Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Easy Red Beans and Rice

My husband and I are both Louisiana natives. Louisiana has a food style all its own. Somewhat spicy, somewhat southern, and somewhat cajun/creole. It's a happy combination! My husband was born in New Orleans and lived there until he went off to college. I, however, was a transplant from the north. I moved to central Louisiana when I was 6 years old. My mother was from Tennessee and my father was from Kentucky. So, when I was growing up we didn't eat Louisiana style food in our home because that is not what my mother knew to cook. But we certainly did enjoy eating the Louisiana fare when we were given the opportunity.

In Louisiana, gumbo and red beans and rice were a staple in most families. Red beans and rice were traditionally made by good Louisiana families on Mondays...the day they did the laundry. Wash day. Making red beans and rice from scratch was an all day affair that started the night before with soaking the beans. Every family had their own recipe because red beans and rice is what I call a Mawmaw recipe (a recipe that has never been written down and is always remembered). You know, it's like something your grandmother used to make from memory with a little of this and a little of that.

So as my first post, I am giving you my Mawmaw recipe for a quicker version of red beans and rice that doesn't take all day. My husband actually came up with this recipe and he taught me. You will have to adjust the spices to your taste because there aren't really any measurements.

Red beans and rice is not a very pretty dish, so I won't show you a picture. Oh...and by the way...you don't have to make it on Monday. You can make it on any day that you do the wash. :)

Red Beans and Rice

2 ribs celery
1 medium onion
2 large cloves garlic
2 cans Blue Runner Beans (available at Wal Mart)
2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 large red beans from Popeyes (make sure they don't put any rice in it; make sure you request
it with no rice), this is my secret ingredient. I hope you can get it where you live.
1 lb smoked sausage of your choice, sliced or cubed
3 bay leaves
cajun seasoning
salt, to taste

In a food processor, process the celery, onions, and garlic very fine. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven. When hot, saute the vegetables in the oil until tender. Add the Blue Runner beans, kidney beans, and the Popeye beans. Stir to combine. Add the sausage and bay leaves. Douse it with cajun seasoning. You can make it as mild or spicy as you like. If you think it needs salt, add a little salt. If it is too thick add a little water.

Serve over cooked rice and with a biscuit.

I'll share my biscuit recipe tomorrow. They are divine!

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