Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cajun Boudin Blanc and Lima Beans ~ The Daily Beans!






     Plain Old Fashioned Louisiana Cooking!
     There are many kinds of boudin sausage in Louisiana.  Red Boudin, White Boudin and Black Boudin are the best known varieties.  Recipes for making Boudin can vary from one place to the next.
     Louisiana Cajun Boudin Blanc is quite different than the Boudin Blanc Sausage that is made in France.  Cajun Boudin Blanc contains a fair proportion of rice in the sausage meat mixture.  French Boudin Blanc is regulated by strict European authenticity and originality regulations and it contains no rice or cereal grain.  The addition of rice in Louisiana Cajun Boudin Blanc is a tradition of its own that Europeans and food historians praise for its originality, but Cajun Boudin Blanc cannot be marketed as Boudin Blanc in Europe unless the origin of this specialty sausage is clearly identified on the label, so the European originality regulations are not infringed upon.
     The addition of rice and Cajun spices to Boudin Blanc creates a unique texture and flavor.  Usually the rice is prepared as Cajun Dirty Rice, but liver is not added to the rice recipe.  No pork blood or pork parts that will turn the sausage dark are used.  There are many Dirty Rice recipe variations, but all have one thing in common.  Dirty Rice is one of the most flavorful rice dishes of them all, so it naturally is perfect for flavoring sausage.
     The Daily Beans is a hearty old fashioned meal of beans and a featured meat that is served with cornbread.  The Daily Beans can be made with any kind of beans and nearly any kind of meat or sausage.  Pork, ham or chicken are the most popular meat options.  Savory, smoked or spicy sausage of just about any kind are an option too.  In recent years, old fashioned farm food and western pioneer food have become popular comfort food items and The Daily Beans certainly certainly represents these nostalgic American cuisines.  By combining a specific kind of slow cooked beans with a specific kind of meat, The Daily Beans can represent traditional simple cooking from nearly any cultural region in this country.  For example, a big bowl of Cajun Boudin Blanc and Lima Beans definitely inspires memories of simpler times in Louisiana.      
     Paprika is a garnish that was often used to garnish seafood and egg recipes.  From the 1940’s through the 1980’s it seemed like every broiled or baked seafood entrée had a generous amount of paprika sprinkled on it.  Cream sauces often had paprika sprinkled on them back in the old days.  Lemon garnishes for chicken or seafood were usually dusted with paprika.  Egg entrees often were garnished with a sprinkle of paprika too.  The overuse of paprika finally came to an end in the 1990's, when new entrée presentation styles were en vogue.  Garnishing today's Daily Beans with just paprika adds a nostalgic touch.

     Cajun Boudin Blanc and Lima Beans:
     This recipe yields about 4 1/3 cups of beans with 14 to 16 ounces of sausage.  (2 hearty portions)
     The vegetable and herb ingredients in this recipe are added to the lima beans early, so they thoroughly flavor the Lima Beans. 
     Cajun Boudin Blanc may not be easy to find outside of Louisiana.  Some grocery stores and butcher shops do stock this sausage, but it can be ordered by special request.   
     Cajun Boudin Blanc is usually pre-cooked, so it only needs to be reheated.  Cajun Boudin Blanc must be handled gently, because the natural casing is thin and this sausage will easily break apart.     
     Step 1:  Soak 1 1/2 cups of Dried Large Lima Beans in a container of water overnight in a refrigerator.
     Drain off the water
     Rinse the beans.
     Discard any beans that are discolored.
     Step 2:  Place the soaked Lima Beans in a wide sauce pot.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped onion.
     Add 1/4 cup of mixed small chopped green bell pepper and red bell pepper.
     Add 1/4 cup of canned diced tomato and a proportion of the juices.
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of tarragon.
     Add 2 pinches of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Add 2 pinches of minced Italian Parsley.
     Step 3:  Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of bacon grease.
     Add 2 cups of chicken stock.
     Add enough water to cover the Lima Beans with an extra 2” of liquid.
     Step 4:  Place the pot over medium high heat.
     Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Boil for 17 minutes.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Place a lid on the pot.
     Gently simmer the Lima Beans till they are tender.
     *Check the level of liquid occasionally.  If necessary, add just enough water to keep the simmering beans covered with 1/2" of extra liquid.
     Step 6:  Select a 14 to 16 ounce Cajun Boudin Blanc Sausage.
     Place the sausage on top of the beans.  (If necessary, cut the sausage in half to fit it in the pot.)
     Cover the pot with a lid.
     Gently simmer till the sausage becomes hot.  (This only takes a few minutes.)
   
     Presentation:
     This recipe yields 2 hearty entrées.
     Step 1:  Remove the Cajun Boudin Blanc and place it on a cutting board.
     Cut the Cajun Boudin Blanc into 4 equal size pieces, so the sausage will fit in a stew bowl.
     Step 2:  Remove the bay leaf.
     Place equal portions of the Lima Beans in 2 stew bowls.
     Place 2 pieces of the Cajun Boudin Blanc in each bowl of Lima Beans.
     Sprinkle 2 to 3 pinches of Spanish Paprika over the sausage and beans.
     Serve with cornbread and Louisiana Style Hot Sauce on the side!

     This is a satisfying bowl of Louisiana style Daily Beans!

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