Red beans and rice has been a staple in my family since we first moved to New Orleans. It took a few tries to convince John Jay that beans were not the devil, and now it's one of our favorites as well. John Jay is reading Why New Orleans Matters right now, and learned that the women used to always make this dish on Mondays, which was laundry day. They would just put a big pot of beans on the stove to simmer all day while they scrubbed away. This recipe is my mom's from our family cookbook. (I altered it a tiny bit)
As Ol' Louis would say: "Red Beans and Ricely Yours!" (click here for Louis Armstrong's recipe)
1 lb. bag dried Camellia brand red beans (or kidney beans) soaked overnight
2 lbs. smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices (we use turkey sausage)
3 T butter/margarine
1 chopped onion (don't forget the goggles!)
1/2 t ground celery seed
1 T minced garlic
3 whole bay leaves
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
2 pinched cayenne pepper
•Place all ingredients in crock pot (in order) and cover with water and cook for 8 hours on high or 12 hours on low.
•Remove bay leaves
•Take about 3/4 cup of beans and 1/2 cup broth and puree in blender or mash with fork. Add back to rest of beans.
We've also found that we like to cook our rice at least a few hours before and chill it in the fridge before serving. It's not as sticky this way.