Monday, November 3, 2014

Red Beans and Rice

Now that the leaves (and around here, hedge apples) are falling and the wind is blowing cold, it's time for those hearty dishes we've avoided for months. This meal is simple, inexpensive, full of protein, and served over rice, it's even gluten-free. And since I usually have the ingredients on hand in my pantry and freezer, it's good for those days when I haven't made it to the grocery store in a while.

I've used both andouille sausage and turkey sausage; either one is quite satisfactory. If you don't have fresh veggies, you can cheat with a bag of frozen Cajun mirepoix. I don't actually measure my spices, so the amounts given are approximate. Vary them according to your family's tastes. Some cooks substitute salsa for the Ro-Tel tomatoes.

Personally, I like the convenience of canned beans. But if you have the time and inclination, you can certainly cook your own from dried beans. 

Cajun-Style Red Beans

  • 2 T. oil 
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 3-4 ribs celery
  • 1-2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 cans red beans 
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes 
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin

Saute the vegetables in oil till tender, adding garlic at the end. Add the beans, sausage, and seasonings.

Stir and cover. Bake at 300 F for 4-5 hours. The longer, the better! Check occasionally, adding water if necessary to keep the beans moist. (You can also throw this in the crockpot and cook it all day, or overnight.) 

Serve beans over fluffy rice with a side of hot cornbread. Or skip the rice and serve over the cornbread. Or use as a side with a Cajun meal. If you're in a true Louisiana mood, wash it down with sweet tea!

This makes a big batch, so you'll have enough for company, or to put in the freezer, or to save for a quick dinner over the weekend. 

No comments:

Post a Comment