Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is the traditional Monday supper here in Louisiana. Stories say it's because Monday was always wash day and one of the busiest days for a homemaker. She could put on a pot of beans and they could simmer away while she went about her work.

I tell ya, things haven't changed much for me. Monday is my busiest cleaning day of the week. It's amazing how things can pile up over the weekend.

I cooked a pot of beans and rice Monday. Here's how I did it. (Now, ya'll bear with me. I'm no Pioneer Woman here. Most of my pictures are horrible!)
I started with 2 cups of rinsed dried red kidney beans, a big spoonful of garlic, dried parsley, Tony's seasoning, 1 large bellpepper, 1 medium onion and about a 1/2 lb link of smoked sausage.
Now, if I were making this for company I would add alot more sausage, but most of us are trying to cut our grocery budgets and well, we really don't need that much smoked sausage at one time anyway. Instead of cutting it in slices, I slice each slice into quarters. It stretches it further.

Pour a little oil in the bottom of a heavy pot. Just barely coat the bottom, not too much. Add in the onion, bell pepper and sausage.
Cook this over medium to medium high heat until it all gets nice and brown. You want the bottom of the pot to get brown, but not burt so be careful, don't keep your heat too high. I was going to get another picture here but my camera was being crazy.

Once you get that nice brown on the bottom you need to get it up. Pour in two cups of COLD water into the pot and scrape all those brown bits up.

See, you already have a nice brown gravy. You could even put this over rice if you wanted to.

Now put in your beans, garlic and a good sprinkling of dried or fresh parsley(whatever you have). There are no food police here. Now you add the water. At this point you want to completely cover the beans plus about 2 more inches of water over the top.

Bring to a good rolling boil and then bring it down to a hard simmer.

This is 30 minutes in.

This is about where you want your water level to stay now. It's just covering the beans but there's still enough of it that there's plenty for the beans to absorb. You can put a lid on it and come back and stir it and check the water level every 15 minutes or so. Add more water if you need to. Don't burn them!!! Scorched beans are NASTY!!! But of course, I'VE never done that. ;-)

Here we are 2 hours later! Yummy. Now, I season it. I didn't put the seasoning at the beginning because supposedly the salt will keep the beans tough. I can't tell you how much salt and pepper to put, just season to your liking. If you have too much water, just boil it a bit longer with the lid off so it can evaporate. To make it creamy, smash some of the beans against the side of the pot with the back of your spoon. The starches will come out and thicken the the gravy. Serve this over a scoop of rice with some buttered cornbread on the side. We also top ours with pickled jalapenos or banana peppers or vinger pickles. I'll introduce you to those in another post. This is good stuff people.


Amy said...

Oky - stupid question....
The red beans you use....are they from a can? They don't look like dried beans.... are they kidney beans? pintos??

That recipe looks pretty good - I've never had that before, I am going to give it a try - as long as I know what kind of beans to get? LOL

Wendy said...

Dry red kidney beans. I guess you could use canned beans but I have never ever tried that. I don't even buy those kinds of beans in a can. I'm not sure you would get that long cooked flavor. But hey, if you're in a hurry, it might work.

Andrea said...

Wow, that was great! I have never cooked those! I will have to try it! And your pictures were great!!

Amy said...

so do you soak the dry red beans before cooking? If so, how long?

Wendy said...

You can. Some people swear by it. I think it's supposed to shorten the cooking time? I dunno. I've never soaked a bean in my life. Well, maybe once to see what the big deal was. It must have not been much because I've never done it again! lol

SusanAnn said...

That was amazing, I feel I could definitely have a go at cooking this now, your pictures are most helpful!

stephanie (gabrielswife) said...

I was just talking to Gabe online today about trying to find a good, homemade red beans and rice recipe. I visit your blog and voila! That looks delicious, although I think I'll make mine vegetarian! :)
You know, cornbread sounds great with it too! YUM!
I know what I'm going to make for dinner this week! Thanks for sharing!

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