Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Something else I've been meaning to post

Several months ago, I made this really, really great vegan red beans and rice recipe. One of my accounting professors is a Louisiana man and loves to cook traditional cajun food. I asked him for some advice on making authentic red beans and rice. Of course, I didn't use the andouille or the ham hocks like he suggested; I substituted some other flavors and it came out so well! I wanted to put the recipe out there, in case anyone else is interested.

1 package of red beans, cleaned and soaked overnight (I had a package of light red kidney beans that I wanted to use up, but I would probably use some other variety of red bean next time)
1 tablespoon "chicken" boullion (check the ingredients)
2 tablespoons cajun/creole seasoning blend (if you purchase a blend, be aware that it has a great deal of salt in it, and adjust the salt in your beans to account for this)
As many dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce that your palate can handle
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, pressed or crushed and finely minced
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
6 stalks celery, finely chopped

Bring all of these things to a boil in a large pot with the lid on, in enough water to cover the beans plus about a half an inch. Let simmer for an hour or so, until the beans are very tender and all the flavors have married. The onion, green pepper, and celery will almost become invisible if you have chopped them finely enough, but they will still pack a lot of flavor. Monitor the seasonings along and along--I ended up adding lots of hot sauce, since I like to breathe fire when I eat cajun food.

Once the beans are tender, scoop out about 1/2 to 1 cup of the beans and place in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the beans until they form a thick paste. When smooth and thick, stir the paste back into the pot. This step will give the finished product a saucy texture, and I think it helps bind the rice to the beans so that your meal is truly one dish, rather than red beans served over rice.

Speaking of rice, I used brown rice and cooked it using some of the same seasonings that I used in the beans so that the addition of the rice would not make the entire dish bland. The first time we ate it we served the bean mixture over the rice, but when I put it up for leftovers I just stirred the rice into the pot--it worked great both ways.


KleoPatra said...

Saw you over at Leslie's... come on over to the vegan side!!!!


The support you're gonna get is here!

Vicki said...

wanted to come say hi to another vegan in the making! love red beans & rice - thanks for posting the recipe. :o)