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  #1  
Old 06-01-2009, 10:23 PM
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Default Red Beans & Rice

Many of the best recipes around originated as the dishes of the poor, simple ingredients well prepared that are turned into something delicious. Red beans and rice is one of those. There is no single "authentic" recipe for this wonderful Southern dish, any more than there is a single recipe for beef stew or apple pie. This, however, is our favorite (printable copy attached):

Red Beans & Rice

1 pound dried red beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 small ham hocks
˝ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
˝ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
˝ teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
˝ teaspoon dried thyme
˝ teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (optional)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
˝ teaspoon salt, if needed, or to taste
4 cups hot cooked rice

1. Rinse beans and soak overnight in enough cold water to cover completely; drain before using.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or deep pot over medium-high heat.

3. Add onion, bell pepper, & celery; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Add garlic and sauté for one additional minute.

5. Add drained beans, ham hocks, black pepper, cayenne pepper, Tabasco Sauce, bay leaf, parsley, thyme, and basil.

6. Add about 6 to 7 cups of cold water, enough to cover all the ingredients by one inch.

7. Cover, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 2˝ to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender; uncover for last hour to thicken sauce if desired.

8. If sauce needs additional thickening, combine flour in a cup with 2 or 3 tablespoons of the sauce, mix until smooth, and add to pot during the final 30 minutes of cooking, mixing well.

9. Remove ham hocks from beans; cut off and chop any meat, discarding fat, gristle, and bone; return meat to pot.

10. Taste sauce and add salt if needed.

11. Stir in lemon juice just before serving.

12. Serve over hot rice with additional Tabasco Sauce, chopped raw onions, chopped parsley, and lemon wedges, if desired.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

I've been waiting for this one. Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

Let me know what you think, Joe. I made it for dinner tonight, probably the first time in a year or so, and it was great!
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

I'm going to a picnic on Wed night and need to take a side dish. I know RB&R is a main dish for many people, but would it be an acceptable side dish as well? Would a double batch be enough to feed about 40 people as a side dish? How would wild rice or brown rice be with this?

I'll bet a big old pile of Mama's cornbread would go great with this.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

One batch is about 4 to 6 main-course servings, depending on the amount of rice you serve, so I suppose doubling it might yield 40 side servings if they're really small, perhaps served preassembled in small paper cups or something. I think it would be good with any type of rice, but plain white is traditional. Cornbread would be great with it, too.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:13 PM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

Looks terrific, Doug.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

WooHoo, Doug! That is the prettiest plate of red beans and rice I've seen in a long time! And your recipe has my mouth watering. Many thanks for sharing it. Oh and kuddos for serving it with cauliflower - it tastes great with beans and rice!!!
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

One nice bonus is that the sauce is great on things like cauliflower or just about any other veggies -- broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, cabbage, carrots -- but just say no to beets!
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

I always say no to beets.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

FB that looks delicious.
I'd have to have sweet potatoes with it also.
I always have them on the side with red beans and rice, or sometimes mix the two together.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:55 AM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisher's Mom View Post
I always say no to beets.
I nearly always have a bowl of sliced beets in the fridge and eat em' for lunch often - makes my tongue look like I'm a red wino though.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

Do you use a smoked ham hock or regular?
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobsanX View Post
Do you use a smoked ham hock or regular?
I'm going to pick up the smoked hocks for mine today. It can't help but "Kick it up a notch." I might see if the butcher has some nice freshly smoked sausage to add to it.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeV View Post
I'm going to pick up the smoked hocks for mine today. It can't help but "Kick it up a notch." I might see if the butcher has some nice freshly smoked sausage to add to it.
Definitely have to go with a sausage on the RB&R. It completes the deal.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobsanX View Post
Do you use a smoked ham hock or regular?
Smoked. The two little hocks I had yesterday yielded about 1 tablespoon of meat! All skin, bones, fat, and connective tissue. But the hocks adds a lot of flavor.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobsanX View Post
Definitely have to go with a sausage on the RB&R. It completes the deal.
Some people also add ham. Both are good, but I don't think it needs it. As I said, there's no "right" way to make the dish, any more than there's a right way to make chili.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

Quote:
Originally Posted by FryBoy View Post
Smoked. The two little hocks I had yesterday yielded about 1 tablespoon of meat! All skin, bones, fat, and connective tissue. But the hocks adds a lot of flavor.
That's what I figured. My store sells both kinds, so I wanted to be clear! My family is not big on beans, but I love them. I think I can get this dish past everyone but DW.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

In my travels this morning I picked up all the fixins for this dish, including these lovely smoked ham shanks from my local butcher. I will be making a double batch tomorrow for the picnic I'm attending tomorrow afternoon.

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Old 06-02-2009, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Red Beans & Rice

Those look nice! Should have more meat than the hocks I used, although the flavor is more important than the meat.

It just occurred to me that you could omit the hocks to make a vegan version of RB&R, perhaps adding little liquid smoke for the missing hock/ham flavor. It would be both cheaper (it is po' boy food, after all) and practically health food.
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