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New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted. Truth is, I took some time off around Christmas and became very skilled at doing nothing. Eugene had snow for about a week and, here in the Great Wet Northwest, pretty well shuts things down. Then, my son got a new X-Box for Christmas. My wife got Soul Calibur IV. Needless to say, I became skilled at Soul Calibur.

In between being lazy and ... being lazy, I did do my fare share of cooking. I took a shot at tamales, for the first time ever. I played around with 'meat'balls. I played around with Spanakopita. And, I made Red Beans and Rice.

I've got a friend who grew up in New Orleans, so he knows what red beans and rice should taste like. Unfortunately, his recipe was of the "a little of this" variety. And I think that's how cajun cooking is meant to be. I did some playing around, made a couple of batches and came up with this.

red_beans_and_rice

New Orleans Red Beans
1 lb dried red beans
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
3 links Seitan Andouille (or other sausage), sliced

Soak the red beans overnight. Make sure the beans are somewhat fresh, not over a year in the pantry or they won't get creamy when you cook them (advised to me). Also, don't use the 'quick' method of softening beans--soak them in boiled water for a couple of hours. They won't get creamy (my experience). So, soak the beans overnight. The next day, drain and rinse the beans.

Saute the onions, celery and green pepper in oil until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and spices. Cook for another minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the beans and enough water to cover the beans. Stir in the Worcestershire Sauce and liquid smoke.

Bring to a medium boil. Cook the beans, uncovered, over a slow boil (more than a simmer) for 2-3 hours, or longer, stirring occasionally. If the beans get too thick, or dry out, add some more water. As the beans cook, they should break apart and begin to disintegrate into a thick, slightly soupy bean mixture. An hour before the beans are ready, stir in the sliced Andouille (or other sausage) or other 'sausage.' Remove bay leaves and serve over steamed rice.

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3 comments

  1. jessica Says:
  2. Yeah, I got skilled at doing nothing too. And cooked. You tried Spanakopita? How was it? I love the stuff but it looks like it's too much work like dolmas.

    I always do the quick method of softening beans. Oops :)

     
  3. Wow, looks delicious! I miss New Orleans food (sadly, the wife is not a big fan).

    This is definitely a recipe to bookmark for one of the wife's weekend trips. I have the feeling my daughter will enjoy making it... and if she's feeling adventurous, she might even try it.

     
  4. Matt Says:
  5. Jessica, the spanakopita was a bit of work, but no more than making a pie crust from scratch. I'll post it tomorrow =). I'm the same way about the beans. Never remember to soak the beans.

    Veggie Guy, If you make it, let me know what you think. I have little experience eating New Orleans cuisine, but I really like the beans.

     

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