Every Thursday on the Good Food Blog we share a recipe from our archives.
Judy Walker is the food editor of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans. She is the co-author of Cooking Up A Storm with Marcelle Bienvenu, a columnist for The Times-Picayune. After Katrina, the newspaper became the central point for collecting recipes washed away in the storm. Judy and Marcelle compiled 250 of them in their book.
Many New Orleanians eat Red Beans & Rice on Monday, what was once called “wash day.” According to tradition, many people eat a large family meal on Sundays, usually one that includes a ham. The ham bone is then simmered with the rice all day Monday while the laundry is being done.
She first shared this recipe for Red Beans & Rice on February 21, 2009.
Keep reading for the full recipe…
Red Beans & Rice
1 lb dried red kidney beans (New Orleanians use Camellia beans)
1/2 lb fatty ham or another seasoning meat, such as salt meat, pickle meat, or smoked ham hock
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large bay leaf
1 to 2 tsps Creole seasoning
Black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or more to taste
1/4 cup chopped green onions (green part only)
Hot cooked rice for serving
Hot sauce for serving
Pick over the beans to remove and stones or broken beans. Soak overnight in a large bowl with about 3 inches of water to cover. Drain the water, rinse the beans, drain again, and set aside.
Render the ham or seasoning meat in a Dutch oven over medium heat to obtain the fat, then remove the meat and set aside. Saute the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in the rendered fat, adding a little oil if needed, until softened. Add the beans, return the meat to the pan, and pour in 8 to 10 cups water, or enough to cover everything by at least a couple of inches. Bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf and Creole seasoning to the beans, then reduce to a simmer and gently cook, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are tender. Add more water while cooking, if necessary.
Toward the end of the cooking time, mash some beans with a spoon against the side of the pot to make the mixture creamier, if desired, and add the salt and pepper to taste, the parsley, and the green onions. If you prefer, use the parsley and green onions as a garnish. Discard the bay leaf and serve in bowls over white rice. Pass the hot sauce.