Bobby G’s Mardi Gras Beans and Rice: By Bobby Graham
Now Cher, at Mardi Gras, you want to be sure to get some nutrition without dat unwanted bloating and sluggish crawfish feeling you can get from all dem rich Nu’Awlins high class fixin’s. I am told by my nutritionist dat beans complements rice in supplying a lot of amino acids. So even if it ain’t Mardi Gras and you got to go out to check da traps or whatever, dis here will fix y’all up, Cher.
Take one pound of red beans (kidney shaped) or pintos and soak ’em for a few hours, maybe overnight, den drain em. If you don’t presoak then just add another hour of cookin time.
In a bean-filled cooker add two level teaspoons a salt and enough water to cover the beans about a inch. Now I put more salt in mine, cause dat’s a lot of beans.
Cover and cook on low heat a hour. Then add six bay leaves. (The good ones if you please). That good bay leaf flavor start coming out on low heat, Cher, so keep a very slow boil.
Do not, I repeat do not, put any onions in the pot with the beans. It will influence the spices we gonna add in a negatory fashion.
Oh yeah, keep checkin and adding water so it’s over dem beans, Cher. So go on and cook another hour until you can smell dem beans and dat sauce is a little brown.
Put in the spices now. I used to put in a lot of different ones until I read the label on something call ‘Curry’. It had my spices in it already. So that’s what I use now but I put in a couple of pinches of dill seeds too because I like pickle.
How much curry spice you say, Cher?
One rounded (not heaping) teaspoon. Now you want to add two tablespoons of hot sauce and quarter teaspoon black pepper to invite reluctant taste buds to open up. Some people put in two tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to give it a greasy look or should I say, to make it more visually enticing? You see what I mean when you ladle it over dat rice.
Start your rice. I use the brown stuff.
Stir in da spices good and cook another hour makin’ sure dem beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and boin. That is three hours of cookn in all, but I got a friend that learned from Paul Prudhomme when he was cookin at the Maison De’Puy over on Dauphine, and he simmers his all day. I tell you I get hungry smelling dem beans and can’t wait.
So anyways, that sauce is gonna be good and thick if you don’t put too much water in. But boinin’ is out of the question. You can’t tell by lookin at the boilin’ pot if you have too much water because dem beans float to the top.
So, anyways, figger it out so they’s actually about a half of a inch of water over dem beans when they not floatin. That sauce be good and thick, Cher, and it soak dat rice in a flavor worthy of Mardi Gras Kings and Queens. Beans is da simplest of foods and the most noble. It ain’t hard, so bon appetit and laissez les bon temps roulez. Cher.
P.S. It is common to have some fresh French bread and margarine to eat with it and sop it up. Hot sauce-add a lot too. Umm umm umm.