Saturday, November 3, 2012

N'Awlins Red Beans and Rice recipe with Sweet Cornbread

When I was growing up, one of my family's most favorite meals was always red beans and rice.  My mom made it best!  Now, I get to make it for my own family and they love it just as much as I did growing up.  It has definitely become a family tradition.  In fact, this is exactly what I made during the Super Bowl several years ago when the New Orleans Saint won.  It is easy to make from scratch and once you try it like this, you will NEVER go back to that boxed crap.  It is so much healthier for you anyways.

Red Beans and Rice Recipe-

  • 1 pound of kidney beans
  • 1 green pepper
  • 4- 6 bunches of green onion
  • 1 sweet onion 
  • 4- 6 celery stalks
  • 2 small ham hocks or 1 large one
  • 1 link of smoked sausage 
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 2- 3 bay leaves
  • Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning to taste  
Rice- make this last, but just follow the directions on the box.  White rice, brown rice...  doesn't matter.  I always add salt and butter to mine.  

I do not ever technically measure out what I am putting into my pot, so I will try and make this as specific as possible.

First, soak the beans overnight.

Next, start cooking the beans first.  You can do this one of several ways.  If you have a really big pot, you can add the beans to the water and bring it to a boil then as they are cooking allow it to boil down.  Or if you have a normal pot, fill it to the top with hot water, add the beans, bring to a boil, but MAKE SURE THE WATER DOESN'T BOIL AWAY.  There is nothing worse than having to replan a meal after anticipating this, then ruining it because the water boiled away and the beans burned...  The beans will have to cook for several hours before they are ready, so just add more water as needed.

Season the beans.  Chop all your veggies and toss them in.  Add the ham hocks with the veggies.  It does not really matter when you add the sausage.  Now or later is fine.  Just make sure you give it time to cook up and absorb some of the flavor.  If you forget things, add it with the veggies and ham hocks. 

Now just step back and wait.  You will want to give yourself plenty of time to let this cook.  Give it at the very minimum three hours.  If you live someplace in high altitude, you will want to give this all day.  Once everything is in, and the water has boiled for about half an hour, turn the temperature down to low heat and let it simmer.  Turn the heat off completely about twenty minutes before the meal so that it has a chance to thicken up.

Serve over rice and wait for the eventual praises from your family about how awesome of a cook you are!

Cornbread recipe-

  • 2 cups of Bisquick (make your own!)
  • 1 cup of sugar or 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 stick of melted unsalted butter (REAL butter, NOT margarine)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs

I ALWAYS double this recipe when I make it.  My family LOVES cornbread.

If you do honey, instead of sugar, it will have a slightly denser feel after it is baked, but that has never seemed to bother anyone here.  The taste is still fabulous.

In a mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients and beat until creamy.  It will have a slightly gritty consistency, but hey...  it IS cornbread. 

Put into the oven at 350 degrees and bake for about 40 minutes in 9 by 9 inch pan.  I use a glass casserole dish and it turns out just fine. If you used honey, it make take a bit longer to bake.  Test with a fork or knife to see if it is done.  When it gets pulled out and it is clean, then it is baked all the way through.  But you knew that, of course! 

Serve warm with butter and honey.  It's like heaven in your mouth!

Serve the cornbread and the red beans and rice together for an awesome meal that your family will ask for again.

Remember, like us on Facebook as we anticipate our move to Minnesota to start a small farm!  

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