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Chef Secrets: Chef Jim Shirley’s Red Beans & Rice

Mar 5 2014

by Susan Benton 30AEATS

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Mardi Gras parading is tough work: Grueling hours sipping adult beverages at Mardi Gras balls and parades. You need lots of energy to fuel the bead-tossing and catching. Red beans and rice is the New Orleans staple of choice to get you through the day. Here is a great recipe from the files of Chef Jim Shirley of Great Southern Cafe in Seaside, Florida.

This is a small-batch, slow-cook interpretation, but if you expect a crowd, just multiply by 400.

Recipe:

Photo & Recipe Given By: Chef Jim Shirley

Red beans and rice

1 pound dried red beans

4 cloves garlic

minced 2 shallots

minced 1 small onion

diced 1 pound Savoie’s andouille sausage

1/4-inch slices (or ham hocks, ham bones or anything else from that wonderful animal, the pig)

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1½ quarts water

Cooked rice

The night before the big day, rinse and soak beans, dice veggies and slice sausage. The next morning put the veggies, sausage (or other meat) and hot sauce into a slow cooker. Drain the beans and shake them into the pot. Add about 1½ quarts water, put the lid on and set cooker on low heat.
When you get home from work, crank cooker to high heat and start a batch of white rice. Give the beans a good stir to wake them up, crushing some against the pot to help thicken the sauce. Let it run on high for about half an hour, stirring and crushing until the sauce thickens. Salt and pepper as much as your ticker allows, spoon rice into big bowls, then ladle beans on top.

Make sure you have lots of good hot sauce around and something refreshing to drink to cool you down.

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Susan Benton is an award winning food and travel journalist, the owner of 30AEATS.com and partner in GulfCoastRestaurants.com, where she shares her passion for foodways, and her commitment to promoting local farmers, fisherman, chefs, artisans and the best restaurants along the Gulf Coast.

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Susan Benton 30AEATS View More Blog Posts from this Author

As a culinary enthusiast and entrepreneur living along Hwy 30A on the Gulf Coast, 30AEats.com, founded by Susan Benton, was born during the 2011 BP oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. Many like herself worried about the health of our Gulf, it’s inhabitants, our own safety, seafood and its sustainability. As a mother, food and travel writer, and mixed media artist who is passionate about my community, Susan decided to create a website to share with readers the people behind our food, where good food comes from, and where it could be found. Her goal is to help others discover the flavors unique to our region, so that they in turn will support the people that feed us, invest in it and themselves, and buy local products.

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