Red beans and rice
1 pound dried red beans (preferably New Orleans Camelia brand)
Tasso ham or ham hock
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1½ medium onions, finely diced
½ large rib celery, finely diced
½ medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
tiny dash cayenne pepper
1½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoon MSG
2 bay leaves
1½ teaspoons dried basil
½ teaspoon rubbed sage (or 1 teaspoon fresh sage)
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ bunch fresh green onions, chopped
Cooked white long-grain rice, for serving
Seared andouille sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick, for serving
- In a large bowl, cover beans in water and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Water should cover beans by at least an inch.)
- In a large, heavy pot, Sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil over medium heat until onions become transparent and limp. Add celery and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Pour soaked beans and water into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add tasso or ham hock, black pepper, cayenne, salt and all herbs except parsley.
- Cook until beans are softened, about 1½ to 2 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Fifteen minutes before serving, remove 1 cup of beans to a bowl and, using a fork, mash them and stir back into the pot to enhance the creamy texture of the dish. Add parsley and green onions. Simmer about 15 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning, and add up to 1 cup more water if beans seem too thick. Remove bay leaves. Serve over white long-grain rice with seared andouille sausage.