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Monday, January 10, 2011

Red Beans and Rice


My father was stationed in Alabama for a short while when I was a little girl.  Those few months had a huge influence on the way Mom cooked.  One of the dishes added to her repertoire was Red Beans and Rice.  Mom loved the frugality of the meal.  Dad enjoyed the smoky flavor of the beans.  I was the lone holdout.  I did nothing but grumble every time a plate full of the offending legumes were placed before me.

Then I grew up.    I don't know if my taste buds matured or if the cheapness of the meal appealed so much that my sub-consciously frugal self started liking the beans.  Either way, I actually love them now.  They are so adaptable to any herbs and spices you want to add to the batch.

Because I live at a high altitude (5000+ ft), I boil my beans for 20 minutes and then let them soak in that water for an hour before draining them and putting them in the crockpot.  I am too impatient or maybe too scatterbrained to soak beans overnight.  When I lived at lower elevations, I would just put the beans straight into the crockpot and let them cook all day.  They need that added cooking at the higher altitude.  I learned that the hard way, of course.  After 12+ hours of cooking in a crockpot, they were still crunchy.  UGH.

Red Beans and Rice
2 cups dry red beans
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper (I like to use red ones for the color)
4 cups water
1 ham bone with meat still attached
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Cajun seasoning like Slap Ya Mama or 1/2 tsp just plain Tabasco sauce to taste
In a dutch oven, cover the beans with 2-3 inches of water.  Cover and boil rapidly for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the beans soak in the hot water for an hour.  Drain the water and rinse.   Put the beans in a crockpot and add the remaining ingredients.  Cook on high for 6 hours or so, testing the beans with a fork to see if they are done.  Remove the bone from the beans.  Pull the meat off the ham bone and cut into small chunks and return the meat to the beans.  Serve over plain cooked rice.

27 comments:

Belinda said...

I don't live that high an altitude...how to adjust cooking time? Or just throw in crockpot, I guess!

Donnie said...

That's a good hearty meal for anyone. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the memory.

~ Lyndsay The Kitchen Witch said...

I have always wanted to try red beans and rice and this recipe looks very good. I'm going to try this - thanks for another nice recipe.

Sara said...

We're big bean eaters at our house, and yet I've never made this.

Not sure what I'm waiting for...sounds great.

Prathima Rao said...

Quite a filling & a hearty meal!

katerina said...

This is such a hearty meal. Cheap, nutritious and tasty.

Joanne said...

Red beans and rice always seem so simply flavored but taste so delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Priya Sreeram said...

yummy and healthy! my idea of a comfort food !

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

this is definately something im going to love...red beans and rice sounds just yummy to me. thank you for sharing.

Drick said...

good Monday 'wash-day' meal - tradition down here and a feature every Monday in many homes and restaurants.... now where is the sausage?

Kathleen said...

I haven't made red beans and rice in ages. Yours looks wonderful!

Toby said...

Always a favorite in our house! Perfect for a wintry day.

Thanks for sharing :)

Toby

Evan B said...

Ive actually never had red beans and rice but I love rice and I love beans so I can only imagine that I'd like this as well :)

Wendy said...

when you are on a budget you can't go wrong with beans and rice. This sounds like a great recipe. I haven't heard of Slap Ya Mama. the name is just hilarious. I have to eat gluten free, I bet Mrs. Dash's Southwest Chipotle seasoning would be wonderful here. It has a little bit of that smoky flavor that I just can't get enough of.
I live in a low altitude too. I usually cook my beans in the slow cooker over night the night before I want to use them, then they are good to go for the recipe the next day. And you usually have much more than you need so you can freeze some to have ready for a future recipe.

visiting from Tuesday Twister
wendy
Thanks for the post

Diethood.com said...

I've never had red beans and rice. I should try it because it sounds really good! Thanks for the idea!

Amy said...

I learned to eat these while in grad school in Memphis...I made them for my family and everyone is hooked on them! So yummy, great reacipe!

thespicegarden said...

TELL me you made ribs to go with that plate of rice and beans! Soooo good!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

I'm a huge fan of Spanish rice and refried beans so it follows that I'd love red beans and rice. And I love that this recipe uses Slap Ya Mama. I love that stuff on grilled chicken :)

Claudia said...

I have made Mexican beans and rice,cuban beans and rice but never with red beans. I love the combination so know I would love this. You are right - it is so adaptable.

alissa said...

Sounds good to me! And so healthy too. Thanks for linking up to Tasty Tuesdays!
Alissa

Ms. F said...

Bean dishes are wonderfully cheap and healthy! I appreciate the spice of this meal, I think enough to make hubby and me happy and the kids might not notice.

I always cook my beans for 2 1/2 hours on a serious boil otherwise they'll never cook!

Monet said...

It was so nice to move to a lower altitude...our beans cook so much quicker here in Austin than in Colorado. I love beans and rice too. Tasty and affordable! Thanks for sharing, sweet woman. Eat well tomorrow!

lemonsandanchovies said...

I think my husband would be happy if I made this a few times a week. Unfortunately, I rarely think of putting the two together at home (though I like both in Mexican cooking) and serving them as a complete meal. Thanks for the reminder! :-)

happywhennothungry said...

Yum! This red beans and rice looks so tasty. I've been on a dried bean kick lately, so this recipe is perfect!

Sue said...

Sounds good to me! I love rice, and I love beans:)

Christy said...

one of my favorites! thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club. i'm definitely going to try this one!

Amy said...

Interesting recipe. I'm Chinese and in our culture, we only use red beans in desserts. Guess I gotta give your recipe a try.

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