The Covered Dish: Red Beans and Rice

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Hello February!  There is still time to sign up for the upcoming culinary class at, ‘The Cook’s Nook,’ in McPherson, Kansas.  Class fee is $35.00 and the session runs 10-12noon.  Call the Cook’s Nook to place your reservation at:  620 241 7180.

 

I had to remind everyone before I got into the column and ‘forget’!

 

As I told everyone last week we shared a huge pan of lasagna for Super Bowl 2019, plus a new dessert.  Presently I cannot print the recipe, but I will in the spring.  I am very excited to share my recipe for red beans and rice with all of my readers.  As you will find the red beans are done in the pressure cooker.  Those of you with an insta-pot can also prepare this yummy dish.  Or, allow the beans to cooks for several hours on a traditional stove.

 

The recipe itself is pretty long, only because I added a very nice story to the recipe, at the bottom of the column.  Do not miss the story as it’s one that will stick with you for quite a while.

 

I add meat to my beans and usually it is a spicy link sausage.  You will also note the story on instant coffee.  By the way, since I NEVER drink instant coffee I will state that research shows Tasters Choice has the highest flavor rating.

 

Would I hesitate to have red beans and rice for a dinner party?  Not at all,

they can be delicious when prepared properly.  I had a young lady tell me one of her favorite meals, at a specific restaurant, was red beans and rice.  I looked at her mom and asked if she ever ate them anywhere else?  Nope, well you know me, I’m making her a pot of red beans this week.

 

Perhaps we should do a bit of a comparison between pinto beans and red beans.

Here is a break-down of the two beans, with a one cup measurement.

 Pinto Beans                                          Red Beans

45 carbs                                                        40 carbs

30 net carbs                                     29 net carbs

15 fiber                                                          11 fiber

15 protein                                          12-15 protein

1-2 fats                                                                0.5 fats

The most confusing line is the ‘net carbs’.  To find the net carb in any food subtract the fiber amount from the carbs amount.  The fiber is going to help stabilize blood sugar and insulin, and it will also boost the feeling of satiety.

 

It is confusing!  Try stating facts in a column and every time you pull up a new sight you get a different answer!

 

I would not serve the beans with instant rice.  Be sure and cook a nice pot of long grain, jasmine or Arborio rice, as they absorb nicely with sauces.  Personally I would probably use good ole’ long grain.

 

You can garnish red beans with fresh parsley, black pepper, pepper jack cheese or even a little dollop of sour cream.  If they’re seasoned well it will be an outstanding meal.

 

I’ll be hitting highway 400 very soon.  Can’t wait to see all my Kansas friends!

Simply yours, The Covered Dish.   www.thecovereddish.com

 

Red Beans & Rice

 

2-3 tablespoons salted butter

1 medium onion chopped

1 green pepper chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 jalapeno chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb. dry red beans, rinsed

1 ham hock

1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon creole seasoning

1/4 teaspoon sage

2 bay leaves

7 cups water

1 tablespoon instant coffee*

Long Grain Rice, follow cooking directions to prepare-

 

Place T-Fal pressure cooker over medium heat, place butter inside to heat.  As soon as butter is melted add onion, pepper, celery, jalapeno and cooked until edges begin to brown.  Lastly add the minced garlic cloves, lowering the heat & stirring continuously.  Turn the heat off while adding the beans, ham hock, thyme, pepper, creole seasoning, sage, bay leaves and water.  Stir to blend within the cooker.

 

Lock down the cooker and set on level #2.  Set heat at medium to medium high.  As the cooker heats the red stick will rise indicating the lid is in lock position.  When the cooker starts a constant ‘sizzle’ begin timing the beans for 40 minutes. At this time you will also lower the temperature, as low as possible, without losing the ‘siz’.

 

If you are not in a rush I always prefer to let the cooker cool to unlock naturally.  However one may also turn off the heat and gradually pull the steam release valve back to full open.  When the red stick has dropped it is safe to open the pressure cooker.

 

Meat of your choice may be added to the beans in the cooker or from a skillet, grill etc.  Andouille is a strong choice in Louisiana. This is also when I add the instant coffee.  Often a pork chop was served on the side.  Our recipe will be using Petit Jean Polish Sausage, from Petit Jean Meats in Morrilton, Arkansas.

 

Red Beans and Rice were typically served on a Monday, which was wash day in the past.  The dish was often started on Sunday providing the Monday meal.  This allowed the lady of the house time to get the laundry completed on Monday. 

 

 

While I was teaching this class at Silver Dollar City a guest, born in Puerto Rico, shared this phenomenal tip.  Her mother made outstanding red beans and rice.  However her mother passed early in her life.  The young woman was forever seeking a pot of beans that would taste like her mothers.  She tried red beans and rice in every state she visited.  Finally she was back in Puerto Rico reconnecting when she popped into a local restaurant.  Once again red beans and rice was ordered.  After one bite the tears began to flow.  This was her mother’s red beans!  The waiter, most concerned, returned to the table to see if everything was alright.  At the chef’s request she was escorted to the kitchen, only to learn that the secret ingredient implemented was instant coffee. 

 

The class that day was only around 15 guests so we served ‘my’ recipe to everyone, then I added a 1/2 tablespoon of instant coffee to the remaining half, of the beans.  I could not believe the flavor that permeated from the addition of the instant coffee.  It also darkened the beans and added a bit more thickening.   Sold, is what I am regarding the use of instant coffee.  I’ve used it in sauces, chilies, cakes and soups.  Never with a heavy hand, because I want the enhancement not a heavy prominence.

 

 

 

 

 

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