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Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

  1. Red Beans and Rice

    September 11, 2012 by Lisa

    We haven’t added a new dish to our daily repertoire in ages, but this one is definitely on the list!

    Red Beans and Rice is possibly Louisiana’s most famous dish after gumbo and was traditionally a Monday meal, using the bones from the Sunday ham as its base. My version doesn’t use the ham bone or hock as they’re not that easy to get here so somewhat lacks the smokey taste. I also can’t abide green peppers so use sweet red peppers instead. And finally, an authentic dish also features Andouille sausage but there’s no chance of getting that in England! Nevertheless, it’s full of flavour, easy to make and cheap as chips.


    • 4 pork shoulder steaks
    • 2 cans kidney beans
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 chopped sweet red Romano chili pepper (the large ones)
    • 1 cup finely chopped celery
    • Half a large onion, finely chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic – minced
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp dried chili flake
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Brown the steaks in a little oil in a large pot, add the chopped vegetables, herbs and water and bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 and a half to 2 hours until the meat is very tender and can be shredded easily.

    Drain the beans and add to the pot and cook another 45 minutes. The liquid should be quite thick rather than brothy, so you may need to keep the lid off or even raise the heat to get the water to reduce.

    Serve over white rice! Corn bread is the perfect accompaniment but we also like to eat it with white corn tortillas because we’re like that.

    And just to prove what an inspiration this dish is, a poem from my friend Louise:

    Victor Hernández Cruz, Red Beans

    Next to white rice
    it looks like coral
    sitting next to snow

    Hills of starch
    The burnt sienna
    of irony
    Azusenas being chased by
    the terra cotta feathers
    of a rooster
    There is a lava flow
    through the smoking
    white mounds

    India red
    spills on ivory

    Ochre cannon balls
    next to blanc pebbles

    Red beans and milk
    make burgundy wine

    Violet pouring
    from the eggshell
    tinge of the plate.


  2. Borsch(t)

    December 2, 2008 by Lisa

    I was looking for a recipe for a borsch similar to what I had at the very lovely Troikka in Helsinki some months ago. This, sadly, isn’t it. Nice, but not right. Part of the problem is that I couldn’t find fresh beetroot, only vacuum-packed, precooked. I also think that it would be nice if the vegetables were pureed prior to adding back the cubed beetroot.


    • 1 kilo stewing beef
    • 1 carrot, chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, chopped
    • 2 liters water


    • 2 carrots, julienned
    • 1 small head cabbage, sliced thinly
    • 8 small cooked beetroots, cubed
    • 1/3 red onion
    • 250gm tomato paste
    • juice of half a lemon
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • salt, pepper
    • fresh dill
    • soured cream

    For the stock, cover the beef in water, add a bit of salt and bring to the boil. Skim off the scum that forms and reduce to a simmer. Add the carrot and celery and cook for at least an hour and a half. I actually cooked it for nearly three. When it’s done, put the meat aside and strain the stock.

    Add the cabbage and cook for 15 minutes. Add the julienned carrots and onion and cook an additional 15 minutes. Add the cubed beetroot, tomato paste and lemon juice and cook another 15 minutes. Mix the flour with a little water and stir into the soup. Finally add the meat back to the soup and cook until thickened.

    Add salt and pepper to taste, serve with dill and soured cream.