(This is a repost from April 26, 2006)
My mother’s family came from New Orleans. Since Monday was “laundry day” it was traditional to have red beans and rice cooking on the stove. This is definitely a comfort food. When I have a leftover ham bone I’m always trying to decide what to make with it. The usual choices are split pea soup or red beans and rice. I know there are other recipes and could broaden my horizon, but I usually come back to these two again and again. Today’s not Monday, but it does seem to perpetually be Wash Day!
Serve over rice. Brown rice is our preferred type here. I cook mine in chicken broth, add olive oil and salt. I love the Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth. It’s the tastiest chicken broth on the market…homemade flavor.
Red Beans and Rice
1 meaty ham bone or ham hocks
1 pound dry red kidney beans
1 medium onion, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
1/2-1 medium green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
Few dashes Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil (butter if allowed)
8 cups (2 quarts) water
Brown rice (cooked)
Rinse beans, remove all foreign particles, and soak overnight covered with water or the quick soak method. See How to Cook Beans. Drain and rinse the beans and set aside.
In large pot, sauté onion, celery, garlic and green peppers until soft. Add water, ham bone, beans, spices. Simmer for about 3 hours. The beans should become creamy, but most stay whole. Before serving, remove bone and cut meat in bite sized pieces.
Meanwhile, cook rice. Serve with green salad and bread — French bread, Southern biscuits, but our family’s bread of choice is my aunt’s recipe, Cathey’s Corn Bread.