Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Red Beans and rice on Monday are a New Orleans tradition. This was always "wash day" for the lady of the house. With mounds of laundry to do, she needed something for dinner that required little attention. Beans were put on in the morning, simmered all day and a hearty meal was placed on the table that evening.
My mother, without a doubt, made the best red beans I have ever eaten...and I've eaten a lot. Her fluffy rice and cornbread were to die for. How I miss my mother's cooking.
I love to use my crockpot so here's a slightly different method than my mother used:
1 lb dried kidney beans (we use Camellia which is a pinker bean)
Ham, diced (or a ham hock if you're having sausage)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper, fresh ground
1 tablespoon powdered chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
3 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 -2 tablespoon salt, to taste
1 -2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (such as Tony Chachere)
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 lb smoked sausage (we use Turkey sausage), sliced in half lengthwise and then slice
1. Wash beans, looking for any small stones.
2. Place beans in stockpot, cover beans with water and soak overnight. Beans will expand so use plenty of water.
3. Pour water off of beans and place beans in crockpot. Add ham, black pepper, chicken stock powder, chopped garlic, bay leaves, Chipotle powder and liquid smoke.
4. Add water to cover beans by about 1/2". You want them nice and creamy. More water can be added later if necessary.
5. Saute onions and bell pepper in butter and add to pot.
6. Cover and place crockpot on either low for 8 hours or high for 3-5 hours and then reduce to low.
7. You want to cook the beans until they can be mashed with a spoon.
8. There are several ways to thicken beans. My preference is to remove about a cup of beans, mash them with a spoon and add back to to the pot.
9. You can also thicken with cornstarch mixed with a little water. Add and allow to cook until thickened.
10. Cook your rice, brown sausage and salt beans to taste....you just really can't go wrong here
11. Put your rice in a bowl, place red beans over rice. Serve the sausage on the side.
Make sure you have a bottle of hot sauce on the table, sliced onions or green onions...and hot buttered cornbread. I just detest sweet cornbread...personal preference. I use a mix (Gladiola White Cornbread mix) but add different ingredients to my cornbread. I'll post that one day.
Serve with sweet iced tea and you're a Southerner for sure!
I usually post on these "parties"
Monday Made with Love
Hunk of Meat Monday
Monday Melt in your Mouth
Tuesday Time Out
Dr. Laura Tasty Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Tuesday to Do
Made From Scratch Tuesday
Totally Tasty Tuesday
These Chicks Cooked
Wow Us Wednesday
What I Whipped up Wed
Whatever Goes Wed
Wed Share the Wealth