IF IT’S MONDAY IN NEW ORLEANS, YOU MUST BE EATING RED BEANS AND RICE FOR DINNER!
In Louisiana, it was customary for Mondays to be wash day. Before there were washing machines and dryers, women did there laundry outdoors. They filled their washtubs with soap and water, and agitated the clothing on washboards. Then, the clothing would go into another tub to rinse and the laundry was put through the ringer. The laundry was then hung on the line to dry. After all that hard work, the ironing had to be done too. Doing the laundry was an all day affair which left little time for cooking.
Red Beans & Rice was the perfect solution. The beans could simmer all day while the laundry was being done. Red beans and rice have become a perennial favorite throughout Louisiana, especially on Mondays. New Orleanians enjoy this tradition so you can find the dish at many restaurants and home throughout the area. Red Beans & Rice are filling, nutritious, and they even freeze well for next Monday.
To cook them at home, just follow this recipe:
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Large onion, diced
1 small bell pepper; diced
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1 lb. red beans, rinsed
10 cups water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups cooked white rice
In a large pot, brown sausage over medium-high heat, remove from pot, and set aside to drain. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery to the pot. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions start to caramelize. Add beans, water, salt, and cayenne. Boil gently, uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add more water if necessary. Add browned sausage and heat through. Serves 6-8.