Sunday, January 3, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

Like gumbo and jambalaya, red beans and rice is a staple of Creole cooking - and one of Little Scarlet’s favorite childhood meals! Salty, smoked ham adds great flavor and depth to a simple bowl of kidney beans, while Frank’s RedHot sauce lends a subtle kick of spice. It’s perfect to make on a cold, wintry weekend afternoon, and goes great with a simple green salad.

This one-pot dish takes a few hours to cook, but requires very little attention and tastes even better the next day - I promise you’ll be amazed by how a dish with so few ingredients takes on such wonderful flavors!

Red beans and rice - recipe makes about 6 servings

Directions (modified from Jeff Smith’s The Frugal Gourmet):
1 pound kidney beans
½ pound ham hocks or smoked ham
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 tbsp parsley
3-4 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tbsp butter (or ½ stick)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Frank’s RedHot sauce
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
3 cups cooked white rice

  1. Soak beans overnight in ample water. The next day, drain water from the beans, and place in a heavy kettle. Add the ham, onion, celery, parsley, bay leaves, and garlic (don’t add peppers yet!), and add water to the pot barely to cover the contents. Bring to a boil, and then turn to a simmer.
  2. Simmer, uncovered, for two hours, being careful that the beans don’t stick. If the beans become too dry, add a little extra water and stir.
  3. After the first two hours of cooking, add butter, bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and Frank’s to the pot. Continue cooking for one more hour, this time with a lid on the pot and the heat on low. Add extra seasonings (salt, pepper) at this point if desired, but take care not to add salt before this point because salt cooks out of the ham hocks (or ham) and seasons the dish well. Serve over white rice.
If you like yours a little extra spicy, make sure you bring the bottle of Frank’s to the table!


  1. I love spicy food, and this looks delish!

  2. hey, this is what I'm cooking today - I like to use pickled pork in mine (from a previous post) - but, looks like you have all the right ingredients for a fine bowl of Creole goodness....

  3. I think I'd be taking the bottle to the table! Looks tasty :)

  4. Guess I know what I'll be eating for dinner tomorrow!