Another item I can cross off my Kitchen Bucket List! For some reason last week, I got it in my head that I wanted some really good red beans and rice...and I was determined to finally conquer this yummy dish that has eluded me forever. The result...a definite success!
I spent some time Googling recipes before I found one that I thought would be a good starting point. I made some changes (brown the sausage and saute the veggies in the fat, used chicken broth) and we were very happy with how it turned out. JD even said they were better than what you can get at Popeye's!
Cajun-Style Red Beans and Rice
adapted from AllRecipes.com
1 pound small red beans
12 ounces andouille sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon sage
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's)
hot cooked rice
Rinse and sort beans; drain. Put in large pot with plenty of water to cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for five minutes, then turn off heat, cover, and let soak for a few hours or overnight. When ready to start cooking, drain and rinse the beans.
Slice the sausages in half lengthwise, then slice into half-moons. Saute in large heavy pot over medium-high heat until nicely browned and some of the fat has rendered out. Remove sausage with slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion, green pepper, celery and garlic to the pot and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the drained, rinsed beans, the broth, water, and spices to the pot. Don't add salt yet; wait until later after the flavors have mingled and the sausage has been added. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 2 1/2 hours. Stir in the sausage and continue to simmer until the beans are tender. Depending on your beans, this could take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. My beans were definitely on the old side so it took them FOREVER before they were soft. Be patient!
Taste beans and add salt to taste (I ended up using about a tablespoon). If you like a more creamy consistency, mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. To serve, spoon beans into serving bowls and top with a scoop of rice.