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 Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice 
This is considered a creole dish in New Orleans rather than a Cajun one. Traditionally it's served on Mondays but frankly it's great any day of the week, and you won't get any flack for serving it on Sunday or Thursday or...

If you don't think of beans and rice as a full meal, this recipe might change your mind.


Here's an excerpt from
The Picayune Creole Cookbook:

"In all the ancient homes of New Orleans, and in the colleges and convents, where large numbers of children are sent to be reared to be strong and useful men and women, several times a week there appear on the table either the nicely cooked dish of Red Beans, which are eaten with rice, or the equally wholesome White Beans a la Creme, or Red or White beans boiled with a piece of salt pork or ham."
-The Picayune Creole Cookbook, 1900


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups dried red kidney beans
  • 1 large yellow onion - chopped
  • 1/2 pound baked ham - cubed OR 1 large, meaty ham hock or ham bone
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage - sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 green bell pepper -chopped
  • 2 -3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
.

DIRECTIONS:

Sort beans to remove bad beans, rocks and mud clots. Wash beans in cold water and soak them overnight. Drain well.

For extra flavor, saute onion, bell pepper and garlic until aromatic. Add a little water to deglaze the pan, then spoon it all into a large kettle with the soaked beans, salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme and sage and cubed ham or ham hocks; cover with cold water. Bring to boil slowly.

Simmer for 2 to 3 hours at lowest possible temperature; simmer gently to prevent skins from breaking, stirring occasionally until beans are soft. About 30 minutes before the dish is done, add sliced smoked sausage.

You can mash half a cup of the beans against the side of the pot to make them creamier if you like. Serve the beans with hot cooked rice.

Serves 6

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