Red Beans and Rice is a popular dish in New Orleans, traditionally prepared and served on Monday nights. This version comes to us care of Pabeaux Johnson. He is a writer and photogapher based in the city, well-known for his open-door Monday night suppers with this dish in the starring role on the menu. Hear more about Johnson's Monday night supper in his interview with host Francis Lam.
1 1/2 pounds dried red or kidney beans (soaked in water 4 hours or overnight, Camellia brand preferred)
1 pound smoked sausage or andouille, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
6 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
2 medium onions, cut into fine dice
1 medium bell peppers, chopped
1 ribs celery, diced fine
4 Tbs. olive or vegetable oil (for saute)
Herbs and spices:
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
2 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
2 teaspoon salt (then to taste)
4 tablespoon dried parsley
1 bunch fresh green onions, chopped
Brown the sausage in a little bit of oil until nice and crispy. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil and grease mixture until onions get "lazy" (limp and transparent). Add celery and bell pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Pour the soaked beans and water into the sauté, then simmer until beans soften (usually 1 1/2 - 2 hours). You can also use canned beans to save time, but if you do, cut back on the added salt. Add peppers and dried herbs, tailoring the spice to your own liking.
Fifteen minutes before serving, remove one cup of beans. Using a fork, mash them in a bowl, then return to the pot -- this will enhance the creamy texture of the final product. Add parsley and green onions. Simmer about 15 minutes, fine-tune spices, and serve over rice.
Serves 10 on a Monday night in New Orleans, or anywhere and anytime lovers of New Orleans gather.
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