Frank Brigtsen, the chef and owner of Brigtsen's in New Orleans, makes his own version of the spicy Louisiana classic. This dish is as great served with garlic bread as with its traditional partner, white rice.
Delicious, Quick Side Dishes
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 ounces smoked ham, cut into 1/2 -inch dice (2 cups)
Two 5-ounce andouille sausages, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (2 cups)
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
5 large celery ribs, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper—cored, seeded and finely chopped
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
4 cups water
1 pound dried kidney beans, picked over and rinsed
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Steamed white rice or garlic bread, for serving
How to Make It
In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic with 4 teaspoons of the kosher salt, the crumbled oregano, the thyme, cumin, black pepper, cayenne and white pepper.
In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add the smoked ham and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the andouille sausages and cook, stirring, until they are lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the Spanish onion, chopped celery, green bell pepper and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Add the spice-and-salt mixture and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and water to the enameled, cast-iron casserole. Stir in the kidney beans and bring to a boil. Cover and cook the beans over low heat for 1 hour. Stir in half of the chopped parsley and cook uncovered over moderately low heat until the beans are tender and the liquid is thick, about 1 hour longer. Stir in the remaining chopped parsley and season with salt and black pepper. Ladle the beans into bowls and serve with white rice or garlic bread.
A fresh, cooling beer will tame this stew's spicy and smoky flavors. Look for a Sam Adams Boston Ale or the harder-to-find Abita Amber from New Orleans.
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