Happy New Year, everyone!
I thought I’d start off 2013 with a post that has nothing to do with holidays or new beginnings or New Years in general. It’s just something that I made recently that turned out pretty well.
My entire experience with red beans and rice is what I’ve gotten from Popeye’s on those few occasions when hubby really needed a Louisiana food fix. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but it was all right, and since I had a few pounds of Cajun sausage in my freezer, I thought this would be a nice dish to try for him. I’m a nice wife sometimes.
I started off with a pound of dry red kidney beans. Dry beans intimidate me but Google is my friend.
I started off with boiling them and letting them sit for an hour or so.
Meanwhile, I chopped up some veggies (onion, green pepper, celery) and sauteed them in olive oil with some garlic
Then I forgot to take pictures for a few steps. Basically, I rinsed the beans and then put them back in the pot with about 6 cups of fresh cold water. I also added a few bay leaves and some cayenne pepper.
Then I added thyme…
Similarly blurry parsley (I need to focus on photography skills in 2013)…
And Penzey’s Cajun spices.
And I’m going to be perfectly honest, I don’t know what this is. It’s not in the recipe. Could it be just a dark picture of partially-added Cajun spice? Probably. But I couldn’t swear to it.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to add the veggies!
Here ya go. Bring it to a boil, and then simmer for two and a half hours. I think I did closer to two hours. I also think I added a healthy dose of salt, too. I have learned that Cajun food requires it.
Then add your sliced sausage, imported by the inlaws (no pictures; sorry!), and simmer for another half hour or so.
Up until this point, I was seriously, seriously questioning this dish. Once the sausage was in, though, it took on a whole different quality. The Cajun sausage here really made a difference in the aroma and in the taste of the broth.
Serve over fresh, hot, fluffy rice. And that’s it!
The smokiness of the sausage really mixed well with the sage and thyme. Like I said, I was skeptical of this dish until the sausage was added. But then it got yummy. Really yummy. I’m not sure how to describe this.
But I am pretty sure this was better than Popeye’s!
Here’s the recipe, if you’d like to give it a shot. Not sure how it would be without real Cajun sausage but if you’re like me and from the North, you might not know the difference