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In a Southern kitchen, rice and beans bind generations and geographies

In a Southern kitchen, rice and beans bind generations and geographies

Cooking stew peas or any iteration of beans and rice was never meant to be dogma. Rather, it is a humble offering connected to nourishment and nostalgia wrapped in the comfort of eating what we are used to eating and will continue to eat.
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Savannah Red Rice with Shrimp

Born in the heart of rich rice country some 300 years ago, red rice remains a much-loved Savannah standard to this day.  Simple as it appears, achieving the proper texture–neither gummy nor too dry–can be tricky. Long-grain rice is essential, as each grain should absorb the flavor-packed liquid while holding its shape. It can be cooked on the stovetop or, like this one, baked in the oven. I followed the method in Miriam Rubin’s wonderful little book, Tomatoes, from UNC Press’s Savor the South series, with great success. I especially like her suggestion of adding toasted pecans. Wanting to make this a hearty entrée, I went a step further and added shrimp. Once you master the basic method, you can take this classic in all sorts of directions. – Susan Puckett


I love jambalaya—the way it tastes, the way it smells, the way its name rolls off the tongue. On a cold game day, a hearty bowl of jambalaya hits the spot. By packing the ingredients the night before, you can easily make this dish on-site.

Jerry Slater’s Meat-and-Rice-Stuffed Peppers

The whippoorwill tattooed on Jerry Slater’s left forearm pays tribute to the birds his grandmother admired in the mountains of rural West Virginia where Slater, owner of H. Harper Station, was raised.

Duane Nutter’s Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage

Duane Nutter, executive chef, One Flew South, was eight years old when he and his mother left Morgan City, Louisiana—a town of 12,000 built on the petroleum and shrimping industries, about an hour’s drive west of New Orleans—for Seattle, Washington.

Chicken Bog

From A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson. HMD seeks FWR. Hearty meat dish seeks fluffy white rice. I don’t think it’s just a crush. Chicken stews love rice. It’s an affinity that needs to happen. Let’s not sully the relationship with overly complex rice.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

From "The New Southern Garden Cookbook" by Sheri Castle. The somewhat unusual combination of chicken, sweet potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, coconut, chutney, and curry has deep roots in the South, particularly in the Lowcountry, where there was ready access to imported spices and where expert cooks from many cultures stirred their own familiar ingredients into the pots.

Golden Brown Puffed Cheesy Rice Spoon Bread

From "BakeWise" by Shirley O. Corriher

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