Red Beans and Rice
This Louisiana Creole dish was typically prepared on Mondays using leftovers from Sunday supper. Classic ingredients include vegetables, pork bones/ham hocks, spices and red beans slowly cooked in a pot and served over rice. Back then, Monday was laundry day, and women could leave the pot on the stove to simmer all day unattended while they washed clothes.
This recipe provides a quicker, easier, and slightly healthier way to prepare red beans and rice. Instead of soaking dry red beans in water overnight and simmering them on the stove for a long time, this calls for ready to eat canned kidney beans which still possess a rich, creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor. Fresh vegetables, Andouille sausage and seasonings impart big flavor making this a healthy, hearty and satisfying meal for the family in under an hour.
What You Need:
- 2 cups long grain white rice, cooked per instructions
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- ½ bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 12 oz. Andouille sausage, thinly sliced
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juices
- 2 15 oz cans kidney beans (or 2 lbs dry beans, soaked in water overnight)
- ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more for a spicier dish)
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
What You Do:
- Help your child drain and rinse the beans and set aside.
- Take over duties and heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat and sauté the onion, bell pepper and celery until tender.
- Encourage your kid to add the sausage and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and beans and cook another minute.
- Next, let your child add the Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, bay leaf, salt and pepper and stir.
- Finally, add the diced tomatoes with juices and bring to a boil.
- Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Serve over ¾ cup rice and enjoy!
What is Creole cooking? It is the food of West Africa combined with elements of French, Spanish, Native American and other cuisines that were brought to Louisiana during slavery. Creole cooking often but not always starts with a roux, a mixture of flour and some type of fat like butter or oil, and frequently incorporates the “holy trinity” – celery, onions and bell peppers.