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Monday, January 3, 2011

Red Beans and Rice

Have I ever mentioned I have a cajun mother in law? My husband laughs when I say this and tells me that she's really Creole, not cajun. Maybe that's a fact, given her french heritage, however, the woman has some cajun tendencies. Ever seen The Waterboy? The mom in that, Kathy Bates, eats just about anything, including snake. While my mother in law may not eat snake, she's not afraid to try just about anything. There's nothing that scares her in the way of food. I love that about her. She's always willing to try something different, new, and unexpected. She's been known to suck the marrow out of chicken bones. She grew up on the bayou in south Mississippi and Louisiana. And she makes delicious cajun food. I didn't know so many spices existed until I started dating David and eating dinner with his parents. I loved having steak on Sunday nights, always complete with twice baked potatoes, rice and french bread. Her oyster stew on Christmas Eve was a hit with me, as were her griods on Christmas day. I certainly owe a lot of my cooking knowledge to her.
She makes a mean red beans and rice dish, and she made it for us recently. I jotted down her recipe, which she says is the way Maria, The Help, made it for her family growing up. The ingredient that makes it stand out from the others is cloves. Let me preface this recipe by saying I have not made this myself yet, but wanted to post it so I'll remember to make it. I'll revisit the recipe if I need to make changes. It can be made either in the crock pot or simmered on the stove on low heat for hours. So, here's Red Beans and Rice Maria's way:

Red Beans and Rice

1 pkg. dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight according to pkg. directions.
diced bell pepper, onions, and garlic sautéed in oil or bacon fat
ham hock or ham bone
5 bay leaves
Italian seasonings
ground clove (1 tsp. or more according to taste)
worcestershire sauce

Add the soaked beans to a crock pot or dutch oven. Add the sautéed mixture of pepper, onion and garlic. Cover the beans with water. Toss in the bay leaves, salt, Italian seasonings, clove and worcestershire sauce (all to taste). Let simmer on low heat until tender.


Jen said...

Two minutes before I sat down to check blogs, I threw red beans and rice in the crockpot. Now I read this! I'll have to add it again next week to my meal planning :)

Scott and Sara said...

I did not know that she was cajun! Will have to try this one.