Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dirty Rice on Fat Tuesday

The Chef picked up some Louisiana style Dirty Rice from the 99c only Stores to cook today, on this Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday. Last Sunday, while listening to Harry Shearer describing the Mardi Gras experience on KCRW's "Le Show, the Chef flashed back to his high school hitchhiking days: thumbing rides with his best friend; two longhairs trying to get to the the biggest street party of the year, New Orleans' Mardi Gras. Being picked up by a "hippie van" that was playing Jackson Browne on the car stereo, getting high, then being dropped off near the French Quarter; a good time had by all.

Dirty Rice is the simplest Cajun dish to prepare -- just ground meat and rice. I double the box recipe by adding an extra cup of rice and a pound of sauteed ground meat.

The Chef has not seen ground meat for 99 cents lately, but at Ralphs it goes on sale for a dollar a pound. Next time you see The Chef, he will refund the difference to you: just say "Dirty Rice."

(serves 3 to 4)
1 five ounce box of Dirty Rice ( Tony Chachere's or Zatarains)
1 extra cup of rice
1 pound ground meat
4 cups of water
Extra ingredients: Chop 1\2 onion & bell pepper, 2 cloves garlic and saute lastly, with meat.

Saute ground meat until brown; this gives rice its "dirty" color. For the diet conscious, pour out rendered fat. Add rice and water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook covered for 20 minutes then turn off heat and let stand for another 10 minutes. Serve with plenty of hot sauce.

For a local Dirty Rice fix, Popeye's Fried Chicken does a mean one.

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