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September 06, 2005

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice. It was comfort food, as well as a staple, as I grew up. My Mom tells me how they had it every Monday, as is traditional in New Orleans. Monday is wash day, perfect for having a pot of beans simmer slowly on the back of the stove all day. Even better, if there is a leftover ham bone from Sunday dinner.

I rinsed and started soaking my red beans last night. Here is a rough recipe for New Orleans Red Beans and Rice--it's one of those recipes that becomes better as you tweak it over time and adjust it to suit your family.

2 pounds dried red beans, sorted and rinsed
Water
1/2 pound lean salt pork, bacon, or ham, diced (veggie friends--you can leave this out--but honestly, a little bacon adds a lot of flavor!)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped (opt.)
1 green pepper, chopped (opt.)
1-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
TABASCO Sauce, to taste

Hot cooked rice
Hot french bread, butter

Wash and soak beans overnight. Drain beans, and cover with fresh water Add meat and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover. Add onions, celery, garlic, and seasonings, either directly to the pot, or saute first, then add to pot.

Cover, simmer 1 1/2 to 3 hours longer, until beans are tender enough to smush easily with a fork. Add water while cooking, as needed. If you like, take some of the beans out, smush them and add them back to the pot for a thicker consistency.

Serve over hot, white rice wtih french bread and plenty of butter.

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Comments

So the beans you take out and smush, do you do it with a fork and then stick them back in? When we lived in LA, some man with a YUMMY lunch counter in my office building told me the "secret" to the thicker bean "goo" (not sure what you call it LOL), but I've never been able to get it to work for me! Do you have to cook it longer after you smush up the beans? I usually end up with still watery "goo" with smushed beans ROFLOL!!!!!

LOVE LOVE LOVE red beans and rice!!!!! And boy oh boy do I miss that old guy's lunch counter!!! His crawfish poboys...mmmmmmmmmmm

Posted by: Keer at September 7, 2005 12:22 AM

I will print this out and try it. I've always wanted a red beans and rice recipe,and didn't know how to choose one.

Posted by: Julana at September 7, 2005 11:07 AM

when you say red beans would they be the same as kidney beans? It sounds really great, I'm going to try it out for my family!

Posted by: Sheena at September 8, 2005 02:53 PM

Sounds delicious -- and like a perfect slow cooker recipe.

Posted by: Bookworm at September 8, 2005 07:30 PM

That's as good a red beans and rice recipe as you'll ever see...

Just plain ol' good food, like the old folks used to serve us...

MC

Posted by: mostly cajun at September 8, 2005 09:27 PM

It was delicious! Opted for a pkg of "Authentic Spanish-style yellow rice" and skipped the french bread "with plenty of butter."
With just two to cook for, we have leftovers to enjoy later!
Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Posted by: FLGrandma at September 11, 2005 01:36 PM

Sheena,

No, red beans are different. I think the bags are labeled "small red beans." They are smaller than kidney beans and aren't shaped like that. The color is also a bit darker (depends on your kidney beans though LOL).

Posted by: Keer at September 12, 2005 07:36 PM

My aunt (who lives in Louisiana) makes really good RB&R. Great stuff.

Posted by: Stephen at September 14, 2005 02:24 PM

Keer, some call the goo "gravy." While the secret to flavorful and tender beans is slow cooking over a low heat, if you boil the beans, they break open, and tend to make a thicker gravy. And while I err on the side of more water/stock to cook my beans, I've heard others who are careful to cook the beans slowly in less water to make a thicker gravy. I've had the smushed-beans-thin-gravy thing, too--and don't like it.

Honestly, RB&R tastes best the next day, and the gravy is thicker and more flavorful after sitting in the fridge. It kinda defeats the purpose of Monday is wash day and beans day, though. . .

Hope this helps! Oh, and beans freeze REALLY well.

Posted by: TulipGirl at September 17, 2005 01:48 PM

Sheena, to be honest, I alternate between small red beans and kidney beans.

Mostly Cajun, you said it. *grin*

Glad you enjoyed the recipe, FL Grandma. We need to get together soon for dinner.

Posted by: TulipGirl at September 17, 2005 01:50 PM


 
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