Happiness is a Full Belly: boudin

12 May

If you thought this was the type of blog to only direct you to fancy, high falutin’ type restaurants, think again. Austin Restaurant Week is over, but that doesn’t mean we are! Happiness is a Full Belly is the first in a series of regular entries about the tastiness to be found in our own kitchens. Entries might include a recipe, a dish at an office potluck or a surprise package of goodness found in the back of the freezer, behind an over-sized bag of green beans.

Yes, you read that correctly. Tonight, I happened upon some frozen boudin from Savoie, courtesy of our neighbor. For the nine months the Mister and I have lived here, he’s come to our door bearing food. Why? I’ve no clue, but who am I to refuse? So far nothing has poisoned us, nor has he asked us to become covert drug mules — so overall, I’m good with it.

What I ate:

photo courtesy of http://www.cajungrocer.com

Savoie’s Sausage and Foods Products has been around since 1949, when it was founded as a neighborhood store in Bayou Little Teche, in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. They offer a range of – what else? – food and sausage, including smoked sausage, andouille, tasso, boudin, roux and hogshead cheese. A little part of me wishes I was, in fact, Cajun, but I’ll save that for another post.

Let me get straight to the point; the boudin was fantastic. It was crazy easy to make — just thaw and boil for 10 minutes. There are several types of boudin, but the Cajun variety is a sausage casing stuffed with a mixture of pork, dirty rice and various seasonings. Once it’s done, I prefer to slice it down the center to reveal the tasty goodness inside. While I’m certainly no expert, I think boudin should have a soft, but non-mushy consistency, and have enough spice to keep you awake during the inevitable ‘holy shit, I ate way too much of that’ phase that immediately follows your meal.

On all these points, Savoie’s delivered. Once boiled, it was opaque and tender, but still firm enough to be handled with metal tongs. My knife (from a butcher block I bought in the days just after fire was invented) sliced through it easily and the rice/pork mixture began calling my name. My Premium Saltines (the preferred cracker in this sort of situation) added just enough saltiness to cut through the richness, and the piquant mixture woke me up in the middle of the first bite. And the interesting thing? There was no burn, which might be a deciding factor for anyone who’s not big on spice. Most people categorize spice in two basic ways: the slow burn of Mexican food or the scorching hellfire of Indian food. Savoie’s boudin gave me a swift, yet not altogether unpleasant, kick in the proverbial teeth… and then, it quietly went away. It was like a school bully; he always knows where to find you, but vanishes before you can prove it was him.

I played the role of selfless girlfriend tonight, splitting the pack of three with the Mister, whose recovering from an unexpected allergic reaction (side note: if you ever find a three-week old orange in your sweaty, filthy gym bag, it’s best not to eat it). While I managed to smile on the outside, in my mind I wanted to yank his plate away, lock him in the bathroom and shove his portion directly into my piehole. But, I’m better than that… sometimes.

After some research, I’ve found out I can order Savoie’s directly from Louisiana, and that makes me happier than you can imagine. I suspect I’ll be needing another kick in the teeth soon.

-B

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