Where do I start on this topic? How about Louis Armstrong! This was his comfort food, his “birthright” as he once said, as I’m sure it is for many New Orleanians. He actually used to sign his name Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong. I’ve been a huge Louis Armstrong fan since I discovered him when I was a kid, so it’s hard not to think of him when eating a big plate of Red Beans. I’ve tracked down two different red beans recipes from Louis Armstrong which I will share in the future.
Everyone has their own recipe for Red Beans & Rice, just like most great New Orleans classics, most of which probably change a little with each cooking, usually depending on either:
what’s in the refrigerator, or what looked good at the store.
This one is made with my homemade Tasso, and homemade Andouille Sausage, so it has a rich, down home smoky flavor.
This traditional Monday lunch in New Orleans, stems from lean times, and a good cook’s sense of how to make something, out of nothing! It’s my absolute favorite thing to cook, I make it once a week, usually on Monday, staying with tradition. I never follow a recipe, but you can always find nine, or so, cookbooks open on my table when I’m cooking it. I always search for a new technique, they almost always turn out good, but once in awhile, there is magic in the pot.
So here is some traditional Monday comfort food, and anyone who loves New Orleans, can certainly use any comfort they can get these days.
Red Beans & Ricely Yours – Danno
Red Beans & Rice Recipe
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
1 Cup Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Chopped
1 Cup Andouille Sausage, Cubed
1 Cup Tasso, Cubed
1/2 lb. Small Red Beans (soaked overnight or for at least a few hours)
1 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, Minced
3 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock (You could certainly use water)
3 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar (When I don’t use Pickle Meat, I add a little vinegar because I like the flavor it lends. Pickle Meat makes wonderful Red Beans by the way; recipe forthcoming.)
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce (I learned this from Louis Armstrong’s Recipe)
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced on the bias
1/2 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice
Mix together the Holy Trinity (Onions, Celery, Bell Pepper). Drain the beans.
Melt the butter over medium heat.
Add 1/2 of the Holy Trinity, 1 Tbsp of the Creole Seasoning, Tasso, and the Andouille, turn the heat to medium high. Cook this for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to get some color.
Add the beans and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
Add the Chicken Stock or Water, Garlic, Bay Leaves, the remaining Trinity and Creole Seasoning. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let this simmer for 2- 2 1/2 Hours. The first hour is low maintenance; an occasional stir and making sure the beans are covered with liquid. The second hour, you want to check back a little more often, the beans will really start to absorb some liquid and you don’t want them to stick.
After the beans have cooked for two hours, add the Tomato Sauce, the Parsley and 1/2 of the Green Onions. Make your Rice. Cook the beans for another half hour.
Remove the Bay Leaves. Mound a half cup of Rice each, onto two serving plates, Cover with a generous helping of the Red Beans, Garnish with the remaining Green Onions. Make sure there is a bottle of hot sauce on the table. Perfect compliments to this meal are a simple vinaigrette salad, Good Crusty French Bread, and your favorite Ice Cold Beer.