Holiday

Red Beans and Rice Nachos

A few weeks back, someone (on Twitter) called me a GOAT.  Because Twitter seems to be the place these days where everyone calls each other every name under the sun and otherwise, I thought, hm…. do I want to know what this means or not?  Likely not.  I’m just going to leave it at GOAT and decide whether I one of those fainting goats or one of those baby goats in pajamas I remember seeing on Facebook before we all yelled at each other about politics there. 

I’m definitely a fainting goat. Those poor guys… listen, life comes atcha fast. Sometimes so fast you gotta faint about it.  

Fast forward to today, Twitter GOAT comment about the third to last thing on my mind, I hear them talking about it on NPR (of all places).  It means Greatest of All Time… and they were talking about that football dude (hold on lemme google it…) Tom Brady.  They were not talking about me because why would they? No… Tom Brady, greatest of all time yadda yadda yadda… I still had to google him so… 

In other news: I’m 35.5 and the Internet has officially gotten away from me. 

In other news after that:  These nachos would be a very fine thing to consume while watching Tom GOAT Brady throw the ball around. 

Now… can we talk about those fainting goats more?  HOW DID ANY OF THOSE CREATURES SURVIVE!? 

From here on out we’re talking nachos. Let’s make these red bean beauties.  

First, you’ll need some Red Beans and Rice.  

Yea… it takes a recipe to make a recipe, but I promise promise it’s worth it! 

Red Beans and Rice is a traditional New Orleans dish, usually enjoyed on Monday… it’s simple, earthy, comforting, and super satisfying.  We’re taking the bean and the rice and layering them with corn chips, jack cheese and a sour cream dip and herbs. Soooooome nerve, right?

This recipe was inspired by this little bit of genius:  Louisiana Cookin’ Gumbo Nachos.  Gah!  Oh all the things we can nacho! 

Red beans aren’t just saucy beans.  That’s not how we do things down here and you know it!  In the beans are layers of garlic and onion, celery and parsley, andouille sausage, softened red beans, chicken stock and bay.

Once simmered to soft, I use an immersion blender to cream some of the beans, leaving the rest whole.   

For the nachos, we’ll mix beans and fluffy buttered rice.  

This seems like a more than fine place to stop, sit and enjoy… but let’s just add chips and melty cheese for good measure. 

Corn chips are mounded onto a broiler-friendly platter or pan.  

I used pepper jack cheese, grated, for an extra little kick.  

Atop the cheese, a few sprinkles of cajun spice.  

 

Red Beans and Rice are dolloped on top of the cheesy seasoned chips.  

Aaaaand, more cheese please. 

While the cheese melts and the chips crisp, I stir together a mixture of sour cream and creole mustard.  

If you don’t have creole mustard, a good dab of whole grain mustard would be great!

This is good, but believe it or not, it gets better. 

I add a bit more of the rice mixture.  

And sprinkle on a bit more rice. 

A very fine dollop of the sour cream mixture, and fresh herbs (like scallions and parsley) for color and bite. 

Where are all the goats?  Fainted. It was all too much, too good. 

Here’s the nitty gritty: 

The recipe below is for a big pot of Red Beans and Rice, likely much more than you’ll need for even a generous plate of nachos.  That’s intentional.  I figure, it you’re taking the time to make the beans… might as well go big.  The beans freeze will or are a very fine thing to share with your neighbor. 

The proportions for the nachos are up to you depending on how many people you’d like to feed and just how cheesy you’d like them.  

Carry on and enjoy! 

Photographs with Jon Melendez

Red Beans and Rice Nachos
This recipe makes a giant pot of Red Beans and Rice. The Red Beans freeze well so make a big ol' pot if you can. Also, you could halve this recipe and make a more managable size for your nachos.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and picked through for stones
  2. 1/3 cup diced pancetta
  3. 1 large yellow onion, diced
  4. 3 celery stalks, chopped
  5. 1 green or red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  8. pinch cayenne or a few dashes of Tony Chachere Seasoning
  9. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  11. 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  12. 1/2 pound cooked smoked sausage cut into 1-inch pieces
  13. about 10 cups chicken stock
  14. 2 bay leaves
  15. 6 cups cooked white rice
  16. chopped green onions, garnish
  17. For the Nachos: (you decide the proportions for many folks or a few)
  18. corn tortilla chips
  19. 1 block of pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese
  20. cajun seasoning
  21. 1/2 cup sour cream + 2 tablespoons creole or whole grain brown mustard
  22. coarsely chopped fresh parsley and green onions
Instructions
  1. Place clean dried beans in a medium pot and cover with room temperature water. Allow to soak overnight before making the beans.
  2. If you don't have time to soak the beans overnight, don't fret. Place the clean dried beans in a medium pot and cover with room temperature water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the beans boil, cover, remove from heat, and allow to soak for 1 hour. Carry on with the recipe.
  3. In a large soup pot over medium heat, cook pancetta until very well crisp, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook until vegetables are very well done, about 8 minutes.
  5. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne or Tony Chachere Seasoning and stir to combine.
  6. Stir in the garlic, parsley, thyme, and sliced sausage. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the sausage is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
  7. Add the softened beans to the pot, the stock, and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 2 hours, uncovered, until the beans are well softened.
  8. Taste and season with more salt or pepper.
  9. For a slightly smoother consistency, blend about 1/3 of bean and sausage mixture in a blender or food processor and return to the pot. This way, some of the beans will be ground smooth and some will be kept whole, creating a really lovely consistency. You can also smooth out some of the beans by mashing them against the side of the pan once they're softened, but I like the bender method best.
  10. To make the nachos, turn the oven broiler on.
  11. Mound tortilla chips onto a sheet pan and sprinkle generously with cheese. Sprinkle with a few dashes of cajun spice.
  12. In a small bowl stir together equal parts beans and rice. Dollop mixture over the cheese and seasoning. Sprinkle with more cheese.
  13. Cook under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  14. While mixture melts, in a small bowl stir together sour cream and mustard.
  15. Remove the nachos from the oven, add a bit more warm beans and warm rice dollop with sour cream mixture and sprinkle with herbs. Enjoy warm!
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