Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday is Laundry Day in New Orleans- Red Beans and Rice

One of the very first things I learned when I moved New Orleans is that Monday is Laundry Day and Laundry Day means Red Beans and Rice. Back in the days when laundry was done by hand, Red Beans and Rice was prepared early in the morning and put on the stove to simmer all day.

Today is Monday and I am doing laundry. In my sparkly energy-efficient machine. My knuckles are spared but here's the goodness just the same.

Red Beans and Rice

Serves 6-8

1 pound dried red beans
3 quarts water or more as needed
1/4- 1/2 pound andouille sausage or chicken cut into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 t. dried
1/4 small fresh or dried red chile pepper flakes- or more to your taste
salt and black pepper to taste
2 c. freshly cooked white rice
chopped parsley for garnish

1. Wash the beans thoroughly. Bring 1 1/2 quarts of the water to boil in large pot. Add the beans and boil 5 minutes.

2. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the beans to soak for 1 hour.

3. Drain the beans and set aside.

4. Add 1 1/2 quarts of the fresh water to the pot. Add meat, onion, celery, bay leaves, thyme, chile pepper. Bring to boil and cook 20 minutes. Add red beans and simmer until they are tender but not mushy. About 1 hour.

5. Discard the meat, onion, celery and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. There should be some sauce but the beans should not be soupy. If there's too much sauce, bring heat to high and boil to reduce.

6. Serve the beans over cooked white rice. Pass with hot sauce.

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