We are days away from our baby girl’s due date (hip hip!), which means that I’m doing my best to stay off my feet as much as possible. The last few weeks I’ve been able to plop myself down on the sofa and catch up on shows and movies I’ve been meaning to watch. And while it’s been pretty relaxing, it’s not always such a success…
Take the fact that I’m on Season 2 of Game of Thrones, but I keep falling asleep during it, so I really only know what’s going on when I start the next episode and there’s that 2 minute recap of “Previously, on Game of Thrones…”
And that I can finally catch up on Grey’s Anatomy, but the numbers of spoilers that have come up over the past few years leaves little room for surprise.
Or even the fact that nothing ruins my movie watching experience more than my husband discussing Stockholm Syndrome while watching Beauty and the Beast.
But hey, did I mention we’re just days away from meeting our baby girl?! 🙂
Being so close to delivery also means that the dishes we’ve been eating around here have been simple and quick to make – from chicken biryani and chicken pho in the Instant Pot (shout out to my fellow IP lovers – this thing is amazing!) to turkey chilis and slow simmering soups like Zuppa Toscana. I’m always about easy meals, but lately I’ve also been searching for recipes that need little help to get started. One of our favorites that has been in our rotation lately has been red beans and rice – it requires basic ingredients, is savory with the right amount of heat, and is incredibly filling.
Traditionally, ham was the Sunday meal in Louisiana households. That ham hock was then saved and tossed into a pot of simmering beans and sausage on “Monday Washday” – a day where women could do laundry without having to stand by the stove (to this day you will still see red beans and rice served as a Monday special!).
While living in Louisiana makes delicious Cajun food easily accessible to us, we love making our own homemade version! We start off by searing some good Andouille sausage, and then sautéing the Louisiana “holy trinity” of bell peppers, onions, and celery. Add your garlic and dried seasonings, then throw in your red beans (I used Camellia) and some water and simmer for a couple of hours. Serve warm over white rice and fresh parsley, with a dash of hot sauce.
Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice
2 hr 20 min
2 hr 20 min
- 1 large onion, diced
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 ribs celery, diced
- 1/2 - 3/4 tsp cayenne powder (adjust for your preferred heat level)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 dried red beans
- 1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 6-7 cups water, plus more for the overnight soak
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper
- hot sauce, to taste
- ham hock, optional
- white steamed rice, for serving
- fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Soak red beans in water at room temperature overnight. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- In a large, heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the andouille sausage and brown on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add onions, bell peppers, and celery to the pot, and saute until tender, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic, dried herbs (cayenne, sage, oregano, thyme, paprika), and bay leaves, and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the beans and 6 cups of water to the pot, add more if needed (I ended using 7 cups). Add the ham hock, if you are using one. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Depending on the size of your beans, simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours (I ended up simmering for 2 hours).
- 30-45 minutes before red beans are done, toss the sausage back into the pot. 15-20 minutes before red beans are done, remove a 3/4 cup of red beans, smash with a fork, and add back into pot to thicken the sauce and stir. If too thick, add a splash more water. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Remove bay leaves. Serve over freshly steamed white rice with fresh parsley and hot sauce.
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