The most fun night we had in New Orleans was at Vaughan’s when we heard terrific jazz music and were treated to a late night meal of Red Beans and Rice. Red Beans and Rice needs a marketing campaign. With a name like that it sounds like two staple foods slapped on top of each other. Not so. While, yes, the bulk of this meal is red beans on top of white rice, it ain’t just opening a can of Goya. The beans are delicately flavored, mashed into a roux and outfitted with smoked sausage and (wait for it) ham hocks. It is, in a word, fucking awesome. Calling this dish Red Beans and Rice is like calling pizza Tomato and Cheese Dough. It should have its own name, like Gumbo or Jambalaya. Anyway, here are the glorious pots of RBR that I enjoyed in New Orleans:


And here’s me enjoying them:


Ever since we came back I’ve been talking about this particular meal. Since Ann & I saw that a blizzard was coming this weekend, we figured now was the time to revisit hot ‘n humid N’awlins.

First: you soak your beans overnight:


Next day you assemble your army of spices. Note: if you need to buy spices, for God’s sake don’t go to C-Town. They have the most disorganized spice section in history.


Next: drop in your Smoked Ham Hock. It looks disgusting, but it will ultimately taste good. (Indeed, Ann is ready to chow down on some hock in this photo.) Further note: if you are looking for Ham Hocks don’t go to Trade Fair or Key Food. The local butcher shop is your best bet.


Ready your garlic and onions. There is an orange in this picture, too. Don’t use orange.


Then go back online and print out the recipe.


Add water.


Add Thyme.


Carmelize your garlic, onions and celery.


Add Worstershire Sauce and Tabasco.




Come back a while later and stir again.


Chop up your smoked snausage.


Add snausage.


Then — if you are me — go away for a few hours and let your girlfriend do the rest of the work. My investigative research tells me that when I was out at the movies, she removed a few cups of the now softened beans, mashed them up, and put them back in the pot. Also — added many spices.

Next step: return home to this!!!:


Looks and tastes just as good as it did in New Orleans.


Put on a Cajun CD, pour yourself a drink, add Tabasco sauce if you choose to and eat til you explode!!!!!