Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Orleans-Style Red Beans and Rice

I love Mexican food.  I think this is because with every meal you get served beans and rice.  Since I cannot eat Mexican food every night, I like other cuisines that include beans and rice on a regular basis.  That is where the red beans and rice comes into the picture.  

When I was in college I had a roommate who was a vegetarian.  Whenever she went home on the weekends she would bring back Tupperware containers of red beans and rice and share them with me.  Although it did not have a New Orleans flavor, it was very good.  

I like to serve this as a main dish, either by itself, or with some nice greens.  I found this recipe online, here, and I changed up the ingredients a little after I tried the first batch.  You may want to try both and see what fits you better, but here is my version.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 c white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 oz andouille sausage, sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced then into half moons
  • 1 lb dried red beans
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, smashed
  • 8 to 10 c water, or chicken stock
  • 2 c cooked white rice

1.  Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Saute the onions, bell pepper, salt, cayenne, pepper and thyme for about 5 minutes.  Stirring occasionally, make sure the onion browns a little and the bell pepper is soft.  Add the bay leaves, and sausage and saute for about 5 more minutes.  Add the beans, garlic, and enough water to cover.

2.  Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours stirring occasionally.  Add more water if the beans become too dry and thick.  

3.  Remove 1 c of the beans and add them to a blender.  Blend until smooth and add back to the pot.  Continue to cook, about 1 1/2 hours until the mixture is creamy and the beans are soft.  

4.  Remove the bay leaves and serve over white rice.  ENJOY!!

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