Red Beans and Rice

by Kathy Strahs on February 14, 2010 · 9 comments

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Food blogging is an amazing pastime for someone like me who loves to celebrate holidays. It seems like there’s always some kind of special occasion happening in the world, and along with it usually comes special food. We’ve just come off of Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day cooking; this week you’ll now find a lot of us food bloggers are turning to Chinese New Year and Mardi Gras. It never ends (and for that I’m grateful).

We had a little taste of Mardi Gras at our house this weekend as I tried out this Red Beans and Rice recipe I found on a package of dried beans. The good news is that it’s a very tasty dish – hearty and flavorful, with a good amount of heat from the Andouille sausage. But it might be more “inspired by” the traditional recipe rather than strictly authentic. Normally, the beans would be served on top of the rice, rather than all mixed in. And I’m not sure how authentic it is to use a taco seasoning packet (as a general rule, I try to use individual spices rather than packaged blends that sometimes contain other non-spice ingredients). That said, unlike the traditional dish this version can all be made in one pot – a real benefit, especially if you’re preparing an array of dishes to celebrate the holiday.

* If you’re planning to make this recipe for Mardi Gras this year, be sure to set out your beans to soak Monday night!

Red Beans and Rice
Adapted slightly from the back of the Safeway Small Red Beans package

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. small red beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1 package (1.25 oz) taco seasoning mix
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
1/2 lb. smoked sausage (I used Andouille), quartered lengthwise and sliced (optional)
Salt to taste
Green onions, chopped (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:

Sort and wash beans in a colander under cold running water. Soak beans overnight with 6 cups of water in a heavy sauce pan. Drain.

In a 4 to 6 quart soup pot, heat oil until hot. Sauté onions, garlic and carrots over medium heat until onions are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in taco seasoning mix. Add beans, broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until beans are barely tender. They should still be crunchy.

Stir in rice and sausage, if using. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until rice and beans are tender and most liquid is absorbed. Season to taste. Garnish with green onions.



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Dawn February 15, 2010 at 7:48 AM

Whew! I saw the photo with the caption and it brought tears to my eyes. Wiping my eyes, I then read the post. This is indeed not the way the majority of New Orleanians would serve red beans WITH rice. The rice is an accompaniment and not an equal part of the dish. And you are so correct, the beans are much creamier and never have taco seasoning in them. The beauty of red beans with rice is that it is a one pot wonder. Toss everything in and let them simmer all day on Mondays which was traditionally wash day and is found on many restaurant menus and home tables to this day. Thanks for clarifying the shortcomings of this box recipe. While this dish might be easy and tasty, the real thing is the way to go! Happy Mardi Gras!!
.-= Dawn´s last blog ..Asparagus Cheese Tartines =-.

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Kristen February 15, 2010 at 10:58 AM

These look so good. Can’t wait to try this!
.-= Kristen´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday (Recipe: Weeknight Chicken Stir-Fry) =-.

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Angela February 15, 2010 at 2:47 PM

This looks so yummy! This sounds like a good addition to my dinner rotation!! Can’t wait to try it!

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Kerry-Ann February 16, 2010 at 12:56 PM

This is very similar to how we make “rice and peas” in Jamaica (and coconut milk is added for extra flavor.) Traditionally our rice and peas is cooked together as a one pot dish.

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Megan February 18, 2010 at 9:49 PM

This sounds delicious and so hearty! I bet the flavors of this dish are just unbelievable! What a perfect dinner to make during these chilly February nights. I will most certainly be giving this recipe a try :)

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Malisa June 4, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I made this the other day and used 1 cup of white Basmati rice and a 1/2 cup of Basmati brown rice. It was great! Thanks for the pictures and detailed recipe, it helped a lot!!6
Malisa´s last blog post ..New shoes! @ Cubicle World http-instagram-p-FHsUb-

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Kathy June 4, 2011 at 10:28 AM

I’m glad you liked it, Malisa!

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