One of my favorite days of the week is Sunday. I enjoy getting dressed for church, attending church, coming back home to relax for a while and later prepare Sunday dinner. It is a day of relaxation, reinvigoration, and enjoyment both physically and spiritually. I may not cook routinely during the week, but most Sundays we enjoy a great home cooked meal. I am not a chef. However, years of experimenting both good and bad, reading cookbooks and food themed magazines, and of course Food Network, has honed my cooking skills to quite a satisfactory level. Being a mother and wife, I take pride in seeing my family enjoy a good meal prepared by myself. It seems to me that feeding your family, whether cooking or dining out, is a form a nurturing. Is it not? Although, I must admit cooking the meal myself gives me a greater feeling of accomplishment.
You are probably now wondering, what do I cook? Being from New Orleans has influenced my cooking, such that I use the seasonings associated with New Orleans cuisine on much of what I cook. I absolutely love Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, adding bell pepper, onions, parsley, and even chopped celery in some of my dishes. My favorite dish to cook is red beans and rice with beef sausage. What’s great about this dish is that its easy to make and in large quantities, too. Here are some tips to make it quickly and deliciously. Please note: I am not a chef and this recipe may require an adjustment on some of the ingredients to taste, as noted. This quick version shaves hours off the cooking time compared to using dry beans.
Marvalous Quick Red Beans and Rice
- 4 cans of Van Camp’s New Orleans Red Kidney Bean
- 1/2 Bell Pepper Chopped.
- 1/2 Cup Onions Chopped
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 tablespoons of dried parsley
- Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon of butter
- 2 table spoons of Olive Oil
- 3 Cups of Uncooked Rice
- 1 – 1 1/2 pound sausage sliced (ANY WAY YOU LIKE)
- Open and drain the 4 cans of red kidney beans into a large strainer.
- Rinse the beans once under cold running water. You want to remove most of the liquid that was in the can, but not wash off all of the flavors.
- In a large, e.g. 8 quart, pot on a medium – low fire, add the butter, some olive oil, and the onion. Cook until the onions are just about translucent and avoid burning.
- Then add the beans .
- Optional: You can precook the sausage in another pan to avoid the extra oil that the sausage will add to the beans.Add the sausage to the beans.
- Add a few shakes of the Tony seasoning.
- Add the bell pepper.
- Add the two bay leaves. Remember to not eat the leaves.
- Add the parsley.
- Last add water. You will want at least an inch or two of water height above the beans. Vent the lid of the pot to allow some of the steam to escape. you may choose to leave the lid off, which will require you to add more water as the beans are cooking.
- Stir and let cook for about 90 – 120 minutes, depending on how much water was added and the desired firmness of the beans. The longer the beans cook, the softer they become.
- Check the mixture after 20 minutes and lower the fire again.
- Check every 20-30 minutes and stir to ensure the beans are not getting burned. The low fire should help you avoid this. You may decided to add more water, as well.
- In the last 20-30 minute, cook 3 cups of rice in a rice cooker.
- When the beans are done to your liking, turn off the fire and let it sit and cool for a bit.
- Add salt to taste.
Viola! There you have it “marvalous” quick red beans and rice. You can serve it with fried chicken, French bread, corn bread or biscuits, or alone. Some plate it like a soup. My preference is for less of the bean broth. Trust me it is delicious! Have a blessed and “marvalous” Sunday!