Times are getting hard and many people are resorting to making “struggle meals” as we move deeper into this COVID-19 pandemic. I grew up eating “soup beans” which are inexpensive, delicious and will feed a large amount of people. This is a recipe for a bean dish that is a staple in many southern homes and you can enjoy it too.
Beans are a dish that are best when cooked low and slow and this can be achieved easily by using a crock pot. White rice is sometimes difficult for people to cook perfectly but if you use a rice cooker it comes out great. So if you are a fan of this dish, pull out your crock pot and rice cooker and in a few hours of cooking you will have a dish full of deliciousness.
Don’t forget to prep your beans….
It is important to sort your beans because there may be irregular, broken, or discolored beans that should be removed. There are also sometimes rocks or other foreign items often included in the packaging so sorting the beans is important. It is recommended you clean and wash your beans and then let them soak in clean fresh water overnight. I’m always confused on why anyone would not soak their beans, because it makes them cook differently. Pre soaking allows your beans to be able to cook without breaking down into mush, so you will have fully intact beans that will also be soft after cooking. I personally use this method and for me it works.
There are advantages to cooking your rice in a rice cooker…..
How many people have burned or scorched a pot when cooking your rice? Well using a rice cooker has saved many of my pots. In addition to making the perfect rice, a rice cooker also enables you to keep your rice warm and fluffy between the intervals of serving it.
To Rinse or not to Rinse
Some people rinse their rice off before adding it to the rice cooker. I have found that this step is unnecessary especially if you are using type of rice that has vitamins added to the starch or the outside is coated with a vitamin supplement. This is the case with the rice that is manufactured and sold in the U.S., it is required by law to be enriched and rinsing with water will remove all the healthy vitamins like iron, niacin, thiamin or folic acid that may be added. In my advice rinsing your rice is optional, but if you want a less starchy flavor you can rinse the rice. I personally do not rinse my rice and I still have a good eating experience.
How to Make the Louisiana Style Red Beans
Gather your ingredients. Remember you are going to soak your beans overnight so be prepared to serve this dish the next day accounting for the hours that it takes to cook the beans. (The rice will cook quickly)
A pound of pre-soaked dried kidney beans
½ large onion chopped
½ or one whole green bell pepper chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic or 2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 or 1 ½ tablespoon Cajun seasoning
½ or 1 pound sliced kielbasa style or andouille sausage
2 bay leaves
1 or 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
8 to 10 cups of fresh water (the more water you use the soupier your beans will be)
Salt and black pepper (should be added to your taste)
Directions for cooking:
In a pot bring all the ingredients except the salt and pepper to a boil and then pout the ingredients to the crock pot. This is a dish that will take more than an hour to cook. At the one hour mark start checking your beans. If more water is needed add more water. The beans are done when they are soft but still retain their shape. Make sure you remove the bay leaf completely. For a creamier more robust dish use less water and the beans will make gravy that is perfect for your rice. Putting the dish together to serve: Make your rice according to your rice cookers instructions. Scoop your beans out of the pot and pour over your rice as needed. I personally do not like a lot of rice, so I do not mix my rice into my beans, but if you desire to do so it is how the dish is usually served. Some people garnish with fresh diced onion or fresh bell pepper and that is completely up to you….
Do you enjoy soup beans? Are you going to try this recipe?
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