This is a pretty unappetising photo of the best food I ever made. Really, it is tastey. I promise. Skylar went back for seconds.
I lived in Houston for a couple of years, and this recipe is from my favorite restaurant there. This red beans and rice made me miss a place I never liked that much, and get nostalgic for some of the worst times.
- 1 lb dried red kidney beans
- 2 quarts water
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, with leaves, chopped
- 1/2 large bell pepper, chopped
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb smoked sausage, cut in 1/2-inch slices*
- Sort and wash red beans. In a large soup pot, add 2 qrts cold water and red beans. Let soak overnight. (To speed up the process, you can bring them to a boil, simmer 2 minutes, remove from heat and let stand 1 hour before the next step.) DO NOT DRAIN WATER!
- Add onions, celery, and bell pepper to beans and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to simmer about 1 1/2 hours, or until beans are soft. DO NOT STIR MORE THAN NECESSARY.
- Stir in seasonings and sausage. Simmer 30 minutes more.
- Meanwhile cook a pot of rice, and serve the beans over the hot cooked rice, garnished with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onion.
- Note: Don’t stir more than necessary – you don’t want mushy beans. If you want thicker beans, remove the lid during the last 30 minutes of cooking time, or remove 1/2 cups of the beans and mash them before returning to the pot.
*I don’t eat meat, so I left out the sausage. It was still fabulous.