Chili is a hands-down favorite for football-watching, tailgating, block parties, family get-togethers, and potlucks — and it’s one-pot comfort food that feeds a hungry crowd.
But chili is also the absolute perfect topping for so many other favorite foods. Add chili to nachos? Check. Chili-stuffed baked potatoes? Yum. On top of spaghetti and hot dogs? Yes, please.
Hearty chili, chock-full of healthy bean protein and fiber, adds so much flavor, texture and wholesomeness to foods that need a little dressing up. So make a big batch of one of these favorite chili recipes (or heat up leftover chili), and serve it on top of a base that could use some extra oomph. Or better yet, let friends and family pile it on, along with other toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onion and more. Adding chili to any of these favorite dishes will bring new life and big flavor to old stand-bys.
Top layers of tortilla chips with Beef & Black Bean Chili and plenty of shredded cheese. Stick ’em under the broiler, and when the cheese is all melted and gooey, sprinkle generously with grape tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, and diced avocado. Add a few generous dollops of sour cream so that nachos can be pulled apart and dipped in for extra creamy flavor. It’s the chili that really takes these nachos over the top.
Chili-Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Whether you prefer russett or sweet potatoes, bake up a batch of big, fluffy potatoes and set up a baked-potato bar. Make 3-Bean Vegetarian Chili in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, and fill bowls with additional toppings like shredded cheese, green onions and crumbled bacon. Then let everyone get busy toppin’ their own tator. A great way to do gameday!
Cincinatti-Style Chili is a delicious, authentic Midwestern dish — and with our Southern roots, it’s one we appreciate from afar. It’s traditionally served over pasta and topped with chopped onions, shredded Cheddar cheese, refried beans or kidney beans, and crushed oyster crackers. In homage to the idea of Cincinatti-Style Chili, try topping cooked spaghetti with Slow Cooker Hearty Bean, Beef & Sausage Chili, and add cheese, onions and the ever-popular Southern cracker — saltines of course, crushed. Sounds yummy to us.
This one is pretty straightforward, but if you’ve got kids or need to serve a kid-friendly spread, chili dogs are tough to beat. Make a huge pot of chili for the adults, heat some hot dogs and buns for the kiddos, and serve the two together! Set up your favorite toppings alongside the dogs and the chili, and let ’em go to town. Nothing’s as classic or as finger-lickin’ good.
Early May marks the official start of shrimp season in Louisiana. This means weekend one-pot shrimp boils and indulging in the fresh seafood that graces the Gulf. Beans and shrimp have long made the perfect combo, and in the South that means we lay on the creole flavor. We’ve compiled our favorite recipes to kick off the shrimp season right.
Creole “red” jambalaya often differs from the Cajun version in that it’s more likely to include shrimp. Loaded with flavor, this version of jambalaya is simple, satisfying and cooks all in one-pot…plus our Jambalaya dinner mix makes it even easier.
Use make-ahead black beans, or Instant Pot Black Beans and prep your ingredients ahead of time for a one-pot easy weeknight meal. The combination of shrimp, lime juice, cilantro, and green onions pairs perfectly with black beans and Jasmine rice, and this dish works well served hot or at room-temperature.
Camellia Brand is excited to announce Louisiana native Ryan Shepherd as executive chef. “We could not be more thrilled to have the incredibly talented Chef Ryan Shepherd join the L.H. Hayward & Company family as we look at the future of research and development for both Camellia Brand and Gulf Coast Blenders,” said Vince Hayward, L.H. Hayward & Company CEO and fourth-generation owner. “Having a chef on our team has always been a goal of ours, and now more than ever we are able to not only provide the highest quality products to our consumers, but also complement those products with countless delicious recipes for all to enjoy.”
About Chef Ryan Shepherd
Chef Ryan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. He brings over 16 years of professional culinary arts experience to L.H. Hayward & Company. Most notably, he was recruited by the legendary Chef Paul Prudhomme in 2012 for collaborative product development work at Magic Seasoning Blends Inc. There he led companies around the world in the development of category-leading food products and restaurant-quality flavors that today’s market demands.
“To be part of this company is such an honor and I’m so excited to hit the ground running,” said Executive Chef Ryan Shepherd. “Camellia is a brand that brings people together to gather around and enjoy a meal. This is one of my favorite aspects about cooking — bringing those of all backgrounds to the table to share a delicious, quality meal and spend time with each other.”
Chef Ryan brings vast industry experience from industrial food processing to retail and foodservice seasonings, batter mixes, breaders, dinner mixes and flavor systems that deliver the crucial consistency and quality that operators need to edge out their competition. He is excited to join the L.H. Hayward & Company team as they share his unwavering commitment to quality and consistency.
Camellia Brand beans, peas and lentils, is expanding the distribution of their best-selling, iconic Red Kidney Beans to Food Lion groceries.
New Bean Variety at Food Lion
The company’s non-GMO certified, 100 percent U.S.-farmed red beans will accompany a variety of other Camellia Brand beans, peas and lentils on Food Lion shelves in more than 1,000 Food Lion stores by the end of May.
“The addition of beloved Red Kidney Beans to Food Lion stores is part of Camellia’s ongoing effort to expand our versatile portfolio of products and bring quality goods to consumers across the United States,” said Vince Hayward, fourth-generation owner and CEO of Camellia Brand. “In New Orleans, we love our red beans, and we are thrilled to be able to supply a product rich in tradition, nutrition and value that appeal to chefs and home cooks alike.”
In addition to Camellia’s Pinto Beans, Large Lima Beans and Blackeye Peas, more than 1,000 Food Lion locations throughout the Southeastern United States will begin carrying the brand’s beloved Red Kidney Beans. Consumers in Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia will now be able to enjoy the bean the brand is best known for.
Premium Quality Beans
Established in New Orleans in 1923, Camellia distributes 19 varieties of premium dry beans, peas and lentils across much of the United States. In addition to Food Lion, other recent Camellia growth includes chainwide distribution at Tom Thumb, Albertsons, Winn-Dixie, and H-E-B. Walmart locations across the South, Piggly Wiggly stores in Alabama and independent grocers have also helped strengthen the brand’s reach.
The popularity of New Orleans’ iconic red beans and rice has made Camellia’s red kidney bean the top-selling red bean in the country. Camellia Brand’s beans, peas and lentils are cleaned six times and rank above USDA grade in quality and freshness, no soaking necessary. The family-owned company is dedicated to bringing people together through hearty, economical meals created with their premium products.
Place a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium. Add bacon and olive oil, and cook, stirring often, until fat drippings are rendered, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent but not too broken down, 3 to 5 minutes. Add bay leaf, paprika, and hot sauce.
Drain, rinse, and sort soaked red beans; add beans and ham hock to pot. Pour in chicken stock, covering beans. Increase heat to high, and bring mixture to a boil, skimming off and discarding foam from surface. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until beans are tender, 3 to 4 hours. Remove ham hock about the last hour of cooking, and cut meat from bone. Chop ham meat, and add to beans, stirring to further break beans apart. (Check beans periodically to ensure they aren’t boiling and sticking to the bottom of the pot.)
Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in salt, sugar, and, if desired, more hot sauce just before serving. Serve beans over Emily’s Rice. Garnish with scallions, if desired.
For Emily’s Rice: Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high. Add onion, butter, bay leaf, and salt, and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add rice, and stir well. Stir in chicken broth, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 15 minutes.
Remove pan from heat, and let stand 5 minutes covered. Fluff rice with a fork.
(Please note, depending on your shrimp sizes you may not need all of this seasoning.)
Instructions (for the beans):
For the Camellia Cannellini Beans: Slowly simmer onions, celery, garlic and bay leaves in canola oil over medium heat until the vegetables smell sweet and become translucent. Add the seasoning and continue cooking, stirring well, for another minute. Add the drained Camellia Cannellini beans and water stirring well. Add the water and turn the heat to high to bring the pot to a boil for 10 minutes. Drop the heat to bring the pot to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1-1.5 hours, or until the beans are tender.
Instructions (for the shrimp):
Mix all herbs and spices together in a small bowl, stirring to break up any clumps. Next, toss the shrimp with enough seasoning to cover generously. Heat a large enough sauté pan over high heat until piping hot. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Immediately add the seasoned shrimp and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and serve over a bowl of hot Camellia Cannellinis with your favorite garlic bread and garnishes of your choice.
For most people, the thought of planning, organizing and hosting a dinner party for dozens of people each week is enough to make them break out in a cold sweat. Between the grocery shopping (in bulk!), sending invitations, cooking the meal itself and—of course—kitchen cleanup, it’s a serious labor of love to invite others into your home to share a homemade meal.
“After I went to business school [at Tulane], I moved to Atlanta…but I really missed New Orleans. So, when I got back [to the city], I vowed to start a New Orleans tradition that was new to me: making red beans on Mondays. It was a way to invite people over and catch up with friends on a consistent basis,” explains Shaya. “It just became a tradition where I would send out an email and invite basically the same 10 or 12 people over every week. At first, I would get three or four people to come, because people didn’t want to leave their house on a Monday. But now each week, what we call “small beans” is around eight people, and then big [beans] means like, 26 people, show up.”
And Shaya’s version of Monday night red beans means that adding another seat at the table is never a problem: the more, the merrier.
“If we have a bunch of people in town, or lots of people have friends in town who are visiting, they are always welcome to bring friends and family. We’ve celebrated people’s birthdays and anniversaries—all that kind of stuff—at our beans.”
Go Big, Go Home (or Do Both!)
But this year, Shaya is scaling her batch of beans up—way up—by taking her version of the dish public as a competitor in the 2019 Bean Madness competition. A double-blind, single elimination, bracket-style event modeled after March Madness and organized by the Krewe of Red Beans, the tournament pits 32 restaurants and teams against each other in the “Road to the Final Fork.”
“I’m excited to have a lot of people— different people—taste them. I’ve done a few events. We did a fundraiser for the Crescent City Farmer’s Market, where we had about 100 people come and try the beans, and people liked them there. So, we’ll see how the City of New Orleans likes them.”
Shaya, who has already knocked out two competitors and advanced to the coveted “great (pl)eight” round, is one of the few home cooks going head-to-head with restaurants from across the city in Bean Madness this year. That means learning a lot of tricks, like large-scale batching, on the fly.
Shaya’s Secret? Bean-ing Together!
“This is my first red bean competition—or any kind of food competition! I’ve been working on my recipe, because it’s a large amount. It’s two gallons or three gallons per tasting, so I’m making sure I get my quantities right and things like that,” Shaya laughs. “For beans, I think that one thing you can slip up on is putting them in too large of a pot. I say, ‘They like to beantogether!’ And my husband [Chef Alon Shaya] always laughs at me, but when you cook them in a really large pot and there’s a lot of extra space, they don’t get as creamy for some reason. If it’s a smaller pot, they get creamier over time. I think it’s just because they bounce off of each other a lot more.”
And for anyone who talks to Shaya, it’s no surprise that she’s a fan of keeping things close together, whether it’s the beans in her pot or the friends and family around her red beans table on Monday night.
“I think the red beans tradition in New Orleans is really amazing because people who live here grew up eating beans at least once a week—always on Mondays. In their school, they grew up doing it, and then I know a lot of my friends, in their work cafeterias, they have red beans every Monday. I don’t know if there’s any other place where people eat the same food, every week, in the same way.”
“I told y’all when we walked in today, we came here to win. And we came here, and we won!” Rene “Chef Reero” Guzman yelled to a crowd whooping and clapping in support as she hoisted the “golden bean” statue high. And while many people grow up knowing that they’re destined for the kitchen, this champion—who bested 57 different competitors in the 2018 March Madness-style bracket tournament to take home the coveted title of “Legume d’Or”—had a path towards red beans glory that differed from many of her fellow chefs.
Chef Reero’s Road to Red Beans Glory
Born in the Fischer Projects, Guzman moved to New Orleans East (where Ma Momma’s now proudly makes its home) at age 13. Her mother would make red beans several times a week while the children were in school, but was unable to help teach Guzman the way around the kitchen due to complications from disabilities. It was many years later that this fiery chef found that cooking came naturally to her.
“What I cook today is what we ate growing up,” Guzman told The New Orleans Advocate shortly after her big win last year. “Beans are cheap to make, and you can stretch them, so it was always on the menu at my momma’s house growing up. It’s a real passion; it’s something we do. I never went to a culinary arts school. It just shows that we’re gracious, that we cook with love, and when you cook with love you can taste it.”
Cooking with a Whole Lot of Love—and a Little Bit of Attitude
Opened in 2013, Ma Momma’s House has become a community favorite in New Orleans East, and a destination for those across the region looking for top quality Creole soul food. And while the waffles (which range in flavor from praline and cream to “bacon lovers”) and chicken draw crowds, for the past year, it’s been the title of “Bean Madness winner” that has packed the tables.
“We have Camellia Beans on deck—it’s poppin’!—and the [red] beans are good, y’all already know!” She told the crowd after her victory last April, wasting no time encouraging her giddy, bean-loving supporters to head to the restaurant.
And while Ma Momma’s House won’t be taking home the top prize again this year after falling to Francesca by Katie’s, there’s no doubt that Chef Reero will be serving up her award-winning, signature beans to hungry revelers in search of championship-level red beans.
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Rinse and sort beans.
Put the beans, ham bone, hog jowl, onion, garlic, dried red chili pepper and water in the Instant Pot. Stir. Twist to lock the lid, and turn the valve to sealing.
Use Manual mode to cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. When the timer beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes. Then, turn the valve to venting.
Remove lid. Salt and pepper to taste.
If after cooking, beans are soft but there’s too much liquid remaining, use Sauté mode and cook till thickened.
If beans are not soft enough after cooking, put the lid back on and make sure the release valve is set to “sealing.” Use Manual mode to cook at high pressure for another 5 to 10 minutes. The pot will quickly come back up to pressure because the contents are already hot.
Hog jowl comes from the cheek area of the hog and is usually found in the pork section of your grocery, next to the ham, or at a butcher shop. Although it tastes similar to bacon, it has a texture that remains firm during long cooking times. You can use it fresh, cured, or smoked to add richness and flavor to any pot of beans, peas, or greens.