By Christy Hoover
One of my favorite things to make aside from Gumbo is red beans and rice with sausage. Being from Louisiana I never knew that red beans was considered a soup in the rest of the world. We eat it as a main course with cornbread and some type of greens.
There is something very soothing about eating red beans and rice with sausage. The blending of the onions, peppers, garlic, and celery with the juice that the red beans make is some of the most comforting comfort food ever. It reminds me of my great grandmother’s kitchen. It’s a lot like love.
I kind of laugh because here I am posting this on a Monday and growing up in the public school system, red beans and rice was always what was served on Monday’s. If you are where I am from, you know exactly what I mean.
To get started with your beans, you have to rinse them. Most times they are not covered in dirt. Sometimes they may have a bit of debris. Either way, rinsing the beans is always good practice. Pour about three cups of red beans into a pot and rinse with water. Don’t forget to pour the water out of the pot.
Once you rinse them, allow them time to soak in water. Typically a few hours before I am ready to cook, I put the red beans in a pot and cover with water. When you do this, you want a good two inches of water above the red beans. So, you will probably be pouring in about 8 cups of water into the pot.
You do not have to soak the beans but it is highly recommended. Soaking red beans does the following:
reduces the chance of you getting gas and bloating,
shortens the cooking time because of the bean being able to hydrate,
and helps preserve the nutrients of the bean.
Once your red beans begin to swell and wrinkle up, put them on medium high heat for about an hour. After an hour they should be rather plump but still a bit hard if you were to try and bite it. Yikes. Please don’t try and bite it.
After an hour has passed, add your vegetables to the pot. This has got to be one of my favorite parts of making red beans: adding the onion, peppers, garlic, celery and parsley to the pot. It makes your house smell amazing. Sometimes the aroma even reaches your neighbor’s home. It’s magical unicorns and red beans.
Chop up 3 stalks of celery, 1 onion, 1/4 cup of parsley, 1 jalapeño pepper, 1 red bell pepper, 4 garlic cloves and 2 shoots of green onions. Once you have them chopped up, slide them in the pot.
You are going to let this simmer for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you are going to slice 3 sausage links and put them into a hot skillet.
You are cooking your sausage in the skillet because you want them to caramelize just a tad for about 5-8 minutes. You have to stir, toss, and turn them of course during those 5-8 minutes.
At this time, you are going to take the sausage out of the pan. Let the grease drain from them and place them in the pot of red beans. Allow to cook for another 30 minutes. This is what you should have after the 30 minutes of cooking once you have added the sausage.
At some point you should have made or be making your rice, as you usually would. I have been falling in love with jasmine rice. Sheesh. I could eat that plain.
Now plate your bowl as you desire and enjoy!
3 cups of Red Beans
16 cups of water, divided (8 cups for initial cooking, 4 cups to be added after an hour of cooking)
3 sausage links
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 shoots green onion, sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
Tony Chachere’s, 3 tbsp
Onion powder, 2 tbsp
Garlic powder, 2 tbsp
Cayenne Pepper and bay leaf, optional
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Rinse the red beans
Allow red beans to soak in pot for 2 hours
Drain red beans, add 8 cups of water and cook on medium high heat for 1 hour
After the hour has passed, add onion, jalapeño, red bell pepper, celery, garlic, and green onion.
You will need to add another 4 cups of water as the beans have absorbed the water and your do not want them to stick.
Cook for 30 minutes on medium heat.
While beans are cooking with the vegetables, cook down sausage in a skillet for 5-8 minutes.
Drain sausage and add to pot of red beans.
Add spices (Tony Chachere’s onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper) and stir.
Cook for another 30 minutes.
Serve with Rice and enjoy!