Red Beans and Rice is a Southern tradition… and New Orleans does it best… this dish ranks right up there on top of the best loved Cajun dishes. I’ve had Red Beans and Rice in many places.. all slightly different… but the basics are the same.. so when Warren and I were out at a favorite Cajun restaurant and he offered me a taste of his Red Beans and Rice… I jumped at it… and tasty it was.
We weren’t in New Orleans… but could have been… with the Boudin Balls… and the rest of the menu… but alas we had to settle for southern Georgia… but we did alright … wonderful food and quirky atmosphere… a good night.
That night only whet my appetite for some more of that Cajun food… so as I sat down to plan this week’s posts… I decided to recreate those Red Beans and Rice…
Just about every recipe for Red Beans and Rice includes Andouille sausage… oddly.. the dish from the other night didn’t have it in there… but had a distinctly smoky flavor… so I decided to not use Andouille sausage and use a smoked ham hock instead.
Many recipes include both .. and you certainly can add it in… but I did not.
I also decided to use a crock pot because I wanted to simplify things… I figured if it didn’t work out well.. the recipe would go off to the recipe graveyard or back to the drawing board to be re-worked… fortunately it couldn’t have worked out any better… just perfect… the result was extremely close to what we enjoyed at the restaurant.
This recipe is so simple and foolproof… and so good.
As I mentioned… you can add in Andouille sausage… slice it up and cook it in a skillet and then add it to the crock pot.
I did one other change… I didn’t make the white rice separately… I added Minute rice to the crock pot about 30 minutes before I turned the pot off… if you want to cook the rice separately then mix it with the beans… decrease the chicken stock or broth by ½ cup.
The beans will be soupy .. the consistency of a runny gravy… which is traditionally correct… when adding rice … the extra liquid gets absorbed… same will follow if you add uncooked rice to the crock pot at the end.
I used my Cajun Seasoning… you can use whatever Cajun seasoning you’d like, but if you substitute another seasoning blend.. you will need to figure out just how much to use. Click the link for my recipe…
I used about ½ tablespoon Cajun seasoning in the beginning and added almost another ½ tablespoon at the end… my rice had a definite bite to it.. if you don’t like things so spicy.. add less at the end.
I add my Cajun seasoning in at the beginning and then at the end I add more to taste.
This recipe makes about 6 generous side servings.
So here goes… it’s so simple… you won’t believe it..
Recipe: Red Beans and Rice
All you need:
½ pound small red dried beans
2-3 cups chicken stock or broth* see tips
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ red pepper, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
About 1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning, divided
1 smoked ham hock
2 cups Minute rice (dry)
All you need to do:
Pick over the dry beans to remove any stones or other debris.
Place the beans in a medium bowl and cover with water. Water level should be about 2 inches above beans. Soak overnight.
Drain beans and put into a crockpot.
Add remaining ingredients except for rice.
Cook on high for about 5 hours.
Remove the ham hock. You can take the meat off the bone and chop it and add it back in… I did not.
Add dry rice and stir well. Continue cooking for about 30 minutes.
OR … cook the rice separately in the microwave or on the stovetop and serve separately. If serving the rice separately… remember to cut the chicken stick back to 2 ½ cups in the beginning.
Adjust the seasoning by adding some more Cajun seasoning… to taste.
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