|Menu Board at Mother's Restaurant|
The story goes that Monday was wash day in times past, and housewives made beans and rice for dinner because they didn't require a lot of tending. Beans are easy and can simmer for a few hours on the stove while you take care of other things.
I alternate between making red beans and white beans. We love them both. Red beans have a rich, almost smoky flavor while white beans are milder. They don't get the play that red beans do. They may be considered an also-ran, a has-bean, if you will. But I remember the first time I had white beans and rice at the Des Allemands Catfish Festival. I was smitten! They were served over fluffy steamed rice as a side to the crispy catfish, but white beans are also often served as a side with a grilled pork chop or paneeed chicken (pounded chicken cutlets dipped in seasoned flour and pan fried). We eat white beans and rice as a main course; they're an inexpensive meal and a complete source of protein. Can't beat that! Plus, beans freeze beautifully (freeze the beans and rice separately, though) and are hearty and delicious fare on those nights when you just don't feel like cooking.
Soak the beans overnight (or use quick-soak method), then drain:
Saute onion and celery in a small amount of oil for 5 minutes:
Add ham cubes, garlic and bay leaf and saute for another 5 minutes:
Add drained beans along with 6 cups of fresh, cold water and some Tabasco:
Stir the pot, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring periodically and adding additional water as needed to prevent beans from sticking.
Mash the beans slightly (you want them to be quite broken up):
Start boiling your rice. Meanwhile, add about 1/3 lb. of your favorite smoked sausage (cubed) to the beans
|I brought 10 lbs. of this stuff back last time I went to New Orleans|
and serve the rest of the sausage on the side. Garnish with green onions and add additional Louisiana Hot Sauce or Tabasco.
Creole Style White Beans and Rice
from Emeril Lagasse's Louisiana Real & Rustic
click here to print
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cup chopped boiled ham
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 lb. dried white navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
6 to 8 cups water
1 lb. smoked sausage (divided use)
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
Heat oil over medium heat in large, heavy saucepan or dutch oven. You want a heavy pan so that mixture doesn't scorch too easily.
Add onions, celery, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the ham, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add drained beans, Tabasco, and 6 cups of the water to start. Stir and cover; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary.
Mash beans against side of pot so that they are creamy Add 1/3 lb. of the sausage and cook uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve over rice with a side of sausage and additional hot sauce, if desired.
C'est Bon, Cher!