Living in New Orleans for eight years taught me a great appreciation for this humble and easy dish. I am including it in my Simple and Budge Friendly recipe index because it fits the bill completely. I use lean sausage and either cook it on the stove in a few hours, or toss all the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it simmer all day long. Either way my kids adore it and that is a good thing. I like to serve it with corn bread or Rustic Bread with Seeds.
Red Beans and Rice
1 pound dried red beans, soaked overnight*
10 cups water
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 teaspoon Creole seasoning, or to taste
1 tablespoon basil
You can either soak the beans in water overnight and then drain, or add them to a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil for one minute. After that turn them off, cover, let sit for an hour. Drain and rinse before creating recipe.
Brown sausage in skillet. Remove and saute' onions and peppers in sausage drippings, until tender. Add garlic to skillet and heat for 30 seconds. Add beans, cooked sausage, onion, pepper and garlic and the remaining ingredietnts to pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer covered for 1.5 to 2 hours until flavors mix and the beans are tender. Serve over a scoop of rice.
Crock Pot Directions:
Brown sausage and cook vegetables as instructed above. Add all ingredients to crock pot and set on low for 6 hours.
A bit of cooking trivia...
The women of New Orleans used to make Red Beans on Monday as that was the day they did their laundry. Cleaning clothes was an all day event, before the creation of the washer and dryer. This dish could be cooking on the stove all day, while they completed their wash. Almost every restaurant and the school cafeterias serve it on Monday, to this day. So, if you are looking for an easy, healthy, and tasty recipe give this one a try.