Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday = Laundry Day = Red Beans and Rice

In New Orleans, Monday is traditionally laundry day and so to get that done and put dinner on the table you put on a pot of beans. Here's a simple recipe that has good flavors and you can make it as spicy as you want. This makes a lot, but it freezes well. I even did a load of laundry today! Ironically my neighbor Ruth emailed requesting a recipe for this today as she wants to take it to a book club meeting with a New Orleans' theme tomorrow. (Sorry, picture is not the greatest, blurry because I was in a hurry to eat!)

Red Beans and Rice serves 6-8

1 pound dried red beans (I tried Sangre de Toro from Rancho Gordo - means bull's blood!)
few tablespoons oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1 or 2 bell peppers chopped (traditionally would be green, but I prefer red)
3 or 4 celery stalks chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
3/4 pound of andouille cut into rounds (spicy cajun style sausage)
1 teaspoon salt
ground pepper
1 tablespoon cajun spices (I use Paul Prudhomme's)
couple tablespoons butter
cooked white rice and green onions to serve - oh and cornbread!

Start the beans soaking covered in water in the morning and after a couple hours drain then put in a large pot with 7 cups water and bring to a boil and turn to low and simmer 1-2 hours until tender. Drain but reserve a couple cups of the cooking liquid. Heat the oil in a large saute pan and saute the vegetables until soft then add to cooked beans along with the reserved liquid and simmer about 15 min or until it thickens - you may want to mush a few beans. In the same pan add the andouille and saute until a little browned. Stir butter into beans and serve over steamed rice (try to find New Orleans traditional "Popcorn Rice" it smells like popcorn when you cook it) with andouille on top. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and serve with a side of tabasco.

Cornbread Serves 4

1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine buttermilk and egg and oil. Whisk together all the dry ingredients then mix in the wet. Heat an 8 inch cast-iron skillet in a 425 degree oven for a few min. Pour another tablespoon of oil in the pan and swirl. Add the cornbread mixture and bake about 15 min. or until golden brown. If you want to vary the recipe add about 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels a couple tablespoons canned green chilies and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar. P.S. I tried using blue cornmeal tonight, which is why it looks weird in the picture, but tasted good.

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