It’s June 1, and the New Orleans Eat Local Challenge is underway! Even if you don’t officially join the challenge, I advise everyone to try to seek out more local products this month, to get to know better the options we’re so very fortunate to have living here in New Orleans. The Eat Local Challenge is to eat food produced within 200 miles of the city, so we pretty much have our pick of all the wonderful things we’d want to eat anyway–seafood, meat of all kinds, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, rice…. The main thing to remember when you’re aspiring to eat more locally is that it’s not about limiting your diet to local foods, it’s about educating yourself to understand the wealth of local foods that are all around us. And leniency is permitted–you’ll see me using olive oil, spices, and a few other things that certainly aren’t produced within 200 miles.
I’ll be bringing you a breakfast and a lunch recipe each Saturday throughout the month of June to help get the ideas flowing for using the local products you’ve been accumulating. Personally, I’ve been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my breakfasts, especially leafy greens. I picked up a gorgeous bunch of kale at the Thursday Mid-City market and knew it would add a welcome bitterness to a popcorn rice riz jaune I’d planned to make. This is a new favorite dish at our house! The popcorn rice, from Cajun Grain (purchased at Hollygrove Market), is slightly sweet, and smells just like popcorn when it’s cooking. I also tried a new andouille, from Cleaver & Co. Their version is rustic and spicy; it doesn’t stay in neat slices like some mass-produced andouilles, so it’s perfect for a country-style dish such as riz jaune, where you kind of want little bits of andouille everywhere.
Riz jaune is sort of like a Cajun fried rice: you add beaten eggs to cold, cooked rice (leftover rice is great here), stir it up to make it yellow (jaune), and add in flavorful bits like andouille or tasso and any kind of seasoning vegetables you like. It’s a very versatile recipe, so feel free to substitue any ingredients you choose. You can top it with cheese at the end if you have it–I think Ryal’s goat feta would be extra-good here.
- 12 ounces andouille sausage, in ¾" dice
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- 3 cups shredded kale (no stems)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
- 3 cups cold cooked rice (any kind will work)
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large nonstick skillet, saute the andouille over medium high heat until brown. Remove from the skillet, draining off the fat; wipe out all but a very thin coating of fat from the skillet.
- In the fat left in the pan, saute the onion over medium-high heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the kale and saute until tender, about 4 more minutes. If your andouille is not very salty or spicy, this is a good time to season the vegetables with salt and pepper. I did not need to do this! Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
- Heat 3 tablespoons oil or butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add all the rice, stirring to coat the grains with oil. Stir for a few minutes to heat all the rice. Pour in the eggs and stir until the rice is yellow and you see no more runny egg.
- Add sausage and vegetables to the rice mixture, stirring well to incorporate everything. Season to taste with salt and pepper.