Creole Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice

A Creole comfort classic gets updated: Red Beans and Rice made grain free with cauliflower. 

Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice

Cajun Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice

Alternate title: The trinity, the trifecta, and the amen. Let me explain:

The Cajun & Creole kick continues! You may recall that in Donna’s recent Shrimp and Quinoa Creole post, the Apron Strings team was preparing to hit NOLA. Last weekend was the  big (easy) event, and of course it was a nonstop food fanatic’s wonderland. Just taking in all the glorious restaurants is a culinary adventure in itself, but we got to take it a step further, via a class at the New Orleans Cooking Experience. Would recommend!

Less interactive than other stand-alone cooking classes we’ve taken together, the evening was nonetheless equal parts entertaining and educational. Chef Janice “Boo” Macomber regaled us with family recipes demonstrations, anecdotes from her shrimp camp, and the occasional off-color joke, all the while tossing out tidbits and tips for bringing authentic Cajun flavor into your own kitchen – and we got to devour the results of her demonstrations (the best part, of course).

Pretty much any home cook who has passing familiarity with either Creole/Cajun cooking or the Food Network knows what the Trinity is by now, right? Chef Boo adds three other shortcut references, all of which are used liberally in her biographical, homespun cookbook (her chef’s jacket is embroidered with “High Priestess of the Bayou”). If the ingredient list includes the Trifecta, you know you need to add salt, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce. The Resurrection adds 6 cloves (or “toes”) of garlic to the Trinity. And adding Amen means finishing with a liberal sprinkle of chopped scallions and fresh parsley.

I came home with a craving for one of my favorite Creole classics: red beans and rice. This dish is so quintessentially New Orleans, Louis Armstrong used to sign his letters “Red Beans and Ricely Yours.” I thought I’d make it grain-free (and reduce the carbs a bit) by incorporating cauliflower rice, and lighten it up a bit more with chicken andouille. It’s still every bit the deeply flavorful comfort food. The ham hock adds smoky depth, and the beans make it creamy without a bit of dairy. And like so many other slow foods, it tastes even better the next day.  …

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