This week I was in the mood for something that would stick to my ribs, and nothing’s more hearty than a batch of red beans and rice. My stepdad, who’s from Louisiana, makes the most amazing red beans, and he was kind enough to let me in on how he makes his.
1 lb. red kidney beans
1 stick margarine
1/4 to 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup onion, diced
1 lb. sausage, sliced
1 jalapeño pepper
Soak beans overnight in a bowl of water. Place beans into a large pot and double the height of the beans with water (For example, if the beans come up to two inches high, add four inches of water). Cook over high heat until the water is boiling, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Keep stirring the beans every 15 minutes or so, to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Repeat this process until the beans are tender, or about 30 minutes to an hour. If the water has been fully absorbed, add in a small amount more. Next, pan sear the sausage for a couple of minutes on each side so that the slices are browned. Add the sausage into the pot, along with the margarine, bell pepper and onions. Feel free to throw in any additional seasoning (This time I used Lawry’s Seasoning Salt). Lastly, place the jalapeño into the pot (slice it open if you wish to add a kick) and let the beans cook down for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.
Lessons learned: The beans turned out pretty tasty for it being my first go-round, but it felt like they were missing something. I think it was the Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning. Well, that and the fact that I used Farmer John’s smoked sausage instead of Hillshire Farm, which is the sausage of choice for my stepdad. Although matching the taste of my stepdad’s red beans was the goal, I know that this is a recipe I will learn to make my own as time progresses.