Monday, February 8, 2010
My darling husband's Daddy made the BEST red beans and rice. I know he was leading the line around Heaven last night singing "When the Saints Go Marching In" just like he did at our Rehearsal Dinner almost 15 years ago!
I made Papa's Red Beans and Rice for DH in celebration of the Superbowl and to remember DH's amazing Daddy. DH said that cooking those red beans really spoke love to him! He also said that they are even better the second day as the flavors become even stronger. I'm going to do y'all a favor and share the recipe. Shhh, don't tell y'all.....
Papa's Red Beans & Rice
According to Miss Tootie, "You don't fool with time on Mardi Gras. You just stick everything together in one big ole pot, and the easier the better. You're too busy having a good time to worry about cooking, but at the same time you do need something substantial to eat." Well, I'll be.
1 pound dried red kidney beans, washed and sorted (We like the Louisiana kidney beans best. They are called Camellia red beans.)
2 quarts cold water
2 medium yellow onions, peeled & chopped (about 1 cup)
2 med sized green pepper, seeded & chopped
2 stalks celery, minced (I used more than this)
(Cooks should note that the Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking is chopped onions, green peppers, and celery)
1/4 pound smoked ham, minced. My father in law used a ham hock from Honey Baked Ham and some leftover pieces of their ham. You can also use andouille sausage. The best comes straight from Louisiana.
2 tsps. salt (or more if you prefer)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbs. thinly sliced green onion
3 Tbs. minced Italian parsley
2 1/2 cups uncooked rice, cooked according to directions
Place beans in a very large kettle and add water. Cover & soak overnight. Next day, add onions, green pepper, celery, ham or andouille sausage, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to the beans and their soaking water, bring to boiling over high heat; lower heat so that liquid ripples gently. Cover; simmer 2 1/2 hours. Uncover, stir well, turn heat to lowest point and cook uncovered about 2 1/2 to 3 hours longer, stirring now and then, until beans are very soft and mixture is about the consistency of chili. Stir in green onions and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes, then mix in parsley and cook for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently. Dish up the red beans and rice separately and put out big bowls so everyone can help himself to as much rice as he wants; ladle the red beans on top. ENJOY!