Bean there, doing that

I have waxed prosaic in this space before about Hurst’s HamBeens 15-bean soup. I make a pot or two of the stuff every winter, dividing it up into batches, and it’s a perfect cold-weather supper.

original_bayou-cajun-red-beanAnyway, when I was at the grocery store yesterday I found a different, slightly-fancier product from the same company, Hurst Family Harvest Bayou Cajun Red Bean Soup. Much like the 15-bean soup product, it’s basically dried beans with a seasoning packet and a recipe – you add onion, garlic, andouille or smoked sausage, a can of diced tomatoes and the juice of a lemon. Although it’s labeled as “soup,” it’s clear from the directions that this is basically the “red beans” part of red beans and rice, and that’s how they suggest you serve it.

I have a pot simmering away on the stove even as we speak. I could not get good authentic andouille; I got some Johnsonville andouille, but it’s basically just Johnsonville smoked sausage with slightly-tweaked seasoning. (The few times a friend of mine has been headed to N’awlins, I’ve asked them to bring me back andouille.) Even so, even the pseudo-anduouille should be good in this. (“Pseudo-Andouille” would make a great name for a rock band, as Dave Barry would say.)

Here’s how things looked as I was sauteeing the onion, garlic and andouille. The soaked and drained beans are standing by waiting to jump into the dutch oven:

red beans

I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Laissez le bon temps rouler

I have some Zatarain’s jambalaya mix cooking right now, and the apartment smells wonderful. I make the Zatarain’s jambalaya frequently, but tonight’s will be much better. My co-worker Sadie Fowler went to visit her husband at a job site in Louisiana last weekend, and I had her bring me back some andouille sausage. I normally use normal smoked sausage, or sometimes even an “andouille-style” smoked sausage which one of the groceries here carries, but there is nothing like genuine andouille.

Plus, I made homemade chicken broth yesterday and replaced the water in the jambalaya directions with broth, for a little extra flavor. (Because the jambalaya mix contains salt, I wouldn’t want to do this with a salted broth, but I had not yet added any salt to my homemade broth.)