Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Treebeards' Red Beans and Rice

This core staple of Treebeards' menu has given me fits for years. From the early, early days when they would sell the spice packets and then the publication of the first cookbook, I’ve never had great luck with this recipe. The results have been consistently mushy, though the flavor was spot-on.

I’d been especially careful about the stirring instructions to avoid that, but no dice. I’ve given the recipe to others and it worked (or, rather, didn’t work) the same way.

So, I decided to give it another shot with the assumption that the recipe is somehow flawed (no offense, Dan). The obvious suspect was the cooking time of the beans. I reduced the cooking time for the initial simmer down to 1 hr, rather than 1.5. Right off the bat, this gave me the bean tenderness and flavor I was looking for. The “sauce” was a little bit thin, so I think that reducing the amount of water down at least a cup, from 2 qts down to 1.75 would do the trick.

I also used chicken and turkey smoked sausage to cut down on the fat and they taste just fine. So, success.

I've searched around the web to see if there was an update to the recipe (my version is from the 1st edition of their fantastic cookbook, but they're up to the 9th now), but they all seem to have the same times. Maybe it's just me. But I'm happy now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've got the second edition of Treebeard's cook book and I'll echo all of your comments. The color, thickness, taste are all different than at Treebeards. Mind you, it's GREAT but different. I was talking to Jamie about in the take away location one day a few years ago and he just gave me a sheepish grin. Not quite like the original but it is darn good. Too bad Dan and Jamie sold the business. Oh well, best of luck to them.