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Authentic Red Beans and Rice

31 Dec

This is one of my most requested dishes. A true favorite.

1–12 to 16 ounce package smoked sausage, sliced

1 large onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 ribs celery with tops, diced

1 TBSP sugar

3–16oz cans New Orleans style kidney beans***

1–28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 TBSP minced garlic

Cayenne pepper to taste

1 TBSP smoked paprika

1 TBSP Creole seasoning

1 TBSP smoked cumin

Salt to taste

2 cups cooked white rice

Brown sausage in large Dutch oven over low heat. Remove sausage and drain. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery. Saute  until tender, stirring constantly. Add beans, tomatoes, and spices. Simmer covered for one hour, adding water if needed to prevent sticking. Stir in rice. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes before serving.

***NOTE  When time permits I prefer to use dried pinto beans. It gives the dish a richer flavor.

Using Dried Pinto Beans—Thoroughly rinse a one pound bag of dried pinto beans under running water. Place beans in a Dutch oven and add 6 cups of water. Over medium high heat bring to a boil. Cook until liquid reduces by half. Add 2 cups of water and return to a boil. Reduce by half again. Add 2 cups of water and return to a boil. Beans should begin to make a thick “gravy” reduce and check beans for tenderness. If tender and thick proceed with recipe omitting canned beans.

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