Tag Archives: Cajun/Creole

Freeform Crawfish Ravioli

Freeform Crawfish Ravioli

OMG, you guys. We are ending Pasta with Seafood week on a hugely delicious note. Wow, was this ever so, so good. Utterly amazing and flavorful. Living where I do, I don’t find crawfish in the fish section of my grocery store very often, and though I can hunt it down, due to convenience’s sake, I don’t do so all that often. And thus, I sometimes can forget how much I adore crawfish. They’re so yummy! But, small shrimp can be subbed in with no problems.

Freeform Crawfish Ravioli

As per usual, here’s our recap from the week!

We began with a decadent Crab Macaroni and Cheese. So delicious and the leftovers only get better.

crab macaroni and cheese

 

 

 

 

 

Secondly, we went all Asian and healthy with Soy-Ginger Salmon over Asian Veggie Noodles. The whole thing was so flavorful and so easy to pull together on a busy weeknight.

Soy salmon over Asian veggie noodles

 

 

 

 

 

And then yesterday I showed you an alternate pasta carbonara, where we used anchovies instead of the bacon/pancetta. It was super tasty, and quite perfect for a romantic date night!

Anchovy Pasta Carbonara

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s a recipe round-up of seafood pasta dishes from the food blogosphere. Enjoy!

Decadent Crawfish Mac and Cheese from Call Me PMC
Lemon-Ricotta Pasta with Seared Scallops from Crumb Blog
Linguine with White Clam Sauce from The Texan New Yorker
Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce from See Aimee Cook
Shrimp with Lemon and Garlic Sauce over Pappardelle Pasta from Melangery
Squid Ink Fettuccine with Shrimp and Chorizo from The Texan New Yorker

Freeform crawfish ravioli

{One year ago: Cuban Black Bean Soup}

Source: adapted from The Mr. B’s Bistro Cookbook

Ingredients:
8 lasagna sheets
2 tbs plus 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a large)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 lb. cooked, shelled crawfish tails
1 1/2 tsp Creole seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed chili flakes, or more to taste
2 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
Snipped chives or scallion greens

Directions:
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then salt it generously. Add lasagna sheets one at a time, so they don’t stick together, and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Remove with tongs and transfer to a cutting board. Cut each in half crosswise.
While the pasta is cooking, preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the 2 tbs butter. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until cooked and softened. Now add the crawfish, Creole seasoning, and chili flakes. Saute about 5 minutes, until the crawfish is heated through. Add the tomatoes and saute until few minutes until the tomatoes are soft and starting to break down.
Cube the remaining 1 1/2 stick of cold butter. Add the butter cubes to the crawfish, a few at a time, stirring constantly, letting them melt before adding the next batch of cubes. When all the butter has melted, shut off the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, place a scant amount of sauce in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Add a pasta sheet, then a good spoonful of sauce, then another pasta sheet, and more sauce. Garnish with scallions or chives and serve immediately.

Homemade Cajun Seasoning

Homemade Cajun Seasoning

So yesterday was fairly eventful! The Super Bowl. Of course. But also making headlines was actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic and untimely death. Such a fine actor, I always enjoyed his movies. Though he only had a supporting role in it, I think Almost Famous is my favorite movie of his. His excellent work will be missed. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.

homemade Cajun seasoning

So my theme this week is Homemade Spice Rubs! I’m sharing recipes for making your own so you can avoid buying those awful seasoning packets that are mostly sodium, and not spend extra money on the jarred spice blends. It’s so easy to make your own if you keep a well-stocked spice pantry. And of course the homemade versions are way more flavorful, and no MSG, ever!

I’ll start with Cajun seasoning. Of course any grocery store will sell a jar of this, but I’ve found all of them to be way too salty and not particularly well balanced. Time to make my own, and it was definitely easy enough.

Cajun Seasoning

So, what a boring game last night! Well, I’m sure it was great for all the Seahawk fans. But the commercials suddenly became way more interesting, right? I thought I would share the best #SuperBowl tweets I saw last night, just for a laugh. Oh, and was it just me, or did anyone else mishear the voiceover who introduced the half-time show say, “Get HIGH for the halftime show!”, instead of “Get HYPED for the halftime show!”? I seriously thought that’s what they said for a split second, and I was thinking “well, if the halftime show is going to be anything like it’s been in years past, that might not be a terrible idea…” But anyways, enjoy the tweets! And feel free to add any that you saw.

Eli Manning’s playing a better game just by watching. #SuperBowl from @RadioJJ

“It’s not about scoring, it’s about going out there and having fun.” The Denver Broncos #SuperBowl from @TheStateFarmGuy

Karl Rove asked Megyn Kelly to go down the hall and check with Fox Sports because his numbers show Denver winning the Super Bowl. from @TeaPartyCat

Weed is legal. So they still have that going for them. Which is nice. #Broncos #SuperBowl from @Do512

Do Super Bowls have mercy rules? You know, like in 8th grade girls’ soccer? from @meganromer

I haven’t seen a choke this bad since Mama Cass said “hmmm the ham sandwich looks good. Send one up.” from @BrigadierSlog

The #Broncos need to let some Doberhuahuas out on the field. #LovedtheAudiCommercial #SuperBowl from @TamraWard1

The rugby team from Alive had a more enjoyable flight home than the Broncos are going to have. from @JimNorton

See you Wednesday with more spice rubs you can easily make yourself!

Cajun seasoning

{One year ago: Black Pepper Bacon Waffles}

Source: Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen

Ingredients:
¼ cup kosher salt
2 tbs sweet paprika
1 tbs ground black pepper
½ tbs cayenne pepper
½ tbs dried thyme
½ tbs onion powder
½ tbs garlic powder
½ tbs gumbo file powder (optional)
1 tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp ground bay leaf

Directions:
Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. Make sure you work out any lumps so the mixture is uniform. Transfer to a spice jar and store in a dark, cool place. Makes half a cup.

A Guest Post – Creole Meatball Po’Boys

Creole Meatball Po'Boys

Hey y’all! Today I am thrilled to be guest posting for my fellow food blogger Shaina, who writes the fantastic Take a Bite Out of Boca! I met her through #SundaySupper. She’s a great gal who loves to cook, eat, and dine out in her hometown. This week she’s attending a conference in the greatest food city ever,  New Orleans! She’s having a blast and eating *quite* well, I feel sure.

Creole meatballs

In choosing what to make for her blog today, I just had to do something NOLA inspired. Of course. And since it just doesn’t get more New Orleans than po’boys, that’s what we’ll be having. These meatball po’boys are so delicious. Decidedly Creole but not too spicy, moist and tender, flavorful, messy, and just all around amazing.

Click over to Shaina’s blog for the recipe!

Creole meatball po'boys

Green Gumbo

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I made this meal a few weeks ago whilst still on my I’ve-just-come-back-from-New-Orleans high, and am just now able to share it with you. Gumbo is of course a NOLA classic, but it usually contains either chicken or seafood. Although many people ardently take sides on which version of gumbo is better, I stay neutral in that debate, for I love them both. So I figured that if I love the Cajun (chicken) and the Creole (seafood) versions pretty equally, then it stands that I would probably love a meat free version too.

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I was correct. This may not be completely traditional, and I will freely admit that I never saw a green version of gumbo on any restaurant menus when I was down there, it’s still quite tasty with huge flavor. It’s still unmistakably gumbo, but with the calorie count lowered and the nutrient density much higher thanks to the dark greens. We both loved it. And the leftovers only get better.

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I found this recipe in a Rachael Ray cookbook where it was touted as one of her 30 Minute Meals. And I’m sorry, but no, Rachael, you cannot make gumbo in thirty minutes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for recipes that come together quickly, (we all need those at times) and I’ll freely admit her 30 Minute Meals concept that launched her career into the stratosphere was pretty darn genius. But the idea of making proper gumbo in thirty minutes or less is really kind of offensive. You can’t do it. Gumbo needn’t take all day, but it does take longer than half an hour, otherwise your roux isn’t executed correctly and the flavor is off. So I heavily adapted her recipe to account for a proper roux, which yielded a delicious tasting gumbo.

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And now I will answer the million dollar question people ask all the time: how long does it take to make a roux? Well, the answer varies depending on who you ask and the type of gumbo you’re making. It is generally understood that Cajun gumbo needs a darker roux than Creole gumbo. Some cooks advocate taking up to an hour to make a proper Cajun roux. But a general rule of thumb that I like to follow is that roux takes about a beer.

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So crack open a cold beer, sprinkle in your flour, and start stirring and drinking (but not guzzling). When you’ve finished your beer, your roux should be done. It’s a good rule. I followed it for this gumbo, and the flavor was great. Enjoy!

Source: heavily adapted from 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 fresh bay leaf
1 (12 oz.) bottle pale beer
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbs hot sauce (I used Texas Pete’s)
1-2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 bundles of dark greens (I used dandelion greens), stemmed and chopped
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 scallions, chopped
Cooked white rice, for serving

Directions:
First you make the roux. Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Melt the butter. When it is completely melted, sprinkle in the flour. Using a wooden spoon, start stirring. Keep stirring until your roux resembles the color of peanut butter. This will take a good 15 to 20 minutes. If it starts to smoke, lower the heat. Do not walk away or stop stirring. If it burns, you must start over, because that burnt taste will end up in the gumbo and make it taste yucky.
Once your roux is done, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Saute until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and add the bay leaf. Now add the beer and stir to thicken a little. Add the stock, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, and greens. Season the greens with the nutmeg then stir them into the gumbo.
Bring to a quick boil, then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.
To serve, ladle some gumbo into a bowl, then use an ice cream scoop to serve some rice on top. Garnish with scallions and serve hot with extra hot sauce at the table.

Meatless Muffulettas

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Well, it seems that Mother Nature did get my memo that it is now officially spring! The weather has warmed up a little, and we’ve had a slew of gorgeous days. Today is chilly but breezy and beautiful blue skies all around. Hooray! Thank you Mother Nature!

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I think one of the reasons I love spring so much (aside from obvious reasons we all share) is that I met my husband during the spring. It was March, 2003, and I still lived in Texas, where the month of March is just beyond gorgeous and so, so pleasant. So now spring gives me a warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feeling, kind of like when you hear a certain song that reminds you of a past great memory. The song comes on, and unexpectedly you’re transported to reliving that time or specific memory. Well, gorgeous spring days remind me of meeting Matt.

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As I’ve mentioned before, we met in most random fashion, on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. And no, neither of us lived in New Orleans at the time. I won’t say it was love at first sight (not sure I believe in such a concept), but there was an immediate connection and attraction, the likes of which I’d never before experienced. We spent two evenings together, then my friend exchanged our phone numbers and email addresses for us. Upon leaving New Orleans, I was sure I’d never hear from him ever again. I mean, he lived 2,000 miles away from me. It made me kind of sad,  but I figured best to just accept it and move on.

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When I got home, I sent him a brief email, thinking that endeavor would turn out to be little more than 15 minutes I’d never get back, but I was wrong. He phoned me a few days later, and we spent about an hour talking. A few days later he emailed me, so I wrote back. A few days after that he called me, and before I knew it we were corresponding daily by email and weekly by phone.

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A couple months later, he uttered six of the sweetest words ever: “I want to see you again.” So we met up in New York, each of us having absolutely no clue we’d be living there together someday. Perhaps it was a sign…

And the rest, as they say, is history! The following spring we got engaged, and thirteen months later we married. The entire thing was completely unexpected and really turned my world upside down. To say I went on a road trip to New Orleans in spring of 2003 with one of my girl friends not really expecting to meet the love of my life is a gargantuan understatement. But that’s exactly what happened, and ten years later, I couldn’t be happier about it!

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I made this wonderful NOLA classic sandwich shortly after returning from our anniversary trip. Of course, traditional muffulettas are packed with deli meats; but I decided to make a vegetarian version. Matt and I are eating less meat these days, so this fit our lifestyle a little better. And it is still delicious! Matt gave it the highest compliment when he took a bite and said, “Wow. I almost don’t miss the meat at all!” Which, trust me, coming from him is very high praise…

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Source: adapted from Cook Without a Book: Meatless Meals by Pam Anderson

Ingredients:
2 medium garlic cloves
¼ cup drained capers
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 cup drained pimiento-stuffed green olives
2 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tsp dried oregano
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped celery hearts
4 soft Kaiser rolls, split and hollowed out in the center
4 deli thin slices Monterey jack cheese
4 deli thin slices provolone cheese
4 deli thin slices Swiss cheese
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
¾ cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, halved

Directions:
First, make the olive spread. Mince the garlic cloves in a food processor. Add the capers and pulse to chop. Add the olives, vinegar, and oregano. Pulse to chop again. Add the olive oil and celery and pulse again to mix everything together. You want it to have the texture of a slightly chunky paste. Set aside.
Make the sandwiches by spreading 2 tablespoons of the olive spread on each half of each roll. Divide the cheese evenly among the sandwiches. On top of the cheeses, arrange a portion of the artichokes and tomatoes. Top with the roll tops, cut in half and serve. This makes 4 large sandwiches.

Cajun Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Tartar Sauce

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Quite early into our dating relationship, Matt and I discovered that we are both cat people, so when things turned serious, it pretty much went without saying that we would be adopting cats at the first opportunity. That opportunity came shortly after we got married. One weekend we ventured to a wonderful no-kill shelter and brought home two six-month-old male tuxedo kitties. At this point I should tell you that I have an undergrad in biology and Matt is a chemist for a pharmaceutical company. So we named our cats after the scientists who discovered DNA: Watson and Crick.

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This is Watson

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This is Crick

A year and a half later, we got their crystallographer, Rosalind Franklin.

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This is Rosalind

At first we said we would be good cat parents and not feed them any people food. This rule lasted  a few months, until I accidentally dropped a piece of raw chicken on the kitchen floor, one of the cats immediately snapped it up, and from that point on, it was all over. The begging in earnest began, any time either of us is in the kitchen.

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We’ve been rather indulgent over the years; as a result, Watson and Crick have developed quite sophisticated and frankly, quite snooty, palates. (Rosalind is one of those odd cats who doesn’t care for people food). But the boys have literally gotten to where they will only eat squid, lobster, crab, and imported cured pork products. They turn their nose up at everything else. I wish I was kidding.

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They really love their crabmeat, and they get very loud and demanding excited when I make crab cakes, because it means that after I sift the meat for cartilage, they get to eat the scraps and flecks of meat left on the plate. And they lick it clean. As in, literally licking-the-plate-across-the-floor clean, which is why I had to switch to a plastic plate for sifting the crabmeat. Ceramic plates make a horrid screeching sound when being pushed across a tiled floor. *shudder*

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So I guess you could say my entire family enjoyed this meal! I made these last week while still on my New Orleans vacation high, thus why they are Cajun. 🙂 We did love them. Despite being Cajun, they are not too spicy, although the jalapeno tartar sauce made up for it aplenty. Omit the chiles if you want it milder.

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Source: adapted from Mr. B’s Bistro Cookbook

Ingredients:
JALAPENO TARTAR SAUCE:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup diced dill pickles
2 tbs capers, plus 3/4 tsp of their juice
2 tbs diced poblano chile
2 tbs diced red onion
1 tbs diced jalapeno, with seeds
1 tbs sweet pickle relish
1 tbs hot sauce
1 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste

CRAB CAKES:
1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 medium red bell pepper, diced fine
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3 scallions, sliced thin
Juice of 1/4 a lemon
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbs unsalted butter

Directions:
JALAPENO TARTAR SAUCE:
In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, until needed. This will make about 2 cups as written.

CRAB CAKES:
In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat, bell pepper, mayonnaise, panko, scallions, lemon juice, hot sauce, and Creole seasoning, being careful not to break up the crabmeat too much. Using a round biscuit cutter that is 2 1/2 inches in diameter, fill the cutter with the crab mixture and form into 8 cakes. Place the cakes on plates and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour to help set.
Combine the flour, salt and black pepper on a plate. Lightly dust both sides of the cakes in the seasoned flour. Gently tap off the excess.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tbs butter over medium to medium-high heat. When the skillet is nice and hot, add 4 crab cakes and cook about 2 minutes each side, until evenly browned and crisped on the bottom. Adjust the heat as necessary – you don’t want them burned, but you do want a golden brown crust. Remove the first batch of cakes to a plate and repeat with the remaining 4 cakes.
Serve 2 cakes per person with the tartar sauce on the side.

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp

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After having had such a fun and delicious time in NOLA with Matt last week, I kind of want to keep the good times rolling at home, at least in the kitchen. So I’ve been doing a bit of Cajun/Creole cookin’ this week!

I began with a classic that I’ve never actually sampled on its home turf, New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp. Actually, I wasn’t even sure what this dish was until I made it last weekend. I saw it on tons of menus in New Orleans, but I assumed, incorrectly, that it was either grilled shrimp, or maybe shrimp tossed or basted with barbecue sauce. Truthfully, it sounded a tad boring.

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Well, I was wrong on all counts. I’m not sure why it’s called barbecued shrimp because the grill is not involved. Instead, it’s shrimp tossed in a buttery, tangy sauce and usually eaten peel-n-eat style with plenty of soft French bread for mopping. It’s hardly dull, and pleasantly messy.

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I should warn you, this sauce calls for an absolutely OBSCENE amount of butter. I swear my cholesterol rose five points just by reading the recipe. And don’t kid yourself into thinking that some sauce will remain in your bowl; you will mop up every, single last little drop with your bread, because it’s so unbelievably yummy.

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Okay, here goes – the recipe calls for … three STICKS of butter. For two servings. Yeah… I actually wish I had stopped with two sticks though, and that’s what I would recommend. My sauce started breaking on me a little after I started in on the third stick, and two sticks is still plenty rich and decadent. Unless you’re Paula Deen, I doubt you would notice the difference. So that’s what I’ll recommend.

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I made one other change – I decided to make this dish with peeled shrimp, so it wasn’t really a peel-n-eat meal. But still quite tasty and I think it worked. I hope all you shrimp-lovers will make this one soon, it’s freakin’ awesome! Crack some cold Louisiana beers, grab a very tall stack of napkins, put on some jazz, and have yourself a wonderful evening – Cajun style!

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Source: adapted from Mr. B’s Bistro Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 ½ lbs. large or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 tsp Creole seasoning
1 tsp minced garlic
2-3 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cubed
French bread or a French baguette

Directions:
In a large skillet combine the shrimp, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, Creole seasoning, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until shrimp are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove the shrimp to a plate with a slotted spoon. Take care to leave all the sauce in the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium and stir in butter, a few cubes at a time, stirring constantly and adding more butter only when the previous batch has completely melted. When the butter is added, remove the skillet from the heat. Place shrimp in bowls and pour the sauce over top. Serve with the bread for dipping and mopping.

Red Beans and Rice

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Earlier this week, Matt and I took a romantic getaway to New Orleans. We were there for four glorious days, enjoying sixty-degree temperatures, beautiful architecture, drunk college students, art galleries, and some of the most scrumptious and amazing food you can find anywhere. I do seriously believe that New Orleans boasts possibly the best food in the United States.

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This was an anniversary trip for us. Not our wedding anniversary, but the anniversary of meeting each other. We met on March 12, 2003, at the Tropical Isle, on Bourbon Street, in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s a long story. 😉 So for our ten-year anniversary, of course we had to return to the scene of the crime.

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NOLA is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite places to visit. I first went there with my family as a kid. It was a brief stop on a road trip returning from Orlando, and even then I thought it was a neat place. I visited several times during my twenties and twice now in my thirties. And isn’t it funny, I find that in my twenties, the trip held much more emphasis on drinking than eating, whereas in my thirties, I am much more interested in eating than drinking. I guess I’ve just matured. Or something…

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Anyways, there was much deliciousness enjoyed on this trip. I had shrimp and grits at Mr. B’s Bistro (part of the Brennan’s family of restaurants); fried green tomatoes (twice!), pralines, praline cheesecake (oh my), alligator sausage at the French Market, turtle soup (the best thing ever – try it if you have never done so), crawfish etouffee, gumbo, the BEST buttermilk pancakes of my life – seriously!, bread pudding, two po’boys, and fried cheesecake. Yes, fried cheesecake. Uh huh.

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I also tried hog’s head cheese for the first time (interesting…) and of course I was the typical wife who kept sneaking her fork onto her husband’s plate! So I also had some fried chicken, the best jambalaya I’ve ever tasted, a bite of muffalletta, some biscuits and gravy, and crawfish cake eggs benedict.

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And I can’t forget, we also dined at Emeril’s New Orleans, which was truly a fantastic meal. At Emeril’s I had a life-changing appetizer of buffalo duck wings. Oh lerd… there are no words. I then ate a delicious salmon dish and some whiskey pecan cake for dessert. Also, I had a few bites of Matt’s decadent chocolate peanut butter pie.

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Oh New Orleans….. such a foodie paradise. Ironically, I did not have the NOLA classic I’m blogging today, probably because I had made and eaten it a couple weeks prior. But I could have. I saw it on many menus down there. And it’s delicious. So make it soon and enjoy!

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Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, January & February 2010

Ingredients:
Kosher salt
1 lb. dried kidney beans, rinsed and picked over for rocks
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 bell pepper of any color, seeded and chopped fine
1 celery rib, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Fresh cracked black pepper
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
6 cups water
8 oz. andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and chopped into a 1/4-inch dice
1 tsp red wine vinegar
3 scallions, sliced thin
Hot sauce, for serving
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 tbs unsalted butter
3 cups water
1 tsp kosher salt

Directions:
Dissolve 3 tbs salt in 4 quarts cold water in a large mixing bowl. Add beans and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
Place the bacon in a large Dutch oven and heat to medium. Stirring often, cook the bacon until crisped and the fat has rendered, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. To the drippings, add the onion, pepper, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, paprika, bay leaves, cayenne, and some black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the beans, stock, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and keep at a good simmer until the beans are just soft and liquid begins to thicken, 45 to 60 minutes.
Stir in the sausage and red wine vinegar. Cook until liquid is thick and beans are fully tender and creamy, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and additional red wine vinegar, if needed.
Meanwhile, make the rice.
Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice and stir to toast and coat with the butter. Add the water and salt, and raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Steam for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork when done.
Serve the beans over the rice, sprinkle with the scallions and put on a few dashes of hot sauce, if desired.