Monday is Red Beans & Rice Day.
Back in the day, a typical New Orleans Sunday dinner involved ham. Since Monday was laundry day, Sunday leftovers (bones and all) were thrown into a pot with veggies, beans and spices to cook and stew all day. With dinner out of the way, mom could focus on the wash.
My first introduction to this satisfying dish was in a Popeye’s in Lubbock, Texas, circa 1994. Since then, I’ve tried many variations (thick and creamy, soupy and hearty, vegetarian, smoked sausage, kielbasa sausage, white beans) from all the best restaurants but my taste buds always return to the thick and creamy variation made famous by the late Al Copeland.
Despite my Texas handicap, I make a mean pot of red beans. My New Orleans-raised husband agrees. So to celebrate Wash Day, please enjoy this foolproof, delicious crowd-pleasing recipe.
The Ultimate Red Beans & Rice Recipe
never underestimate the recipe on the back of the box.
To make this Red Beans & Rice recipe even easier, here’s what I do as I’m waiting for the kids to finish their breakfast:
Toss the following into a crock pot on high for 6-8 hours, depending on when you want to eat:
As far as the sausage goes, there are so many options but I prefer the smokey flavor of Richard’s. It’s what my local grocery store butcher recommends. He’s cajun and he knows his sausage.
Before you serve, remove the bay leaf. They are bitter and not pleasant to accidentally bite into. Serve with real rice (not instant). I prefer Zatarain’s. It was made for this dish.
Voila. Dinner, lunch and if you’re a Bond, dinner again. All your meals and all your calories in one day. Now that’s what I call planning for the week.
Now, get to washing, woman.
Do you have an old family Red Beans recipe? Do you have your own version? Vegetarian, perhaps? Will you share it?
“If you’ve got a dream, you might as well dream big.” Al Copeland, The Los Angeles Times, 1997