Every Monday morning in old New Orleans was laundry day. Clothes were left to soak overnight before the day-long washing and drying would take up most of the day Monday. This laborious task took up most of the day leaving little time or energy for cooking. Thus, the custom of throwing together a pot of red beans with leftover meats flavored with traditional vegetables and spices became became a Monday routine and still is to this day. This dish demonstrates the Creole cook’s ability to serve an elegant meal at a small expense.
Louisiana Creole Red Beans and Rice
- Large pot
- 1 lb. Dried red kidney beans
- 12 oz Andouille sausage, sliced ¼-inch thick (smoke sausage may be used)
- 4 oz Raw ham, cut into large cubes
- 3 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 medium Onions, chopped
- 1 medium Green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 ribs Celery, chopped
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 Bay leaf
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- ½ tsp Cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp Chile powder
- ½ tsp Ground thyme
- 2 tsp Dried basil
- ½ tsp Rubbed sage
- ¾ cup Fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 stalks Scallion, chopped
- 2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
- 1½ tsp Salt
- 6 cups Cooked white rice (2 cups uncooked)
- Prep – The night before cooking or a minimum of 4 hours, soak dried beans in a large bowl. Cover beans by at least 1-inch of water. Chop all vegetables and meat. Take out all spices.
- Cook Base – Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot over medium heat. Brown meats in oil until slightly crisp. Add remaining oil and then onion and garlic. Stir fry until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add celery and bell pepper and Sautee for another 5 minutes.
- Cook Beans – Pour soaked beans with their water into the pot. Add spices and herbs to pot (except parsley, scallion, and salt). Simmer gently for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Remove 1 cup of beans to a bowl and mash with a fork. Return mashed beans back to the pot along with the parsley and scallion. Cook another 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve – Remove bay leaves and add vinegar. Season with salt and stir. Ladle beans over boiled white rice.