…following on from my last post, pig’s liver rice, Michelle of Gourmandistan said it reminded her of dirty rice. While I was contemplating supper this morning, dirty rice did spring to mind and when Karen mentioned it again, I went out and bought the ingredients. Sadly this is not an authentic recipe (as taught to me by Paul Prudhomme in the French Quarter), but it does perhaps, contain the correct seasoning and vegetables to be a dish from Louisiana.
First of all, a word on the two types of cooking in Louisiana – Creole (from the original French and Spanish colonists in New Orleans), containing tomatoes and Cajun (from the Cajun people of South Louisiana who were originally French colonists of Canada, who’d been expelled by the British), without tomatoes. Both Cajun and Creole styles of cooking use a trinity of celery, onions and sweet peppers for flavour. When garlic is used, it becomes a holy trinity.
Creole Dirty Rice recipe (serves 4):
1 lb pig’s (or chicken) liver (chopped)
4 slices of smoked streaky bacon (chopped)
1 pork chop, bone and skin removed (cubed)
1 large onion (chopped)
2 sticks of celery (chopped)
6 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
4 large tomatoes (grated)
1 large red pepper (chopped)
8 mushroom (chopped)
2 cups brown Basmati rice (soaked for 1 hour)
2 dessertspoonfuls of tomato purée
a squirt anchovy paste
a pint of warm beef stock
a glass of red wine
a splash red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of herbs (rosemary, sage and thyme – ground in a mortar and pestle with coarse sea salt and black peppercorns)
3 teaspoons cajun seasoning
a good splash of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (for Justin Wilson)
8 torn basil leaves
2 bay leaves
a splash of Tabasco Sauce
2 dessertspoons plain flour
extra virgin olive oil
the juice of half a lemon
I won’t bore you with a complete step by step process – it’s the same as for pig’s liver rice, but you’ll notice some different ingredients above.
Soak the brown basmati rice for an hour. Using a cast iron casserole, brown the liver (dusted in seasoned flour) in olive oil and reserve. Fry the onion, followed by the bacon and pork. Stir in in the other vegetables and grated tomato. Return the liver to the casserole, along with all the seasoning, vinegar, wine, etc. and half the stock. Allow this to come to a simmer and taste – adjust the seasoning as required. Drain, rinse and mix in the rice. Cover the casserole with a lid and remove to a preheated oven at 150ºC for one hour. After 30 minutes check the dish and stir in the rest of the stock. At one hour the dirty rice should be done. Check that the rice is tender and allow it to rest for 10 minutes with the lid on. Squeeze on the juice of half a lemon and serve with home made allioli.