The New Orleans Classic – Red Beans and Rice

If you have ever lived or visited New Orleans, Louisiana, then you may have also heard what we traditionally offer in our local restaurants and in our homes, on a Monday, and that would be a good ol’ bowl of Red Beans and Rice. Monday used to be considered “wash day”, so a pot of beans could be cooking all day long, while clothes were being washed by hand, and that way dinner would be made, as well as the clothes being washed (thank God for washing machines now…LOL). Today, this is still very much a part of Louisiana tradition and culture on a Monday. Red Beans and Rice can be cooked with smoked sausage and ham OR without any meat, such as in this picture. This can be a perfect vegetarian dish, or eaten during fasting times. You can chose to serve it with your favorite rice. I chose brown jasmine rice because we enjoy the flavor and texture. This recipe is for (6) one cup servings. I hope you make this and enjoy it as much as we do. Here we go…..
4 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup seasoning blend (combination of onions, celery, bell peppers, parsley, green onions)
(If you will be using meat in your beans, this is where you would add in your 1 lb. smoked sausage and/or 1/2 lb.ham)
8 cups water
1 lb red beans sorted, rinsed, and soaked (please visit my blog “The How To Soak Your Beans Blog”)
1 bay leaf
fresh cracked pepper (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of cayenne pepper
6-8 dashes of Tabasco Hot Sauce
2 teaspoons salt (add salt to beans after you have finished cooking)
4 cups of your favorite rice (either white or brown), cooked, following package directions. Serve this alongside your beans
3 quart pot with lid
Into your pot, add your oil and seasoning blend and saute’ for about 5-10 minutes (if you will be using meat in your beans, this is where you would add in your 1 lb. smoked sausage and/or 1/2 lb.ham), on medium heat, until veggies are soft. Carefully add in your water (so it won’t splatter on you and burn you, since you are adding it to a hot pot). Next, add in the rest of your ingredients (except the rice). Cook for about 1 1/2 hours on medium low, covered. After you cook your beans for 1 1/2 hours, to give your beans a nice creamy texture, we go the extra step of taking about 2 cups of beans out and putting them in a bowl and “smashing” them with a fork to get them creamy, and then we add them back into the pot. I cook them for an extra 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring a couple of times so they won’t stick to the bottom of your pot. (By the way, beans are delicious this way, but if you have any leftovers, they always taste even BETTER the next day). That’s it. Now you are ready to have your beans with your choice of rice. Enjoy !!!
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