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Eggs Louis Armstrong

This recipe for Eggs Louis Armstrong is from Commander's Palace restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, in medium dice
1 1/2 medium bell peppers, in medium dice
15 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 stalks celery, in medium dice
1 1/2 jalapeño peppers, in small dice, stems and seeds removed
1/2 pound dried red beans
1 1/4 pounds ham or pickled pork, soaked in water overnight
to release excess salt
1 1/2 quarts plus 1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 large russet potato, unpeeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour, for dusting
8 poached eggs
3 green onions, thinly sliced (green portion only)
Hot sauce to taste

Directions:

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy pot over high heat until it starts to smoke, about 2 to 3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium. Add half the onion, bell peppers and garlic, and all of the celery and jalapeños, and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

While the vegetables are cooking, rinse the beans thoroughly, looking for any debris. Drain, and add them and the meat to the pot with the 1 1/2 quarts of water. Stir. Add the bay leaf and the whole potato and bring to a boil, skimming away any impurities that may rise to the top.

Reduce the heat, and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove and set aside the potato, and simmer the beans and meat for 1 to 1 1/4 hours more, until the beans are tender. Turn off the heat. Remove the meat, set it aside and let it cool. Cut the meat into small dice.

Peel the potato, and cut it into medium dice. Now make the hash cakes: In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter over high heat, until it starts to smoke, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining onions, peppers and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables start to cook and become tender.

While cooking, add the diced meat to the pan, and stir. Reduce the heat to medium, and sauté for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the diced potato, stir, and cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 1 cup of water, bring to a simmer, and cook 25 to 30 minutes more, stirring frequently. The mixture should become pasty, the meat will start to break up, and all the water will be absorbed. Remove from the heat and refrigerate.

Make the red bean sauce. With a hand blender or in a blender of food processor, purée half the beans to a sauce like consistency. Return to the pot and mix with the whole beans. Add salt and pepper if necessary.

Divide the chilled hash cake mixture into four even balls. Roll the balls on a floured sheet pan to fully coat each one, then slightly flatten each ball on the pan. If necessary, flip the cakes to coat again with flour.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a nonstick skillet or a well-seasoned pan over high heat, about 2 to 3 minutes. Be sure the butter coats the entire surface of the pan. Place the cakes in the pan, and sauté until they start to become brown and crisp, about 2 1/2 minutes; if they are cooking too quickly, reduce the heat. Turn the cakes over, and cook another 2 1/2 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the cakes are golden brown, crisp, and hot in the center.

Bring the red bean sauce to a boil, adding a bit of water if it’s too thick or boiling to reduce if it’s too thin.

To serve, spoon about 4 ounces of sauce on each of 4 warmed plates and place a cake on top. With your thumbs, make an indentation in each cake big enough for the eggs to stay in place. Place 2 poached eggs on each cake. Serve with green onions and hot sauce.

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