You know a dish is ingrained in a culture when you ask how to make it any you get told that one — there is no recipe, you just inherently know how to do it and two — no not like that, move over let me show you.
Rice is easy to grow on the Echo Isles, and Trolls are known for their intense spices. When I approached my good friend Zan’juul and asked him how to make this, I had no idea it would be an ordeal. It turns out there are as many ways to make this as there are Troll tribes and my simply asking ‘how make the yum food’ was enough to spark a debate.
How do you know who to listen to? Whichever Troll looks most likely to eat you — that’s why you obey. I don’t make the rules.
I wasn’t entirely joking about the differentiation by the way. When I asked Zan, we were overheard by another troll, Kuhrohk. Both are druids of the Claw. Both are much bigger than me with far more impressive tusks (I keep hoping mine will come in, but alas. Still an elf). Both can reach impressive volume over what is proper and what isn’t. Both take their family recipe very seriously.
The deciding factor was that Zan’juul is half Amani, half Darkspear, while Kuhrohk is full Darkspear. That meant that Zan was able to tower over him and apparently the bigger and more threatening you can make yourself, the more right you are. So I’m going to discuss both ways — since it really is only one step difference — but I’m going to show you Zan’s way.
Cast of characters! First, you need a pound of red beans. I used light kidney beans. Let these soak overnight, they will double in size so plan accordingly with your container.
Then we have a large onion — I picked white because I wanted more heat. 2 stalks of celery, about a pound of sausage (I used a Darkspear andouille but you can use any other type to suite your taste. Just not maple breakfast sausage… That’d be… weird.). I show two bell peppers here, but I needed half of a bell pepper of either color for next week’s recipe, so I used half of a red and half of a green. Their flavor is the same, so just use one if you like. The colors won’t really show up in the finished product.
There’s also 2 cups uncooked rice, and the seasoning was about 3 cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp dried thyme (or 3 tsp/1 Tbsp of fresh which is what I used), 1/4 tsp dried sage (triple that if using fresh), a tablespoon of dried parsley, and a teaspoon of Darkspear (or Cajun) seasoning.
There’s also 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup flour. This is what makes Zan’s recipe different. He makes a sort of roux first. The difference is that it make it thicken up a lot faster, and it gave it a bit of a richer flavor to it. Do you need to this? Fel no, it works just as well without, but it might cook just a tad longer.
First, chop up your veggies really fine. The idea is that we want them to cook down into a flavorful nothing, this isn’t a recipe that we want to get mouthfuls of veggie with.
Do this for the bell pepper, the celery and the onion. So I also wanted to share something neat with you —
One of the bell pepper seeds had sprouted inside the fruit!!!
How weird is that?! I probably should have tried planting it…
Do the chopping first, because the roux needs to be babysat. Combine the oil and flour and mix it together. Then keep it moving until it starts to turn dark brown. I actually didn’t let mine go long enough because I was nervous and Zan kept saying “It’s fine it’s fine you’ll know” but it turns out — if this is something you’re unfamiliar with, then no, you won’t know, Zan.
So let it get a bit darker than this. But this was close enough that it didn’t spoil anything. After this step, nothing looks appealing anymore. But oh man the smell will drive you nuts.
Add the finely chopped veggies to the roux and mix it up. Once it’s started to cook, add the garlic for just under a minute.
Appetizing mush. Just stick with me, it’ll be worth it. Once everything is mixed up into the roux, add 6 cups of water. The water will interact with the oil/flour mix and start to thicken when you cook it. Add all the spices and the beans to the mix and bring it to a boil.
All that water is going to be GONE in just a short bit. Reduce the heat and simmer it for an hour. With the roux, it will be done before an hour and a half is up. Without it, you might need to go as long as 2.5 hours.
When it gets to this soupy point, you probably have another 20 minutes. Go ahead and prep your sausage by cutting it into bite sized chunks. I asked Zan how big I should make the chunks or if he had a specific style he liked, and he gave me a Look and said “No one gonna care how it’s cut. It’s just gonna go in yer mouth.”
So in that spirit, I just kinda hacked it up willy-nilly. It was kinda freeing,
Once the beans has gotten close to a pasty texture, fish out your bay leaves and toss them. Or leave them in there and tell people that if they find a leaf, it’s good luck. Whatever works.
I uh. Let my beans go a bit long and panicked so I just threw the sausage into it without a good picture. Mix it well, and let it heat through. Turn the heat down way low and cover it if it’s getting too thick at this point and get your white rice going.
If you haven’t steamed rice before, it’s easy. For 2 cups of rice, boil 4 cups of water. Stir in your rice, turn your heat to low and simmer for about 18 minutes until the water is absorbed. Try not to check on it until the 18 minute mark, you don’t want to let the heat out. Still covered, remove it from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. Bam, you have rice. Personally, I go through a lot of rice and a cheap 15 gold rice cooker has lasted me a long time and done me right.
Pile the rice on top and enjoy. This was the hardest recipe to make LOOK nice, but man. I had two trolls passed out in food coma for the rest of the evening after this. It also saves really well and it makes your entire house smell amazing. It’s definitely a keeper in my book.
Also Kuhrohk immediately mushed down my rice dome… I can’t decide if it looks better or worse.
- 1 lb dried red beans, soaked overnight
- 1 large onion, chopped fine
- 1 bell pepper, chopped fine
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried sage
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 lb sausage
- 1/4 cup oil (optional, for roux)
- 1/4 cup flour (optional, for roux)
- Steamed rice
- If making with a roux, combine oil and flour and heat on medium low heat until the mixture turns dark brown. Like a rich dark wood
- Add the vegetables and garlic and mix well.
- OR – if not using a roux, saute the veggies until onions are translucent, then add garlic.
- Add water, beans and spices to the pot and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer until thick and beans cooked all the way. Start checking for thickness at 1 hour with a roux and 2 hours without.
- Add the sliced sausage and heat through
- Serve with steamed rice.