Chow Town

Try red beans and rice with grilled Andouille sausage for an August treat

Welcome to August’s high 90s and triple digits, making us feel like armadillos on a hot asphalt road.

Thank goodness for shade trees, air conditioning, outdoor cooking and potable water.

Cowtowners are cooking outdoors with fire and smoke regardless of the heat, unless there’s a burn ban.

Break from your ribs, pulled pork, burgers or steaks routine and try some red beans and rice with grilled Andouille sausage.

You can also treat yourself in air conditioned comfort to red beans and rice at BB’s Lawnside, Oklahoma Joe’s or Applewood BBQ’s red beans with bbq rice and smoked Andouille Sausage.

It’s a New Orleans tradition to eat “red and white” on Mondays for good luck. It’s so good you feel lucky with each bite.

Here’s one of my homestyle versions. As always, adjust the seasonings to what pleases your palate.

King Silky’s Big Easy Red White with Grilled Andouille Sausage

This recipe honors a dear longtime barbecue friend, Silky Sullivan of Memphis, who passed away at age 71 last May. Silky, larger-than-life proprietor of the famous Silky O’Sullivan’s on Beale Street, “Where every day is like St. Patrick’s Day,” was a Louisiana State University graduate. He felt a special love for New Orleans, where he engaged in many celebrations, including presiding as King Pontchartrain this year at Mardi Gras. As Silky’s wife, Joellyn, said, “Silky lived a full life with loads of friends. There’s a party in heaven with some fabulous dancing going on right now.” Dr. Bones (what Silky called me) agrees and adds, “Rest in peace and party on, dear friend.”

Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 medium size sweet onion, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon gumbo filé 1 tablespoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, made from scratch or your favorite brand 7 cups chicken stock 4 15.5-ounce cans red beans, rinsed and drained (wait for cooler weather to cook dry beans from scratch) 1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce 1 pound Andouille Sausage (Werner’s in Mission, Krizman’s in Kansas City, Kan., Johnsonville, Bruce Aidell’s, or your favorite local or national brand), grilled and sliced into 1-inch pieces 6 to 8 cups cooked long grain white or brown rice, warm

For the garnish:

4 scallions, chopped 6 strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Saute the onion, celery and garlic in olive oil in your bean pot. Add salt, pepper, gumbo filé and Cajun or Creole seasonings. Stir to mix them together. Add chicken stock and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes while you grill the sausage.

To serve, top warm rice with scoops of beans and bean liquor; garnish with chopped scallions and bacon crumbles. Add sausage and greens on the side. Pairs well with a frosty Louisiana beer such as Abita. Get lucky!

Ardie Davis is an iconic figure in the barbecue community. He founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS’s Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on numerous food shows and writes for a variety of barbecue-related publications. He is also the author of a number of barbecue books, his most recent release “America’s Best BBQ Homestyle: What Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards.”