Savannah Red Rice

judsoncarroll4
judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin
edited November 2020 in General Recipes

Another quiet Sunday, reading through old cookbooks and listening to the chronological works of Duke Ellington has turned up another favorite dish from my childhood. This one comes from "Savannah Style", a Junior League cookbook from Georgia (of course). Charleston Red Rice is very similar, My family comes from near Wilmington, NC and our version was also similar, but with the addition of okra and dried cayenne pepper instead of hot sauce... no sugar and cooked on the stove only. All such dishes originate in early American rice culture and are of Spanish origin, with a strong Creole influence, including Jambalaya (for which I posted a recipe yesterday in the greens topic) and the "chicken bog" served at most every political function when I was a kid. These simple dishes are absolutely bursting with flavor and I think y'all will be hooked if you try any of them.


Comments

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 Big rice fan! This one looks really good. Thanks for posting.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    Thanks for that recipe @judsoncarroll4 . Rice is certainly a favourite and versitile grain in our house. I guess depending on which culture you're from or what your into, you can let your imagination run wild. At the moment I'm experimenting with middle eastern flavours, cumin, sumac, coriander, zatar and lentils with caramelized onions. Fried rice and risotto are also up there. I reckon I'll add Judson Rice to the list!

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin

    Sumac is awfully good - staghorn sumac grows wild all around here.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    I have never used sumac but have intentions of harvesting some this year. It grows wild in a small micro-climate in my area, although it is not native in BC. I would appreciate any advice on harvesting, drying, using, etc. Looking forward to trying the "pink lemonade" made from sumac.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin

    Sure! Well, the first step is, of course, to make sure it is edible sumac... but, I'm sure that won't be an issue for you. Harvest the berries in late summer or fall. You can dry them for an infusion in water (lemonade) or jelly, or for using in cooking. If you make the lemonade, you'll want to strain the solids out.... like fine hairs. You can also use fresh berries in boiling water. They are somewhat similar to rose hips.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,505 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 That is one tasty sounding recipe. We will have to test it out ourselves.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin
    edited June 2020

    I guess I should give a more formal recipe and explanation of jambalaya, too. The name is a compound word that really tells the history of much of southern, coastal culture. The first part, "Jam" comes from jambon, French for ham. The last syllable, "ya" derives from an African word for rice. So, the dish is truly "jambon a la ya ", or pork with rice. But the roots of the dish are paella, the Spanish seafood (and or meat) and rice, one pot meal... made with saffron and truly wonderful. So, Spanish, Africans and French cuisine merged in Creole culture.... sugar plantations mainly, that were controlled by several nations.... tragic and awful history, but vibrant and wonderful culture! The center of that culture is where much of my family lived for a century or so before coming to the American mainland, before America was a nation - the Island of Guadaloupe. So, in this dish that finds its modern form in the Creole and Cajun cooking of Louisiana, we find all the elements of those cultures.

    In a nice, heavy pot, preferably a cast iron Dutch oven, cook some chopped onions, garlic, peppers and celery... either push to the sides or remove. Brown in the same pot some pork (smoked and spicy sausage, preferably, but any pork will do so long as you season accordingly), chicken thighs and shrimp (or sausage and fish... game, anything you like, really). Remove the meats, and unless you have a really big pot, you'll probably want to take out the veggies, too. Add some ore oil and a cup or so of rice. Toast the rice, stirring constantly in the oil, until it smells nutty and is pearly. Add the veggies back in, along with enough stock or broth, canned tomatoes and a cup of white wine, to cook the rice. Be sure to scrape up all the good bits from the pot as you stir the liquid into the rice. I usually use shrimp stock, btw... especially if I have no shrimp, but chicken broth (etc) will do. Clam juice or oyster liquor is a very nice addition. Add herbs, especially parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.... but, you probably want to use Creole Seasoning like Tony Chachere's, which is basically celery salt, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and some herbs (of course, you can make your own). You can put the eats in to cook with the rice or add them after the rice is cooked. It is also very nice to to toss in some clams at the end and let them steam open with the lid on, as the rice finishes. Crabs or crawfish will only make the dish better! You can also include greens, okra... anything you like really, but it is a rice dish primarily.