Monday, October 26, 2009

New Orlexeek Red Beans and Rice With Oikos and Chives

Inspired by The Ungourmet's recent Enchilada Casserole, I thought something similar might soothe my sick throat. However, I didn't have any tortillas or meat in the house.

Okay, I thought. No big deal. I'll use red beans and rice. New Orleans is the first culture that jumps to mind, but this combo appears plenty in Mexican cooking as well.

Then I thought, I really like those vinegar-based hot sauces. Do they use those a whole lot in Mexico?

Then I thought, aw man, I don't have any sour cream for garnish. Better use Oikos.

Thus New Orlexeek Red Beans and Rice was born.

New Orlexeek Red Beans and Rice

Casserole Ingredients

1 1/2 c. cooked rice
1 1/2 c. cooked red beans
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 batch Spicy Garlic Tomato Puree (see below)
1/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. water
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 Tbsp. butter
Generous pinch salt
A few Tbsp. Oikos and a couple tsp. chopped fresh chives to garnish

Spicy Garlic Tomato Puree Ingredients

1 1/2 c. diced tomatoes, canned/packaged (if you don't can your own or buy local, Pomi is the next best thing)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Generous pinch cayenne


Combine all the Spicy Garlic Tomato Puree ingredients in a small saucepan and let simmer over medium-low heat for 40 minutes. If you want it broken down further, place it in a food processor and pulse a few times after cooking. Reserve the used pan. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375.

Grease or spray a shallow 9" X 6" gratin dish (or any similarly-sized ovenproof vessel). Spread about half the rice in a thin layer over the bottom:

Next, layer over half the red beans:

Follow with half the Tomato Puree:

Then half the cheese (note that I didn't have quite a full cup of cheddar on hand, so the picture looks a little more sparse in the cheese department than I would have preferred):

Continue in this fashion, creating another layer of each type. Make sure you end with a cheese layer.

Combine the orange juice, water, hot sauce, butter, and pinch salt in the pan you used to make the tomato puree. Heat through, stirring, until the butter has melted. Pour this carefully into a measuring cup or something else with a spout (I used a tea kettle... Hello? Martini glasses for cookie cutters?) Tilt the spout so that liquid runs gently down the sides of the dish, adding a little every couple inches, without disturbing the cheese on top. When you see liquid about to consume your cheese, quit pouring.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Wait ten minutes for it to cool after removing it from the oven. Divide the casserole into four sections, turn out onto plates, and garnish each with a dollop of Oikos and a sprinkle of chives. Serves 4 as a main course.

Tomorrow is the deadline for my Wheat Germ project, so watch this space and prepare to be blown away by the wheat germy goodness of it all... in more ways than one, considering the current state of my throat, stomach, and sinuses.

A very happy Monday to all. Hope you're not spending it in Dayquil-induced zombification like I am. Or if you are- which is likely this time of year- that you've managed to score some delicious comfort food!

Beat the eggs. Whip the cream. Show no mercy.


Janis said...

You are a sick puppy but I LIKE it!

Anonymous said...

Sounds very comforting and yummy. I hope you'll be feeling better soon!

redkathy said...

This is my kind of casserole! Looks fab.... Hope you get well PDQ!

whineaux (Dawn) said...

Feel better soon -- looks yummy!

Anonymous said...

Looks very delicious, get well soon :)

Sunshine Mom said...

Hope you feel better soon!!

Tasty Trix said...

Well, it ain't exactly New Orleans but it sure does look like a pile of yum! I hope your throat feels better soon, that's the worst.

Jessie said...

sorry to hear that You've been sick but feel better soon! That meal looks really comforting and I know it will help nurse you back to health :)

Karen said...

I am definitely going to have to try that. Hubby and I love red beans and rice and this looks like a great variation on a theme.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Whatever this is - I LIKE it! It looks yummy, all cheesy and red beans-y, and with oikos as a sour cream sub, who'd know? Awesome!

Cocina Savant said...

I'm impressed, I've used being sick as an excuse not to cook other than one big pot of soup that's lasted a few days. Looks great!

wasabi prime said...

This sounds like a perfect remedy for when one is feeling sick. If doctors could prescribe it, I'm sure they would -- take two of these and call me in the morning. Hope you're feeling better!!