Red Beans and Rice

I was going to save this recipe for fall but for some reason it’s cold and and rainy (I try avoid talking about the weather most of the time because when your only topics are gas prices or weather, I feel you should just choose silence. BUT IS SO STINKING COLD AND I AM SO UNHAPPY ABOUT IT!)

If you don’t the know history behind Red Beans and Rice (which up until I met the Texan and his mom made it for us, I never had) it is New Orleans/Louisiana staple and since my mother-in-law grew up there it was a common dish for their family.
It’s become one of my favorite meals to serve guests because A) it’s very forgiving, I’ve never made it the exact same but it still tastes great B) no one in Georgia has ever heard of it so they show up with low expectations (I’ve heard lots of “Just beans and rice? Where’s the protein?” But they leave asking for a recipe and declaring its their favorite thing I make.
So keep that in mind the next time you have guests over for dinner, if you tell them you’re going to have Duck à l’Orange (first of all you know you’re stuck in the sixties if that is the dish you are serving) they will hold you to a higher standard, tell them you’re having peasant food and you can only go up from there.

I don’t have pictures and it’s not the prettiest dish but it does have a rustic charm to it so I may do a step by step with pictures one day. This recipe will feed 6-8 and you can seconds or leftovers but the last time I made it for about 10 it was not enough for seconds when people wanted them which always makes me feel bad so if you have more than 8 add more beans and broth/water in.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Half a medium onion dice (instead of chopping every time I need them I prefer to either buy frozen or have Tyler chop a few then freeze, so I just throw a few handful in the pot)
  • Teaspoon minced garlic (I used the stuff in a jar you get in produce section)
  • 1 32 oz box of chicken broth
  • 1 Package andouille or turkey sausage sliced in 1/2 inch pieces (I always use the butterball turkey sausage bc I have a few other recipes I use it in and I try to limit the proteins I buy to keep things simple)
  • 7 cans of red beans (or if you realize for the millionth time you’ve forgotten to buy true red beans, use kidney beans… and don’t show this recipe to anyone from NOLA)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (already diced or sliced of you can find them!)
  • 4 or 5 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Creole Seasoning to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1) Heat olive oil in heavy pot on medium high heat. When oil is hot add onion and cook till they start to turn translucent and brown then add the garlic. Continue cooking until they are all a golden brown but don’t burn.

2) Dump the sausage in and try to cover the bottom of the pot with them. Let them sit for a minute or so before you stir to let them char a bit. Cook until the flat sides of the of the sausages start to puff out a little and they get some brown on them.

3) Add tomatoes with juice to deglaze pot. If there were brown bits forming of the button scrap them up as you mix and crush the tomatoes with a spoon.

4) Add chicken broth, beans, bay leaves, sugar, and spices. Add more chicken broth if beans aren’t covered or you want a soupier taste.

5) Bring to a simmer then cover and reduce heat. Cook for at least 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

6) Ten minutes before you want to serve take out 5 or so beans and crushed with a fork or spoon in a small bowl then add back to the pot. This will thicken the bean mixture. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Serve with white or brown rice or even quinoa tastes great too!

Again, this dish is super forgiving, play around which different spices (like adding parsley or basil) and sweeteners (like honey instead of the brown sugar) till you find your favorite way to make it!

And for pretty factor and because Cherie does a cheer when she finds out this on the menu.



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