Monday, December 12, 2011
Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
1 lb organic dried red beans, rinsed (or pinto beans)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground black
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp thyme
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1" pieces
free range, low sodium chicken broth, and/or water (enough to cover beans in pot)
4 cups cooked rice (can use brown or white or basmati: brown is healthiest, rice is the traditional fare, basmati is in the middle--tastes more like white, but healthier though not as healthy as brown)
1. OPTIONAL: place beans in large pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight.
2. In large pot, add 1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil and brown sausage for about 5 min. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne and saute until veggies are soft.
3. Add the bay leaves, parsley, and thyme. Cook about 1 min.
4. Add the beans and stock/water. Put just enough liquid to cover beans plus about an inch. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until all beans are tender and starting to thicken (about 2 hours). If beans should become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 c at a time.
5. Remove from heat and with the back of a heavy spoon mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue to cook until tender and creamy, about 15 more minutes.
6. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Serve over rice.
Caveat(s): our sausage is from Louisiana, made fresh from fresh wild venison and pork. It is then smoked to give that rich smokey LA flavor...I have never made red beans and rice without this fresh, flavorful, non-processed, non-fatty sausage. If you are attempting this without it, try to find a healthy sausage that has a smokey flavor, otherwise the recipe with not quite taste "Louisiana authentic"
Check your seasonings and sausage if you are gluten free!
Additionally, I know it is always recommended to soak your dried beans. I do sometimes :) However, I have found that you can make this recipe without soaking them. Just may have to cook longer. SO if you decide at the last minute to make this recipe, don't fret. You'll be fine! Additionally, you can make this with 4 cans of organic red beans, although I find it more flavorful (and more nutritious) with dried beans.