Happy Monday ! And the beginning of a busy week for my family – So on the menu today is Ted Beans & rice. Perfect for a busy Monday:
Louisiana is known for it’s Monday ‘s Red Beans & Rice Day but do you know why?
Leave it to clever New Orleans housewives. In the 19th century, Monday was laundry day in the city. Without washing machines, the ladies of the house had to clean every dirty article of clothing by hand! This didn’t leave much time for cooking, so dinner had to be something that could cook by itself.
Enter the red kidney bean, brought to New Orleans by those fleeing Haiti’s slave rebellion. The beans needed to soak overnight before cooking, but these days, you’ll find a “quick soak” method on the back of the package. After soaking and draining them, housewives simply set the beans on the stove with fresh water to boil until tender, and then added a delicious helping of sauteed “trinity”–the quintessential Cajun/Creole cooking base of diced onions, celery and bell peppers.
From here, it’s traditional to throw in Sunday dinner’s ham bone, letting it flavor the beans along with a bay leaf. You can omit the meat, or add in some andouille sausage or tasso ham while your rice cooks up.
I make an easy method by using the crock pot & let it cook all day.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 4 cups pre-chopped trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper)
- 1 pound smoked sausage, each link quartered length-wise then cut 1/2″ thick
- 7 cups water (low setting) or 6 cups water (high setting)
- 1 (1-pound) package kidney beans
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
- Hot sauce to taste
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 6 cups cooked white or brown rice
- Optional: Soak the beans overnight Rinse the beans under cool, running water. Place in a large bowl or pot and cover with several inches of clean water. Let sit overnight. Drain before cooking.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat.
- Add the trinity, stir well, and cook until vegetables start to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure that the vegetables don’t stick.
- Add the smoked sausage, stir well, and continue to cook until sausage is browned and vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Continue to stir occasionally to make sure trinity and sausage aren’t sticking.( * If you want you can just dump it all in the crock pot & not cook it first if you like – I have done both )
- Once done, remove the skillet from heat and transfer the contents to a slow cooker.
- Add the water and red beans along with garlic powder, onion powder, bay leaves, and dried thyme. Stir well and place cover on the slow cooker.
- Set the slow cooker on low for 10 hours (or 4 hours on high setting). Stir occasionally.
- After eight hours (on low setting ) or three hours (on high setting) the beans should be soft. Use the back of a spoon to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot to thicken the beans, for a more creamier style of beans.
- Before serving, stir in thinly sliced green onions and the desired amounts of salt and black pepper. Serve over rice and with hot sauce* *