Monday Red Beans and Rice

Hi Everyone!  I’m back this week with some great classic New Orleans recipes. I have always loved traditional New Orleans recipes but I have yet to cook a single meal. Every time I mention New Orleans food, my husband (who is from New Orleans), puts his apron on and starts to cook. He won’t even let me in the kitchen. He has mastered many of these recipes, while I have mastered eating them.
 
We made red beans and rice this Monday.  Not sure why, but my husband feels like we can only eat this dish on Monday. To find out why, I went to Google.
Google said red beans and rice is a Monday meal because Mondays used to be the traditional “wash day” of the week. Homemakers would cook red beans while doing laundry because the dish was effortless. The beans, seasoned by leftover hambone, added tons of flavor from the previous night’s dinner.
 
Even though we don’t eat ham on Sunday or do laundry on Monday, my husband still only wants to eat this dish on Monday. It was very hard for me to wait when I had the idea to make this on a Tuesday.

Red Beans and Rice Ingredients:

– 1 pound of dried, red kidney beans
– 2 cups of chopped onion
– 1 cup of chopped bell pepper
– 1/2 cup of chopped celery
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 teaspoon dried basil
– 1 tsp of garlic powder
– 1 tsp onion powder
– 1 tsp oregano
– 1 tsp thyme
– 1 tsp parsley flakes
– 2 large bay leaves
– 1/2 pound of andouille, cut into 1/4-inch slices
– 5 cups of chicken broth
– Cajun seasonings, to taste (optional)
– Hot, cooked rice

Red Beans and Rice Directions:

1. Soak beans overnight. Rinse and sort beans before adding them to the slow cooker. Transfer to a slow cooker.
2. On a cutting board, cut onion, celery, and bell pepper and put in a bowl. You have the option to cook the veggies in butter or bacon grease for added flavor. In this instance, you would add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to a pan and sauté until the veggies are tender and then transfer to the slow cooker.
3. Add the chicken stock, veggies, and seasonings to the crockpot. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low, or until beans are tender and cooked through completely.
4. **You can do this before or after the step 3** Cut and sauté the sausage until browned. Transfer to the slow cooker. You can mash the beans in the slow cooker to thicken the red beans and rice recipe. Mash the beans to your desired thickness level.
5. Taste, add salt and pepper as needed. Add Cajun seasonings, if desired.
6. Scoop red beans and rice over hot, cooked rice, and serve with bread.

Low Country Foil Bake

Hi everyone!

There are many times when I struggle with what to cook next but I know can always count on other bloggers to help me out in the food department.  I always get a good dose of inspiration to help me on my way.  This week I was reading a blog by Hey Miss Lisp and she had a recipe called Cajun Shrimp Foil Bake.  It looked great.  What I liked most about her recipe was her substitutions, which were great.  Of course with my husband being from New Orleans, I was not allowed to substitute.  He is very traditional and “protective” of the recipes he’s grown up with.  Anyway, I was inspired to do an entire week dedicated to Foil Bakes. Yay!!!

Today I made a Low Country Foil Bake.  I have made this recipe so many ways, even in a pressure cooker – which came out amazing by the way.  This was the first time I made it in foil.  My favorite part about low country boils “or bakes,” is the sausage.  My husband introduced me to andouille when we first meet and I have been hooked ever since.  In case you have never heard of it, it is a coarse-grained smoked sausage made using pork, garlic, pepper, onions, wine and seasonings. The pork used is mostly from a smoked Boston shoulder roast.  It is an amazing sausage and a must-have for this recipe.  It is, however, not easy to find.  My local grocery store just started carrying it regularly.

We are a family of four so I made four individual packets, each made to order.  In the end, this meal came out great.  I just used salt and pepper to season the kids foil bake.  This recipe was fast, easy and pleasing all at the same time.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb medium size shrimp, peeled
  • 2 ears of corn, cut in 4 pieces each
  • 4 red potatoes, cubed
  • 14 oz andouille sausage
  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  In a bowl, combine the butter, olive oil and cajun seasoning.  When thoroughly combined, add the shrimp, corn, sausage and potatoes and mix until everything is coated with the butter/olive oil/seasoning mixture.
3.  Lay out (4) 16-inch long pieces of foil and divide the low country ingredients evenly in the center of the foil.  Wrap the foil tightly so there are no holes.  If you have to, add another piece of foil on top to ensure the moisture remains in the packet.
4.  Place the foil packets on a foil lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
5.  Open the packets and drench with lemon juice.
Watch this quick video!