Cajun dirty rice

Dirty rice.

A staple side dish in New Orleans!

Maybe you’ve heard of it, it’s one of Popeye’s best sellers.

As a kid I would eat pounds of it.  Extra spicy with Frito’s corn chips and buckets of Daisy Sour Cream.  Oh the metabolism I use to have!

Over the weekend I pulled out one of my NOLA cookbooks that I lugged to Buenos Aires from New Orleans.  This particular book I inherited from my Nana, a woman who dominated the kitchen with Southern classics.  Her roast beef po’boys, collard greens and pumpkin pie were my all-time favorites and we’d spend hours at her house cooking while I played Patsy Cline’s Crazy on the piano over and over again.  Now her cookbooks have been passed down to me and I can’t help but think of her every time I hear that song.

Unfortunately I was only able to bring a small handful of books with me on my South American journey so I had to be very careful on which ones made the cut.  This one has it all and is very ‘NOLA style’.  Meaning the book is divided into sections of-  Crabs, Oysters, Crawfish, Shrimp, Gumbos, Red beans and rice and Jamablaya, New Orleans breakfasts and so on.  She was definitely worth the weight and many of the recipes are very old school having been published back in 1975.

With fall approaching this book and I have been busy in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes.

Expect a new menu over at my puerta cerrada (closed door restaurant), NOLA,  over the next week as well as a Super Southern dinner that we’ll be serving on Wednesday night alongside homemade crafted beers from the guys at Broeders Artesanal.  Starting in April every other Wednesday night we’ll be joining forces and hosting beer pairing nights at NOLA showcasing three different artesanal beers served with fried chicken, po’boys, jambalaya and more.  Follow me on Twitter for event updates!

This dirty rice recipe may or may not be making an appearance this Wednesday at the first NOLA- Broeders night!

Originally dirty rice is made of chicken gizzards, chicken livers and pork gizzards that are ground up and cooked with the holy trinity and long grain rice.  Hence the name dirty rice!

My BA version omits the organ meets and is substituted with ground pork.  Do as you wish!  Recipe inspired by The New Orleans Cookbook.

Cajun Dirty Rice  ::

  • 1 kilo ground pork
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 1 1/2 TBS garlic, minced
  • 1 2/3 cup onion, small dice
  • 1/4 cup celery, small dice
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, small dice
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, small dice
  • 1 jalapeno, minced with seeds
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1 cup sliced green onion, green parts
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 TBS water, more if necessary
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups cooked white rice

Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the ground pork until it begins to turn brown.  Discard rendered fat leaving 1 TBS in the skillet.  Add the onions, peppers, celery, jalapeno, garlic and mix well.  Cook til the vegetables begin to soften and turn brown.  Add flour and mix well with wooden spoon.  Add seasoning, Worcestershire and water.  Cook over low heat and don’t allow pan to get dry.  Add more water if necessary.

Once the pork is cooked all the way through remove from heat and in a large bowl combine the cooked rice, parsley and green onion with the pork mix.  Mix using a large fork as to not smash the rice.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve hot.

*Like red beans this dish is better with time.  Try making the day before service and re-heating in a low temperature oven.

*Some recipes cook the rice in with the pork and veg mix.  However whenever I do this it turns out greasy.  Y’all have any tips for me?!