This is a yummy dish with a bit of a kick due to the use of a chipotle pepper and a teaspoon or two of the accompanying adobo sauce. The recipe shown below is one I put together looking at a variety of related recipes for a few different beans and rice dishes.
I thank my daughter-in-law, Jane, who is a great cook, for her red beans and rice with chipotle pepper recipe, which I decided to extend, optionally, with an additional recipe shown below, for Mexican pulled/shredded pork, which can be mixed in with this recipe once completed.
I made this recipe today, mixed with the optional Mexican shredded pork, and I am reporting back with results ... Really good! In a word, authentic! For me the best part is that you can certainly tell the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce are present, but it is not a hotly seasoned dish. You can add hot sauce later if you prefer.
Ingredients: (four to five servings; more if the optional shredded pork is added)
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems pressed into the measuring cup and then chopped
Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a large heavy bottom saucepan or large heavy bottom deep skillet. When the temperature is about right you can smell the heated oil, but do not overheat the oil to the point that it is smoking.
Add the rice, the diced onion and the diced garlic.
Reduce the heat and saute on medium heat until the rice has an opaque color and the hot onion and garlic are fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, water, kidney beans, tomato paste, adobo sauce, diced chipotle pepper, cilantro and salt.
Mix well to combine all ingredients evenly.
Cover the saucepan/skillet, reduce the heat to very low, and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes, depending on the type of rice used (uncooked vs. parboiled, and white, brown or basmati, all of which will have different cooking times, so follow the directions for the type of rice you use). You will want to move the saucepan or skillet to a small burner while cooking the rice, to avoid having it cook too fast and stick to the bottom of the saucepan or skillet. You may also want to stir the mixture once or twice near the end of the cooking period to keep any rice from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan/skillet. This is important if you are using a gas cooktop.
At the end of the cooking period, stir the mixture with a large spoon and then keep the saucepan or skillet covered, with no heat, for five minutes. That will give the rice time to finish absorbing any remaining liquid.
Serve the dish in pre-heated individual serving bowls that you warmed in a 180 degrees F oven, along with side of tortilla chips and mild salsa and cold Corona® or Dos Equis® beer. A small lettuce and tomato salad with a mild creamy dressing, like Ranch Dressing, is a nice accompaniment.
Variation (con carne): (Addition of Mexican pulled/shredded pork)
Follow the recipe below and then add one or two pounds of the pulled/shredded pork to the red beans and rice and chipotle pepper saucepan or skillet referenced above, mixing well before serving. This dish has "zing" but it is not overly hot in terms of seasoning. You can, of course, add any sauce you want to please yourself.
Mexican Pulled Pork - ☺♥
I had some terrific tacos at a Mexican Grill restaurant recently. One of them contained shredded/pulled pork and it was fabulous. While I can't precisely identify all of the ingredients used in preparing that pork I am providing a general recipe for making it that turned out to be fine. You can experiment with various fresh ingredients and sauces later to make the taco of your choice if that idea appeals to you. Lots of people love shredded pork tacos. The purpose for presenting the recipe here is to use some (about half) of the shredded pork as an addition to the red beans and rice and chipotle pepper recipe shown above. I'm sure you will find a good use for the other half, or, you can halve the recipe shown below, or, you might double the above recipe for red beans and rice with chipotle pepper.
1, 4 to 5 lb pork butt
2, 32 oz. cartons of chicken broth
2, 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes or equivalent diced fresh tomatoes
4 whole jalapeno peppers, sliced (do not remove the seeds)
1 small can of diced green chiles
2 teaspoons of oregano (dry leaf, or, two Tbsp. of fresh oregano, pressed tightly into the measuring spoon)
Combine all the ingredients in a two gallon pot and simmer, covered, until fork tender. This can take from 3 to 4 hours. If the meat is not fully covered with liquid I recommend turning the meat over to expose the submerged part once every 30 minutes.
When the pork is tender (it falls apart if you stick a fork in it), remove the pot from the heat and remove the pork to a wood cutting board.
Shred (or "pull") the pork with two forks, discarding all fat, cartilage or bone. This turns out to be very easy. If not, then the pork was not cooked long enough.
Place the shredded pork in a storage container and add a pint or more of the broth and vegetables to keep it moist. Save some or all of the remaining broth in a separate container, because you may want to add some of it to the red beans and rice and chipotle pepper dish at serving time.
Refrigerate the shredded pork and the extra container of broth until they are needed.
Reheat the amount of pork needed either in a microwave oven or in a saucepan, using a little of the broth to keep it moist.
The pork can be used very nicely in tacos or as an ingredient in other Mexican dishes.
One example is to add half of the shredded pork from this recipe, heated, to the red rice and red beans with chipotle pepper recipe shown above, just before serving that dish. Yummy! You may want to add a pinch of salt. You may also want to add a small amount of the saved broth, heated, to create what for you is the perfect level of moisture in the final product, as served.
Directions: Mix the yeast in 1 1/3 cups warm water (110º F) to make a yeast starter. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Stir until mixed and keep the mixture warm. Hold for about five minutes.
Put the flour and salt into a four or six quart mixing bowl (I use a Kitchen-Aid® mixer with a dough hook). Add the cooking oil and start the mixer on low speed. Add the yeast starter. Mix at higher speed (medium) and stop after one minute to scrape down the bowl to assure proper mixing of ingredients. Repeat the mixing and stopping two more times, making sure the dough is not climbing up the dough hook. If it is, push it down and restart the mixer. Let the mixer run for about five more minutes until the dough is obviously well kneaded. Make a one gallon bowl warm by filling it with hot tap water. Drain the bowl, rub vegetable oil on the inside and put the dough into it. Roll the dough around to get oil all over the surface. Make a dishtowel (not terry) wet with very hot water and wring it out just enough so that it will not drip. Fold it in half and cover the bowl. Alternatively you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap that has been sprayed on the underside with Pam®. Place the covered bowl in the oven and set the oven temperature to 100º F. Let the dough rise for two hours. We have a “Proofing” cycle on our oven, so I am not totally certain about the operating temperature … only that it is neither hot nor cool, but uses a fan to circulate the air for even temperature everywhere in the oven. Now for the filling: Ingredients: 4 links of Italian sausage (sweet or hot, a bit less than a pound)
½ to ¾ cup of grated hard Provolone cheese (not the soft sandwich type)
6 oz. of whole milk mozzarella cheese
½ medium onion, chopped
12 oz. of canned sliced mushrooms (drained weight from two 8 oz. cans)
¼ cup of cornmeal Directions: Use four links of Italian sausage (four inches long by one inch or more in diameter) and remove the casing. Form a mixed ball of the sausage and then break off pieces about one tablespoon in size. Cook the sausage in a medium hot skillet turning frequently and chopping the pieces in half after they have browned on two sides. Mix them around in the skillet to assure browning (or at least cooking) on all surfaces. Place the cooked sausage on a paper towel, cover with a second paper towel and press to soak up as much grease as possible. I do the sausage in two batches and use a total of four paper towels. Note that the smaller pieces allow for better fat removal and they taste better in the final product because they have been browned on all surfaces before the calzones are baked.
Grate the hard provolone cheese until you have ½ cup to ¾ cup of grated cheese. Cut six ounces of mozzarella cheese into ½ by ½ by ¼ inch pieces. Drain about 12 ounces of canned mushrooms. You can use all the drained contents of two eight ounce cans. Chop about ½ medium onion into separated pieces about ½ inch by ½ inch, one layer thick. I also peeled and diced one small eggplant and salted it to remove moisture … I then put the pieces between two paper towels to remove all the excess moisture. The pieces will be about one half the size they were after dicing. Prepare the sauce by using 2/3 bottle of Classico® Marinara sauce with or without basil included in the sauce as purchased. Add ½ cup grated parmesan cheese. Add one tablespoon or more dried oregano or “pizza spices”. Add one teaspoon garlic powder. Add one teaspoon salt. Add ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside. Do not cook. Prepare one large baking tray by spraying it well with Pam® and shaking a generous amount of cornmeal evenly over the oil. Prepare the surface you will use to form the dough into six circles. We used a flexible whiteboard that Marie found that rolls up and that is about 24 inches by 30 inches when laid out flat. Spray Pam® on the whiteboard (or other) surface. When the dough has risen for two hours you will notice the towel (or plastic wrap) is raised in the middle. This is good for it means the dough has risen properly. If not, you have a problem with either dead yeast or a proofing oven that was either too hot or too cool. Do note that the dough can rise at a room temperature of 75º F or warmer but the rising process will take longer than rising it in a proofing oven. Preheat your oven to 400º F. My oven has a lower stone surface similar to what is used in commercial pizza ovens. You can create this environment with any type of large flat stones like the flagstone people use in walkways. It takes longer to preheat your oven but the food cooks perfectly. Spray your hands with Pam®. Remove the dough and tear off enough to make the first of six eight inch circles of dough for the calzones. How you manage to make the dough form the correct size circles and hold the size is your problem. The dough will tend to pull together after stretching so be prepared to stretch it two or three times to get it to relax at the right size. Ladle the sauce onto one side of the dough circle, avoiding the outer edge. Then add the sausage and cheeses evenly. Add the mushrooms and the onions. Add the eggplant if you are using it. Try to keep all the ingredients on one side of the dough without spilling over the edge. It is best to keep a ½ inch border without sauce or other ingredients so that you can pull and fold over the side of the circle that you did not cover with ingredients and achieve a seal in the dough … by pressing or pinching the edges together. Carefully transfer the calzones onto the baking sheet with a spatula. Spray them with Pam® and sprinkle on a generous amount of cornmeal on top. Bake them for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them rest for about five to ten minutes. Serve them and go wild with pleasure … well, okay, that is a bit of an overstatement. I am sure, however, that you and your guests will be quite pleased.