Mardi Gras on Mendenhall

I beg for forgiveness.

I keep asking myself and others what the difference between spring fever and seasonal depression is. I’m concerned that I may have one – or both. I found myself hopelessly reaching out for some sort of occasion to celebrate this weekend. Valentine’s Day was not a contender this year so I had to choose between Chinese New Year and Mardi Gras. I’m still trying to master stir fry so I opted for my Mom’s red beans and rice recipe which was more fitting for a cold (and bitter?) weekend. This recipe was also a good project for Saturday morning as Winston and I watching more snow fall on our already icy street.

Little did I know that my Mom’s recipe for red beans and rice comes from the September 1988 edition of Esquire Magazine. The article titled “Righteous Beans” by Nicholas Lemann is under the theme of “Man at His Best; A Gentleman’s Guide to Quality Style.” Lemann narrates the best steps in making New Orleans style red beans and rice. Hilariously, an article on cummerbunds follows his piece. I wondered why my mother was perusing Esquire Magazine in 1988 when she was probably at home raising me at the age of 6. Out of curiosity, I went to Esquire’s website to determine their content and readership and found only busty photos of Scarlett Johansson and tips on how to manscape eyebrows. Still, I wonder. Perhaps she picked it up at the dentist’s office?

I invited two of the most gentlemanlike friends I have over for a Mardi Gras dinner on Sunday night – my friends Ivan and Andrew. I changed the recipe a bit using ham hocks instead of a ham bone (I couldn’t find a ham bone in the TashmaTeeter) and used olive oil instead of bacon fat to saute my vegetables in. I’m guessing we are all probably still paying for their 1988 bacon fat recommendations in Lipitor tablets today. Depending on your cholesterol levels, please feel free to as much pork product as you’d like. In any case, this is a delicious and simple recipe. I highly recommend it for your Mardi Gras party this year!


They are good the second day solo too!

Mardi Gras Red Beans and Rice


  • olive oil
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-4 stalks celery
  • 1 pound red  beans
  • 2 ham hocks
  • 2-3 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large pinch cayenne pepper
  • andouille sausage
  • 1 splash vinegar
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)

Assembly: The night before, cover the dried beans with water (about 2 to three inches) and leave overnight. The next day, finely mince pepper, onion and celery in a food processor. Saute the vegetables in olive oil until translucent. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables are soft, add the beans (with water), ham hocks, thyme, and bay leaf. If the beans arent totally submerged in water, add more until covered. Bring to a boil, turn to low and cover to simmer for three hours. Stir occasionally to prevent from burning the bottom. After three hours, the beans should be tender. Taste for seasoning – add more salt, pepper and cayenne. Then add sausage and a splash of vinegar. Serve over white rice with Tabasco on the side.


  1. i think this is a new recipe focus – recipes from unusual/unexpected sources. i wonder what playboy is cooking up this month? 😉

  2. i should have known that the picture was going to get used. good thing it is kinda blurry. i forgive you, but now andrew – that’s a different story. (smile).

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