Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Red Beans and Rice


When fall arrives I get so excited; there are so many recipes that I look forward to making, a few classics but I am always looking for new ones to try as well.  It's the perfect time of year to pull out your favorite long sleeve shirt or sweat shirt, get cozy and have a big bowl of soup or chili.  Fall has been here for a few weeks but the weather hasn't exactly followed suite.  Since the weather has been warmer than normal I watch the weather carefully and plan the meals accordingly.  If there is any glimpse if cool weather in the forecast I immediately work one of my fall-ish recipes into my meal plan.  One of those cool days finally came around Spencer's birthday which worked out perfectly.  One of his all time favorite meals is red beans and rice, and since the weather was actually going to be cool he decided that he wanted that for his birthday meal.

Before now, I had never made red beans and rice.  Which is actually quite interesting and dumbfounding to me since it is one of Spencer's favorites.  Better late than never, right?  I'm so glad Spencer decided on this for his birthday meal; it gave me a reason to finally make one if his favorite meals and it gave me a reason to make a classic southern dish!  This was delicious, flavorful and so filling.  One of the best parts about this actual recipe is that is uses a slow cooker.  You know me, I love slow cooker recipes!  Throw the ingredients in the pot, turn it on, and when you walk in the door your food is ready!  The only thing I had to to when we got home was make some rice and hot water cornbread.  How easy is that?



This was simple yet delicious.  This perfect for a weeknight meal, since the crockpot does all the work, but can be dressed up for company.  Best of all, it's perfect for fall weather.  I am so glad the cool weather has finally moved in...hopefully it will be for good! 

Red Beans and Rice



Ingredients:

1 Pound dry red kidney beans, rinsed and sorted
6 Cups water
5 Regular bouillon cubes (or 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. chicken base)
1/4 Pound smoked sausage*, quarted and cut into thin slices 
1 Onion, chopped
4-5 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning (omit this if using Andouille sausage)
3/4 Tsp cumin
3/4 Tsp coriander
3/4 Tsp oregano
1/8 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tsp smoked paprika (omit if using Andouille sausage)
A splash (or two) of hot sauce (optional)

*(Andouille sausage if you can find it), quartered and cut into thin slices. You can also use a large, meaty ham bone.

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low all day. Or you can start on high until it starts to simmer and then switch it to low.

When beans are tender, mash about 85-90% of them against the side of the crock pot. Taste to ensure it's seasoned to your liking; add more seasoning if you see fit.  Replace lid and set heat to low or warm.

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 2 cups of white rice to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and steam for 20 minutes.

Once the rice is finished, place the red beans in a bowl and top with a scoop of rice.  (You can also place the rice in the bowl first and then top with the red beans if you prefer) Garnish with green onions (for a touch of color and a little extra flavor).

Recipe source: Our Best Bites

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