Tag Archives: cayenne

The Cotton Boll Grill

Confident that my rheumatologist is nearing an explanation for my ailments, Heather and I decided to celebrate with lunch. Besides, I always get hungry when I have an appointment.

It’s been about a year since we visited The Cotton Boll Grill at 1624 Fairfield Ave. It’s not that we had a poor experience, we just aren’t in this part of town often and the restaurant closes at three.

As we sit down, the waitress comes by and asks, “Do you two know what–” Fried chicken! I never gave her a chance to get the words out. The waitress was taken aback and laughed. She returned shortly with the special of the day. Why can’t they sell fried chicken everyday?

I feel it is only fair to mention that this establishment has fallen to second place since I last visited. The current champion of fried chicken is Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Memphis, TN. Serious chicken. I wake up in a cold sweat like a panicked heroin addict in a shooting gallery and nothing but collapsed veins.

Gus’s satisfies an itch that you can’t scratch. Have your adenoids ever itched where you have to snarl your face and throat? Gus’s is more effective with their fried chicken. The Cotton Boll won’t soothe any itching adenoids, but it cures dry mouth and scurvy.

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I always have time for fried chicken.

That zing you taste is flavor, baby. It definitely has some cayenne to wake you up. You wanna know the Portuguese translation? FLAVOR. Actually, I think it’s cayenne, but I’m no linguist.

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See that orangish color under the skin? That’s flavor.

The potatoes were mediocre, but the pinto beans and blackeyed peas were delicious.  Besides, I don’t remember coming here for the mashed potatoes.  If I came for the potatoes, I would expect some top shelf spuds.

There aren’t many establishments in Shreveport that I would consider good eats.  I don’t normally get excited about food unless it’s exceptional.  This chicken is exceptional.

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My First Crack at Black Beans

I can’t say I’m a black bean aficionado as I rarely eat them, but I have been craving them lately. Actually, this isn’t my first attempt at black beans. In 2012, I made them in Haiti at Nehemiah Vision Ministries. I spent two weeks there preparing mostly comfort food for Americans on mission.

We are still working our debt snowball.  Dave Ramsey inspired us to eat lots of rice and beans.  And beans and rice.

This is the first time I have made black beans in my home. In my dutch oven. I love that pot. Anyway, I thought I’d start taking down the recipe before I forgot what I did.

Ingredients

1 pound black beans

1 link andouille sausage or smoked sausage

1 bag Pictsweet Seasoning Blend

4 minced garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground Hatch chile pepper

2 tablespoons chicken base

(Note: I just eyeballed the spices. As always, season to your own taste. Too bad I didn’t have any serranos or I would have minced a couple. Plus, I have to keep it mild enough for my kids’ wuss palates).

 

Method

Soak beans overnight.  Change water periodically.

Split andouille in half lengthwise, then split those two halves in half.  Chop the four lengths of sausage.

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Sausage always tastes better when it begins to get crusty.

Toss sausage into pot to brown.  I know you are going to think I’m some nut carrying on about the Maillard reaction.  I guess I am.

Time to add the seasoning blend.  Normally, I would chop onions, peppers, and celery myself, but when my joints are causing issues I try to stay off of my feet.  Pictsweet came to the rescue.  I almost forgot the garlic. Never forget the garlic.

Saute until onions are translucent.

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This picture came out lousy. My iPhone doesn’t like taking pictures as steam wafts. Actually, all of these photos look lousy. I need to get my guy to take some pics of this dish.

Drain and rinse beans.  Add to pot.  Be sure to add bay leaves, cayenne, black pepper, white pepper, paprika, chicken base and Hatch chile powder.  I order my chile powder from New Mexico.  If you want to rock the McCormick, be my guest.

Fill pot with water and simmer approximately 90 minutes while occasionally stirring.

Enjoy.

(I’m a self admitted hack, but I have not received any promotional consideration. If I ever become a professional hack where companies want me to shill their products, you’ll be the first to know).