Home Food DigiBites: Chef Charlie Gets Down And Dirty With “Dirty Rice” – Cajun-Style!

DigiBites: Chef Charlie Gets Down And Dirty With “Dirty Rice” – Cajun-Style!

The Epicurean Exchange

Greetings to our 24/680News followers:
Well, the consensus – good or bad – is that food and eating has become a favorite activity during our home confinement. We are cooking more at home and together – which is a wonderful thing. Since you can leave your homes for essentials, including food, I encourage you to first check your crisper and pantry for the ingredients for this dish and if necessary, safely travel to the market – keeping to the 6-foot social distance – gather your ingredients – wash your hands when you return, and enjoy preparing this easy, economical and tasty dish!

The Chef… and Family.

According to “What’s Cooking America,” dirty rice (also called Cajun Rice and Cajun Fried Rice), is a traditional Cajun (South Louisiana) specialty that is made from leftovers. Dirty Rice gets its name from the appearance of the finished dish. The chopped up meats that are added gives it the appearance of “dirt” mixed in with the rice. It is traditionally white rice cooked with chopped or ground chicken livers and gizzards, onions, and seasonings. The ground giblets give the rice a ‘dirty’ appearance, but an excellent flavor. You can use your favorite meat, poultry, or sausage. What makes it Cajun? No tomatoes!

I made a batch of this for my family (pictured from over the weekend on a safe day out excursion) and it was a huge hit – especially reheated the next day!

I am going to attempt to provide an every-other-day recipe to help everyone increase their repertoire – to help keep it interesting and assist with the daily “what’s for dinner” question!

Wishing all our readers, communities, country and world blessings for this this time. Stay safe, stay healthy.
– Chef Charlie

Chef’s Notes: P.S. In between your home cooking, please support our local food establishments during these challenging times. Giving a BIG shout out to, and highly recommend Slow Hand BBQ, offering the Bay Area’s best BBQ made with love by the amazing Freng – Bullotta family. They have restaurants in both Pleasant Hill and Martinez to serve you and are using Grub Hub for their delivery function. GIVE ‘EM A TRY AND TELL ‘EM CHEF CHARLIE SENT YOU!

The Epicurean Exchange

Cajun Dirty Rice

1 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
Cajun seasoning (recommend Louisiana or Tony Chachere’s brands)
1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 onion, cut into a 1/4-inch dice
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into a 1/4-inch dice
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into a 1/4-inch dice
2 ribs celery, cut into a 1/4-inch dice
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1-pound ground beef
1-pound andouille sausage (recommend Silva brand), cut into a 1/2-inch dice (and/or cooked pulled pork)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 bunch scallions, minced
Kosher salt, to taste
Favorite hot sauce
•     For the Rice: heat 3 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add Cajun seasoning to taste. Add the rice, stir to combine, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
•     Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a deep stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers and celery; a big pinch of kosher salt, and Cajun seasoning, to taste. Reduce heat to medium and sauté the vegetables until they are very soft and lightly browned.

•     In a separate large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the remaining oil. Once heated, crumble the ground beef into the skillet and add the diced andouille sausage and cook until the beef is no longer pink. Add the beef and sausage to the sautéed vegetables. If using the pulled pork, crisp in the skillet before adding to the vegetables.
•     Once the rice is done, add it to the meat and vegetable mixture and fold until well-combined. Add the minced scallions and adjust seasoning and spice to your liking.
Serves 6
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