Lagniappe: Red Beans and Rice

 

We recently entertained some friends who live in Madrid, Spain; guess what I served them…wanting to reflect our Louisiana past: Basic Red Beans and Rice.  What surprised me was their comment that Spain encourages everyone to eat beans at least once a week – for good health, so my bean dish was nothing particularly innovative to them.  But they did like it!

There are lots of things you can do to enhance this red bean recipe, but with this meal I was looking for really simple and basic, feeding off our blog on “Two Bucks, Chuck, and my Bro,” and trying to keep things in the kitchen as easy as possible.

Here’s a great old blues music video with Kokomo Arnold to watch while you eat your red beans – even if it’s about leaving Chicago and going back to Georgia – and not Louisiana.  The Great Migration in reverse.

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Basic Red Beans and Rice

  • Servings: 1 16-oz pkg of beans will make about 6 cups of cooked beans
  • Print

This is a quick and easy version of red beans and rice, but it works.  A more authentic recipe would call for a ham bone or ham hocks cooked with the beans.  Omit the ham, use vegetable broth and it’s vegetarian!

  • 1 16-oz pkg red kidney beans (Camellia brand makes it very authentic)
  • 4 c chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2-3 c water
  • 1 T Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (you NEED this to be included amongst your spices!)
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c chopped ham (I use Niman Ranch Uncured Canadian Bacon) (may be omitted if going vegetarian)
  • cooked rice to serve with the beans

Rinse the red beans and place them in a medium pan; cover with about 2″ of water; bring to a boil and, keeping the water between a simmer and a hard boil, cook for 10-15 minutes, thereby eliminating any danger of toxins.  Drain.

Now put the beans in a slow cooker – or in a medium pot on the stove.  I prefer the slow cooker because it’s so easy.  Add the beans and all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker; add just enough water to cover the beans by about 2″. Turn the slow cooker to high, cover, and let cook until the beans are almost mushy; if the beans appear too dry while they cook, add more water.  Mine took about 3 1/2 hours to become tender.

If using the stove, add the beans and the remaining ingredients to a medium pot; add just enough water to cover the beans by about 2″.  Bring it all to a boil, turn it down until it’s barely simmering, and cook, uncovered, until the beans are almost mushy.  If the beans appear to be too dry while they cook, add more water.

Serve over a bed of rice.  Put some Tabasco on the table in case anyone wants more spice.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

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