August 29, 2009

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

As I’ve mentioned before, I spent about 10 years of my childhood in Lafayette, Louisiana (the heart of Cajun and Creole Country). Wikipedia just informed me that Lafayette has one of the highest numbers of restaurants per capita of any U.S. city. So it’s really no wonder that I’m familiar with red beans and rice, a mainstay of traditional Louisiana cuisine. On the fast food front, I LOVE the red beans and rice from Popeye’s (and the biscuits! LOVE the biscuits!), though I haven’t had Popeye’s in years. When I came across this recipe for red beans and rice in a magazine recently, it brought back many fond memories of Lafayette. (I just spent way too long talking about my memories of summer day camp to my very uninterested husband.) Instead of filing away the recipe in my “Recipes To Try Binder,” I kept it front and center so I could make it as soon as possible. This was my first time cooking red beans and rice and The Picky Apple’s first time eating red beans and rice. Ever. We were both extremely pleased with the results, and I’m already looking forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

The original recipe used a more involved technique for cooking the rice, but I just kept it simple and cooked my rice like I always do. Loved the results….my only suggestion would be to use a 3/4 to 1 pound of sausage for extra meaty flavor. Serve with Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning and a side of cornbread or buttery biscuits, and you’re set!

Red Beans and Rice
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

adapted from Cooks’ Country, June/July 2009

Ingredients:

* 1/2 pound andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced into thin half-moons
* 1 onion, chopped fine
* 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
* 1 celery rib, chopped fine
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* salt and pepper
* 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
* 1 pound dried red kidney beans, rinsed and picked over
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
* 2 cups water

Heat sausage in Dutch oven over medium heat until fat renders and sausage is browned, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels-lined plate, cover, and reserve in refrigerator. Cook onion, bell pepper, and celery in sausage fat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, beans, and bay leaf, bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are just beginning to soften, about 20 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low until beans are completely tender, 4 to 5 hours (or cook on high for 3 to 4 hours). Stir sausage into slow cooker, cover, and cook on high until heated through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook rice according to package instructions. Serve over rice.

No comments: