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Louisiana Creole Cuisine
Creole cuisine is world famous and rightly so! This amazing cuisine combines French, Spanish, African, and Haitian influences.
Louisiana Creole has produced some of the most well known and delicious foods to include jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp creole, and this recipe, Red Beans and Rice.
Red Beans and Rice
Red beans and rice is known as a simple and humble peasant food. The red beans arrived via white French creoles who settled in New Orleans after fleeing a slave uprising in Haiti. The flavors are complex considering the few ingredients needed to prepare this dish.
In New Orleans, it was an old tradition to cook red beans and rice on Mondays, which was also a traditional laundry day. I can surmise that the simple preparation, combined with hands off time on the stove, freed up time for people to tackle this chore.
Louis Armstrong, jazz musician and native of New Orleans, loved red beans and rice! It was his favorite meal, and he would sign letters: "Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong."
Red Beans and Rice - Ingredients
This dish contains "the Holy Trinity" of Creole cuisine which is green pepper, onion, and celery. Other than that you will need only a few more ingredients to make this delicious dish.
Red Kidney beans, of course, are an essential. The recipe I followed (tweaked slightly) comes from the back of a packet of Camellia Red Kidneys. Camellia brand has been around since 1923, and are a New Orleans favorite.
The recipe also calls for addition of smoked sausage. I used Andouille sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage closely associated with Creole cuisine.
1,000 Foods to Eat Project
Red Beans and Rice is also one of the 1,000 Foods to Eat listed in the book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, by Mimi Sheraton. It is #8 on my quest to prepare and eat each of the foods listed in the book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die.
For a list of the foods tried so far, please visit my 1,000 Foods to Eat Project page.
I hope you will take the time to prepare and enjoy this dish soon, and bring a taste of New Orleans to your dinner table!
Camellia's Famous New Orleans-Style Red Beans
- 1 lb Camellia Red Kidney Beans
- 1 lb smoked sausage, sliced I used Andouille sausage
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 1 med onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ stick butter optional
- 8-9 cups water or chicken broth use chicken broth for extra flavor
- 1 ham hock
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 green onions sliced for garnish
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 ts Cajun or Creole seasoning plus more to taste - I used Slap Ya Mama
- Rinse and sort beans. In a large heavy pot, cook sausage for 5-10 minutes until browned.
- Add vegetables and garlic to sausage, along with butter, and continue to cook until onions turn soft and clear.
- Add beans, water, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and 1 ts of Creole/Cajun seasoning. Add ham hock, cover and simmer for 1-1.5 hrs, stirring occasionally until beans are desired tenderness.
- Add salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning to taste. For creamier consistency, press some beans into the side of the pot with a spoon and stir.