Monday, October 19

Red Beans and Rice

Well this weekend with the cool weather around and all of the football on TV, I decided it was time to tackle making a Cajun favorite from scratch! I don't have the patience to make a roux so that knocked out a gumbo and etoufee, so Red Beans and Rice it was!

I decided to try one of Emeril's receipes as he is a wonderful Cajun chef and I figured that was the best place to start.

So here goes...

1 lb Red Kidney Beans
Rinse and sort beans then place them in a large bowl. Cover the beans with water by 2 inches. Allow to soak 8 hours or overnight.

3 T Oil
1 ½ c Onion (diced)
¾ c Bell Pepper

¼ c Tasso or Ham (chopped) - I actually used some left over pork chop
½ t Salt
½ t Black Pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste

3 Bay Leaves
2 t Thyme
2 T Parsley

1 Ham Hock
½ lb Sausage
3 T Garlic
6 c Stock/Water - I used all Chicken broth
In a large pot (I used a cast iron pot that is pretty deep) heat the oil on M – H heat. Add the ham/tasso and cook 1 minute. Add the onions, bell peppers and season them with the salt, black pepper and cayenne. Cook until the veggies are soft (about 4 minutes).
Add the bay, parsley, thyme, ham hock and sausage and allow to cook until the sausage has browned. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
Add the beans and the stock. Stir well and allow to bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to M – L and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the beans are soft and start to thicken (about 2 hours). If the mixture gets too thick, add ¼ c of liquid at a time.

Mash about ¼ of the beans with a spoon (I took out some and pureed them in a food processor) and then continue to cook 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bay and then serve over rice!
Surprisingly for my first try and made from scratch red beans, I have to say I did pretty good. Keith really enjoyed it even wanted to take leftovers to work today!

Saturday, October 17

What have I been up to???

Well it has been quite awhile since I posted an actual post. Sorry things have been crazy with work and I haven't been home the past few weekends. But now I am back for at least a little while and I even have a few pictures to share.

Last weekend we went to Louisiana to attend the LSU v Florida game. Even though we lost, we still had a great time! If you have never been to a LSU home game, one like this one is the best one to go to! There were over 250,000 people on campus that day, and the stadium was over capacity at 93,000 plus. It was so great!

We went out early and did some tailgating and hung out with friends and family that we have not been able to seen in months.

Here is my and Courtney before we headed into the game. Courtney is Keith's cousin Brad's wife and we are very close. Unfortunately they live and Houston and hopefully one day, we will be able to live closer to them.

Keith and I before the big game. This was before the loss so we were all still happy.

Brad and Courtney waiting for the game to start. This was before the stadium was really full.
One big LSU tradition is that Mike the Tiger is taken around the field before each game. Unfortunately Mike is not very happy about being in the cage, so he doesn't roar like the old Mike used to do, but at least he is willing to get in the cage now.

And here come the Tigers! Can't you see how packed the stadium is. It was definitely obvious that it was standing room only!

Other than the game, and our travels around Texas to visit the family, we have not been up to too much here in the Underwood house.

Hope everyone else out there is having a wonderful Fall day. It is only 60 here with clear skies and I am loving it!

Thursday, October 1

Holiday In The Pines

If you are in the Tyler, TX area...

Tickets will go on sale in November and can be bought at Potpourri House and The Gipson Girl!