Red Beans and Rice

This is based off a recipe attributed to Chef Bobo, posted on the NPR WWW site. This recipe had (at least) typos/transcription errors, and the water content was waaaaay high. Following is an attempt to alter this recipe for ease and speed of preparation (red beans should be a simple dish, not an evening of work).

On the original preparation (altered for ingredient availability) the flavor was dead on, but the water content caused problems. Following is the NEXT suggested iteration.

Soak about 1 lb dry red-beans (12-24 hrs) and drain. Barely cover beans in water (or salt-free stock) and cook as usual. (about 80 minutes simmer, or 15-20 minutes in pressure cooker)

Saute vegatables and spices.
These ingredients are listed in order of how long they should be sauted, so they can be prepared as they are being cooked.

Start with about 1 tsp ground black pepper in cool olive oil, and start warming saute pan.
Add about 4 cloves minced garlic (or about 1/2 tsp dried granulated).
1 or 2 stalks of chopped celery
1 medium minced onion
(about 1 cup) Saute for a minute or two, then add
1 chopped green pepper (about 1 cup)
5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
2 sprigs fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
4 bay leaves
Saute a bit more, then add
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp tobasco sauce

Saute briefly (tomato seems to help spice/herb essence extraction) less than 1 minute, then add to bean pot.

While saute'ing remove about 1/3 to 1/2 of the beans with slotted spoon and squish them, then return to bean pot.
(Do in parallel with above saute step)
Add some bullion (ham, beef, chicken or vegetable) now if beans were cooked in plain water.

Add some sliced sausage (smoked turkey kielbasa, or anduille if available) and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Salt to taste.

Serve in a bowl topped with a mound of rice.
Add additional hot sauce if desired, and (optional) garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.

Aaron Birenboim
Last modified: Tue Sep 20 07:42:32 MDT 2005