I admit, when it comes to authentic New Orleans-style red beans and rice, I can’t claim to be an expert. I’ve never even been to New Orleans.
But I do love me some red beans and rice, even if the only version I’ve ever eaten was made here in Minnesota, waaaay up here at the opposite end of the Mississippi River. But, seriously, is there anything better on a chilly evening than a big spicy bowl of beans with sausage over a heap of rice? Not much, if you ask me.
Here’s the thing about red beans and rice: usually it’s one of those meals that you need to make for a crowd. Either that, or prepare to eat leftovers every single day for a week if you’re in a two-person household like mine.
I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again… I’m a firm believer that although there are some exceptions, generally speaking, leftovers are the worst.
Red beans and rice is one of those rare meals where I don’t actually mind eating the leftovers because the texture doesn’t really change much when it’s reheated (and in fact, it’s actually better when it’s eaten the next day because the flavors have had a chance to really meld). But I still don’t love eating the same thing every single day, so I prefer to make a smaller batch to keep the leftovers at a minimum.
So, friends, get a load of my red beans and rice… for two.
This recipe makes about enough for two people to have a filling dinner, plus a solid portion of leftovers for lunch the next day. Which is juuuust about right for me.
- 1 cup of dried kidney beans soaked for 24 hours to soften
- 1 slice of bacon chopped
- 1 rib celery chopped fine
- 1 small onion chopped fine
- 1 green pepper chopped fine (be sure to remove the stem and seeds before you chop it!)
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 oz andouille sausage sliced
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 green onion sliced (including both the white and the green part)
In a large saucepan, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy, about 6 minutes.
Stir in the celery, onion and green pepper and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes
Add the garlic and cajun seasoning and give it a quick stir. Stir in the beans, water and broth, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir frequently.
Stir in the andouille and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Serve over rice with the sliced green onions sprinkled on top.