FOOD DIARY: red beans and rice

People that have occasionally read this blog might remember that I have had this meal before.  It is a staple meal throughout the Caribbean which means because of the proximity to New Orleans then that city has its own version and that version has been marketed by an outfit called Zattarains.  This company makes the version I had last night called “New Orleans Style Red beans and Rice.”  They make many other packaged products and they are all based on New Orleans tastes; I think they are very good but Diane steers well away from anything that is prepackaged. 

With this meal you just add water, let it simmer for 30 minutes and enjoy.  Diane read the box and thought that as package food goes it was pretty clear of additives; the packet contains their own spices and to my tastes that is what makes the difference.  The beans and the rice are dehydrated so all you need is to hydrate them again with ample water.

I have not tried to make my own version of the dish because I do not think that I can duplicate Zat’s spices and without those spices the dish becomes very mundane.  The recipes that I have examined seem to be denuded of much flavouring but it is an onward search.  If any Australian reader might be interested in New Orleans flavours there is an outfit in the Eastern States called USA Foods that imports many Zaterain products.

I just made a simple green salad that acted as a palate cleanser and two glasses of some left-over wine of an indeterminate origin and an excellent meal was had.

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