Cooking – Red Beans and Rice with Ham Hock

May 26, 2014 by

My very first job during high school was at Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits. I didn’t have a car and it was walking distance from my house which made it great.

It was my first taste of what southern food was ‘supposed’ to be but even still I didn’t realize what they were trying to do. I didn’t work there very long, I was pretty flighty back then. As a teenager I hadn’t had that much experience with types and styles of food. I don’t remember their chicken but I do remember having red beans and rice for the first time. They also served Cajun rice with bits of something that I think is supposed to be sausage and a bunch of colorful stuff that I wasn’t used to. My world was rocked when someone decided to order Cajun rice with red beans! Wow. I’ve had red beans and rice very infrequently since then, various Louisiana style restaurants and some random event here and there but if I see it on the menu I will order it. So last Christmas when my friend was hosting a get together and had it on her menu I realized that I could possibly make it myself – why I never thought to do so, I will never know. But here was my first attempt and if I do say so myself, it ended up pretty good!  I guess if I’m ok eating something 5 days in a row it can’t be that bad. I’m strange though, I love leftovers. I love looking forward to a meal and knowing exactly what you are going to get, you are totally increasing the length of your wonderful dining experience!

Recipe courtesy of Emeril and the Food Network, modified due to the increase in ham hock. How to make perfect stovetop rice at the end.

 

Soaking the read beans.
1

 

This was my first time, were they supposed to lose their color like that?  Guess so since the end result came out as expected.

2

 

Recipe called for a pound of ham hock, I had over 1 3/4 so I needed to adjust accordingly and just make more!

3

 

Every dish needs onions!

4

 

I used Aidells Cajun Style Andouille Sausage, it was very spicy I wouldn’t use this seasoned sausage next time to ensure that everyone can enjoy it.

5.5

 

Mixing the ingredients.

5

 

Add the ham hock.

6

 

Cover in stock.

7

 

Make your rice while the red beans and rice cooks.

8

 

Three hours later, enjoy.  Topped with cajun spices.

9

 

How to make perfect stovetop rice (makes 3 cups):

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups of rice

1 ½ cups of water

Butter

Steps:

  1. Rinse out the rice until the water runs clear
  2. Melt a pat of butter in a pot in medium heat. Pot should be deep enough to be half empty when your rice is finished to allow for space to boil otherwise your pot will spit during cooking. To estimate, your rice will triple in size.
  3. Toast the rinsed rice in the butter.
  4. Add water, turn heat to high, keep uncovered.
  5. When water begins boiling, decrease heat to medium, continue a light boil. Cover pot.
  6. 10 minutes later check rice. If there are no more boiling spots stir a bit with a fork to ensure it isn’t soupy on the bottom. If so, keep covered a couple minutes more. If not, remove from heat fluff with a fork.
  7. Place paper towel between pot and lid to soak up additional moisture. Keep on for 3 minutes.
  8. Fluff again and serve.

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