Posted by Megan | Budget, Budget & Quick

We have been on a Louisiana food kick the past couple of days. We had a Groupon that we used yesterday to go to a local restaurant called Po’ Boys Creole Cafe, where we dined on a Meat and Potato Po’ Boy, a Shrimp Po’ Boy, and most impressively, a Gator Po’ Boy. We got the half servings of each of these and between the two of us, polished them off. It was a convenient way to enjoy a local place and try this southern specialty.

What was amusing about the experience though, was that earlier in the day, we had purchased all the ingredients to make Budget Byte’s Louisiana Red Beans and Rice for dinner for the next few days (we’re headed on a big trip on Tuesday, so we just needed a big pot of something to hold us over). Luckily for us, we managed to avoid overlapping the flavors of the two meals too much and enjoyed both Louisiana classics.

I assisted Will in the production of the red beans and rice dinner, but only in a limited quantity. Will (re)taught me how to cut a green bell pepper, which I’m still not very good at because they get all curled up on the end and I find that extremely challenging to deal with. I also monitored the beans and then combined everything in the pot when the time came. Big stuff-I’m really moving up in the kitchen! Hah! I at least convinced Will that I had to practice piano instead of cutting an onion.

Anywho, this dinner was very tasty and should last us in case the apocalypse hits over the next few days. Or a hurricane. Or simply to just feed us for Saturday-Tuesday night. Enjoy!

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 6)
1 lb kidney beans (dry)
1 yellow onion
3 stalks celery
1 green bell pepper
1 lb andouille sausage
1 tbsp veggie oil
4 cloves garlic (we forgot this apparently…which we just realized as I typed this up)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme (we used fresh from our garden as opposed to dried)
1 tsp dried oregano
3 cubes buillon
1 tsp Tony Chachere’s
6 sliced green onions (we skipped these since they’re for garnish)
2 cups uncooked long grain rice

To quick soak your beans, place them in a pot with double the amount of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil with a lid and let boil for 2 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat after 2 minutes and let sit, tightly covered, for one hour. While beans are soaking, slice the sausage into medallions. (We had to modify this step because of the cooked quality of our sausage). Cook in pan over medium-high heat until they are cooked through and nicely browned. Remove from pot with slotted spoon, leaving the grease to cook the veggies in.

Clean and dice the onion, celery, green bell pepper and garlic. Add these to the pan containing the sausage grease and add 1 tbsp of veggie oil if needed. Saute the veggies until they are soft and transparent (about 10 minutes). Drain the soaking water off of the beans, rinse them, and put them back in the pot. Add the veggies to the pot. Add 7 cups of water, the buillon, bay leaves, thyme and oregano. Stir all together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly (medium) and boil until beans are soft (without a lid, about one hour).

Once beans are soft, use back of large spoon to smash about half the beans against the side of the pot. This will give the beans a creamy texture. Add the sausage to the pot and continue to boil the mixture until it reaches desired thickness (without a lid, approximately one more hour). Add Tony Chachere’s to you liking.

During the last hour of cooking, prepare the rice. In another large pot, combine 2 cups of dry rice with 3 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil with a lid, then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until all of the water has absorbed (about 30 minutes).

Serve beans and rice in a bowl, with a green onion garnish, and enjoy for several days!

Recipe: Budget Bytes: Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

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