Hurricane Ida and the aftermath reminds us once again that sometimes it's rough living in this little patch of paradise called south Louisiana.

Most days, it’s a beautiful place to be, not just for the surroundings, but for the people who live here.

I’m sharing two recipes that you can make to feed your neighbors, your evacuee guests, or some folks a town over who are overwhelmed with cleaning up after Ida.

These are very simple slow-cooker recipes that can be simmering along while you work on clearing limbs or mending fences.

Even though there are tons of recipes created specifically for using a slow cooker, some of your standard favorites can be adapted as well. Liquid does not evaporate in slow cookers as it does on the open stove or in the dry heat of an oven, so you’ll need to reduce the amount of liquids the recipe indicates.

This pork recipe is very versatile. If you don’t have rolls, you can wrap in tortillas with cheese or make quesadillas with it. It’s good on sliced bread, too. The chipotle chiles and sauce give it a warm, smoky flavor.

My go-to recipe for red beans and rice, this one's super easy and makes a big batch. The beans turn out nice and creamy. It’s the ultimate Louisiana comfort food.

As we all know, it will take a long time to set things right post-Ida. In the meantime, we’ll do what Louisianians do best, help each other along the way.

Chipotle Pulled Pork Sliders

Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon ground mustard

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cumin

1 six-pound pork shoulder or Boston butt, trimmed of fat

1 large onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic

4 chipotle chiles

2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotle chiles

1 cup barbecue sauce

20 to 32 split dinner rolls

1. In small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, salt, mustard, pepper and cumin with a fork.

2. Rub seasoning mixture over pork. Place pork in cooker.

3. Sprinkle sliced onion over top of pork in cooker.

4. Cover; cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours.

5. Remove pork from cooker; place on cutting board. Skim fat from liquid and reserve liquid from the slow cooker.

6. Shred pork by pulling two forks in opposite directions. Return to cooker.

7. Mince garlic cloves with chipotle chilies and adobo in a food processor.

8. Whisk together barbecue sauce, garlic and chipotle mixture, then pour over shredded pork. Stir in some of the reserved cooking liquid for desired moistness.

9. Increase heat setting to high. Cover and cook 15 to 30 minutes longer or until pork is hot.

10. Spoon pork mixture onto each roll and serve.

NOTE: Pork mixture can be kept warm in the slow cooker on low up to 2 hours.

Red Beans and Rice

Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

1 pound dried red kidney beans

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced thick

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon celery seed

A few dashes of Tabasco hot sauce

Hot cooked rice

1. Place all ingredients except for rice in a slow cooker (at least 4-quart size).

2. Cook, covered, at high 8 hours or until beans are tender.

3. Served with hot cooked rice.


Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at ieatbrla@gmail.com.