Together with the oyster variety, rice dressing might be thought-about probably the most Louisiana of the various regionally flavored Thanksgiving dressings that dot America’s culinary panorama.
This yr, chef Isaac Toups helps all of us unlock its deeply savory secrets and techniques in time for the vacation.
So is rice dressing the identical factor as soiled rice?
“There is no distinction between soiled rice and rice dressing,” stated Toups, the Cajun-born namesake of Toups’ Meatery on North Carrollton Avenue and Toups South within the Southern Meals and Beverage Museum on Oretha Citadel Haley Boulevard.
Rice dressing was a part of his household’s Thanksgiving, rising up in Rayne, Toups stated, and there are as many variations as there are cooks. Most recipes embrace hen livers, typically pork liver, and sometimes floor beef. He has 5 liver dishes on the menus at his two eating places however there’s none in his soiled rice, simply properly-seared floor beef.
His model additionally features a roux, beer and flavorful inventory.
Rice dressing is a superb make-forward dish for the vacations, as the bottom of trinity-and-meat, properly seasoned and cooked down, could be frozen. When able to serve, it is reheated and folded along with cooked rice, scallion tops and slightly butter.
Toups is at residence speaking about his cooking. On Season thirteen of Prime Chef, he was voted “fan favourite” by viewers, and virtually gained all of it. Afterward, Bravo TV wasn’t able to let this daring character go: With Movie star Cruises, he filmed Isaac Takes On, an internet TV collection of chef cooking challenges.
Within the half-hour I used to be with Toups within the kitchen at Toups South, I discovered a number of tips and ideas, which he shares as naturally as respiration. For starters, he included a chopped jalapeno with the trinity, as I’ve seen different native cooks do.
Unannounced, it pays delicate taste dividends.
He makes use of tons of garlic within the dish, plus the white elements of a bunch of inexperienced onions. The onion tops are used to complete the dish.
Toups likes to get his roux darkish — “Hershey’s bar darkish,” he stated.
“To every chef his personal,” he stated.
Essential: “Brown your meat. Do not simply grey it. I would like you to sear it like a steak. That is the place the flavour is,” Toups stated. He used lean floor shoulder for the meat and, when he put it into the recent skillet, chopped it with an uncommon brief, flat spatula about eight inches vast.
“I used to be given this massive gnarly piece of kit and did not know what to do with it,” he stated, hacking on the meat to interrupt it up. “I assumed it was silly once I acquired it. Now I type of prefer it!”
To the recent roux, the chef provides the trinity however not the garlic.
“Garlic burns very simply,” he stated. The greens will “cool (the roux) down an excellent bit, will quiet it down. Now, we will add our garlic.”
I used to be stunned to see bay leaves within the pot of white rice ready to be folded in. Their presence is a Cajun factor, Toups confirmed.
“Add some salt, and an excellent heavy pinch of recent floor black pepper. Take note of all these phrases. There’s not one good trick (to cooking),…