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Recipe – Red Beans and Rice

Ever since I lived in New Orleans, I have loved real  New Orleans style red beans. When I first moved there, I was a waitress at Lenfants Restaurant, where their lunch special was a big plate with red beans on one side, rice on the other side, and a big hunk of grilled smoked sausage in the middle. Like eveything there, it was served with a crusty Po-Boy roll. Their red beans are so easy, and have such a distinctive taste. Here’s my take on how they do it:

1 lb. red beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained

  • 1/2 lb. bacon, cut into smell pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 7 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Zatarain’s Crab Boil if available
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt to taste, at least 2 tsp.
  • 1 package smoked sausage, kielbasa, or andouille sausage

Render the bacon in a little olive oil, along with 1/2 of the sausage cut into a 1/2″ dice. Add onions and other veggies and saute until veggies are beginning to soften. Add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes then add the beans, bay leaves, thyme, and pepper flakes and cover with water.

Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer and cook, severed for 2 hours. Uncover, add the rest of the sausage cut into slices, and stirring frequently, cook for another hour until it thickens. Add salt to taste. Serve over steaming white rice and top with Tabasco sauce.

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