Red Beans and Rice


So, my husband hates beans.  He hates them with a vengeance.  Lima beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans make very rare occasion to visit his belly.  The only time he will tolerate them is if they are in chili, and the meat to bean ratio highly favors the meat.  

I have never made Red Beans and Rice because of the above problem.  I had them in New Orleans, and loved them.  So, when I bought the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook a few weeks ago, and saw the recipe, I sneakily began planning.

So, here is how it went down.  He walks in the house, and says, “Wow, it smells awesome in here. What are you making?”  

Me:  I’m not telling.

Him:  What, it’s not something with beans is it?

Me:  Maybe

Him: silence….well, I’m changing, and then I’m eating a cupcake.

Now, the post dinner convo (after he went back for his 4th helping, seriously.)…

Him:  That was really good, but you didn’t put enough meat in it.

Me:  Would you want it again?

Him:  Definitely.

What?!?  Inside I was thinking, bwahahaha!!!  I win!

Again, this recipe was for the Holiday Exchange at My Baking Addiction.  You should check it out!

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Exchange sponsored by Le Creuset.

Red Beans and Rice

Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

1 pound small red beans, rinsed and picked over
4 slices bacon, chopped fine
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, seed and finely chopped
1 celery rib, chopped fine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon if substituting dried)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika (I used smoked paprika)
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Ground black pepper
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 cups water
8 ounces andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices  (I used Kielbasa, and it worked out fine)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, plus extra for seasoning

 Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 4 quarts cold water in large bowl.  Add beans and allow to soak from 8 to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well. **I used canned kidney beans, and used 3 C of chicken broth and no water, and it turned out fine.  So, if you have time for this step, do it.  If not, you have options.

 Fry bacon until brown and crispy. Add onion, bell pepper and celery.  Saute until softened, about 7 minutes.  Stir in seasonings (garlic, thyme, paprika, bay leaves, cayenne pepper and ground black pepper) and cook until fragrant for about 30 seconds.

 Stir in beans, broth and water. Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer approximately 1 hour (30 if you use canned beans).  Beans should be just tender and liquid starting to thicken.

Stir in diced sausage and 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar.  Continue cooking beans another 30 minutes until tender and creamy.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with scallions and hot sauce over brown rice.

Perfect Brown Rice

1 C Brown Rice

2 C water

1 Tb butter or oil

salt to taste

Rinse rice with cold water until water runs clear.  In a sauce pan, put oil.  When shimmering, add rice, shake pan to coat, and cook until the ends turn opaque.  Add water and salt, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until all water is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork.




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