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CAJUN & CREOLE RED BEANS AND RICE

Red beans and rice is a staple throughout the Southern United States and the Caribbean Islands. Probably a staple for all the ships at sea, both flagged and Pirate, that roamed the Caribbean and the Gulf Coast in the early history of the United States. The two main dried ingredients of rice and beans with any kind of meat to be found made a delicious and belly filling food for sailors and landlubbers alike.



Made traditionally with any red bean and any available rice, the dish has morphed into an almost purist list of ingredients of red kidney beans, Louisiana rice, Hot Andouille smoked sausage, Louisiana hot sauce and Tasso ham. You could also add the trinity (mirepoix) of Green Bell Peppers, Onions and Celery. Good food makes strange bedfellows, including the "Food Snobs" of the World. But "What the Hey!" if it was good enough for Blue Beard, why not a "venture-cap yuppie"?


RECIPE PRINTED FROM: THEGUTSYGOURMET.NET©

INGREDIENTS:  Serves 4

        •	1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over
	•	3 tablespoons bacon grease
	•	1/4 cup chopped tasso, or chopped ham
	•	1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
	•	3/4 cup chopped celery
	•	3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
	•	1/2 teaspoon salt
	•	1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
	•	Pinch cayenne
	•	3 bay leaves
	•	2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
	•	2 teaspoons fresh thyme
	•	1/2 pound smoked sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
	•	1 pound smoked ham hocks
	•	3 tablespoons chopped garlic
	•	10 cups chicken stock, or water
	•	4 cups cooked white rice
	•	1/4 cup chopped green onions, garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or
     overnight. Drain and set aside.

2.  In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add the tasso and cook, stirring, for
     1 minute. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers to the grease in the pot. Season with the salt,
     pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes.

3.  Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage, and ham hocks, and cook, stirring, to brown the
     sausage and ham hocks, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans
     and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer,
     uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours.

4.  (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)

5.  Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against
     the side of the pot. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes.
     Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.

6.  Serve over rice** and garnish with green onions.

COOKS NOTE** 
The Red Beans and Rice that I have had in the Southern U.S.A. always was served with a large dollop of
rice on top of the beans.  Your choice.  Presents better with the rice on top.

NOTE: ALTHOUGH NOT THE EXACT RECIPE SHOWN,  THE EDUCATIONAL VIDEO BELOW MIGHT BE OF HELP.


HOW TO MAKE RED BEANS & RICEPresented by Master Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme.


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