October 02, 2017

Classic Red Beans and Rice




Ingredients:
16 oz dried small red beans*
4 cups chicken or ham stock
3 stalks celery (with leaves), diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 cubanelle peppers, diced
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
freshly ground black pepper
salt
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch coins then halved


to serve:
a few cups of cooked, white rice
chopped parsley for garnish (optional)



Directions:
THE DAY BEFORE YOU WANT TO SERVE THIS:
In a large pot with a lid, soak the beans overnight. Drain the beans and return them to the pot. Fill with water and bring to a boil for at least 10 minutes**.

Drain the beans and add them to a 4 quart slow cooker. Add the stock, celery, onion, garlic, peppers, thyme and bay leaf. Stir. Cook on low 8-10 hours.

About 30-45 minutes before you would like to eat,  use a potato masher to mash some of the beans in in the slow cook. Stir.

Meanwhile, brown the sausage on both sides in a nonstick skillet. Stir into the beans. Continue to cook the remaining 30-45 minutes. Stir before serving over hot rice.

*You can use kidney beans but I find that smaller red beans (aka frijoles rojos pequeños) yields a creamier final product.

**Red beans must be cooked before serving in order to avoid kidney bean poisoning. Do not skip the boiling step.




My thoughts:
I had inexplicable craving for red beans and rice the other day. I mean, I always enjoy it when I have it but beans and rice isn't normally something I crave. I put it out of my head but then I saw some Texas-made andouille sausage on sale so it seemed destined that I make it.

This week I was laid up with an awful cold but I was still able to pull it together long enough to chop some vegetables in the morning and pop everything in the slow cooker. Then it cooked forever, I browned some sausage and there it was: creamy, comforting red beans and rice. I was happy without how well it turned out: well seasoned but not crazy spicy and the beans were super creamy the way I like them.

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