Red Beans and Rice
I would like to start out by giving you a little background on Red Beans and Rice. Rice came to America accidentally in 1686. A ship from Madagascar was docked in a Charleston, SC. port for repairs and in appreciation of the hospitality, the ship's captain, John Thurber, gave Charleston's first settler, Henry Woodward, a bag of rice. Rice has been grown in America ever since. A hundred years or so later, rice made its way to Louisiana. Louisianians consume more rice in one year than Americans consume in five years. Rice is served with a number of Cajun dishes, such as Red Beans and Rice. Red Beans and Rice is traditionally served on Mondays for lunch. One other thing you should know is that in Louisiana -- parboiled or if you like -- converted rice is a no-no.
Legend has it that since Mondays was wash day, which was an all day affair before modern washers and dryers, they would get up and put a pot of beans on the stove to simmer before starting the lengthy task of laundry. Usually when the laundry was done so was the beans. They are served over hot cooked rice with mounds of French bread to sop up every drop.
|Recipes||2 Tbsp.||vegetable oil|
|History||1 c.||onion, chopped|
|Profile||1/2 c.||celery, chopped|
|Flags||1/2 c.||bell pepper, chopped|
|Symbols||1/2 tspn.||cayenne pepper|
|Festivals||1/4 c.||ground pepper|
|Home||3 Tbsp.||fresh garlic, chopped|
|General||1 lb.||boiled ham, cubed|
|6 ozs.||smoke sausage, sliced|
|1 lb.||rinsed & sorted red beans, soaked overnight and drained|
|2||recipes of cooked rice|
In a large saucepan heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Put the onions, bell pepper, celery, salt, cayenne, and ground pepper in the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes or so. Next add the ham and smoked sausage. Continue to sauté for another 5 to 6 minutes then add the garlic and the red beans. You should now add the enough water to just cover the red beans. Bring to a boil the reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally. Let this cook for 2 hours and add water as needed.
Using a wooden spoon, smash about half of the mixture on the side of the pot. After that, continue to cook another 1 1/2 hours longer, stirring occasionally, or until you get a creamy mixture and the beans are soft. It should be soupy but not watery.
Serve this over hot cooked rice with French bread.