It’s a new year, and I’ve started it out by getting bronchitis and pneumonia. Woot! I can’t taste a thing, which is a good thing when taking copious amounts of cough medicine. (They make that stuff as disgusting-tasting as humanely possible, me thinks.) But, when your WHOLE life revolves around cooking and food, not being able to taste is a nightmare. It’s brought me face to face with the fact that I am the most one dimensional person that has ever walked the earth. If a conversation, activity, or subject is not about food, I’m generally not interested. (With the exception, of course, of the history of the aristocracy from about 1413-1800. I’m reading The Duchess of Devonshire right now. LOVE IT.)
I digress. Just as the clever grasshopper put away food for the winter, I have squirreled away a few recipes and photos to share with you, just in case something, like, oh, say, I CANT COOK BECAUSE I CANT TASTE, should happen. So this week, I give you an homage to Southern cooking: Hoppin’ John. I posted a similar recipe here a year ago, but this recipe is easier, as in one skillet easy, and serves both Mr. Tofu and sausage-loving diners.
I like to use some mustardy-pungent kielbasa-style handmade sausages from Old Country Sausage Company (10634 NE Sandy Blvd., 503/254-4106, Portland), though honestly what with the beans, the buttery greens, and the rice, you don’t REALLY need the sausage. It’s just a nice touch for meat-eaters.
Next post, I’ll be giving away a brand spanking-new copy of the paperback edition of The Farm to Table Cookbook!!! So bookmark, Tweet, Facebook, RSS feed or what-have-you. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to win a signed book, do you? And if you have a request for a seasonal recipe for the next post, go ahead, throw them my way. Since I can’t taste right at the moment, I can’t think in food, so suggestions would be great!
One Pan Rice and Beans with Greens (and Sausage)
Makes 6 servings
One 8-ounce bunch collard or kohlrabi greens
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chipped
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups canned vegetable broth, or prepared Vegetarian Chicken Bouillon
1 bay leaf
One 15-ounce can red or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons hot sauce
6 ounces kielbasa-style sausages, cut on the bias into 1/2-inch thick slices
Wash the greens and shake off excess water. Remove the tough center ribs of each leaf. Roll the leaves up in a tight cylinder and thinly slice them crosswise. Roughly chop the greens and them set aside. (You will need about 4 cups chopped leaves.)
Heat the oil over medium heat in a 3 quart sauté pan with lid. When the oil is hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and sauté until the onion is translucent, 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 45 seconds. Add the greens and stir with tongs until they are wilted, about 5 minutes.
Add the Cajun seasoning, salt, and rice to the pan and stir to coat the rice with the oil. Add the broth and bay leaf and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Sprinkle the beans over the top of the rice mixture in an even layer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook without stirring until the rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Gently fold the hot sauce into the rice mixture
For the meat-eater portions: In a separate non-stick pan, fry the sausage slices until they are browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side.
Divide the hoppin’ john among 6 bowls, toss the sausage into the meat eaters’ portions.