Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Red Beans and Rice




I went to New Orleans for a bachelor party in March and when we weren't out on the town we actually got to enjoy some amazing Creole and Cajun food. My favourite was Red Beans and Rice. This was traditionally a "wash day" meal because you could throw everything in the pot and head down to the river or wherever people did laundry back in the day. Usually people use leftover ham from the previous meal but Jess hates ham so I ended up using bacon and it turned out great. I love the smokey flavour of the sausage combined with the creaminess of the bean sauce.  

Ingredients
  • 1 pound dried red beans
  • ½ pound chopped bacon
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 pound smoked sausage (see my Andouille recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions 
 Here is a picture of one of the post cards I got framed after we got back:




Directions

  1. Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches.
  2. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook about 4 minutes.
  5. Add the bay leaves, parsley, sausage, and cook, stirring, to brown the sausage, about 4 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add the beans and stock and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 3 hours.
  9. Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/2 of the beans against the side of the pot.
  10. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 20 minutes.
  11.  Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.
  12. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.
 

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