Chef Bobo’s Blog
Let’s go Rangers! Clap- Clap. Clap-clap-clap. There was some really exciting and fun hockey on TV this weekend. It’s nice to see the NY Rangers head into the semi-finals of the playoffs. Uh, yes. I am a Rangers fan!
Today I get to re-tell you one of my favorite stories about New Orleans cuisine, thanks to Chef Jose!
First of all, we have Tomato Basil Soup today. There’s no story there other than saying it’s the number one favorite soup at Calhoun. That’s a good storyline.
Our sandwich? Another good storyline favorite: Pimiento Cheese on a Multigrain Roll.
Now the story: Today is “wash day”! Or at least that’s what Monday always was in Louisiana, the day when all the laundry was washed, hung to dry, folded and put away. As a result of that tradition one of the most delicious of New Orleans food traditions was born, Red Beans and Rice on Monday. Why? Because the general feeling was that the work of the laundry could get done while the beans were cooking since the beans didn’t need a lot of attention, just simmer on a low heat for a couple of hours and stir occasionally. Today, although the tradition of washing all the laundry on Monday is pretty much a thing of the past, the tradition of Red Beans and Rice on Monday is still alive. Every Monday in every restaurant in New Orleans, from the most expensive to the least, one of the specials on the menu will be Red Beans & Rice. Most will be cooked like ours is being cooked today, with smokey Andouille sausage. Andouille is a Cajun sausage made of pork butt or shank meat, seasoned with salt, cracked black pepper, and garlic, and smoked over pecan wood and sugar cane for up to seven or eight hours at approximately 175°F (80°C). The resulting sausage is used in a wide range of Louisiana dishes, such as gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice and etouffee. The fact that it is considered a Cajun product indicates that it comes from the French immigrants to Louisiana. To give this dish that real Louisiana flavor we have also seasoned the beans with the “trinity” of peppers, onions and celery.
For vegetarians and those who do not eat pork, we have also prepared Red Beans without the Andouille. For those beans we are adding the delicious Field Roast vegan sausages.
Of course, to have Red Beans & Rice, you also have to have “Rice”, which is our starch today. The other side dish is Roasted Split Okra with Sliced Onions and a sprinkle of red wine vinegar.
A menu like this should make you excited to be at work on a Monday! Enjoy it!
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