New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice

This recipe is many years in the making taking from several recipes of famous restaurants in New Orleans. I call it a New Orleans style b/c I deviate a little in certain places with the meat. The dish usually requires ham hock and salt pork, and with Cajuns maybe even Cajun tasso ham. Instead I use a pork shoulder and cut away as much fat as I can. I use Andouille sausage which has its own level of cayenne pepper so I don’t add anymore. This recipe has a bus load of flavor.

Traditionally, New Orleanians eat this dish pretty much every Monday. So typically it is made with the cheapest most flavorful pork meats or pork bones from leftovers but more meat such as sausage appear in it as a highlight. The center flavor starts with bell pepper, onion, and celery as do most Creole dishes like Gumbo and Jambalaya.

• 1 Lb. red beans soaked in water for 16 hours.
• 1 Lb. of pork shoulder (fat cut away) (cut into small pieces)
• 1 half stick of Andouille Sausage (cut into 1 inch pieces)
• 1 Bottle of local brew (I used Potosi Ale Red Label, local in Wisconsin not far – 2 cups)
• 1 cup chopped onion
• ½ green bell pepper chopped
• 1 celery stalk chopped
• 3 garlic cloves minced
• ½ tsp dried parsley
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp dried thyme
• 1 bay leaf cut in two
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp white pepper
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 TBSP Worcestershire
• 3 cups chicken stock
• Extra chicken stock if needed as you cook

Add all ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a slight simmer 3 hours. Check every hour and adjust as you go. By the time it finishes cooking most of the liquid stock should have evaporated.  Cool, Refrigerate. Serve the next day.

For you Vegans: Instead of pork, make sure you add 3 TBSP olive oil or a garlic olive oil prep. (Heat olive oil and garlic together) Also, just use water and no stock. I wouldn’t use a veggie stock b/c the New Orleans affect is centered around the onion, green bell and celery. That trio is called a New Orleans Mirepoix or in the New Orleans colloquial a Trinity.

Also, New Orleans is pronounced NuWaLens, or NewOrLens, or NewOrlee-ins, not Nu Orleens. If you travel to San Francisco and call it Frisco, you will get corrected!  It’s San-Fran-cis-co.


Chicken and Seafood Ramen Noodle Soup

• 3 cups chicken broth
• 3 cloves garlic (grated-mini grater)
• ½ TBSP fresh ginger (grated-mini grater)
• ¼ red onion (thinly sliced)
• 2 TBSP soy sauce
• 1 TBSP vegetable oil

In large sauce pot sauté onions, garlic and ginger in oil until the flavor appears to the smell, then add the chicken broth and soy sauce and set on medium heat to a light boil.

• 1 chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
• ¼ cup of chicken broth or white wine or sake
• ½ TBSP sesame oil

In a fry-pan, add the oil and place the chicken in hot pan and fry for 2 minutes exactly on each side. If you do this the chicken will not stick to the pan. Add the liquid (I used white wine) cover and steam the chicken several minutes. The idea is to lightly brown the outside and steam the inside to a pink color. The broth will finish cooking the chicken when added later. Use a plastic spatula to scrape the fond (brown stuff on the side of the pan) as the fond will be used in the broth. (Fond = “commonly refers to the browned bits and caramelized drippings of meat and vegetables that are stuck to the bottom of a pan after sautéing or roasting.”) Add the pan drippings from the fry pan to the broth. Center cut the chicken length ways and then cross ways into small ½ inch slices.

Seafood and Seafood Juice
• 6 shrimp with tails
• 1 Pollock filet (or any white fish)
• 1 cup of water

I use frozen fish here for many reasons. I will defrost the fish and shrimp in the same bowl in a cup of water so that when it defrosts I am left with a bowl of seafood juice, which I will add to the stock. Even in chicken or pork Ramen, the Japanese will use some sort of seafood flavoring back to include seaweed kelp (kombu) or a dried fish like skipjack tuna flakes (katsuobushi), dried baby sardines (niboshi) or my favorite dried Bonito (Hondashi). In this soup just the juice from the frozen fish will suffice. It is more subtle. If time permits, read up on how to make Japanese Dashi. Before adding to the pot, remove the shrimp shells and discard.  Cut the fish into bite size squares. (We use chop sticks to eat the solids so the meat has to be manageable)

In Pot Veggies
• Shiitake mushrooms (I use dried and then re-hydrate them in warm water)
• 3 Napa cabbage leaves (center cut length ways and then chopped cross cut 1/2 inch)

• 1 hard-boiled egg (sliced in half)
• 1 carrot (cut into sticks) See trick below
• 3 scallions – green onions (chopped)
• cilantro (hand full chopped)

There is a trick to carrot sticks. I have a mandolin slicer. After peeling the carrot, I cut the whole carrot into 2” lengths. Then I slice them on the mandolin (setting 2) length ways and once more again to make perfect matchsticks. Place the carrots in a strainer and sprinkle with salt. The salt quickly makes them flexible and less crunchy. Rinse the salt off before adding to the bowl.

Ramen Noodle
You can use the noodles in the cheap Ramen noodle packs (do not use the seasoning that comes with it, too much MSG and will ruin the broth).  Maruchan Ramen noodle or I use Simply Asian Japanese Style Ramen Noodles (Walmart), which is separated into 4 packs. Boil in water 10 minutes separately from the broth then drain. If you place the noodles directly into the broth they will over swell and soak up most of the broth.

In stage one of the broth, cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, then add the “In Pot Veggies”, the chicken and the seafood. Cook another 15-20 minutes on a lower setting. Turn off heat and let stand until the temp is right for eating.

In a large bowl, add the Ramen noodles, then ladle in the broth, veggies and meat, then place the garnish on top and serve. We use chopsticks for the solids and an Asian soup spoon for the liquids, or just crab the bowl and drink the liquids directly from the bowl.

All the ingredients for this dish can be purchased at Walmart.

Thai Fish Salad

This is another adaptation of several Thai dishes. This uses a Thai honey sauce on white fish rather than salmon. Salmon works just as well.

Serves 2

• 1 TBSP fresh grated ginger (unpeeled and sliced)
• 1 TBSP cloves minced garlic
• ¼ cup Soy Sauce
• ¼ tsp Hot Pepper Flakes
• 3 TBSP Lime Juice squeezed from limes
• 1 tsp Lime Zest (grated)
• 6 TBSP Vegetable Oil
• ¼ tsp Black Pepper
• 1 cup Bean Sprouts (rinsed and drained if canned)
• 12 oz. frozen Cod or Halibut Steaks (thawed)
• 1 TBSP Honey
• Napa Cabbage (shredded)
• ½ sliced red onion
• 1 large Carrot (thinly sliced like matchsticks)
• 2 TBSP Cilantro
• 2 green onions chopped
• (Optional toasted sesame seeds)

Match stick carrots trick: After cutting the carrots into match sticks, place them in a strainer and add salt and toss. The salt makes them flexible. Rinse the salt off before serving.

In a small food processor blend garlic, ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, 3 TBSP oil, honey, lime zest, black pepper, green onions and hot pepper flakes in a processor to make a marinade. Pour marinade into a glass container and let stand for an hour or more before use.

Dress 2 bowls with cabbage, red onion, carrots, cilantro and bean sprouts.

Broiling fish:
Foil an oven pan and lightly grease the foil. Apply sauce on the fish with a brush and broil the fish for 5 min, turn the fish over and apply the marinade and broil another 5 minutes. If you like your fish well done you can go 7 minutes a side.

Add the remaining oil to the remaining sauce and whisk. Place fish on the greens then spoon on the remaining sauce/dressing.

Thai Seafood Soup

Thai Seafood Soup

This is a blend of several recipes. It started as a Thai Shrimp soup dish but I add a little frozen fish fillet to amplify the seafood flavor. I don’t add a lot of other stuff like lemon grass, which is a wonderful flavor mainly b/c lemon grass is not easy to find. The main thing to remember this is seafood flavor in a coconut milk and red curry paste broth capped with a Thai lime and cilantro garnish back. Serve over rice.

Precooked rice

• 4 TBSP butter
• 14 oz. frozen shrimp thawed
• 4 oz. white fish (I use a north Atlantic Pollock)
• 1 TBSP cloves garlic minced
• 1 TBSP grated ginger
• 1 medium onion chopped
• ½ Red Bell chopped
• 2 TBSP Red Curry Paste
• 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
• 1 cup Chicken stock
• 1 cup of fish juice (see below)
• 1 dash of dry white wine ~ ¼ cup (always need wine)
• ½ squeezed lime for juice
• 1 handful of cilantro then chopped
• Kosher Salt and White Pepper
• (Other variations include red pepper, lemon grass and Sriracha)

Fish Juice:

Place frozen shrimp and fish in a bowl with 1 cup of water and let defrost on the counter as much as possible almost defrosted before needing to put it back in the Frig. Under cold water rinse the shrimp, deshell and place into another bowl. Place the fish also in that bowl and put back in a Frig to keep cold. Run the remaining fish water through a small strainer and render 1 cup of good fish juice.


In your soup pot melt four TBSP butter add a little salt and white pepper and sauté the fish until they just start to turn pink. Remove fish and set aside.


On medium in the same pot sauté onions, garlic and red bell pepper ~5 minutes. Add the white wine. Then whisk in ginger and cook 1 minute. Whisk red curry paste a little at a time and then whisk in the can of coconut milk. Cook 2 minutes. Add the fish juice and the chicken stock. Cook 4 minutes. Return the fish and add a small bunch of cilantro leaves. Set on the small burner on lowest setting and cook 30 minutes.
Start the rice. Serve.


Asian Meatballs w/Hoisin Sauce

My meatball/meatloaf recipes differ in many ways, however. I use half lean ground beef and half ground turkey. I also put all the ingredients in a food processor and whip the meat tightly like a Pâté. The only time I like ground beef otherwise is in a big juicy hamburger with everything on it – nothing better. But this is a more delicate dish. Also, my kitchen is like a body shop. I’m always running some kind of motor in here. 

½ lb. lean ground beef
½ lb. ground turkey
1 TBSP or so minced ginger
1 TBSP minced garlic
½ cup bread crumbs (non-herb) or panko (non-herb)
1 eggs
½ cup green onion (chopped)
1 tsp. sesame oil

In a small food processor blend the ginger, garlic, bread crumbs, and green onion until chopped and mixed together.

In a large food processor, add meat, egg, sesame oil and chopped veggies w/bread crumbs and turn on until the meat forms in a big ball.

Move in to a large bowl. I take a round TBSP and extract 2 TBSPs of meat and set aside. Then I will roll those into a small meat ball and place on a tray with aluminum foil.

¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Green onions chopped

Mix together in a bowl and let sit for an hour or so to combine the flavors.

In a 400ᵒ oven bake the meatballs 10 minutes. Add the sauce on top, put bake in the oven for 2 more minutes and serve hot, usually with pot stickers.