Red beans are cooking s l o w l y on the stove top in the kitchen as I type this here gibb. I am snacking on one Hudson Valley Macintosh and slices of five thousand month aged super extra totally sharp Cabot cheddar. Mum and her friend are at the pier antiques show; I decided to stay home and finish the book I’m reading, Mindless Eating, by the genius madman and IRB-questionable behavioral food researcher, Dr. Brian Wansink. I’ve got this and another book and one article to read for Marion’s class. Reminders to self–In the middle of three research papers and feature piece/interview for food writing. Make popcorn for viewing Marion’s copy–a gift from Alice–King Korn after class Monday. All goodness here.
Wansink writes about menus and how they serve as triggers to our eating more, or less, of a food, and perceptions of the establishment–be it college cafeteria or white linen fine dining–we create (subconsciously=mindlessly) based on menu descriptions. He used red beans and rice as an example. So here I can read only so much about food everyday without triggering one of two main responses. I ether become utterly disgusted and go into anorexic mode (the symptom not the disease state folks) or I find myself in the kitchen preparing a nice little pr’ack* (achem, gorge like a pink little cochone).
The red bean reference brought me back to 59 Main Street during a particular and brief hard partying era in New Paltz. This was circa 01992 when I lived in a crummy little studio across the hall from the redheads. These girls partied nonstop but the cello playing redhead made a mean red beans and rice, a la New Orleans. She lived there before moving to hippyhadesville and brought back some super secret recipe. My recipe is off the Goya bag of dry habichuelas colorados plus my own goodness added.
I dedicate today’s prandium to those long forgotten and thankfully gone debauched red heads. May they have found sobriety, or occasionally something resembling it..
Gringas homage to red beans and rice
1 bag/16 ounces dry habichuelas colorados
1 small spicy chorizo
2-3 cloves garlic
1 small fresh green pepper
1 skinned small not-so-fresh-nearly-about-to-rot tomato leftover from Monsieur’s garden
1 teaspoon olio
Kosher salt, to taste
Crushed black pepper, to taste
3 Monhegan bay leafs
Oregano, to taste
A dash of this or that from the spice cupboard
Slice the small, spicy chorizo into skinny coins and put them in a small heavy lidded pot with a little bit of olio; stir and sauté. Then chop the shallot and garlic and throw in the pot and stir to sauté it all. Wash and chop the fresh, green pepper into small pieces and throw them in the pot; stir. Skin and squeeze pits and extra juice out of the tomato and mash up and throw in the pot. Season as you please with kosher salt, crushed black pepper, oregano, and a dash of this and that good spicy stuff. Meanwhile you’ll have washed and soaked the dry habichuelas colorados in a bowl with four or so cups of water. Pour all of that into your mix sautéing on the stove. Stir and let it come to a boil. Add some more water because this little concoction is going to cook for a good, long, s l o w haul. Lower the heat down very, very low and cover. My stove is gas so I lower the flame to below the bottom burner–very low. You’ll hear the habichuelas water sizzle over if it’s not low enough and requires adjusting the flame.
Someday when they’re done s l o w cooking I’ll eat with some brown rice, avocado slices, XXXhot sauce, and a glass of seltzer.
*Pr’ack is a sniglet i coin here converging prandium and snack.