Sunday, January 17, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

This is my first request recipe... it took longer than I thought to get around to it, but I hope it is worth it in the end.  The request was for a red beans and rice recipe.  I interpreted this to mean kidney beans, and that a good New Orleans style recipe was what was desired.  When it comes to New Orleans I always turn to Paul Prudhomme for guidance... he is awesome and these beans don't disappoint.  For practicality, I've replaced homemade stock with boullion cubes (Herbox is my favorite)... feel free to use stock in place of water the way his recipe recommends.

Red Beans and Rice
Adapted from The Prudhomme Family Cookbook

1 pound dried red kidney beans
2 sausages of chorizo, chopped (or try another smoked pork sausage or bacon)
About 6-7 Herbox chicken boullion cubes
3/4 pound Cure 81 smoked ham, or other smoked ham cubed
2 1/2 cups onions, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped

Cooked Rice

1. Cover the beans with water at least 3 inches above the beans; soak overnight. Drain.

2. In a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan or large Dutch oven, combine the beans with 7 cups of water and 3 boullion cubes. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently and scraping pan bottom well so the beans won't stick. Continue boiling until the liquid just covers the beans, about 25 minutes, stirring and scraping frequently so beans won't scorch.  Err on the side of extra water in the pot.  Don't wait until the beans look dry because they will be scorching.  If they do scorch, change to a new pan without stirring.

3. Stir in 2 cups more water and one boullion cube and return to a boil, stirring frequently. Continue boiling until liquid has again reduced enough that it just covers the beans, about 15 minutes, stirring and scraping pan bottom frequently. Add 2 cups more water and one boullion cube; cook and stir about 15 minutes. Add 3 cups more water and one boullion cube; cook and stir until beans (both centers and hulls) are very tender and don't taste starchy, 30 to 40 minutes.  If beans require longer cooking to tenderize them, continue adding water as needed, 1 to 2 cups at a time.

4. Now stir in 2 cups more water and add the ham, onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Return to a boil and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chorizo and continue cooking over high heat about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until flavors marry, about 30 minutes, stirring and scraping pan bottom frequently.

5. Finally, stir in the parsley and add more stock or water if you want the beans juicier; continue cooking about 10 minutes more, stirring frequently and being careful not to let the beans scorch. Remove from heat and add salt, if needed.

To serve, allow mounded in the center of a bowl or plate and surround with beans.

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