Red beans n’ rice, with greens, and cornbread. Yummmm….
If you aren’t sure what to make on Monday, this is a decent, easy meal. It takes a long time but it doesn’t require a lot of attention or hands-on effort, so works well when you have a lot to do. It’s also a cheap meal that is filling and wholesome (hello, fiber!)
Here’s a peek of how we did it recently.
First, we used Richard’s (pronounced REE-shard) turkey sausage. I know what you are thinking . . . turkey sausage has no place in southern home-cookin’. Well, by golly, for this girl it does. Plus, if you read the fine print on the packaging, you’ll discover that there’s only some turkey in there, meaning that there is still plenty o’ pig to do the job.
So here’s more or less how it’s done:
1. Soak red beans overnight in water (about 2x the volume of the beans). Next morning, strain dem beans and rinse ’em.
2. Cut up dem sausages.
3. Saute dat trinity (see below).
4. Add in dem beans. (Note: any type of bean works for this meal, if you’d like something different).
5. Turn dat heat down low.
6. Add water enough to cover beans.
7. Add some bay leaves. Add a pinch of baking soda – supposedly this reduces the amount of gas that those eating your dish will experience later. So my mother says, anyway.
8. Let cook for a looooong time. Slow, slow, slow. Add water as needed and stir semi-often.
9. Add some seasoning: salt, pepper, tabasco, cayenne, tony chacere’s or substitute (whatever floats your boat, really). I try not to add too much too early because the sausages really add a lot of spice and flavor. The key is to taste as you go.
10. Throw in dem sausages.
11. Cook for awhile until beans are tender. If it seems dry, add some water. Prepare you some rice in dat rice cooker. I used brown rice last time and I didn’t die, so if you want to be healthy, I say go for it.
For lazy or time-pressed Cajuns, this is a life saver. It has the bell pepper, celery and onions that you need plus some garlic. Totally worth the extra costs. (It’s like 3.50 for one of these babies).
Here’s a recipe that I used to refresh my memory on how to make red beans and rice. And there’s a picture of the cookbook from whence it came for your reference. I hadn’t made red beans and rice for years because I kind of overdid it when I was first living on my own.
Anyway, this recipe is good, but I see absolutely no reason to fry the sausage in a separate pan. All that accomplishes is making another pan dirty and losing some of the flavorful sausage fat. Now, who wants that?
You want to saute your trinity until the onions are clear. In my opinion, how much trinity you add is a matter of personal preference. Sometimes, I add a lot.
Now if there’s one thing that I hold true in this world, it’s definitely that beans belong with cornbread. So make us some cornbread, we did. Because we weren’t bursting with ample time though, we used a jiffy mix. Here’s a song from Louis Jordan to make up for our failings.
The last thing we did was make some mustard greens. You can either boil them (add a pinch of sugar) and season them largely with some sausage/bacon/ham and tabasco and/or vinegar OR you can saute them with some trinity and basically the same stuff. I think lately I’ve preferred sauteeing them. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of this process. Or a picture of the final product for that matter. Oh well, maybe next time.