasonings toward the end of cooking, adding salt here if needed. I very often find that the pot needs no additional salt at all. Taste, add salt if needed, taste again and adjust seasoning as needed.
The Belgian waffle is a North American type of waffle identified by its larger size, lighter batter and higher grid pattern which forms deep pockets and has larger squares than the standard American waffle. In Belgium, there are a number of different types of waffle, including the Brussels waffle, the Liège waffle and the stroopwafel, though no waffles are known as a ‘Belgian waffle’, and what is known in North America as the ‘Belgian waffle’ does not exist in Belgium. It is somewhat similar to the Brussels waffle, but Brussels waffles are hard and crispy on the outside. As opposed to a traditional North American waffle, the Belgian waffle traditionally uses yeast instead of baking powder, although contemporary Belgian waffles are often made with baking powder. In North America, they are often eaten as a breakfast food; toppings vary from whipped cream, confectioners sugar, soft fruit, chocolate spread, to syrup and butter or margarine. Alternatively, they are served with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit (such as strawberries) as a dessert.
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
3 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated (for 3 yolks and 1 egg white)
1/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk or whole buttermilk
Heat half of the water to lukewarm, 105°-110°F. Dissolve the yeast in the water with a pinch of sugar; let stand for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam
Put the flour and salt into the large bowl; stir to blend and reserve. Add the egg yolks, one of the egg whites, and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture; stir to blend. Add the remaining water, milk, melted butter, oil, and vanilla; stir until the mixture is smooth. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat until the mixture is smooth.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form when removing the mixer. Fold the egg whites gently into the Belgian waffle batter. Let the batter stand for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Measure out enough batter for your waffle maker and pour into the preheated waffle maker. Use a heat-proof spatula to spread the batter evenly over the grids. Close lid and bake the Belgian waffle in the waffle maker until it indicates the waffle is done; in professional waffle makers, this is usually indicated by a light, a tone sounding, or both.
Remove waffle and repeat until all batter is used. Waffles may be kept warm in an oven at low-heat (200°F). Place Belgian waffles on a cookie sheet on a rack in the warm oven. Serve with whipped cream, fruit, jam, powdered sugar, or warm syrup fruit or maple.