Monday, February 22, 2010

Red Beans & Rice "Monday" Food

Since today was Monday and a rainy one at that, it seemed the perfect time to try this traditional Southern dish. It was so-named because it could be cooked all day while the week’s laundry was being done, which seems to have been on Mondays.

No, we didn't take the easy way and open a box. The photo on the left shows a quick way to prepare this dish. But at the F&P, we're trying to prepare and cook as little non-processed food as possible. Our goal is cook from "scratch" using veggies frozen from last year's garden, like tomatoes a, peppers, and onions. This dish is one for which you will find loads of recipes, depending on whether you like it mild, hot, with sausage or pork, etc. The seasonings are up to you - as long as you include the basics - red beans, andouille (or other hot) sausage, onions, celery, tomato products, garlic and spices.

Using dried beans requires a LOT more cooking time, upwards of 2 hours. So if you are in a hurry, substitute (2) 15 oz canned beans (rinse first). Then, you will only have to cook for about 30 min.

1 C dried red kidney beans
½ C chopped bacon
1 C sliced andouille or other hot smoked sausage
1 large onion, peeled & finely chopped
1 C diced green pepper
½ C diced celery
1 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground oregano
1 tsp hot pepper sauce or cajun seasoning or chili power - your choice
1 1/2 C chicken stock (low sodium)
1 can diced tomatoes

1 C long grain rice cooked in low sodium chicken stock or water (prepare additional rice for leftovers)

  1. Wash beans and drain in colander. Put in large pot and soak overnight or at least 3 hours.
  2. Put chopped bacon and sauté over medium heat to release grease. Add sausage and cook .
  3. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, olive oil, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper, oregano, hot pepper sauce.
  4. Sauté over medium heat 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  5. Add beans and stock and bring to simmer over medium heat.
  6. Cook uncovered until beans are tender, anywhere from 1 ½ to 2 hours (not necessary if using canned, rinsed beans).

Prepare rice about 20 min. before beans are ready. When beans are done, serve over rice.

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