Monday, January 7, 2013
Crockpot Red Beans and Rice
I love this time of year because it's a time for easy cooking. The easiest is crockpot cooking and I intend to make good use of my crockpot in this new year--especially while the weather is cool and damp.
The first crockpot recipe of the new year was one my husband prepared, Red Beans and Rice. The stew is added to the crock pot in the morning and in the afternoon you have a hearty and easy meal that is perfect for cool weather.
In 1984, my parents spent some time with a great-aunt in New Orleans while going to the World's Fair. (Do they even have those any more?) My mother had a wonderful time and one of the things she brought back was a recipe for Red Beans and Rice. A friendly neighbor of our relative invited them over for the classic NOLA meal and my parents prepared in on busy, chilly days.
My mother told us the story (if you can call it that) behind the famous dish the neighbor related to her about why New Orleans families loved to cook this dish. Evidently, it is an easy and filling meal usually made on Mondays, the traditional wash day. Cooks would put it on in the morning and have plenty of time to deal with the large chore of washing, drying and ironing for the rest of the week. When they were finished with the washing, the meal was finished.
The crock pot is the perfect place for cooking beans of any variety and the red beans are always good served this way.
My crockpot recipe based on my mother's is:
Crockpot Red Beans and Rise
1 pound of red beans (kidney is the usual bean used but all red beans are good in this dish)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 pound of turkey sausage
1 tablespoon of Creole seasoning (or to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
6-1/2 cups water
Add all ingredients to a crockpot and cook for 5 hours on high or 7 hours on low. Taste and add seasonings to taste. Serve over a bed of rice.