Red Beans and Rice
In New Orleans, red beans are a cultural tradition dating back for hundreds of years. Through the years, Red Beans and Rice was the quintessential dish associated with Mondays. Whatever day of the week, however, Red Beans and Rice is sure to please the most picky of eaters.
- 16 ounces kidney beans dry
- 16 ounces smoked sausage sliced*
- 2 cups onion chopped (1 large)
- 1-½ cups green pepper chopped (1 large)
- 1 cup celery chopped (3 to 4 stalks)
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 8 ounces ham cut into ½-inch cubes (2 cups)
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 5 cups water
- Cooked white rice
- Sliced green onion tops for garnish optional
Rinse kidney beans; soak in a large pot of water overnight. When ready to use, drain kidney beans and rinse well. Set aside.
Cook the smoked sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until well browned. Drain well on paper towels, pressing as much fat as possible from pieces. Set aside. Pour fat from pan and discard. Wipe interior of pan with paper towels to remove any remaining fat.
Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic to Dutch oven; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked sausage, ham and all seasonings. Cook for several minutes, stirring well. Add kidney beans and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer covered for for 1½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook for another 45 minutes at a slightly higher heat, or until the beans are tender and the sauce is thickened. Remove bay leaves and correct seasonings. If you prefer a creamier texture, mash some of the beans with a potato masher.
Serve the beans over rice, accompanied by a nice Casear salad, French bread and a light red wine. Yield: 8 servings.
*If you use andouille or other cooked sausage, start with the cooking of the vegetables in a little olive oil.
Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 1411mg | Potassium: 516mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 12.5mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2.9mg