My co-worker Selena suggested we prepare a soul food meal together, and I thought that was a wonderful idea. I was curious to try it and what better way than together with someone who grew up with soul food?! This is Selena, preparing her family recipe corn bread.
We prepared several soul food dishes, and the first one I’m sharing you with you is Dirty Rice. This is rice (can be leftover cooked rice) mixed with meat, vegetables, and a Cajun or Creole spice mix. This can be store-bought, but of course it is better to blend it yourself. Here’s what we did…
For 6 servings
400 grams (2 cups) uncooked rice
225 grams (.5 lb) mixed (beef and pork) ground meat
225 grams (.5 lb) mixed chicken gizzards and livers
225 grams (.5 lb) bacon
1 onion, diced, diced
1 green bell pepper, cleaned and diced
4 green onions, green part only, sliced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Grind the chicken gizzards and livers, or chop them finely.
Cook the rice.
Cook the bacon in a dry frying pan…
…until it is cooked but not crispy.
Take the bacon out of the pan with a strainer and set aside, leaving behind the bacon drippings.
Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and season with salt.
Cook over medium heat, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for another minute.
Add the ground meats…
…and cook, breaking up the meat, until it has lost its raw color.
Season with white pepper (1/4 tsp), black pepper (1/4 tsp), paprika (2 tsp), dried thyme (1 tsp), dried oregano (1 tsp), cayenne pepper (1/8 tsp). Add the reserved bacon.
Stir to incorporate the seasoning. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and spices, if you wish.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring now and then.
Add the cooked rice and green onions.
Mix everything very well — according to Selena only a lazy cook leaves clumps of white rice in dirty rice.
Serve as part of a soul food feast (more to follow).
What a nice coincidence that the next flashback (which I generally do in chronological order) is shrimp jambalaya, another delicious Cajun rice dish.