Fat Tuesday

Happy Mardi Gras!  ….is that something you say?  I was not really familiar with Mardi Gras’ origins until, like, today, when The Boyfriend looked it up.  Now it totally makes sense!  Especially living in St. Maarten/St. Martin.  We live on the border of French St. Martin and apparently, both sides of the island held Carnivals.  Today is the last day to celebrate the Carnivals and our hotel is hosting a “Male Body Dancing” Carnival??? I don’t get it… Anyhow, Mardi Gras marks the end of the Carnival season and I thought it was a good excuse to make red beans and rice..from scratch! Sorry, Zatarain’s.  I reviewed a lot of recipes and most of them employed the use of dried beans.  This required soaking and essentially time.  Time, which I do not have.  I have midterms this week!  So, consider my recipe a compilation of ALL recipes on Pinterest–sans the use of dried beans.  And Andouille sausage, apparently they do not believe in that sort of thing here.  I had to use some unidentified French sausage–still good!  Also, I didn’t get around to making this until, like, 8 PM, so excuse the ghetto Instagram photo.

P.S.  This recipe is boyfriend approved.

Photo Feb 12, 9 06 53 PM

Red Beans & Rice

3 tbsp olive oil, divided*
1 package Andouille sausage
1 package Lardons
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 cans red kidney beans
2 bay leaves
2 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
2 tsp Tabasco (I used locally made Habenero Lime Hot Sauce )
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp red chili flakes
2 cups water
2 cubes of chicken bouillon

*My weird French sausages were raw, so I cooked them in 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Remove and set aside until cook.  Chop into rough pieces.

Add 2 more tablespoons to the pot, saute onions and bell peppers until they are browned.  I did this on the highest heat setting [because I’m impatient].

Once the onions and peppers look like they’re almost burnt, add sausage, garlic, undrained beans and bay leaves.  I let them simmer while I assembled the other ingredients, because I don’t think ahead that’s how I roll.

Add Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, salt, thyme, vinegar and red chili flakes.

If you are more lazy than I am, you can probably simmer for 20 minutes and be done with it.  But I wanted to get on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, so I added about 2 cups of hot water.  I also have a weird phobia about not seasoning my water with chicken bouillon, so I went ahead and added 2 little cubes of those.  I let this simmer for about 10 minutes.  Then I removed about 1/4 cup of beans and smushed them up, creating a thickening agent because I decided I was too lazy/impatient/bored to let it simmer for however long.  Cranked the heat up to high and let it simmer for about 15 more minutes.

Serve with rice.