I love looking at cookbooks, it seems as if every time I open one, even if I've read it 100 times, I always discover something I didn't see before. It's like watching old movies and picking up on things that you somehow missed. Anyway I was looking at Susan Spicer's Crescent City Cooking the other day, and I saw something that I really wanted to try, a recipe for silky red bean sauce. Before moving to New Orleans, I probably wouldn't have given it a second look. The thought of eating red beans and rice as a meal was so foreign to me. Now having been here a year and half, I'm kind of obsessed with the cuisine. So I saw the red bean sauce recipe that hadn't jumped out at me before, and it's genius and I wanted to try it right away. I suggested we make it for lunch last week and I was really happy with how it came out! You can serve it with rice (as a play on red beans and rice) and grilled chicken or fish, and it looks nice and put together on the plate.
Here's how you make it, super easy.
- 1/2 pound of red beans, soaked overnight or 1 can of red beans, drained
- Bay leaf, cilantro stems, and 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded
- 1 tsp chile powder
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, cleaned
- juice of half a lime
Simmer the beans in 1 quart of water with the bay leaf, cilantro stems and cinnamon until tender(about 1 hour). If you are using canned beans, add them to a pan with 1 cup of water and herbs and bring to a simmer. In a sauté pan cook the chopped onion and poblano in oil on high heat until cooked through, add the garlic and transfer to the bean pot. Stir in the tomato puree, chipotle chile, and chile powder. Simmer for 15 more minutes, season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture cool slightly and then using a regular blender or hand blender, blend the beans and veggies with the chopped cilantro and lime juice. You may need to add more water to keep the mixture going smoothly. The finished sauce should have a consistency similar to pancake batter. In the cookbook Chef pairs the sauce with cornmeal crusted catfish!
This is Chef Spicer's cookbook, which is amazing and you need it NOW. I'm not just saying that because I work for her. I actually received this as a gift years before I moved to New Orleans, and I'm so glad I did. Thanks Courtney
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