Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recipe Request: Kate's Red Beans and Rice

Michelle whipped up a pot of Red Beans tonight and said it would be interesting to see how other cooks in the M&M universe prepared this traditional New Orleans dish. So, as requested, here's my recipe (with props to my Auntie Rita Dell):

1 lb. Red Beans (If you can get Camillia brand, that's where it's at)
(a ham hock or pickle meat if you can put your hands on some)
1 lb. hot Louisiana smoked sausage or andouille
2 stalks celery
Lots of hot green peppers - jalapenos or serranos work great -- sliced (seed them if you have to, but I chop them whole -- I like it hot.)
1 head of garlic - chopped
1 large white onion - chopped
2 or 3 dried bay leaves
oregano fresh or dried
thyme fresh or dried
parsley fresh or dried
Tabasco sauce
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

My auntie used to sort her beans before soaking and rinsing, opening the bag on the table and sliding them into the soaking bowl a few at a time rejecting "ugly beans" and stones. Then rinse and and soak. Auntie soaked over night, but I say a minimum of 2 hours. Drain and set aside.

Slice your sausage into serving-sized pieces. Make your bean pot good and hot and toss in the sausage to brown. Brown it good on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside.

Turn down the heat a little and add chopped garlic, onion, celery and peppers. Sweat the veg, using the juices to deglaze the pot. When the onions are clear, stir in the herbs. Stir and saute for one minute. Add drained beans. Mix everything. (Add the pickle meat or ham hock, nestling it in to the beans.) Return the sausage to the pot. Add water to cover the whole mix. Add bay leaves and a few shakes of Tabasco.

Heat gently to a simmer, cook gently on low simmer, avoiding a rolling boil, stirring every 20 minutes or so for 2 or more hours.

When beans are creamy and tender, but not mushy, salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves.

Serve with rice and french bread with, yes, a pat of butter!

Update! Laurie reminded my that I sometimes use chicken stock instead of water in this recipe. She called it my secret ingredient and says it adds good favor to the mix. Somehow I forgot to include it here -- she reminded me today on our way to Royal Health Spa. So in the interest of full disclosure, I'm updating this recipe.

Originally posted by Kate, Jan. 10, 2008.