Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Red beans and rice is a Southern favorite

Red beans and rice is a classic Monday offering at Southern diners in our part of the world.

It is traditionally served on Monday because in earlier times, Monday was wash day. That meant that you could put a pot of beans on the wood fired stove when you started the wash, and by noon the beans would be ready. If you add a good portion of smoked sausage, this dish becomes hearty and delicious.

If you forget to soak your beans overnight, not to worry. Canned beans will never be as good as made from scratch, but, if you rinse them thoroughly, they are pretty darn good.

Here's a simple and delicious recipe.

RED BEANS AND RICE

1-2 cans pinto beans or white beans

1-1 1/2 cups sliced smoked sausage

1 chopped red onion

1 chopped bell pepper

2-4 cloves chopped garlic

1-2 cups homemade chicken stock

1 cup jasmine rice

Cook the rice in two cups of water until tender. Hopefully you have a rice cooker. Sauté the sausage in a heavy pan until well browned. Remove and set aside, but be sure to leave the drippings in the pan. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Add 1/2 cup of beans to the pan (this will help to thicken it), the sausage, the chicken stock and simmer 1 hour. Add the rest of the beans and cook 15 minutes longer. Add more chicken stock as needed. Plate, top with rice and enjoy.

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