Red Beans And Rice Monday

I know today is Wednesday, that being said, I made red beans and rice on Monday. My first time. Not so long ago we stopped at Popeye’s Chicken, again a first. There Barb and I had red beans and rice, again a first. We loved the dish. Me, being the cook, said, “Why not make this at home?” Several recipe searches later the cooking is on.

First up, what is pickled pork? Turns out chunks of pork shoulder in a brine. That didn’t seem to hard, except being in a rush (for no reason other than I wanted to make red beans and rice) I discovered our local stores had no pickled pork and based on the looks no clue what it was either. Thus, I learned how to pickle pork. Took 3 days of brining.

Next, smoked ham hock. I live around farms, lots of farms. You would think I should be able to find all sorts of meats. Except there is no butcher in town. Just the people claiming to be “butchers” behind the meat counters. The kids no nothing and my knife skills are better. There is a woman, however, who knows her stuff. She and I spend a few minutes talking shop every time I see her, she doesn’t work as much as I would like. Thankfully, she was there, knew what I wanted, knew where it was, and knew what I needed to do with it. Awesome.

Next up, red beans. Easy enough, on the shelf. However the package says soak for X hours, recipe one says X hours, and recipe two says X hours, and if you guessed all of the X hours were different you would be right. I didn’t really choose, I accidently left them soaking overnight. I have no defense, I put them in a lot of water and forgot about them because actual cooking was the next day.

Lastly, cooking. I woke up early because according to Emeril’s recipe, 3 1/2 hours of cooking. Right off the bat a conundrum, do I blanche the pickled pork for 5 minutes per Emeril or do I rinse for 3 minute per the pickled pork recipe. I chose rinse, mostly because I…fine I was feeling lazy. At the moment, because the dish is still cooking, I have no idea what will happen.

Another conundrum, I cannot tell how much space things take until I get to this point…I need to add six more cups of stock and the pot is full…crap! What to do? Rush out to the store to purchase a new stock pot. Yep, while what I could fit into the post was cooking I ran to the store to get a bigger pot. Better yet, expecting to spend a bunch of money, the pots were on sale. Must be a sign, today (two days ago for you readers) is the day to cook red beans and rice. 🙂

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