30-Day Eat Local Challenge: June 10

Red Beans and Rice

Boil everything!


Just one day after I promised to plan things out better, I locked myself in the kitchen while the farmer’s market is going on over at the French Market, and so I find myself out of green pepper once again.

The reason I’m locked in the kitchen is because our “stockpile” got full. Every time we cook with veggies, we save the scraps: pepper tops, carrot skins, potato peels, garlic stems and skins, and so on. They’re tossed into a gallon ziplock and thrown in the freezer. When the bag is full, it’s time to make veggie stock. So at about noon, I put it on with some water, set it to boil, and went about my merry.

In the meantime, I also boiled/soaked another set of red beans from Camellia. Turns out I let them go a little too long and burnt the bottom, but I think they’re recoverable.

At this point, I realized I was kind of locked in with heated elements running, so I’m not going out to any farmer’s markets today, and I just start making more things. First, some mint tea, then some garlic mashed potatoes. I used this recipe, and I’ll say between it and my hand blender, it was too easy to not do again. Furthermore, the larger-clove garlic that we grabbed actually seemed to do better boiled than pan fried.

This might be the key to actually making those heads of larger-clove garlic (like elephant garlic) useful.

I’ve found that larger-clove garlic, including the hard-stem stuff we have, seems to have very little flavor when compared to normal garlic. But when they were boiling with the potatoes, man, did this place smell a little bit like heaven.

I have also been trying to use this thyme from Rouse’s rooftop in pretty much everything I can, because we just have so dang much of it. So I added some into the potatoes as well. In other news, we’re out of oregano. That will need rectifying as well.

I realized that the red bean and rice recipe called for a bunch of other stuff to be cooked with the beans a little too late, so I fried up some fresh jalapeño and onions in a skillet with some more garlic, and then fried up some shitake mushrooms as well—the last of this batch. The idea is that, in lieu of some kind of spicy sausage, I’m throwing some shitake mushrooms in there, which have a sweet, yet meaty taste of their own that I’m hoping will serve the same purpose as something like andouille.

Unfortunately, not much can cut through burnt bean taste, so we’re just going to have to suffer through it for a bit.

However, I am happy, because I realized that I had slightly undercooked the last batch of red beans, and once these were done enough, they softened up nicely and are now quite pasty, which is more how I expected them to be.

Here’s the inventory for tonight’s meal:

Vegetarian Red Beans + Rice, Shitake variation:

Reference recipe

  • Rice – Cajun Country
  • Red Beans – Camellia
  • Jalapeño peppers – Holly Grove
  • Yellow onion – Holly Grove
  • Thyme – Rouse’s (Rooftop)
  • Shitake mushrooms – Holly Grove
  • Salt – Breaux Bridge
  • Jalapeño Pepper Powder – Klein & Sons
  • Pecan Oil – Inglewood
  • Butter – Kleinpeter

Garlic Mashed Potatoes:

Reference recipe

  • Red potatoes: Holly Grove
  • Hard-Stem (Elephant?) Garlic: Crescent City Farmer’s Market
  • Salt – Breaux Bridge
  • Thyme – Rouse’s (Rooftop)
  • Butter – Kleinpeter