Red Beans and Rice
I was away last weekend and we’ve both been crazy busy (and just generally crazed) and so I decided that this weekend, we needed to slow our pace down. We talked a lot about what we wanted to do — and the first thing on my agenda (after installing a window a/c unit…) was cooking something really complicated and fun. I decided that I wanted to make red beans and rice — something reminiscent of our trip to New Orleans last November. (And perhaps I have been a little inspired by the HBO series Treme, which we’ve been watching and both really love.)
This was the perfect dish for us — it took a seriously long time to make but wasn’t super difficult, so we didn’t have to spend too much time in a hot kitchen, slaving over the stove, like we did with the gumbo we made at Seth’s house over MLK weekend. We used dried beans for the first time, and prepping them for use took extra time, but there’s no way that this dish would have been as good without them. I really can’t speak for its overall authenticity, but I do know that it was go-oood.
Though this was a bit of a project, but absolutely worth it. We also have enough for plenty more servings — perhaps some for lunch tomorrow, and then also for lunches during the week.
Red Beans and Rice
adapted from Budget Bytes
- 1 lb. dry kidney beans
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large green pepper, diced
- 1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 healthy shake dried thyme
- 1 healthy shake dried oregano (or more to taste…)
- 3 cubes bouillon
- 1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
- Green onions, sliced for garnish
- Cooked white rice
- Soak your beans ahead of time — a lot of internet aficionados will tell you that you don’t have to do a long-soak of your beans, but I decided to. I soaked these over night, drained the water off and stuck them in the fridge while we ran errands, and they turned out great.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven to high. Add sausage and cook until nicely browned. Once sausage is browned remove from pot with a slotted spoon, reserving oil in the pan.
- Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to pot, and saute onion, celery and pepper for about 10 minutes. Vegetables will be soft and delicious.
- Drain any soaking water that might be left from your beans and add to the pot. Pour in 7 cups of water, plus the bouillon, and bring to a rapid boil. Once boiling, turn heat down, but make sure the whole mixture is bubbling pretty furiously. Cook bean mixture like this until beans are soft enough for you. I cooked this for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, but adjust your timing accordingly, based on your own stove. You may also need to add a tiny bit more water, so keep an eye on it.
- When beans are soft enough for you, mash with a spoon or potato masher, leaving some beans whole. Add sausage and cook until whole dish has reached your desired consistency. For me, this step took about 45 minutes or so. Again, adjust your time accordingly for yourself. Add Cajun seasoning at this point, as much or as little as you’d like.
- Serve beans in a bowl over rice and garnished with green onions. Add more spice, if you want — I put in Cajun spice, Tabasco AND a drizzle of Garlic Sauce that we had from New Orleans. It was SPIIIIICY — but good!