Today’s SNAP Recipe (sort of)

March 3, 2010

Spicy Red Beans and Rice
1# Kidney beans
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pk taco seasoning
1 jalapeno, seeded, chopped*
1/2 bunch cilantro stems, minced (reserve leaves)
1 can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
4 cups chicken stock

Prepare beans as directed
sweat onions, add garlic, jalapeno, cilantro stems and taco seasoning
add beans, tomatoes, water and stock
bring to a boil and reduce, simmer 1 1/2 hours
serve over rice,
garnish with cilantro leaves

tip
to mellow the bite of any pepper, remove the seeds and or roasted it over an open flame

Full disclosure- the above recipe is how it was presented to UCONN for the SNAP challenge last week.  Due to the Grab Crawl and a few other events my cilantro had since died and I’d used the packet of taco season in something else. I raided my larder and replaced the seasoning with Old Bay and fried some rosemary in my reserved bacon fat I keep in the fridge, which was not as bright as cilantro or parsley but quite tasty.  The idea here is just to adapt. Now this doesn’t work so well in restaurants (at least, not during service) but some wonderful dishes come from happy accidents (Ceasar salad anyone?).  I also left out the jalapeno as my client is not a fan of spicy (heat) at the moment. I loved the earthiness that came from the Old Bay and the rosemary and decide to whip up a quasi-Cajun rice to be the bed for the beans.

Out came the smoked bacon, a few shallots,  1 T capers, 2 roasted Piquillo peppers and some leftover Chilean Sauvignon Blanc from the fridge.

Here’s is the rice recipe

1 cup rice
3″ smoked bacon, diced
3 shallots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 white wine/water/chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 T capers, minced
2 roasted piquillo peppers, sliced into ribbons

in a medium size pot saute the bacon onion, shallots carrots and garlic.  stir in the rice, toasting slightly and add the capers and peppers followed by the the tomatoes and liquid.  drop in the bay leaf. bring everything to a boil and reduce to low, simmering 20-25 minute while covered.  (I had some leftover shredded chicken I the freezer and tossed about a handful in 10-15 minutes before the rice was finished.)

I sliced up an avocado for garnish, scooping the rice into a wide bowl and “saucing” the mound with the soupy beans. The creamy green fanned out on top over amber-colored rice and the mahogany beans was beautiful.  One of the participants from the Grub Crawl sent me a bottle of hot sauce from his trip to Puerto Rico which I employed liberally on mine to give a splash of sweetness to the meal!

Mr Merton finds the bacon-fried rosemary quite interesting!

My apologies for not having pics of the end result.  Please post your results below in the comments section! As always I welcome feedback.

-Chef Deven

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