Monday, May 26, 2014

Red Beans and Rice

*I know my photography isn't very good, but my food is. Give this recipe a shot and let the food speak for itself.

I really like red beans and rice, but my husband isn't a big fan. I figure this is a dish I can make and freeze for future uses, and it will re-heat at my office for a hearty and healthy (ish) lunch. It's also pretty inexpensive, so that's another bonus.

2 ham hocks
1 lb Andoullie sausage
1 lb red beans
1 yellow onion, minced
1 green pepper, minced
4 stalks of celery, minced
5 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp dried parsley
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup water (I don't have anymore broth and it didn't quite cover everything.)
2 bay leaves

Start the night before by checking the beans for any stones, then put them in a large pot of water to soak over night. The next morning I boiled my beans for about ten minutes. Some people skip this step, but I've heard that kidney beans have to heat up to a certain temp to kill a toxin in them. Maybe I'm paranoid, but it's not worth it to me, so I boil them for a few minutes. Quick tip: DO NOT ADD SALT! It will make it so the beans will not get soft. You can add salt at the end, or do like I do and let people add their own to taste. I also like to serve this with extra pepper and hot sauce.

I put my ham hock in the slow cooker. Then the sausage. I cooked this sausage the day before simply because it was on clearance. Today was the sell by date, so I got them for half off. (My Momma taught me to bargain shop!)

When the beans have boiled for ten minutes drain them, then add them to the crock.

Now for the veggies. You need yellow onion , a green pepper, and about 4 stalks of celery, all minced. Each will yield about 1 cup. I also save the scraps from the onion and celery. I keep a gallon sized baggie in the freezer for these, and any carrot or parsley scraps from other dishes. When you have a whole baggie you can make veggie broth, or add a chicken carcass or two for chicken broth. I'll make each of these another day.

Add the garlic, Cajun seasoning, and parsley. Yes, I use the garlic in a jar. It's one of the few shortcuts I allow myself.

Add the broth and bay leaves. Now let the whole thing cook on low for about 9-10 hours.
I went out to a barbeque and when I got home the house smelled wonderful! Here's what it looked like at that point. Sorry, it's kind of blurry.
I took out the ham hocks and removed all the good meat from them. I discarded all the fat and bones and returned the meat to the crock.

It was a bit thin so I used some of the liquid from the crock as the liquid to cook the rice. I also used a large spoon to mush some of the beans. It thickens the broth and gives it a creaminess.

This yielded six very large portions. I'll eat some for lunch this week, but I'll also freeze some for later.

1 comment:

  1. This looks really tasty and I'd love to try it out. Unfortunately my wife is Celiac but also a vegetarian, so all that delicious ham hock and sausage wouldn't fly. Maybe I'll just make a big pot of this just for me and my future lunches....Either way, thanks for the post and tasty recipe.