Do you andouille?
Sausage is key in signature Cajun dishes
by: Rob Byers and Tara Tuckwiller
sausage, a product of France, is made with the small intestines and stomach lining of
hogs. Cajun andouille is made with lean pork, black pepper and garlic.
Beans and Rice
Well take the latter no matter what the Small
Intestines and Stomach Lining Association says. And so will Cajun cooks across the nation,
who use the heavily smoked andouille (an-DOO-ee) to make specialties such as jambalaya,
gumbo and red beans and rice.
Andouille can be hard to come by in these parts, but the Internet
abounds with New Orleans-based purveyors just begging to bring sausage to your door.
(Check out www.cajunsausage.com, home of Jacobs World Famous Andouille in LaPlace,
We recently found andouille at the North Market in Columbus,
Ohio, but it paled in comparison to the deep red, smoky, spicy links we sampled throughout
the Big Easy.
An intense smoking process that can last several hours gives
Cajun andouille its dark color. The pork that goes into andouille is coarsely ground,
giving it a meaty texture unlike other sausages.
The folks from Louisiana know what theyre doing when it
comes to pork, and andouilles wide appeal and key role in the regions
signature dishes make it indispensable in Cajun kitchens.
Just ask Emeril Lagasse, the New Orleans-based chef and
self-proclaimed King of Pork Fat. Andouille appears on his Food Network cooking shows
almost as much as he does, and it doesnt annoy nearly as many viewers.
In Cajun red beans and rice, the andouille can be served on the
side or mixed in with the meal. Its up to the cook.
Red beans and rice is traditionally served on Mondays in New
Orleans, dating back to the time when Monday was wash day, and the beans could simmer on
the stove all day while the wash got all the attention.
The creamy consistency of the slow-cooked beans, partnered with
the fiery bite of the cayenne and andouille, must have been a great reward for the
Lets make every day wash day.
To contact staff writers Robert J. Byers or Tara Tuckwiller, use
e-mail or call 348-1236 or 348-5189.
Using smoked sausage in place of andouille will create a dish dominated by the taste of
the sausage. Chorizo or hot Italian sausage are better alternatives.
1 pound dry red kidney beans
1 quart duck (or chicken) stock
1 smoked pork hock
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound andouille sausage
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
6 cups cooked white rice
Put beans in a large pot, cover with enough water to reach
about 3 inches above beans and soak overnight. Drain and add stock and pork hock. Bring to
a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Do not boil.
Add remaining ingredients (except for sausage, vinegar and rice),
cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring often. Remove pork hock, and when cool enough to
handle, remove meat and add to beans.
Meanwhile, brown sausage in a little vegetable oil, cut into
bite-sized pieces and add to beans, along with vinegar. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
Serve over rice, and offer Tabasco at the table.
Nutrition information (1/6 recipe): 818 calories, 255 calories from fat, 28 grams fat,
9 grams saturated fat, 74 milligrams cholesterol, 1,479 milligrams sodium, 97 grams
carbohydrates, 14 grams fiber.
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